In Indonesian, both subjective and objective pronouns are the same. Possessive pronouns are slightly different in informal situations only. Below is the table:
English Formal Informal Informal Possesive
I Saya Aku -ku
You Anda Kamu -mu
He/She/It Beliau Dia -nya
We (inclusive) Kita Kita Kita
We (exclusive) Kami Kami Kami
You (Plural) Kalian Kalian Kalian
They Mereka Mereka Mereka

Note that there are two notions of “we” in Indonesian. If the opposite party is included, then we use“kita”. Otherwise, we use “kami”.
Contoh (Example):

  • Budi: “Wati, ini buku kita.” (= Wati, this is our book.)
Here, Budi speaks to Wati that this book is both Budi’s and Wati’s book. However, if Budi said,“Wati, ini buku kami.”; it means that this book is Budi’s (and probably his other friend’s), but not Wati’s.
To refer a third person that has already died, He/She/It, when person we are speaking about already passed away and we want to refer to those people with respect, we use another wordalmarhum meaning “he” when the he is already died and “he” happens to be a respectable person. For female we use the word almarhumah. This is a rare instance when Bahasa Indonesia is gender specific. This is a loan word from Arabic which literally means: “who was blessed by God.” In this sense, this is actually a euphemism.


As you probably have noted in the previous example, the position of possessive pronoun is reversed in Indonesian.
Contoh (Example):

  • Buku kami. (= our book(s))
  • Apel mereka. (= their apple(s))
  • Jerukku. (= my orange(s))
  • Gelasnya. (= his/her/its glass(es))
  • Bolpenmu. (= your pen(s))
  • Coklat saya. (= my chocolate(s))
  • Mobil beliau. (= his/her/its car)
In these examples, notice that when using informal possessive of singular person, the suffix is put together with the noun.
Although in spoken Indonesian it is acceptable to say “gelas dia” instead of “gelasnya” and“bolpen kamu” instead of “bolpenmu”, it is incorrect to say “jeruk aku” to mean “my orange”.


In most languages there is the possibility of both adjective-like posessives “this is my book” and noun like adjectives “this book is mine” or “this is mine.” Indonesian doesn’t do this exactly like this but does have an equivalent:

  1. Buku ini punyaku. (This book is mine)
  2. Buku ini punyamu. (This book is yours)
  3. Buku ini punyanya. (This book is his/hers/its)
  4. Buku ini punya saya. (This book is mine)
  5. Buku ini punya kami. (This book is ours) (exclusive)
  6. Buku ini punya kita. (This book is ours) (inclusive)
  7. Buku ini punya mereka. (This book is theirs)
  8. Buku ini punya Budi. (This book is Budi’s)
  9. Ini punyaku. (This is mine)

Notice that this kind of structure is “bridged” by the word “punya”, which means “to have”. You can then put the appropriate suffix or word to indicate the ownership.
A synonym of “punya” is “milik”. Hence you can change “punya” with “milik”.

  1. Buku ini milikku
  2. Buku ini milikmu
  3. Buku ini miliknya


Below are some examples that summarise what we’ve learnt:

  1. Saya punya buku kuning. (= I have a yellow book)
  2. Buku saya kuning. (= My book is yellow).
  3. Kamu punya bolpen biru, bukan bolpen hitam(= You have a blue pen, not a black pen)
  4. Dia tidak punya pensil hijau. (= He/she/it doesn’t have a green pencil)
  5. Budi punya apel merah. (= Budi has a red apple/red apples)
  6. Apel merah ini punya Budi. (= This red apple is Budi’s)

Note that at the third example we use “bukan” to deny the noun (i.e. the pen). At the fourth example, we use “tidak” to deny the ownership, which is considered as a verb (i.e. “doesn’t have”). Note also how we can put names in ownership at example five and six with the word “punya”.


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