There are four negative words in Bahasa Indonesia: bukan, tidak, belum and jangan. Belum 'not yet' combines the meanings of bukan/tidak , actually, fourth of those words using in different situation. It is important that you understand the distinction between the usage of these two words. To make a verb negative in English, we use don't or doesn't before the verb. For example, we would say He doesn't speak English or They don't eat pork.
Bukan negates a noun; that is, it is used if the predicate centre contains a noun or noun phrase or When what you want to make negative is a noun (a thing) or a pronoun, bukan must be used. Again it is inserted directly before the noun (or pronoun) , look at examples below:
Saya orang Indonesia. I am an Indonesian
Saya bukan orang Indonesia . I am not an Indonesian .
Ini kucing . This is a cat.
Ini bukan kucing. This is not a cat
Dia presiden? Bukan dia. Is he the president? It's not him
Dia Guru She is teacher
Dia bukan guru. She isn't a teacher
Tidak negates all types of predicate other than nouns, including verbs, adjectives, prepositional phrases:
In Indonesian, insert tidak directly before a verb to make it negative:
dia minum he drinks dia tidak minum he doesn't drink
saya tahu I know saya tidak tahu I don't know
dia sehat he is healthy dia tidak sehat He isn't healthy
mereka mabuk theyare drunk mereka tidak mabuk They aren't drunk’
other examples :
Mereka tidak menolong kami. They didn't help us.
Dia tidak di sini. She isn't here.
Hawa Bandung tidak terlalu panas. The climate of Bandung is not too hot.
A number of prepositions, including karena 'because', untuk 'for', seperti 'like', can be negated by either
- bukan or tidak:
Ini bukan/tidak untuk saudara. These are not for you.
Penyakitnya bukan/tidak karena itu. His illness is not because of that.
Ini bukan/tidak seperti desa kita. This isn't like our village.
Bukan can replace tidak. As such it is emphatic, implying that a contradictory statement could follow:
Dia bukan bodoh. He isn't stupid (but there is another reason for his behaviour).
The contradiction can be expressed, for instance, as a clause beginning with melainkan 'but rather':
Dia bukan bodoh, melainkan malas saja. He's not stupid but just lazy.
Several variants of tidak occur. Tak has a literary flavour for most Indonesians. It was once obligatory before ter- although in modern Indonesian tidak is also common in this position:
Tak ada dosa yang tak terampuni. There are no sins which cannot be forgiven.
Tiada is a literary form meaning the same as tidak 'not' and tidak ada 'there isn't':
Aku tiada berkata begitu. I did not say that.
Di daerah itu tiada air. In that region there is no water.
With some verbs tidak can be replaced by kurang 'less' to indicate a lessened degree of negation or to soften the impact of the negation:
Aku kurang percaya akan kabar itu. I didn't really believe that news.
Both tidak and bukan can be emphasised by sama sekali '(not) at all, definitely (not)' and sedikitpun '(not) even a little':
Ini sama sekali bukan uang orang lain. This is definitely not other people's money.
Saya sama sekali tidak tergantung pada dia. I'm not in the least dependent on him.
Mereka sedikitpun tidak mempedulikan nasib orang lain. They don't in the slightest care about the
fate of other people.
Tidak can occur in several phrases besides the predicate phrase, including adjective phrases, and with indefinite numbers . Bukan occurs as a sentence tag, irrespective of which negative would occur in themain clause. It also occurs in some correlative structures