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Penanda Masa (Tenses)

There are separate Malay words for the present, past, and future tenses. No conjugations are required. Dr Samsur rijal will explains more.
© Universiti Malaya

The Malay language time system employed a timeline to show what was going on.

  1. Masa lalu / lepas (Past tense)
  2. Masa kini / sekarang (present tense)
  3. Masa depan / akan datang (future tense)

When learning the Malay language, it is very useful to learn the past tense and present tense. Using past and present tense helps sentences make sense and sound more natural. There are separate Malay words for the present, past, and future tenses. No conjugations are required; simply use different words for each of the three tenses. Let’s take a look below.

Penanda masa

(Time line)

Kata bantu

(Helping words)

Contoh ayat

(Example of words)

lalu / lepas (Past) telah

sudah

pernah

Saya telah berjumpa kawan saya semalam. (My friend and I met yesterday)

Saya sudah berkahwin. (I am married)

Saya pernah belajar bahasa Melayu tahun lalu. (I used to learn Malay language last year)

kini / sekarang (Present) sedang

masih

tengah

Mereka sedang membaca surat khabar. (They are reading newspaper)

Kawan saya masih sakit sekarang. (My friend is still sick)

Adik saya tengah tidur di dalam bilik. (My sister is sleeping in her room)

masa depan / akan datang (Future) akan

mahu

hendak

Mereka akan datang esok. (They will come tomorrow)

Kami mahu pergi ke Pulau Langkawi minggu depan. (We want to go to Langkawi next week)

Saya hendak makan sate malam esok. (I want to eat satay tomorrow night)

Note: pernah – This word describes a situation that has already happened or has been experienced and is likely to happen again.

The examples below show how the past, present, and future tenses are formed in words and used in sentences.

to eat

Past Tense Present Tense Future Tense
Ibu saya sudah makan.

(My mother has eaten)

Ibu saya sedang makan.

(My mother is eating)

Ibu saya akan makan.

(My mother is going to eat)

to go

Past Tense Present Tense Future Tense
Dia sudah pergi.

(She has gone)

Dia sedang pergi.

(She is going)

Dia akan pergi.

(She will go)

to buy

Past Tense Present Tense Future Tense
Saya sudah membeli aiskrim.

(I have bought ice cream)

Saya sedang membeli aiskrim.

(I am buying ice cream)

Saya akan membeli aiskrim.

(I am going to buy ice cream)

to take

Past Tense Present Tense Future Tense
Adik lelaki saya sudah mengambil buku itu.

(My brother have taken the book)

Adik lelaki saya sedang mengambil buku itu.

(My brother is taking the book)

Adik lelaki saya akan mengambil buku itu.

(My brother is going to take the book)

to write

Past Tense Present Tense Future Tense
Kami sudah menulis satu sajak.

(We have written a poem)

Kami sedang menulis satu sajak.

(We are writing a poem)

Kami akan menulis satu sajak.

(We will write a poem)

© Universiti Malaya
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Learn Bahasa Melayu: Grammatical rules in Malay

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