Negation in Javanese

Negation in Javanese

Negation in Javanese follows the same grammatical rules as Indonesian, that is, having discrete terms for negations followed by a noun and those followed by all other parts of speech. In Indonesian, these terms are bukan (aku bukan murid / I’m not a student) and tidak* (aku tidak lapar / I’m not hungry).

In Indonesian, there is one word for yes: iya/ya, whereas in Javanese, there are two, the Ngoko iya/ya and the Krama inggih.** The same is true for “not yet”; in Indonesian it is simply belum*** but in Ngoko it is durung and in Krama dereng.

Ngoko Krama Bahasa Indonesia English
Iya Inggih Iya yes
Ora Mboten Tidak No / not
Dudu Sanes Bukan is not/am not/are not
Durung Dereng Belum Not yet


  1. Apa kowe murid? Dudu, aku dudu murid. (Apakah kamu murid? Bukan, aku bukan murid.)
  2. Menapa sampeyan tiyang Amerika? Sanes, kula sanes tiyang Amerika. (Apakah Anda orang Amerika? Bukan, saya bukan orang Amerika).
  3. Apa kowe wis mangan? Durung. Aku wis durung. (Apakah kamu sudah makan? Belum, aku belum makan).
  4. Kowe seneng karo dheweke? Iya, aku seneng karo dheweke. (Apa kamu suka pada dia? Iya, aku suda pada dia).


*tidak also appears as tak or nggak in informal Indonesian

**it is common to hear inggih used in the Ngoko level for short responses.

***as with Indonesian, the term “not yet” is very frequently used, especially in response to questions with the term sudah (already) in Indonesian or wis/sampun in Javanese.


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