grammar #3 – ini, itu

Meaning: ini – this, these; itu – that, those

Structure:

1) ini/itu A.

2) N ini/itu

Rules:

  1. ‘Ini’ is equivalent to ‘this’ or ‘these’ in English, meanwhile ‘itu’ is equivalent to ‘that’ and ‘those’. Note that whether a noun is singular or plural, the same word is used. Compare sentence 1 and 2.
  2. ‘Ini’ and ‘itu’ can be used as a pronoun itself. Take a look at sentence 1, 2 and 3.
  3. When using as an adjective, for example ‘this book’, ‘ini’ and ‘itu’ come after the noun. See sentence 4, 5 and 6. This is a very common mistake committed by Malay language learners.
  4. In colloquial Malay, ‘ini’ and ‘itu’ are shortened to ‘ni’ and ‘tu’ respectively. See sentence 7.

Examples:

  1. Ini buku teks saya.
  2. Ini semua buku teks saya.
  3. Itu bukan bendera Malaysia.
  4. Buah ini ialah buah epal, bukan buah aprikot.
  5. Mereka suka kelas ini.
  6. Rumah-rumah itu sangat cantik.
  7. Tu sekolah kami.
  1. This is my textbook.
  2. These are all my textbooks.
  3. That is not a Malaysian flag.
  4. This fruit is an apple, not an apricot.
  5. They like this class.
  6. Those houses are very pretty.
  7. That is our school.

Common Mistake

As stated in Rule 3, the most common mistake made by Malay learners is they tend to put ‘ini’ or ‘itu’ after the object of interest. See the following examples:

Wrong

ini binatang

itu pelajar-pelajar

itu bukit

Correct

binatang ini

pelajar-pelajar itu

bukit itu

Meaning

this animal

those students

that hill

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