the preposition ‘kepada’

Meaning: to [someone, something]
into [parts, sections, groups]

Rules:

  1. This preposition is used mainly with people, animals and objects, and not with locations and time.
  2. In sentence 1, 2 and 3, ‘kepada’ is used to show the direction of which their respective objects move.
  3. In sentence 4 and 5, ‘kepada’ is used with verbs involving division, separation etc. This is equivalent to ‘into’ in English.

Examples:

  1. Mereka sudah menghantar kerja sekolah mereka kepada guru.
  2. Hadiah ini saya akan berikan kepada kawan baik saya.
  3. Surat ini adalah daripada Thiva kepada Syasya.
  4. Cikgu membahagikan kami kepada tiga kumpulan.
  5. Dia memotong kek hari lahir kepada sepuluh bahagian.

Note: For sentence 3, ‘untuk’ can replace ‘kepada’.

  1. They already sent their school work to their teacher.
  2. I will give this present to my good friend.
  3. This letter is from Thiva to Syasya.
  4. Teacher divided us into three groups.
  5. She cut the birthday cake into ten parts.

Colloquial Malay

In colloquial Malay, when using ‘kepada’ as in Sentence 1 to 3, kepada is often replaced with ‘dekat’ or ‘kat’. These alternatives are not used for the case in Sentence 4 and 5.

  1. Mereka dah hantar kerja sekolah mereka kat cikgu.
  2. Hadiah ini saya akan bagi kat kawan baik saya.
  3. Surat ini dari Thiva kat Syasya.
  4. Cikgu bahagikan kami kepada tiga kumpulan.
  5. Dia potong kek hari lahir kepada sepuluh bahagian.

Note that:

In colloquial Malay, the prefix meN- is often omitted from a verb. ‘Bagi’ is more favored than ‘beri’ and ‘daripada’ is often shortened to ‘dari’ (although this is grammatically incorrect.)

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