Indonesian Negation

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Form the negative in Indonesian

Indonesian has two ways to form a negative sentence. We use the words tidak and bukan. The word bukan is to form a negative sentence such as denial about something, then follow the clause with an explanation using the word melainkan (but).


Buku itu tidak bagus.  - That book is not good.

Saya tidak tahu. - I don't know.


Buku itu bukan hitam, melainkan hijau. - That book is not black, but (it is) green.

Saya bukan dokter, melainkan reporter. - I am not a doctor, but (I am) a reporter.


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