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Reduplicated ”ber-” Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

When the root word is reduplicated, the ber- word may indicate repeated or extended action, or action that takes place over an extended period of time. Look at the example below

The formation of reduplication ber- is as follows:

Root word English meaning Reduplicated Ber + reduplicated English meaning
root word root word
jalan street(N), to walk(V) jalan-jalan berjalan-jalan walk about, go for a stroll
macam kind, sort, variety macam-macam bermacam-macam various kinds


Repeated or extended action, or action over an extended time.

berjalan-jalan walk about, go for a stroll berputar-putar  go around in circles
berlari-lari run, walk quickly bercakap-cakap to chat, converse


Reduplicated ber- may also indicate plural.

berbeda-beda different kinds berpuluh-puluh tens of
bermacammacam various kinds beratus-ratus* hundreds of

*”r” in prefix ber is dropped due to the sound assimilation.


Reduplicated noun base ber- indicating a period of time forms adjuncts of duration. It can also apply to indefinite physical distances.

berjam-jam for hours bermil-mil miles and miles
bertahun-tahun for years berkilokilo meter (for) kilometers


A useful common expression is berlama-lama (purposely take time in doing something)

1. Jangan berlama-lama di rumah teman ya.

Don’t  stay too long at your friend’s, will you.

2. Maria selalu berlama-lama di kamar mandi.

Maria always takes so long in the bathroom.



Find the root word of the ber – words in bold and figure out their meaning. After that, say in English what the paragraph is about.

Bu Meutia senang _______berjalan-jalan di pasar tradisional setiap akhir minggu.  Dia bisa berada di sana selama ________ berjam-jam. Biasanya dia pergi dengan adik perempuannya pada hari Minggu. Dia dan adik perempuannya,  Linda berangkat ke pasar pagi-pagi sekali. Mereka berdua naik sepeda motor.

Pak Bambang dan Pak Joko berdiri di depan h. Mereka sedang apa? Mereka sedang  _________bercakap-cakap tentang anak-anak mereka. Pak Bambang bercerita tentang anak laki-lakinya yang bernama Gatot.     Gatot berkuliah di Universitas George Washington.   Pak Joko berbicara tentang anaknya juga. Anak perempuannya akan  berkuliah tahun depan. Mereka berdua senang_______berbincang-bincang tentang anak-anak mereka.


Answer key:

  1. berjalan-jalan (root word: jalan – street)
  2. berjam-jam (root word: jam – hour(s)
  3. bercakap-cakap (root word: cakap – able)
  4. berbincang-bincang (root word: bincang – to talk)

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About the Author: asimonoff

I’m an Indonesian language instructor, instructional material developer, reading test developer, and interpreter. I have been teaching Indonesian to adult students for 15 years, and have been teaching students from many backgrounds, such as private, military and diplomatic service employees. I’m Indonesian, but am living in the US now; my exposure to different cultures in my home country and in the US has enriched my knowledge in teaching Indonesian as a second language. I approach the teaching of the Indonesian language by developing students’ critical cultural awareness and competence. This method of teaching has been proven to be a key to the success of my students. Students become conscious of the essential role culture plays in the language.