Session 10 : Expressing Intensity – Learn Bahasa Indonesia

Increase the intensity

Basically you are going to rely on the following vocabulary words :

  • Informal : banget
  • Neutral : sekali

They go after the word they are referring to.

  • (inf.) Mahal banget itu ! [Expensive very much this !] : That is so expensive !
  • Empat jam sampai puncak, itu cepat sekali [4 hour until summit, that fast very much] : 4 hours to reach the summit, that is very faste !
  • Saya suka sekali nonton film horror [I like very much watch movie horror] : I like watching horror movie very much


There is a very easy grammar rule to create a superlative, simply add ter- to an adjective :

  • Dia selalu mau beli yang termahal  [He always want buy which most expensive] : He always want to buy the most expensive one
  • Di antara kelompok temannya dia yang tertinggi [At middle group friend his he which tallest] : Among his group of friends he is the tallest

Please note that this rule only works with adjective, the prefix ter- has other uses when used with nouns or verbs.

Decrease intensity

The easiest way is to use sedikit : little. Note that this time sedikit goes before the word it refers to.

  • Aku sedikit pusing [I little confused] : I’m slightly confused
  • Dia sedikit terlambat [He little late] : He is a little bit late

You cannot use banyak before an adjective or a verb, you have to use the vocabulary we saw just before.


Formal alternative to sekali

Sangat or amat can replace sekali in formal Indonesian. You will seldom hear them in your daily life.

Please note that both goes before an adjective.

  • (form.) Belajar Bahasa Inggris sangat sulit [Learn language English very difficult] : It is very difficult to learn English

Translating rather and quite

You can use either agak [rather] or lumayan [not bad] :

  • Dia agak pintar [He rather clever] : He is rather clever
  • Mereka lumayan baik [They not bad nice] : They are quite nice

An more formal alternative is to use cukup [enough] :

  • Ayahnya pacarnya cukup kaya [Father her girlfriend his enough rich] : His girlfriend’s father is rather rich


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