A Student Question on Saya and Yang.

Dear All

Here are explanations for a question on differences of saya and contextual meanings of yang:

Based on Itu radio saya in the lecture.


Itu (that)

Radio = radio

Saya = I or me


Hence the lecture example = that my radio i.e. that is my radio.

The possessive order as explained is in opposite construction. And Malay does not need a is or are or am.


More examples based on lecture content:


Ini kawan saya

This is my friend


Di situ sekolah saya

There is my school


Siapa guru saya?

Who is my teacher?


Mengapa hari ini?

Why this day => Why today?


Di mana teman lelaki saya

Where is my boy friend?


Yang mana kawan perempuan saya

Which one is my female partner?


Yang = emphasis marker

Different meanings of yang is contextually dependent:


1.       Emphatic reference: Yang ini siapa?  = Who is this?

2.       Emphasis:  Saya suka yang itu.  = I like that one

3.       Elaboration: Saya tidak suka hari yang panas. = I don’t like days that are hot.


Notice that yang may be deleted which also removes the emphasis


1a. Ini siapa? Who is this?

2.a. Saya suka itu. I like that.

3a. Saya tidak suka hari panas. I dislike hot days.

Terima kasih



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