DOI: 10.21070/acopen.v1i2.194

Comparison of personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages

Termiz State University
personal pronouns meaning cultural aspects comparison formal speech informal speech politeness kindship


      The role of pronouns is to replace  nouns or noun phrases in the sentences. Personal pronouns replace proper and common nouns, so we do not have to repeat them. This  article compares personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages. The most important point in the analysis is cultural aspect and its influence on the usage of personal pronouns. The article will reveal the influence of such cultural aspects like politeness and kinship based on example of personal pronoun "you" in Indonesian and Uzbek languages. Influence of formal and informal speech on denoting personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages. The analysis will occur on the basis of examples that were taken from the sources which are given in the references.


A pronoun is an independent part of speech that indicates objects, signs, quantity, but does not name them. Personal pronouns are used to denote people and objects. Personal pronouns play a great role in communication. It is hardly possible image our speech without them. While our communication we talk about ourselves and not only , ask questions to others. So, personal pronouns denote not just grammar function but also communicative function. Personal pronouns in Indonesian language have form of formal and informal as example of : "saya" and "aku". Denote respect toward listener and refer to age as example of : "kamu" and "anda". In Uzbek language such function is denoted by personal pronouns : "siz" and "sen". There are semantic features of personal pronouns that denote age, respect and kinship. These aspects present in both languages.

Personal pronouns are pronouns that can be used to refer people. Personal pronouns can refer to the speaker (first person ), refers to the person spoken to ( second person), or refers to the person being spoken of (third person).Among these pronouns, some refer to the amount of one or more than one. The examples of personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages as in the tables below.

Personal pronouns in Indonesian language:

I Aku, saya
you kau, kamu
he Dia, ia
she Dia,ia
we kita
You(plural) kalian
they mereka
Table 1.

Personal pronouns in Uzbek language:

I men
you sen
he u
she u
we biz
You (plural) sizlar
they ular
Table 2.

Literature review

Although, Indonesian and Uzbek languages are different some linguistic features are common for these two languages. The article analysis the role of cultural aspect on the personal pronouns in both languages. According to Surjaman Indonesian language needs specialized terms to differentiate the masculine from the feminine gender in the third personal pronoun singular. [6] Uzbek language also has one pronoun "U" to denote the third personal pronoun singular. As it was mentioned above, this article will analyze the influence of cultural aspect on the languages and particularly on the personal pronouns. It was mentioned by Heine that sets of personal pronouns can be found in most languages of the world, but they are perhaps most diversified and complex in societies characterized by pronounced forms of hierarchical social organization and status.[1]


The method of the research is qualitative. The qualitative method was chosen, because of the fact that the article deals with comparison of the date based on the structure and semantic aspects and their syntactic correlates of the two different languages: Indonesian and Uzbek. Specifically, the research concerns with the personal pronouns of these languages.

In Indonesian culture the aspect of formal and informal speech has a big impact on the language.

For example :Aku - I (informal) ; Saya - I ( formal)

Kamu (kau) - you ( informal) Anda - you ( formal)

For example: Sayatingal di kotaTermiz

/I live in Termiz / (Saya - I (Formal))

Akutingal di kota Termiz

/I live in Termiz / (Aku - I ( Informal))

Kutingal di kotaTermiz

/I live in Termiz / (Ku - I ( Informal))

- Sayabelajar bahasa-bahasa asing di universitas.

/ I study foreign languages at university/

Note: The pronoun "gue" ( "I" informal) is used in Jakarta. In Uzbek language the pronoun "men" refers to first person singular " I" is used both in formal and informal speech. The pronoun "man" ( "I" informal can be used in some cities).

The main content

The impact of cultural aspect on Indonesian and Uzbek languages can be analyzed on the example of personal pronoun in second person singular (you). Both in Indonesian and Uzbek languages it is important to consider features as: age and social status.

Both In Uzbek and Indonesian language there are two types of "you".

In Uzbek language the pronoun "siz" ("you" formal) is used towards elder people, the pronoun "sen" is more informal and used to refer people the same age. In Indonesian language towards elder people the pronoun "anda" ( "you" formal) is used, while the pronoun "kamu" (you) is informal and refers to people the same age category. According to Surjaman “Whether the word ‘anda’ will be used orally will depend on the society itself, provided, that the users realize the function of that word.” [6]

Indonesian language:

Andaakan menghadiri pesta pernikahannya malam ini (formal)

/You will attend his wedding party tonight/

Kamu di mana?( Informal)

Where are you?

Another form of 'you' is pronoun "engkau":

-Engkaudapat mengerim telegram dari sini.

/You can send telegram from here/

Uzbek language:

Senqayerda yashaysan?

/where do you live?/ (informal)

Sizqayerda yashaysiz?

/where do you live?/ (formal)

Personal pronouns: 'he', 'she', 'it':

In Uzbek language unlike English the aspect of gender does not make influence on personal pronoun, so pronoun of third person has got only one form: "u". In Indonesian language 'he', 'she', 'it' is translated as "dia" or "Ia". For example:

1.Diasedang mencari kamu.

/He is looking for you/

2.Iadatang untuk menolong kamu

/He comes to help you/

Personal pronouns plural form

Indonesian language:

First person plural: Kitaakan segera berangkat ke Jogja.

/We will leave for Jogja soon./

Second person plural: Kaliansemua adalah sahabat terhebatku

/All of you are my best friends./

Third person plural: Merekapergi ke Jakarta malam ini.

/They went to Jakarta tonight./

Uzbek language:

First person plural: Bizkitob olamiz.

/We will buy a book./

Second person plural: Sizlaro'sha bozorga borasizlar.

/You will go to that market./

Third person plural: Ularertaga uyga boradilar.

/They will go home tomorrow./


According to the description that was provided above, it can be concluded that the use of personal pronouns in Uzbek and Indonesian languages has different expressions and contexts, but have similar meanings. All of the above discussion might be concluded that both languages have a certain level of culture influence on personal pronouns. For example, considering features as politeness and kinship. Because both of these languages form a pattern of language use to designate politeness. For example, " Siz" is more polite than "sen". This denotes a culture of society that use polite form of the word. Likewise in Indonesian there is a level of politeness in the use of pronouns. For example, the words "anda" is more polite than the words "kamu, - mu, and kau". At this level, languages denote age, morals and habits. This is why culture influences the languages enough. Besides, having a level of politeness, language also has a meaning of kinship. This can be found in the use of pronouns of the two languages ​​above. In Indonesian, the word "kamu" is usually more directed towards kinship that is found among fellow youths. Fellow youths will feel strange when they called 'anda' as well as “siz” in Uzbek language. It also sharpens the emotional feeling between the two. For people who are not yet known, usually people use the word "anda" rather than " kamu or kau". In Uzbek language it is also better to use “siz” towards unfamiliar people even if there is no age gap between speakers.


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