Past Perfect Tense in Indonesian: An In-depth Guide


When it comes to mastering a foreign language, understanding the various tenses is crucial. In Indonesian, the past perfect tense plays a significant role in expressing actions that occurred before another past event. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of the past perfect tense in Indonesian, its formation, usage, and provide you with valuable insights to enhance your language skills.

What is the Past Perfect Tense?

The past perfect tense, also known as “pas tense” or “masa lampau sempurna” in Indonesian, is used to describe an action that had already been completed before another action in the past. It signifies that the action took place before a specific time or event in the past.

The formation of the past perfect tense in Indonesian involves the use of the verb “telah” (had) followed by the root verb and the suffix “-kan.” The suffix “-kan” is added to the root verb to indicate completion or fulfillment of the action.


  • Saya telah membaca buku sebelum tidur. (I had read a book before sleeping.)
  • Kami telah makan di restoran sebelum menonton film. (We had eaten at the restaurant before watching the movie.)

Usage of the Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is commonly used in Indonesian to express actions that occurred before another event or time in the past. It helps to establish a clear chronological order of events and provides a deeper understanding of the sequence of actions.