In Indonesian, the meaning of lagi is ‘again’ or ‘more’. For example:
- Saya akan datang lagi (I will come again)
- Saya mau satu lagi (I want one more)
Depending on the context, lagi has a few meanings. Let’s discuss one by one.
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Lagi meaning ‘in the middle of (doing an activity)’
In English, we use present continuous tense. For example:
- Saya lagi nonton TV (I am watching TV)
- Ibu lagi masak di dapur (Mother is cooking in the kitchen)
You can also use this word in question sentences to ask about the current activity your interlocutor is doing. For instance:
A: Lagi apa? (What are you doing?)
B: Lagi belajar ( (I) am studying).
Lagi meaning ‘In (duration)’
- Saya ke sana 15 menit lagi ya. (I am coming there in five minutes)
- Dia selesai satu jam lagi. (He will be finished in an hour)
If you’re in Indonesia for quite some time, you might notice Indonesians say, for example, ‘10 minutes again’ to mean ‘in 10 minutes. Now you know why we often make this mistake.
We have a few variants from the word lagi that has little to none similarity with the original word. Let’s have a look.
Lagi-lagi (again and again). For example:
- Lagi-lagi dia mau pinjam uang (He wants to borrow money again and again)
- Lagi-lagi mereka lupa bawa buku (They forgot to bring their books again and again)
This word lagian is similar to ‘anyway’ in English, but the position is always in the beginning of the sentence. For example:
- Tidak apa-apa hari ini begadang. Lagian besok kamu libur. (It’s okay to stay up late today. You’re having a day off tomorrow anyway)
- Kamu duluan saja. Lagian temanmu belum tentu datang. (You’d better go first. It’s not certain that your friend is coming anyway)
Selagi (as long as, while)
- Selagi bisa, saya pasti bantu (As long as I am able to, I certainly will help you)
- Ayo kita belajar selagi muda (Let’s study while we’re young).
In summary, the main meaning of lagi is ‘again’ or ‘more’, but it can also be translated into ‘in the middle of (doing something’) and ‘in (duration)’.