Saja in Indonesian means only or just, with a quick Google search will give you this result. However, Saja has other definitions depending on the contexts. In this blog post, we will explain the definitions of saja beyond its most common meaning.
Saja means only
This meaning is the same the word hanya. The difference is hanya is placed before nouns, whereas saja is after nouns. Have a look at the example below:
A: Mau berapa? (how many do you want?)
B: Hanya satu/satu saja (Only one)
Saja in questions indicates that the answer expected is more than one. See the example below.
A: Siapa di rumah? (Who is at home?)
A: Siapa saja di rumah? (Who is at home?)
B: Ketut, Kadek, dan Wayan.
Question word + saja
Unlike in questions, saja added to question words in positive sentences give a sense of flexibility. Have a look at the examples below.
A: Mau makan apa? (What do you want to eat?)
B: Aku bisa makan apa saja. (I can eat anything)
A: Mau duduk di mana? (where do you want to sit?)
B: Di mana saja boleh (anywhere is fine)
A: Kapan mau ketemu lagi? (When do you want to meet again?)
B: Saya bisa kapan saja (I can meet anytime)
A: Kamu pilih yang mana? (Which one do you choose?)
B: Yang mana saja (whichever, (good connotation))
Saja means continuously
- Jangan main saja. Ayo bantu aku. (Don’t play all the time. Come help me)
- Kenapa anakmu menangis saja semalaman (Why did you child cry all night long?)
In a lot of cases, saja doesn’t add a meaning. It functions to emphasize the previous words or phrases.
A: Boleh aku lihat kebunmu? (Can I see your garden?)
B: Tentu saja (of course).
In the conversation above, you can simple say “tentu”, but to emphasize that you allow your friend to check your garden, you need to say “tentu saja”.
Saja in Informal Indonesian
In informal Indonesian, saja is sometimes shortened to aja. For examples:
- Datang aja (just come)
- Apa aja boleh (anything is fine)
- Ke mana aja kamu dari kemarin? (where have you been since yesterday?
Using the definitions above, how would translate “what are the meanings of ‘saja’?”. To review and practice ada in Indonesian, you need to translate the question and answer it afterward. Good luck!
Check also the meaning of ada in Indonesian here.