Handy Expression: Hati-hati

One of the uniqueness of the Indonesian language is its possession of repeated words. ‘Hati’ means the shape of a heart or a liver (the organ), whereas ‘Hati-hati’ is an expression that can be spoken in various situations. The application and meaning of ‘hati-hati’ depends on the speaker’s intention.


Situation 1


Wah. Anda membuatnya dengan sangat berhati-hati ya.

(Wow, you are making it very carefully.)


Situation 2


A : “Ini tehnya Bu. Hati-hati, masih panas.”

(Here is your tea, Ma’am. Please be careful. It is still hot.)

B: “Terima kasih, Bu.”

(Thank you, Ma’am.)


Situation 3


A: “Bu, saya pulang dulu ya. Sampai jumpa besok.”

(Ma’am, I'm going home now. See you tomorrow.)

B : “Iya, bu.. Hati-hati di jalan, ya”

(Okay, Ma’am. Take care.)


Situation 4


A: “Oh, iya. Ini dokumen yang perlu Anda bawa. Hati-hati, jangan sampai ketinggalan.”

(Here are your paperworks. Please don’t forget them.)

B: “Oh. Terima kasih, Bu.”

(Thank you, Ma’am.)


As it is reflected in each situation, situation 1 described ‘hati-hati’ as a word to point out that someone is doing an action carefully. In situation 2, ‘hati-hati’ worked as a warning expression. Situation 3 marked the use of ‘hati-hati’ as a means of care in a farewell setting. Last but not least, Situation 4 showed how ‘hati-hati’ is used to express a reminder.


More examples:


Situation 1


Lihat, dia memotong daging dengan sangat berhati-hati.

(Look, she chops the meat very carefully.)


Situation 2


A: “Hati-hati, ada banyak kubangan air di depan!”

(Watch out for puddles ahead!)

B: “Ah, benar. Terima kasih.”

(You’re right. Thank you!)


Situation 3


A: “Bolehkah saya meminjam gunting Anda?”

(May I please borrow your scissor?)

B: “Tentu saja. Hati-hati, jangan sampai hilang.”

(Sure, but please don’t lose it.)


Situation 4


A: “Terima kasih sudah mengantar saya pulang. Hati-hati di jalan!”

(Thank you for taking me home. Drive safe!)

B: “Sama-sama. Sampai bertemu lagi!”

(No problem. See you!)


Now it is all clear, isn’t it? Practice by using in different situations when you are with your Indonesian fellows.


If you have any issues regarding the Indonesian language, feel free to send us a message on our social media platforms. Yours could end up as our next topic. Be sure to share this article with your fellow learners!

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