‘Kamar’, ‘Ruang’ or ‘Ruangan’

There are three words in Indonesian that mean room. They are ‘kamar’, ‘ruang’ and ‘ruangan’. The three words are used in quite a distinguished manner and it’s important to know the difference.

‘Kamar’ means room and it’s usually used to refer to rooms in which we conduct private/personal matters such as sleeping, cleaning, showering etc.

Example 1:

Kamar tidur


(‘tidur’ means to sleep)

Example 2:

Kamar mandi

Shower room

(‘mandi’ means to take a bath)

Example 3:

Kamar tamu

Guest room

(‘tamu’ means guest)

‘Ruang’ means space and it does not translate to room straight away. Only when it’s combined with a relevant verb that it can be used to refer to a particular space/room that is usually used to perform such activity. It’s important to note that activities performed in rooms called ‘ruang’ are usually less personal/private.

Ruang as room

Example 4:

Ruang makan

Dining room

(‘makan’ means to eat)

Example 5:

Ruang rapat

Meeting room

(‘rapat’ means meeting)

Example 6:

Ruang pasien

Patient room 

(‘pasien’ means patient)

Ruang as space

Example 7:

Ruang dan waktu

Space and time (equivalent to time and space in English)

Example 8:

Tidak ada ruang untuk saya bergerak.

There’s no room for me to move

The word ‘ruang’ can be combined with suffix ‘-an’ to form a new noun called ‘Ruangan’ that also means room. This word is often used refer to namelessnon-specific rooms or rooms that belong to a particular person. It’s important to note that similar to its root word, activities performed in rooms called ‘ruangan’ are usually less personal/private.

Example 9:

Ruangan Pak Budi

Mr Budi’s Room/Office

Example 10:

Ada beberapa tipe ruangan di rumah sakit.

There are several types of room in (a) hospital

Example 11:

Ruangan itu

That room

Cultural Note

Lastly, it is important to note that because the word ‘kamar’ tends to refer to rooms in which personal/private activities are performed, such term will not be used in an office context. If it’s used to refer to a room in an office, it probably has a negative connotation (such as the room being used for indecent activities).

Have a question regarding this topic? Post your question below!

Difference between ‘Kamar’, ‘Ruang’ and ‘Ruangan’

One thought on “Difference between ‘Kamar’, ‘Ruang’ and ‘Ruangan’

  • 06/07/2016 at 6:56 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate
    your efforts and I will be waiting for youir further post thank you once again.


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