Most people who are learning Indonesian should know the word ‘selamat’ from the first day they started learning Indonesian.

‘Selamat’ is usually know as good or to wish someone well. However, the use of the word ‘selamat’ is not limited to just that. In this post we will discuss how the word ‘selamat’ can be used in Indonesian.

In expressions

Most of you should have known that ‘selamat’ can be combined together with time-related words such as ‘pagi’, siang’, ‘sore’ and ‘malam’ when you are greeting people.

‘Selamat pagi’, for instance, means good morning.

The word ‘selamat’ can also be combined with some action words such as ‘makan’ (to eat), ‘jalan’ (to walk) and ‘datang’ (to come) to create expressions such as have a good meal, have a good trip and welcome.

On top of that, you can also combine the word ‘selamat’ with special days such as ‘ulang tahun’ (birthday), ‘tahun baru’ (new year) or even ‘hari kemerdekaan Indonesia’ (Indonesian Independence Day) to familiar greeting such as Happy Birthday, Happy New Year and Happy Independence Day. To put it simply, many greetings in Indonesian will have the word ‘selamat’ in it.

Lastly, as an expression, ‘selamat’ can be used by itself when you want to say congratulations! So if your friend’s succeeding in something, you can just say to them “Selamat!”

However, the use of ‘selamat’ is not limited to expressions only.

As an adjective

To begin with, ‘selamat’ is actually a verb-like adjective that means to be saved.

Example 1:

Kemarin ada kecelakaan besar di Tol Karawaci. Hanya ada dua orang yang selamat.

Yesterday there was a big accident in Karawaci Highway. There are only two people who were saved.

As you can see from the example above, the word ‘selamat’ as an adjective holds the essence of well-being in which the subject is not hurt but rather saved.

In your journey of learning Indonesian, you will also find ‘selamat’ being the root word of a number of other Indonesian words.

In other forms


‘Menyelamatkan’ is a transitive and active verb that means to save. When it’s used, it means that the noun that comes before the verb saves/will save/saved the noun that comes after the verb.

Example 2:

Dia menyelamatkan saya dari hutang.

He saved me from debt.


Diselamatkan is the passive version of ‘menyelamatkan’. When it’s used, it means that the noun that comes before the verb was saved/will be saved by/from/through/because of the noun that comes after the verb.

Example 3:

Saya diselamatkan oleh ketrampilan saya menulis.

I was saved by my skills in writing.


Penyelamat is a doer-noun that means saviour/rescuer.

Example 4:

Dia adalah penyelamatku

He is my saviour.


Keselamatan is an abstract-noun that means security, safety or salvation. You should hear this word when you’re boarding an Indonesian plane.

Example 5:

Keselamatan anda adalah prioritas kami.

Your safety is our priority.

‘Selamat’ is indeed one of the most fascinating words in Indonesian. In essence, most expressions and words that have ‘selamat’ in it are related to one’s well-being.

I hope you find the explanation above useful.

Have a question regarding ‘selamat’? Post your question below or email us at!

Special Edition #4: Using the word ‘selamat’ in Indonesian

3 thoughts on “Special Edition #4: Using the word ‘selamat’ in Indonesian

  • 23/11/2016 at 6:22 am

    Good info. Blessed me I reach on your own site by accident,
    I bookmarked it.

  • 04/06/2016 at 4:27 pm

    Indonesian does not make use of grammatical gender , and there are only selected words that use natural gender . For instance, the same word is used for


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