#EngVocab: Success, successful, succeed, successfully

In this post, I would like to invite you to discuss something that seems trivial but actually important: the word ‘sukses‘ in English.

Many times, especially on posters or banners for events or seminars, I saw people wrote:


Is this correct? What do you think?

no. it’s supposed to be : to be a successful person :D – @ceravika

Yes. That’s correct! That banner is indeed wrong.

Here’s a question for you. Tell me the difference:

  1. Success
  2. Successful
  3. Succeed
  4. Successfully

Each of the 4 words has different meaning and is in different part of speech (jenis kata).

The problem is… No. 1-3 in bahasa Indonesia are called with the same word: sukses. Although success (n.) is actually: kesuksesan.

This is why many people whose first language is bahasa Indonesia mix the use of success, successful, and succeed.

Let’s ask dictionary.cambridge.org what each of these 4 words means.

1. Success (noun)

  • a. [U] the achieving of the results wanted or hoped for.
    • Example:
      • Everybody wants to reach success.
  • b. [C] something that achieves positive results.
    • Example:
      • The book promo was a great success!

In bahasa Indonesia

  • Success (noun): kesuksesan (kata benda).
    • Example:
      • Semua orang ingin meraih kesuksesan.

2. Successful (adjective)

  • achieving the results wanted or hoped for.
    • Example:
      • Everybody wants to be successful.

In bahasa Indonesia

  • Successful (adjective): sukses (kata sifat).
    • Example:
      • Semua orang ingin menjadi sukses.


3. Succeed (verb)

  • achieving something that you have been aiming for.
    • Example:
      • Congrats! You succeeded in passing the test.

In bahasa Indonesia

  • Succeed (verb): sukses/berhasil (kata kerja).
    • Example:
      • Semua orang ingin sukses/berhasil.


4. Successfully (adverb)

In bahasa Indonesia

  • Successfully (adverb): dengan/secara sukses (kata keterangan).
    • Example:
      • He passed successfully. (Dia lulus dengan sukses.)

Source: dictionary.cambridge.org

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, June 11, 2014


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