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ME/MEM/MEN in Malay (Abbreviations?!)

Hi, wonder if anyone could help me understand something. I'm currently trying to teach myself Bahasa Melayu which there are scarce resources to do so online. Therefore various things I am still having problems understanding.

I have noticed that many words can have me or mem or something similar in front of the main part of the word.

For Example: Membeli (buy) is said or used as just beli

e.g. (2): Memasak used as just masak

Are these abbreviations or does it alter the word in a particular way as we do in English by adding 'ing' for example onto the end of words.

I'd be very grateful if anyone responds =]

Terima Kasih

For learning: Malay
Base language: English
Category: Language

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