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Pronouns 1 Personal Pronouns

Here are the Turkish translations of the personal pronouns. However, these pronouns are generally omitted in sentences since person is implied in the adjectives or the verbs in sentences. They are often used to stress the person.

i you he

ben sen

i am adjective you are adjective he

ben adjective-im sen adjective-sin

she it
we you they

she | is adjective it /

o adjective

biz siz onlar

we are adjective you are adjective they are adjective

biz adjective-iz siz adjective-siniz onlar adjective-ler

gzel --> beautiful I am beautiful. --> Ben gzel-im. --> Gzelim. (Personal pronoun is implied) You are beautiful. --> Sen gzel-sin. --> Gzelsin. He/she/it is beautiful. --> O gzel. --> Gzel. We are beautiful. --> Biz gzel-iz. --> Gzeliz. You are beautiful. --> Siz gzel-siniz. --> Gzelsiniz. They are beautiful. --> Onlar gzel-ler. --> Gzeller.

kt --> bad I am bad. --> Ben kt-y-m. --> Ktym. (Note how kt and -m are connected with the fusion consonant y.) You are bad. --> Sen kt-sn. --> Ktsn. He/she/it is bad. --> O kt. --> Kt. We are bad. --> Biz kt-y-z. --> Ktyz. You are bad. --> Siz kt-siniz. --> Ktsnz. They are bad. --> Onlar kt-ler. --> Ktler.

geliyor --> coming (present continuous tense) I am coming. --> Ben geliyor-um. --> Geliyorum. You are coming. --> Sen geliyor-sun. --> Geliyorsun. He/she/it is coming. --> O geliyor. --> Geliyor. We are coming. --> Biz geliyor-uz. --> Geliyoruz. You are coming. --> Siz geliyor-sunuz. --> Geliyorsunuz. They are coming. --> Onlar geliyor-lar. --> Geliyorlar. For nouns other than these pronouns, you must use the third person case. Marzena is beautiful. --> Marzena gzel. Marzena is very beautiful. --> Marzena ok gzel. Joe is bad. --> Joe kt. Joe is coming. --> Joe geliyor.

Demonstrative pronouns
These are the pronouns used for obects instead of people.

this that (between this and that) that these those (between these and those) those

bu u o bunlar unlar onlar

kitap --> book Bu bir kitap. --> This is a book. u bir kitap. --> That is a book. O bir kitap. --> That is a book. Bunlar kitaplar. --> These are books. unlar kitaplar. --> Those are books. Onlar kitaplar. --> Those are books.

Possessive Pronouns
Personal posessive pronouns: my your his ben-im sen-in my noun your noun his o-n-un ben-im noun-im sen-in noun-in

her its
our your their

her | noun its /

o-n-un noun-i

biz-im siz-in onlar-n

our noun your noun their noun

biz-im noun-imiz siz-in noun-iniz onlar-n noun-leri

Notice his/her/its is o-n-un instead of o-un. Since two vowels dont come together in Turkish, one fusion consonant is added in between. It is n in this case. Either a fusion consonant is added in between, or one of the vowels is dropped whenever a vowel is followed by another vowel. Which technique must be used changes among different rules, but it is consistent in a single rule. This will be mentioned in different lessons when necessary.

ev --> house my house --> ben-im ev-im --> evim (personal pronoun is implied) your house --> sen-in ev-in --> evin his/her/its house --> o-n-in ev-i --> onun evi --> evi our house --> biz-im ev-imiz --> evimiz

your house --> siz-in ev-iniz --> eviniz their house --> onlar-n ev-leri --> evleri

araba --> car my car --> ben-im araba-m --> arabam (the suffix -im becomes -m when added after a vowel, since two vowels dont come together in Turkish) your car --> sen-in araba-n --> araban his/her/its car --> o-n-in araba-s- --> onun arabas --> arabas (Instead of dropping one vowel, here the fusion consonant s is added between vowels since the suffix is only a single vowel.) our car --> biz-im araba-mz --> arabamz your car --> siz-in araba-nz --> arabanz their car --> onlar-n araba-lar --> arabalar

For nouns other than these pronouns, always the third person form is used. Gizems house --> Gizemin evi Gizems car --> Gizemin arabas My mothers house --> Annemin evi

Demonstartive posessive pronouns:

of this of that (between this and that) of that of these of those (between these and those) of those

bu-n-un u-n-un o-n-un bunlar-n unlar-n onlar-n

Bunun evi --> The house of this unun evi --> The house of that Onun evi --> The house of that Bunlarn evleri --> The house of these. unlarn evleri --> The house of those. Onlarn evleri --> The house of those. For nouns other than these pronouns, always the third person form is used. The room of the house --> Evin odas Cats food --> Kedinin yemei

Reflexive Pronouns
The way reflexive pronouns are constructed in Turkish is very similar to the way we do it in English. The Turkish word for self is kendi. The reflexive pronouns hence are as follows:

myself yourself himself

kendi-im kendi-in

kendim kendin

herself itself
ourselves yourselves themselves

kendi-si

kendisi

kendi-imiz kendi-iniz kendi-leri

kendimiz kendiniz kendileri

Pronouns 2
In the previous lesson on pronouns, we covered the basic pronouns. The topics covered were:

Personal pronouns (ben, sen, o, biz, siz, onlar) Demonstrative pronouns (bu, u, o, bunlar, unlar, onlar) Possessive pronouns
o o

Personal possessive pronouns (benim, senin, onun, bizim, sizin, onlarn) Demonstrative possessive pronouns (bunun, unun, onun, bunlarn, unlarn, onlarn)

Reflexive pronouns (kendim, kendin, kendisi, kendimiz, kendiniz, kendileri)

There are also other pronouns used for many different situations, like everybody, nothing...

Let's now see the Turkish meanings for these pronouns.

English

Turkish

Basic components of these pronouns every thing none any one, a some all her ey hi herhangibir bir baz btn Pronouns everything herey birey (singular) something bireyler (plural) nothing anything everybody hibir ey herhangibir ey herkes birisi (singular) somebody birileri (plural) nobody anybody all of these all of those hi kimse herhangi birisi (bunlarn) hepsi (onlarn) hepsi

all of us all of you none of these none of those none of us none of you some of these some of those some of us some of you

hepimiz hepiniz (bunlarn) hibiri (onlarn) hibiri hibirimiz hibiriniz (bunlarn) bazlar (onlarn) bazlar bazlarmz bazlarnz

In English, some of these pronouns that have negative meanings are used in positive sentences. For example, There is nobody here. (Instead of there isn't nobody here) In Turkish, you never do this. If the meaning of a pronoun is negative, it must always be used in a negative sentence. Similarly, pronouns with positive meanings must always be used in positive sentences. There is nobody here. --> Burada hikimse yok.

Now, let's use some of these pronouns in sentences: Every flower does not smell. --> Her iek kokmaz. What is this thing? --> Bu ey ne?

There is none left. --> Hi kalmad. Some students are here. --> Baz renciler burada. All students are here. --> Btn renciler burada. Everything's ok. --> Herey yolunda. Everything is here. --> Herey burada. Ask something. --> Birey sor. I saw nothing. --> Hibir ey grmedim. Is there anything? --> Herhangibir ey var m? Is everybody here? --> Herkes burada m? Somebody came. --> Birisi geldi. Nobody came. --> Hi kimse gelmedi. Anybody can come. --> Herhangi birisi gelebilir. All of these are mine. --> Bunlarn hepsi benim.

Date and Time 1. Time


Lets start with simple dialogue sentences about time, the question and different answers.
Time - English What time is it? It is ten oclock. It is five past ten. It is five past five. It is five past six. It is five past three. It is quarter past ten. It is ten twenty. It is half past ten. It is ten thirty five. It is ten forty. It is quarter to eleven. It is ten to eleven. It is eleven. Saat ka? Saat on (10). Saat onu (10-i) be (5) geiyor. Saat bei (5-i) be (5) geiyor. Saat alty (6-[y]-i) be (5) geiyor. Saat (3-i) be (5) geiyor. Saat onu (10-i) eyrek (quarter) geiyor. Saat onu (10-i) yirmi (20) geiyor. Saat on (10) buuk (half). Saat on bire (11-e) yirmi be (25) var. Saat on bire (11-e) yirmi (20) var. Saat on bire (11-e) eyrek (quarter) var. Saat on bire (11-e) on (10) var. Saat on bir (11). Turkish (Parantheses for explanation only)

Now, time to explain the words and phrases used in this table. Lets start with the question, Saat ka?. Word by word: Saat --> Hour Ka --> How many It is not perfectly logical, but the question sentence used for asking the time is Saat ka?. Then, you may say, how do you ask how many hours? To say How many hours? you would say Ka saat?. Saat ka? is a special phrase for asking the time which otherwise would not be very meaningful. More or less the same is true for the answer. The best thing is to try to learn the main phrase instead of trying to learn the logic, because the logic used here does not apply to other cases in the language. You basically say "Saat xxx.".

From the exact hour to half past, you say the time as minutes past hour. From half past to the next hour, convention is to sat the time as minutes to hour.

The word for past is geiyor. The word for to is var. The word for half is buuk. The word for quarter is eyrek.

The general phrase for "It is minutes past hours" is: Saat hours-i minutes geiyor. (Note the vowel harmony rules for the suffix -i) And the general phrase for "It is minutes to hours" is: Saat hours-e minutes var. (Note the vowel harmony rules for the suffix -e)

2. Date
Lets start with the days of the week and months:
English Days of the week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Pazar Pazartesi Sal aramba Perembe Cuma Cumartesi Months January February March April May June Ocak ubat Mart Nisan Mays Haziran Turkish

July August September October November December

Temmuz Austos Eyll Ekim Kasm Aralk

2.1. Day of the week A simple conversation about the day of the week would be like the following:
English Turkish A. Bugn gnlerden ne? B1. Bugn gnlerden pazartesi. B2. Pazartesi.

A. Whats the day?


B1. Today is Monday. B2. Monday.

Lets examine the parts of the question sentence first: bu --> this gn --> day bugn --> today gnler --> days

gnlerden --> from the days (also means among the days) ne --> what Putting all these words together, the direct translation of Bugn gnlerden ne? would be Today among the days what?. Funny? Thats the way you ask the day of the week. After these explanations and translations, the answer sentence should be clear.

2.2. Whole Date To ask the date, you say: -Bugnn tarihi ne? -14 Temmuz 2004.

Vocabulary: bugn --> today tarih --> date bugnn tarihi --> todays date ne --> what

Using these, the direct translation of the question sentence would be: Todays date what? . Actually, this is how you form a regular question sentence in Turkish. You shouldnt worry about this yet, well cover it later in another lesson.

The answer doesnt need much explanation. The day number, followed by months name, and finally the year. The day number and the year are both read as a regular numbers. For reading years, it is always read as a whole as a single number. Years are never read as two parts like it is done in English in the case of 1996 (nineteen ninety six). The way you read

this year in Turkish would be bin dokuz yz doksan alt (one thousand nine hundred ninety six).

3. Seasons
Lets see the words used for seasons in Turkish:
English Turkish bahar or ilkbahar yaz sonbahar or gz k

spring
summer fall, autumn winter

4.Love
In this lesson, we will cover the love words and expressions in Turkish. In English, you can use words like 'honey, darling, sweetheart' to call the person you love. Let's start with a list of love words used to call the person you love in Turkish. A general point here is that you always use these words with possession in Turkish. Instead of saying 'honey', the word you use in Turkish means 'my honey'. I will also give the direct translations of these words to English. Although the meaning of some of these words may seem strange, they can all be used to call the person you love.

Turkish akm canm bi tanem hayatm sevgilim balm tatlm gzelim ieim glm meleim my love my life

English

my only one my life my darling my honey my sweety (used for girls) my beautiful (used for girls) my flower (used for girls) my rose (used for girls) my angel (used for girls)

Now, let's see some common love phrases in Turkish and their meanings:

Turkish Seni seviyorum. Seni ok seviyorum. Senden ok holanyorum. Benimle kar msn? Benimle dans eder misin? Benimle evlenir misin? Evlenme teklifi.

English I love you. I love you very much. I like you very much. Would you like to go out with me? Would you like to dance with me? Will you marry me? Marriage proposal.

Nianl Ryalarmn erkeisin/kadnsn. Seninle olmak istiyorum. Seninle kalmak istiyorum. Seni ok zlyorum. Seni ok zledim. Biraz daha kalabilir misin? Seni bir daha ne zaman greceim? Bir yerlerde bulualm. Seni grmek istiyorum. ok gzelsin.

Fiancee You are the man/woman of my dreams. I want to be with you. I want to stay with you. I am missing you very much. I missed you very much. Can you stay a little longer? When will I see you next? Let's meet somewhere. I want to see you. You are very beautiful.

5.Antonyms
A set of important antonyms you need to know... English big-small fast-slow quick-slow full-empty easy-difficult heavy-light Turkish byk-kk hzl-yava abuk-yava dolu-bo kolay-zor ar-hafif

open-shut right-wrong old-new old-young first-last beautiful-ugly free-busy good-bad better-worse the best-the worst early-late cheap-expensive near-far here-there right-left tall-short dark-light high-low open-closed thin-thick slim-fat

ak-kapal doru-yanl eski-yeni yal-gen ilk-son gzel-irkin serbest-megul iyi-kt daha iyi-daha kt en iyi-en kt erken-ge ucuz-pahal yakn-uzak burada-orada sa-sol uzun-ksa koyu-ak yksek-alak ak-kapal ince-kaln zayf-iman

6.Quantity Words

English a little, some very, much, many enough any, no, none few too much, too many too more less a few biraz ok yeterli hi az ok fazla fazla

Turkish

daha fazla, daha ok daha az birka (tane)

7.Family

English father mother brother sister baba anne

Turkish

(erkek) karde (kz) karde

elder brother elder sister son daughter aunt (mother side) aunt (father side) grandfather grandmother grandmother (mother side) grandmother (father side) nephew, niece uncle (father side) uncle (mother side) cousin father-in-law mother-in-law sister-in-law sister-in-law's husband son-in-law daughter-in-law sister's husband grandson, granddaughter, grandchild

abi abla oul - erkek ocuk kz - kz ocuk teyze hala dede - bykbaba nine - bykanne anneanne babaanne yeen amca day kuzen kaynbaba - kaynpeder kaynana - kaynvalide baldz bacanak damat gelin enite torun

twin twin brother, twin sister wife husband step mother step father

ikiz ikiz karde e, hanm, kar koca vey anne vey baba

8.Fruits and vegetables

English Fruits --- Meyveler banana apple orange grape cherry tangerine sour cherry pear avocado pineapple muz elma portakal zm kiraz mandalina vine armut avokado ananas

Turkish

strawberry currant grapefruit fig watermelon melon apricot kiwi mulberry raspberry blackberry plum

ilek kuzm greyfurt incir karpuz kavun kays kivi dut ahududu brtlen erik Vegetables --- Sebzeler

lettuce eggplant zucchini cucumber parsley potato onion tomato pepper cabbage

marul patlcan kabak salatalk - hyar maydanoz patates soan domates biber lahana

cauliflower lemon

karnbahar limon

Weight is measured with kilograms in Turkey like in Europe, unlike pounds used in America. Some sentences useful for buying fruits and vegetables would be:

Sentences for request: A. Bir kilo domates alabilir miyim? (Can I get one kilogram tomatoes?) A. ki kilo elma verir misiniz? (Can you give me two kilograms of apple?) A. Yarm kilo ilek alacaktm. (Something like "I would like to buy half a kilogram of strawberries.")

Possible response of the seller: B. Tabi, buyrun.(Sure, here you are) B. Hemen. (Immediately) B. Buyrun, afiyet olsun. (Here you are, good appetite)

Reply to the seller before leaving: A. Teekkrler. (Thank you) A. Hayrl iler. (Something like "Have a fruitful work day") A. yi gnler. (Have a nice day)

Another point worth noting if you are in Turkey is that bargaining is very common :) You can buy many things under the display price with some bargaining. However, this is not true if you are shopping from a supermarket where you buy things and pay to the cashier.

9.Body parts

English Vcudumuz --- Our Body head body arm leg hand foot finger index finger thumb eye ear hair nail nose mouth tooth tongue cheek kafa - ba

Turkish

vcut - gvde kol bacak el ayak parmak iaret parma ba parmak gz kulak sa trnak burun az di dil yanak

chin throat neck eyelash eyelid eyebrow forehead temple wrist ankle heel elbow knee lip moustache beard shoulder waist toe abdomen

ene boaz boyun kirpik gz kapa ka aln akak bilek - kol bilei ayak bilei topuk dirsek diz dudak byk sakal omuz bel ayak baparma karn Organs --- Organlar

heart

kalp

lung liver kidney stomach vein blood brain

akcier karacier bbrek mide damar - toplardamar kan beyin

10.Animals

English Animals --- Hayvanlar animal lion tiger sheep cow bull ox hen rooster pig hayvan aslan kaplan koyun inek boa kz tavuk horoz domuz

Turkish

horse donkey turkey dog cat mouse fish whale dolphin shark octopus insect, bug butterfly bee ant wolf deer bat beaver gull hawk hedgehog squirrel

at eek hindi kpek kedi fare balk balina yunus kpek bal ahtapot bcek kelebek ar karnca kurt geyik yarasa kunduz mart ahin kirpi sincap

stork vulture worm wasp millipede hyena grasshopper zebra fox snake elephant bear giraffe penguin spider crocodile lizard turtle rabbt bird fish frog monkey

leylek akbaba kurt - solucan eek ars krkayak srtlan ekirge zebra tilki ylan fil ay zrafa penguen rmcek timsah kertenkele kaplumbaa tavan ku balk kurbaa maymun

11.Character

English Character --- Karakter behavior honest patient impatient kind proud polite impolite decent skilful witty, clever quite curious funny boring cruel talkative good davran drst sabrl sabrsz kibar gururlu kibar kaba

Turkish

terbiyeli - nazik yetenekli zeki - akll suskun - sessiz merakl komik skc zalim konukan iyi

bad naive optimistic pessimistic shy strange sensitive crazy tolerant clumsy tidy untidy friendly glad hardworking lazy joyful happy unhappy sad surprising serious

kt saf iyimser ktmser utanga garip duygusal lgn toleransl sakar dzenli dzensiz cana yakn memnun alkan tembel neeli mutlu mutsuz zgn artc ciddi

charming angry stupid arrogant jealous understanding excuse obedient active nice amusing joyful arrogant modest

ekici sinirli - kzgn aptal kstah kskan anlayl zr itaatkar aktif ho elenceli neeli kibirli alak gnll

12.House and furniture

English House --- Ev door room kap oda

Turkish

front door back door window kitchen bedroom dining room living room chldren's room bathroom toilet balcony corridor garden basement ground floor garage terrace yard upper floor/story loft cellar stairs step

n kap arka kap pencere mutfak yatak odas yemek odas oturma odas ocuk odas banyo tuvalet balkon koridor bahe bodrum zemin kat garaj teras avlu st kat tavan aras kiler merdiven basamak

lift, elevator wall roof fireplace

asansr duvar at mine Furniture --- Eyalar

table bookcase chair wardrobe shelf armchair sofa shower trash bin ashtray bathtub door mat tap heating candle key lamp frame

masa kitaplk sandalye gardrop raf koltuk koltuk - kanepe du p kutusu kl tablas kvet paspas musluk kalorifer mum anahtar lamba ereve

socket plug mirror door bell radio television computer pan glass bottle plate spoon fork

priz fi ayna kap zili radyo televizyon bilgisayar tava bardak ie tabak kak atal

13.Illness

English Sicknesses sick headache to catch a cold flu

Turkish

hasta, rahatsz ba ars souk almak grip

measles tootache stomach ache contagious ulcer cancer to faint hiccups migraine heart attack itch to itch angina bronchitis

nezle di ars karn ars bulac lser kanser baylmak hkrk migren kalp krizi kat kanmak anjin bronit

Now, some sentences for telling you or somebody is sick. - I am sick. (Hastaym.) - I have a toothache. (Diim aryor.) - I have a cold. (Nezleyim. or Nezle oldum.) - I got sick. (Hasta oldum. or Hastalandm.) - I dont feel well. (yi hissetmiyorum. ) - My foot is itching. (Ayam kanyor.) If somebody tells you that he is sick or somebody close to him is sick, you say: - Gemi olsun. (This is like wishing for recovery.)

14.Major Vowel Harmony


Vowel harmony is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of Turkish grammar. Turkish words generally obey two vowel harmony rules, called the major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony. More important than the words obeying these rules, there are ways these rules change the vowels in the suffixes added to words. A good understanding of these rules is necessary to be able to use suffixes, hence to be able to make correct and meaningful sentences.

14.1. Major Vowel Harmony


The 8 vowels in the Turkish alphabet are separated into two groups called hard vowels and soft vowels. There are 4 hard vowels and 4 soft vowels.

Hard vowels:

a, , o, u

Soft vowels:

e, i, ,

Words of Turkish origin generally (not always) have all hard or all soft vowels. This is just a generalization that you wont use for constructing Turkish words and sentences. Words that have hard and soft vowels together are said to violate the major vowel harmony. A word that violates the major vowel harmony probably has been adopted from another language or has been changed in the lifetime of the Turkish language.

Each of the hard vowels are the hard counterparts of one soft vowel (and vice versa). Following this rule, vowels can be paired with their counterparts as follows:

Hard

Soft

A Turkish word is either a hard word or a soft word depending on its last vowel. ev[home] is a soft word since its last and only vowel, e, is a soft vowel. okul[school] is a hard word since its last vowel, u, is a hard vowel. kahve[coffee] is a soft word since its last vowel, e, is a soft vowel. Now, try to guess if the following words are hard or soft. The correct answers are below the table.
Word Hard or Soft

meslek[job]

araba[car]

gzel[beautiful]

yemek[food]

glmse[smile]

abuk[quick]

gl[rose]

gl[lake]

gidelim[lets go]

telefon[telephone]

(Correct answers: soft, hard, soft, soft, soft, hard, soft, soft, soft, hard) Major vowel harmony states that:

Any suffix appended to a hard word must have hard vowels Any suffix appended to a soft word must have soft vowels

As an example to this rule lets consider the suffix -de. When added to a noun, this suffix gives the meaning of "at/in the location expressed by that noun". When added to a soft word like ev[home] , this suffix is -de. However, when added to a hard word like okul[school] , the soft vowels in this suffix are replaced by their hard counterparts and the suffix becomes -da. Hence: at home --> evde at school --> okulda in the car --> arabada at the lake --> glde

14.2Minor Vowel Harmony


Vowel harmony is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of Turkish grammar. Turkish words generally obey two vowel harmony rules, called the major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony. More important than the words obeying these rules, there are ways

these rules change the vowels in the suffixes added to words. A good understanding of these rules is necessary to be able to use suffixes, hence to be able to make correct and meaningful sentences. We saw that the 8 vowels in the Turkish alphabet are divided into two groups as hard and soft vowels. Besides this grouping, the 8 vowels are divided into two groups as round vowels and flat vowels. There are 4 flat and 4 round vowels. A vowels being round or flat is actually determined from the shape of the mouth when pronouncing that vowel, but it can also be seen in the shape of the capital characters.

Flat vowels:

A, E, I,

Round vowels:

O, , U,

A Turkish word is either a round word or a flat word depending on its last vowel. ev[home] is a flat word since its last and only vowel, e, is a flat vowel. okul[school] is a round word since its last vowel, u, is a round vowel. kahve[coffee] is a flat word since its last vowel, e, is a flat vowel. Now, try to guess if the following words are round or flat. Move the mouse over the right table cell of the word to see the answer.

Word

Round or Flat ? ? ? ?

meslek[job] araba[car] gzel[beautiful] yemek[food]

glmse[smile] abuk[quick] gl[rose] gl[lake] gidelim[lets go] telefon[telephone]

? ? ? ? ?
?

(Correct answers: flat, flat, flat, flat, flat, round, round, round, flat, round)

Minor vowel harmony states that: If a suffix starting with -i is appended to a round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -u or -. This depends on whether the word is hard or soft. The major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony apply to words simultaneously. This means:

If a suffix starting with -i is added to a hard and round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -u.
o o o

okul --> school [a hard vowel] suffix we will add is -im (gives the meaning my) my school --> okulum [the suffix -im changes according to vowel harmonies and becomes -um]

If a suffix starting with -i is added to a soft and round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -.
o o o

gl --> rose suffix we will add is -im (gives the meaning my) my rose --> glm [the suffix -im changes according to vowel harmonies and becomes -m]

my telephone --> telefonum my beautiful --> gzelim my lake --> glm

15.Notes on Vowel Harmony


Vowel harmony is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of Turkish grammar. Turkish words generally obey two vowel harmony rules, called the major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony. These rules change the vowels in the suffixes added to words. A good understanding of these rules is necessary to be able to use suffixes, hence to be able to make correct and meaningful sentences.

3. Practical notes about vowel harmony rules


As far as vowel harmony is concerned, we can separate all the suffixes in Turkish into two main groups. Thinking in terms of these two cases simplifies these seemingly complicated rules. These are:

Case 1: The suffixes with first vowel -i (the suffixes -i, -di, -iyor, -im, -in ...) Case 2: suffixes with first vowel -e (the suffixes -e, -de, -den, -erek, ...) All suffixes with first vowel -i, -, -u, - fall into the first group, and they are different forms of this case modified according to vowel harmony rules. bal-m --> balm (my honey) ev-im --> evim (my home) snf-im --> snfm (my class) dil-im --> dilim (my tongue) sol-im --> solum (my left) gz-im --> gzm (my eye)

okul-im --> okulum (my school) zm-im --> zmm (my grape)

All suffixes with first vowel -e, -a fall into the second group, and they are different forms of this case modified according to vowel harmony rules. araba-den --> arabadan (from the car) ev-den --> evden (from home) kap-den --> kapdan (from the door) deniz-den --> denizden (from the sea) sol-den --> soldan (from the left) gz-den --> gzden (from the eye) okul-den --> okuldan (from school) kap-den --> kapdan (from the door)

Note that no suffix has -o or - as the first vowel. Actually, no suffix has the letter - in it and there is only one suffix that has the vowel -o (this is the suffix for present continuous tense, iyor and this -o does not change according to any vowel harmony rules). bak-iyor --> bakyor (he/she/it is looking) gel-iyor --> geliyor (he/she/it is coming) sk-iyor --> skyor (he/she/it is squeezing) bil-iyor --> biliyor (he/she/it knows) ko-iyor --> kouyor (he/she/it is running) gr-iyor --> gryor (he/she/it is seeing) bul-uyor --> buluyor (he/she/it is finding) gl-iyor --> glyor (he/she/it is laughing)

The suffixes in case 1 are affected from both the major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony. For example, the suffix -di can become -di, -d, -du or -d depending on the word at which it is appended. ara-di --> arad gel-di --> geldi kr-di --> krd bil-di --> bildi sol-di --> soldu gr-di --> grd bul-du --> buldu -di --> d

The suffixes in case 2 are affected by only the major vowel harmony rule. For example, the suffix -erek can become -erek or -arak depending on the word at which it is appended. bak-erek --> bakarak (with looking) sev-erek --> severek (with loving) sk-erek --> skarak (with squeezing) bil-erek --> bilerek (with knowing, knowingly) ko-erek --> koarak (with running) gr-erek -- grerek (with seeing) vur-erek -- vurarak (with hitting) bk-erek -- bkerek (with bending)

16.Vowel Rules
Besides the vowel harmony rules, there are other basic rules that affect the way suffixes are used. A vowel following another is never allowed in Turkish, and there are rules to avoid these situations when they occur as a result of other rules. There are also rules about consonant harmony, that make some consonants change in certain cases.

16.1. When two vowels come together


In Turkish, two vowels can never come together (note that there are a few exceptions to this rule). So, what do we do when we need to add a suffix that starts with a vowel at the end of a word that ends with a vowel? There are two cases here:

16.1.1. Dropping a vowel To say my house, you append the suffix meaning my (-im) to the word meaning house (ev). Simple enough, my house --> evim. You want to say my car. Car is araba and the suffix that gives the meaning my is -im. Change the suffix according to vowel harmony rules so that is can be appended to araba (a hard and flat word) and -im becomes -m. So, to put it together, my car becomes araba-m = arabam. However, two vowels can not come together in Turkish. Trouble... To avoid this, we drop one of the vowels in this case. i. If both of the vowels are in the group "-i, -, -u, -" than these two vowels have to be the same (look at the vowel harmony rules to understand why). Since the two vowels are the same, it does not matter which one we drop in this case. ii. However, if one of the vowels is in the group "-i, -, -u, -" but the other is not (meaning

that it is one of "a, e, o, ") then generally the vowel in the group "-i, -, -u, -" is dropped. There are some exceptions to this, however, and these exceptions will be noted when necessary. Applying these rules, my car becomes arabam.

16.1.2. Adding a buffer consonant in between You are asked where you are going. You want to say "(to) home". Hence, you append the suffix giving the direction meaning (-e) to the word meaning home (ev) and your reply becomes "eve". However, if you are going to the car and you want to tell this to your friend, things are not that simple for you:

First, change the suffix -e according to vowel harmony rules according to araba and it becomes -a.

Now, add this suffix -a at the end of our word araba, and get arabaa.

We have two vowels together. Drop one? Unfortunately, not this time. In this case we need to add a buffer consonant between the two vowels. There is not a simple rule to tell why. Sometimes one of the two vowels is dropped, sometimes one buffer consonant is added in between. However, what you do is consistent for a given suffix. If you are adding the suffix -e to a word that ends with a vowel (like araba), you always add the fusion consonant y in between. Saying to the car then becomes arabaya. Too much effort spent to say a very simple word? More to come. Lets practice on a few other words: Coast --> Ky Room --> Oda | To the coast --> Ky-e --> Kyya | To the room --> Oda-e --> Odaya

Ship --> Gemi

| To the ship --> Gemi-e --> Gemiye

This may take some time to get used to, definitely doable. Unfortunately, thats not everything. The buffer consonant is not y every time. y is the most common one, so you can put y whenever you dont remember which one to put, chances are high youll be right. The other consonants that are sometimes used as fusion consonants are s and n. Lets see different cases where these fusion consonants are used:

a. The suffix -i If the suffix -i is used as the -i form of a noun, making it a direct object (like the in English), then the fusion consonant y is used. araba-i sat -> araba-y- sat -> arabay sat (sell the car) yaz-i oku -> yaz-y- oku -> yazy oku (read the text) If the suffix -i is used as the third person posessive (his-her-its), then the fusion consonant s is used. araba-i -> araba-s- -> arabas (his-her-its car) para-i -> para-s- -> paras (his-her-its money) kedi-i -> kedi-s-i -> kedisi (his-her-its cat) * Note that the word for water (su) is an exception for this case, the fusion consonant y is used with the word su (water). su-i -> su-y-u -> suyu (his-her-its water)

b.

The

suffix

-e

(direction

suffix,

adds

the

meaning

of

preposition

to)

When the direction suffix -e is added to a word that ends with a vowel, the fusion consonant y is added in between. araba-e -> araba-y-a -> arabaya (to the car) konu-e -> konu-y-a -> konuya (to the topic) pencere-e -> pencere-y-e -> pencereye (to the window)

c.

The

suffix

-in

(gives

the

genitive

meaning,

like

Andys)

When the suffix -in is added to a word that ends with a vowel, the fusion consonant n is added in between. araba-in -> araba-n-n -> arabann (of the car, the cars) konu-in -> konu-n-un -> konunun (of the topic) pencere-in -> pencere-n-in -> pencerenin (of the window) * Note that the suffix -in is also used with the second person posessive meaning. If the suffix -in used as second person possessive is added to a word that ends with a vowel, than the letter i of the suffix is dropped. The same is true for the first person possessive suffix, -im, first person plural possessive suffix, -imiz and second person plural possessive suffix, iniz. araba-im -> araba-m -> arabam (my car) kedi-in -> kedi-n -> kedin (your cat) kap-imiz -> kap-mz -> kapmz (our door) para-iniz -> para-nz -> paranz (your (plural) money) pencere-im -> pencere-m -> pencerem (my window) There are also other uses of fusion consonants besides separating two vowels.

d. The suffix -le (with, by) When the suffix -le is added to a word that ends with a vowel, the fusion consonant y is added in between. araba-le git -> araba-y-la git -> arabayla git (go by car) kedi-le oyna -> kedi-y-le oyna -> kediyle oyna (play with the cat) gemi-le gel -> gemi-y-le gel -> gemiyle gel (come by ship)

e. The suffix -de (location, like propositions at, in, on) and the suffix -den (proposition from)

When the suffix -de or -den is added to a word as the first suffix, no fusion consonant is used. But when one of -de or -den/ is added to a word that already has a suffix or a series of suffixes that end with a vowel, the fusion consonant n is added in between. araba-de -> araba-da -> arabada (in the car) kedi-den -> kediden (from the cat) araba-si-de -> araba-s-n-da -> arabasnda (in his-her-its car) kedi-in-ki-den -> kedi-n-in-ki-n-den -> kedininkinden (from the cats) gemi-leri-den -> gemi-leri-n-den -> gemilerinden (from their ship)

17.Consonant Harmony
Besides the vowel harmony rules, there are other basic rules that affect the way suffixes are used. A vowel following another is never allowed in Turkish, and there are rules to avoid these situations when they occur as a result of other rules. There are also rules about consonant harmony, that make some consonants change in certain cases. Vowel harmony rules cause the vowels of suffixes to be modified when they are added to some words. There are similar rules about consonants. However, you may feel that all these rules are too many just for a simple start. Then, I advice you to omit the consonant harmony rules when you want to say or write something, just for the beginning. You will still be understood. Consonant harmony is mainly for making speech more fluent, it does not have a major effect on understandability. You will eventually learn these if you decide to continue learning Turkish, as you read sentences or listen to Turkish speakers.

Tip Consonant harmony is mainly for making speech more fluent, it does not have a major effect on understandability. There are two different cases of consonant harmony - either the last consonant of the main

word changes, or the first consonant of the suffix changes. The trouble making consonants in this case are p, , t and k. Lets call the words that end with one of p, , t or k the trouble words. CASE A - Word mutation. Two conditions must be satisfied for word mutation to occur: 1. You have a word ending with one of p, , t, k. 2. You want to add this word a suffix that starts with a vowel. If the word has only one syllable, like sa, you are safe. The word usually does not change. sa- --> sa (his/her/its hair) sap-a --> sapa (to the handle)

However, if the word has more than one syllable, than the consonant at the end usually changes.

p becomes b becomes c t becomes d k becomes

And here are some examples to this: aa-a --> aaca (to the tree) arap-n --> arabn (of the wine) kat-a --> kada (to the paper) geyik-e --> geyie (to the deer) Tip There are exceptions to both the single syllable and multiple syllable cases mentioned above. For example:

kap-a --> kaba (to the container) saat-in --> saatin (the clocks) You should still learn and apply the rules though, there are not too many of these exceptions.

CASE B - Suffix mutation. Two conditions must be satisfied for suffix mutation to occur:
1. You have a word ending with one of p, , t, k, f, h, s, . 2. You want to add this word a suffix that starts with c or d.

In this case, the first letter of the consonant changes.


c becomes d becomes t

Examples: Leh --> Polish (people) Leh-ce --> Lehe --> Polish (language) Trk --> Turkish (people) Trk-ce --> Trke --> Turkish (lanuage) yap --> do yap-di --> yapt --> he did

18.Infinitives and Plurals


1. Infinitives Verbs in Turkish, when used alone, have the imperative meaning as in English. do --> yap

come --> gel go --> git drink --> i sleep --> uyu

In order to make a verb infinitive, the suffix -mek is used. to do --> yapmak (changes to -mak since yap[do] is a hard word) to come --> gelmek to go --> gitmek to drink --> imek to sleep --> uyumak

The following are examples to the use of infinitives in Turkish: It is good to sleep. --> Uyumak iyi(dir). It is difficult to study. --> almak zor(dur). I want to go. --> Gitmek istiyorum. I want to walk. --> Yrmek istiyorum.

2. Plurals
To make plurals of nouns, the suffix -ler is used. Below are some examples, note how the suffix -ler becomes 'sometimes -ler, sometimes -lar' obeying the rules of vowel harmony. road(s) --> yol --> yollar tree(s) --> aa --> aalar

rose(s) --> gl --> gller room(s) --> oda --> odalar house(s) --> ev --> evler job(s) --> meslek --> meslekler

19.Negatives
1. Negatives of nouns and adjectives
To make a noun or adjective negative, add the word deil at the end of the adjective or noun. Positive
Bu bir araba. [This is a car.] O bir ev. [That is a house.] O ok gzel. [She is very beautiful.] Bu araba beyaz. [This car is white.]

Negative
Bu bir araba deil. [This is not a car] O bir ev deil. [That is not a house] O ok gzel deil. [She is not very beautiful.] Bu araba beyaz deil. [This car is not white]

2. Negatives of verbs
To make a verb negative, add the suffix -me at the root of the verb. to come --> gel-mek not to come --> gel-me-mek (the negating suffix is always added at the verb root) Note how the suffix is added at the root. This is always the case. A verb may have many suffixes, but the negating suffix is always immediately after the verb root. All the other suffixes follow as if they are being added to the positive of the verb. gel-di --> geldi --> he came gel-me-di --> gelmedi --> he did not come ol-mak ya da ol-ma-mak --> olmak ya da olmamak --> to be or not to be

3. There is, there is not


In Turkish, there are special words for there is and there is not. In particular: there is --> var there is not --> yok Let's make sentences with these words: There is a book on the table. --> Masada bir kitap var. There isn't a table in this room. --> Bu odada (bir) masa yok. The words 'var' and 'yok' are more important than this, since they are used when you want to say "I have" or "I don't have" as well. In Turkish, to say "I have something", you say "There is my something". Let's give examples: I have a book. --> (Benim) kitabm var. Aylin has a car. --> Aylin'in arabas var. This woman has seven cats. --> Bu kadnn yedi kedisi var. (Like saying "There is this woman's seven cats") I don't have a car. --> (Benim) arabam yok. My uncle does not have a daughter. --> Amcamn kz yok.

19.Noun states
In Turkish, a noun has 5 fundamental states, produced using suffixes, that correspond to meanings of some prepositions in English. It is not necessary to learn these as the states of nouns, but learning these suffixes is important since they are very commonly used.

State Nothing state (no suffix) -i state Just the plain noun.

Meaning

Marks the noun as the subject of an action. Adds the meaning of direction (very similar to the proposition to) Adds the meaning of position (Used for the prepositions in, at, on) Adds the meaning of from, used for this preposition

-e state

-de state

-den state

An important thing to note here is the use of the -i form. It is used to denote the subject of an action, and adds the meaning of "being known, specified" just as the meaning given by "the". This will be more clear after looking at the sentences below. (bir --> one, kedi --> cat, grdm --> I saw) Bir kedi grdm. --> I saw a cat. (Note that although cat is the object of the action here, the -i form of kedi is not used since it is not known, i.e. it is a cat, not the cat) Kediyi grdm. --> I saw the cat. (Note that kedi has the suffix -i, but the two -i's are separated by the fusion consonant 'y'.) Now, example sentences for all the cases.

Nothing state:
o

This is a house. --> Bu bir ev.

-i state:
o

I saw the house. --> Evi grdm.

-e state:
o

Go home. --> Eve git. (House and home are the same word in Turkish, 'ev'.)

-de state:
o

The pen is on the table. --> Kalem masada.

o o

Joe is at school. --> Joe okulda. Your mother is in that room. --> Annen o odada.

-den state:
o

I came from home. --> Evden geldim

20.To be
The verb to be (for the is in English) is handled in a special way, it is different from the other verbs. This is also the case in Turkish, the use of the verb to be is very unique. Unlike all the other verbs, to be is expressed with suffixes. It can be in one of present tense or past tense. Lets see it in present tense and past tense for different cases of personal pronouns.

English

Turkish

Suffix

Present tense to be

i am xxx
you are xxx

ben xxx-im

-im

sen xxx-sin

-sin

he \

-(none) o xxx

she | is xxx it /

or -dir

we are xxx

biz xxx-iz

-iz

you are xxx

siz xxx-siniz

-siniz

onlar xxx
they are xxx

none or -ler

or onlar xxx-ler

Past tense to be

i was xxx
you were xxx

ben xxx-dim

-dim

sen xxx-din

-din

he \

she | was xxx it /

o xxx-di

-di

we were xxx

biz xxx-dik

-dik

you were xxx

siz xxx-diniz

-diniz

they were xxx

onlar xxx(-y)-diler

(-y)diler

NOTE 1 For the third person of the present tense to be, there are two cases. One with no suffix and one with -dir. If you are making a personal statement or you are talking in a casual way, you use the no suffix case. However, if you want to make a definitive or informative statement like one in an encyclopedia, you use the suffix -dir. Both have the same meaning, and sometimes can be used interchangeably. Lets see examples to this.

This house is very big. --> Bu ev ok byk. That is my house. --> O benim evim. He is a student. --> O bir renci. Spider is an animal. --> rmcek bir hayvandr. (The -dir case is used since this is an informative statement) Sun is larger than earth. --> Gne dnyadan daha byktr. (Again, this is an informative statement)

NOTE 2 When constructing the third person plural past tense form of to be, the suffix -ler can be ommitted in some cases. These are explained below:

a. Humans or objects that have no individuality take singular conjugation for third person plural. But if the speaker wants to give objects individuality then he can use plural. This would be a poetic sentence.

b. Humans and other things that have individuality (for instance animals that have names) can take either singular or plural conjugation. Usually if the subject is defined (if we known them) then we use plural conjugation. If the subject is undefined then we use singular conjugation.

NOTE 3 Since the verb to be is different for each personal pronoun, personal pronouns can be omitted in speech or writing. The meaning of person is given with this verb. To say "I am beautiful." you can use one of: "Ben gzelim." "Gzelim.".

Using the personal pronoun adds the meaning of stressing person. We will use the personal pronoun in parenthesis to indicate that it is optional.

Now, lets see where to be is used: 1. To construct a sentence with a noun or adjective instead of a verb, like in English. The verb to be is the implicit verb here.
o o o o

You are beautiful. --> (Sen) gzelsin. You were beautiful. --> (Sen) gzeldin. This is a house. --> Bu bir ev. That was a house. --> O bir evdi.

2. To construct verbs in different tenses, the suffix for each tense is used with either present tense of to be or past tense of to be. Actually, it is present tense of to be in all cases except the regular past tense.

21.Adjective and noun clauses


In this lesson, we will learn how adjective clauses (for describing a noun using an adjective, like beautiful girl) and noun clauses (for describing ownership relationships between nouns, like car's door) are formed in Turkish. First, let's start with the adjective clauses which is simpler and then we'll look at noun clause construction.

Adjective clauses
Constructing adjective clauses in Turkish is very simple and straightforward, almost the same as in English. The only thing you need to do is to put the correct adjective before the noun. beautiful girl ==> gzel kz

fast car ==> hzl araba big house ==> byk ev thick book ==> kaln kitap high building ==> yksek bina hard lesson ==> zor ders slow train ==> yava tren

If you don't add the adjective before the noun but use it as the main expression in the sentence, the word order changes in English and it changes the same way in Turkish. This girl is beautiful. --> Bu kz gzel This car is fast. --> Bu araba hzl. Ahmet is tall. --> Ahmet uzun. I am tall. --> Ben uzunum. (Note the use of verb to be with the adjective) You are tall. --> Sen uzunsun.

However, note that when you want to say a beautiful girl, the word for a (bir) is placed between the adjective and the noun. a small piece ==> kk bir para a greedy man ==> agzl bir adam a blue book ==> mavi bir kitap

a short tree ==> ksa bir aa a long movie ==> uzun bir film

Let's now apply what we've learned in the construction of a few sentences. This is a red rose. ==> Bu krmz bir gl. Joe is a quiet kid. ==> Joe sessiz bir ocuk. Joe is a very quiet kid. ==> Joe ok sessiz bir ocuk.

Noun clauses
Two nouns form a clause in three different ways in Turkish: Case1: The first noun tells what the second noun is made of (i.e. metal box, plastic plate...). In this case, you just write these nouns in the same order as you do in English without adding any suffixes. metal box ==> metal kutu plastic plate ==> plastik tabak Case2: The first noun describes the second noun, wth any relationship except for the made-of relationship we saw above and the specific ownership relationship. Examples to this case can be car key, book shelf, garden door, window glass... In this case, you write the nouns in the same order as English, but add the suffix -i at the end of the second noun. If the noun to which you append suffix -i already ends with a vowel, you add the fusion consonant -s between

these vowels to separate the two vowels. The third example below demonstrates this case. car key ==> araba anahtar book shelf ==> kitap raf garden door ==> bahe kaps (note the fusion consonant s here) window glass ==> pencere cam Case 3: There is a specific ownership relationship between the two nouns (the key of the car, the door of the garden, Kemal's daughter, the door of the car). In this case, you write the describing noun first and the described noun second as it was done in the preceding two cases. However, you add the suffix -in to the first noun and the suffix -i to the second noun. If the noun to which you append the suffix -in already ends with a vowel, you add the fusion consonant n between the two vowels to separate them. For the suffix -i, the fusion consonant is same as told in the previous case. You add the consonant s to separate the word ending with a vowel from the suffix -i. the key of the car ==> arabann anahtar (note the use of fusion consonant n here for the first noun, araba) the door of the garden ==> bahenin kaps Kemal's daughter ==> Kemalin kz the door of the car ==> arabann kaps (note the use of fusion consonant n for the first noun and the fusion consonant s for the second noun) exception: The word for water, su, is an exception for the fusion consonants in noun clauses. The fusion consonant for water (su) is always 'y'. color of water --> su-in renk-i --> suyun rengi (not sunun rengi)

water of Kemal --> Kemal-in su-i --> Kemal'in suyu. (not Kemal'in susu) (Note that ' is used in Turkish to separate the suffixes from private words that need to be always capitalized, like Kemal in this case)