This chapter will be about noun constructions. We will be covering all the ways we can modify a noun with another noun, or an adjective.
While English has words like my, your, his, her; we primarily use suffixes in Turkish instead. While possessive pronouns do exist, they are often dropped, as we will see later.
Like most suffixes, these follow vowel harmony. The vowels in paranthesis are dropped when the word stem ends in a vowel, while the s in the third person gets dropped when the word ends in a consonant. The lar in paranthesis will be explained below. A few example words are given below.
One should also keep the consonant harmony and other alterations in mind, as these suffixes begin with a vowel. A few examples are given below.
Finally, there are two irregular nouns, su meaning water and ne meaning what.
Order of suffixiationEdit
Since suffixes are employed very frequently in Turkish, it is important to keep the order of suffixes in mind.
Another thing to note is the interactions between the possessive endings and the case endings. The third person possessive ending –(s)ı becomes –(s)ın- when a case ending is added.
|Nominative||Accusative||Possessive||Possessive + Accusative|
The Genitive case, whose formation was explained in its article, is used to denote possession in Turkish. The formula for such a construction is simple. A few examples may be found below.
- benim kalemim My pencil
- senin baban Your dad
- bizim öğretmenimiz Our teacher
When the possessor is not a pronoun, the third person possessive ending is always preferred.
- Büşra'nın çantası Büşra's bag
- başbakanın arabası Prime minister's car
- kahvenin tadı The taste of the coffee
- okulun kapısı The door of the school
The plural ending always comes before the possessive ending,
- sizin kitaplarınız Your books
- bilgisayarın tuşları The computer's keys
And case endings always come after the possessive endings. When the 3rd person possessive endings are used, a n is inserted in all cases before the case ending.
- kahvenin tadına
- bilgisayarın tuşlarını
- okulun kapısından
This also allows us to create chain constructions, where the possesser is another construction.
- bizim kahvemizin tadı The taste of our coffee
- Esra'nın okulunun kapısı The door of Esra's school
- Yunanistan'ın başbakanının arabası The car of Greek's prime minister
A genitive construction in a var/yok sentence is used in Turkish instead of using a verb for have.
- Soğanımız var mı? Do we have any onions?
- Hayır, soğanımız yok. Ama soğan tozumuz var. No, we don't have any onions. But we have onion powder.
Since the possessive endings are inflected for person, the pronoun isn't necessary to show possession. Therefore, they get omitted most of the time.
- zamanımız Our time
- çocuğun Your kid
Remember how the third person plural possessive ending had a lar in paranthesis? That part is used only when the pronoun is dropped, otherwise the singular ending is preferred.
- onların annesi
Actually, when the possessor is the same as the subject of the sentence, dropping the pronoun is mandatory.
- Sen kalemini nereye koydun? Where did you put your pencil?
- Fatma ödevini yapıyor. Fatma is doing her homework.
If the pronoun is not omitted, it is understood that the object in question belongs to someone other than the subject.
- Kedi bacağına ne yapıyor? What is the cat doing to its/his/your leg. (the actual owner of the leg is ambiguous)
- Kedi, senin bacağına ne yapıyor? What is the cat doing to your leg. (pronoun used to resolve ambiguity)
- Kedi, onun bacağına ne yapıyor? What is the cat doing to his/her leg. (pronoun used to resolve ambiguity)
- Kedi, kendi bacağına ne yapıyor? What is the cat doing to its leg. (pronoun used to resolve ambiguity)
In other cases, the rules described in Turkish/Pronouns apply to possessive constructions as well.
Another way of combining multiple nouns into one is using an indefinite noun construct. This is done very similarly to the genitive construct, but the first noun is in nominative rather than genitive.
- okul bahçesi School garden
- kitap kapağı Book cover
- yemek masası Dining table
In a few cases, constructions without any declensions are preferred. The most common use cases for this are:
- Specifying the gender of a human
- erkek çocuk
- kadın doktor
- kız öğrenci
- Specifying the material of an object
- demir kapı
- tahta kutu
- In the name of some dishes, and in street names ending with sokak
- döner kebap
- kuzu çevirme
- Susam Sokak
When a noun is being modified by an adjective, no declensions are needed.
- kırmızı kazak
- küçük böcek
- sarhoş adam