9. Var/ Yok

yok varHey lazy ones! Ne var ne yok? It’s time to learn some Turkish grammar! Today we are going to learn how to use Var/Yok- There is/There is not correctly.

The Turkish Var and Yok are used to express the existence/absence of something or the possession.

Var-There is / Yok-There is not

  •       Masada bir elma var.- There is an apple on the table.
  •       Masada elma yok.- There is no apple on the table.

In case of possession we add the possessive suffixes to the noun:

  •      Bir elmam var.– I have an apple.
  •      Elmam yok.- I have no apple.
  •      Şüphem yok.-I have no doubt.
  •      Vaktımız var.-We have time.
  •      Paran yok.-You have no money.

Interrogative is formed by adding the question particle -mi (following the rules of vowel harmony) or using the interrogative pronouns/ adjectives/adverbs :

  •        Ekmek var mı?- Is there bread?
  •        Kitabın var mı?- Do you have a book?
  •        Evde kim var?- Who is in the house?
  •        Masada ne var?- What is on the table?
  •        Çantada defter yok mu?- Isn’t there a notebook in the bag?


  • Ne var ne yok?– How is it going?
  • Ne var?-What’s up? What’s the matter?
  • Bir varmış, bir yokmuş– Once upon a time

8. Interrogative and negative forms of “to be”- Present Tense



O köpek, değil mi? That’s a dog, isn’t it?

Yesterday we learned the affirmative form of the Turkish “to be” in Present Tense.  Today we’ll continue our lesson with the interrogative and negative forms.

Interrogative form:

  • the word expressing the sate of being remains unchanged and is followed by the interrogative particle mi?+ suffıxes in accordance with the vowel harmony:

Öğretmen miyim? -Am I a teacher?

Öğretmen misin?– Are you a teacher?

Öğretmen mi(dir)?-Is he/she a teacher?

Öğretmen miyiz?-Are we teachers?

Öğretmen misiniz?-Are you teachers?

Öğretmenler mi(dir)? (prefered) or Öğretmen midirler?- Are they teachers?


Hazır mıyım?-Am I ready?

Hazır mısın?-Are you ready?

Hazır mı(dır)?- Is he/she ready?

Hazır mıyız?-Are we ready?

Hazır mısınız?-Are you ready?

Hazırlar mı(dır)?/Hazır mıdırlar?-Are they ready?


Türk müyüm?-Am I a Turk?

Türk müsün?-Are you a Turk?

Türk mü(dür)?-Is he/she a Turk?

Türk müyüz?-Are we Turks?

Türk müsünüz?-Are you Turks?

Türkler mi(dir)?/Türk müdürler?-Are they Turks?


Mutlu muyum?-Am I happy?

Mutlu musun?-Are you happy?

Mutlu mu(dur)?-Is he/she happy?

Mutlu muyuz?-Are we happy?

Mutlu musunuz?-Are you happy?

Mutlular mı(dır)?/Mutlu mudurlar?-Are they happy?


Negative form:

  • word followed by değil (not)+ suffixes

Öğretmen değilim.-I am not a teacher.

Öğretmen değilsin.-You are not a teacher.

Öğretmen değil(dir).-He/she is not a teacher.

Öğretmen değiliz.-We are not teachers.

Öğretmen değilsiniz.-You are not teachers.

Öğretmen değiller.-They are not teachers.


Negative interrogative form:

  • word+değil+mi+suffixes+?

Öğrenci değil miyim?-Am I not a student?

Öğrenci değil misin?-Are you not a student?

Öğrenci değil mi(dir)?-Isn’t he/she a student?

Öğrenci değil miyiz?-Aren’t we students?

Öğrenci değil misiniz?-Aren’t you students?

Öğrenciler değil mi(dir)?/Öğrenci değil midirler?-Aren’t they students?


Photo: [1]

7. Present tense of “to be”

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ben     (y)im        -(y)ım       -(y)üm       -(y)um

sen      -sin            -sın             -sün            -sun

o          -(dir)*         -(dır)         -(dür)         -(dur)

biz       -(y)iz         -(y)ız         -(y)üz          -(y)uz

siz       -siniz         -sınız         -sünüz        -sunuz

onlar  -(dir)*ler   -(dır)lar    -(dür)ler   -(dur)lar

Let’s see some examples:

iyi=good, fine    I am fine, you are fine…

ben       iyiyim         

sen       iyisin

o           iyi(dir)

biz        iyiyiz

siz         iyisiniz

onlar    iyi(dir)ler

adam=man   I am a man, you are a man…

ben adamım

sen adamsın

o     adam(dır)

biz  adamız

siz   adamsınız

onlar adam(dır)lar

Türk-Turk    I am a Turk, you are a Turk….

ben  Türküm

sen   Türksün

o       Türk(tür)

biz    Türküz

siz    Türksünüz

onlar Türk(tür)ler

doktor=doctor    I am a doctor, you are a doctor…

ben   doktorum

sen   doktorsun

o     doktor(dur)

biz  doktoruz

siz   doktorsunuz

onlar doktor(dur)lar


*-(dir) is used to express facts, or for emphasis:

Limon eskidir.-The lemon is sour.

Dünya yuvarlaktır.– The world is round.


Bibliography: Rosita D’Amora, Corso di Lingua Turca, Hoepli, 2012

Photo: [1]

6. Cases-İsmin halleri


Turkish has six grammatical cases:

1. The Nominative -Yalın  Hal (Nominatif)

  • Used for subjects and indefinite objects
  • Answers to the questions: Kim?/Who? ; Ne?/What?
  • No suffixes

Exemples: Bana bir kalem ver, lütfen. -Please, give me a pen.

Güneş parlıyor. -The sun is shining.

2. The genitive- Genitif

  • Denotes possession
  • Answers to the question: Kimin?/Whose?
  • Suffixes: -(n)ın,-(n)in,-(n)un,-(n)ün

Exemples: Çocuğun kitabı- the child’s book

O araba benim.-That car is mine.

3. The dative- Datif

  • Expresses an indirect object or goal, movement to or towards the noun
  • Answers to the questions: Nereye?/ Where (to)?; Kime?/Whom?
  • Suffixes: -(y)e, -(y)a

Exemples: Eve gidiyorum.-I’m going home.

Orhan’a anlat.-Tell Orhan.

4. The Accusative- Akuzatif

  • Expresses a definite direct object
  • Answers to the questions: Kimi?/Who?; Neyi?/ What?
  • Suffixes: -(y)ı,-(y)i,-(y)u,-(y)ü

Exemples: Sözlüğü kullanıyorum.- I’m using the dictionary.

Kediyi gördüm.-I saw the cat.

5. The locative-Bulunma Hali

  • Expresses the place of action
  • Answers to the questions: Nerede?/Where?; Ne zaman?/When?
  • Suffixes: -de,-da,-te,-ta

Exemples: Annem mutfakta.-My mother is in the kitchen.

Çocuk bahçede.-The child is in the garden.

6. The ablative- Ablatif

  • Expresses the place (from which) or cause of action
  • Answers to the questions: Nereden?/ From where?; Neden?/Why?
  • Suffixes: -den,-dan,-ten,-tan

Examples: Okuldan geldi.-He came from school.

Kitaptan öğreniyorum.-I’m learning from the book.


  1. Linghea, Ghid de conversație româno-turc cu dicționar și gramatică, Timișoara, 2011
  2. Jeroen Aarssen, Ad Backus, Colloquial Turkish : The Complete Course for Beginners Colloquial Series, Taylor & Francis Routledge, 2001

Photo: [1]

4. Formation of plural nouns in Turkish

Sadece bir İstanbul… bir çok renk, duygu, kedi…
(Only one Istanbul… many colours, emotions, cats…)

Let’s break the myth of lazy Saturdays and learn the Turkish plural! In Turkish the plural is formed by adding the suffix –ler or -lar in accordance with the little vowel harmony.


Ev (house)-evler (houses)
Balık (fish)- balıklar (fishes)
Kedi (cat)- kediler (cats)
Kitap (book)- kitaplar (books)
Mektup (letter)- mektuplar (letters)

Harf (letter-alphabet)- harfler (letters)
Saat (hour)- saatler (hours)
Kalp (heart)- kalpler (hearts)

Many Turkish greetings are expressed by using the plural:
İyi günler!– have a nice day!
İyi akşamlar!– good afternoon/evening!
İyi geceler!– good night!
İyi yolculuklar!-have a nice journey!
İyi şanslar!- good luck!
İyi eğlenceler!- have a good time/ have fun!
Mutlu yıllar!-happy anniversary!
Mutlu bayramlar!-happy hollidays!
Renkli rüyalar!-Sweet (literary colourful) dreams!
Tebrikler!- Congratulations!

Other uses:
• Collective nouns: aile (family)- aileler (families)
• Personal nouns: Mehmetler (Mehmet and his family/friends)

! We don’t use plural suffixes with numerals and other words expressing quantities!
• Bir kalem (one pen)
• İki kalem (two pens)
• Çok kalem (many pens)
• Üç Silahşorlar– The Three Musketeers
• Yedi Cüceler– The Seven Dwarfs
• Kırk Haramiler– The Forty Thieves

Image: http://www.wallpaperhi.com/Animals/Cats/istanbul_sea_let_me_sleep_21171
1. Rosita D’Amora, Corso di Lingua Turca, Hoepli, 2012



2. The Turkish Vowel and Consonant Harmony


Have you ever wondered why Turkish is so different and difficult to learn? Well, one of the reasons is that Turkish is an agglutinative language. This means that words are formed by adding suffixes with grammatical or semantic meaning.  As you can see in the example above you can form a whole sentence in Turkish just by adding suffixes to the word stem. One word in Turkish can be translated into many words in English. Before learning the suffixes and their meaning you should understand the principles of vowel and consonant harmony, followed in word-formation and conjugation.
1. Vowel Harmony
There are two types of vowel harmony you need to know:

Little vowel harmony (suffixes of ‘e’ type)
• ‘a’, ‘ı’, ‘o’, ‘u’ can be followed by ‘a’
• ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘ö’, ‘ü’ can be followed by ‘e’
Examples: evler (houses), kapılar (doors, gates)

Great vowel harmony (suffixes of ‘i” type)
• ‘a’, ‘ı’ can be followed by ‘ı’
• ‘e’, ‘i’ can be followed by ‘i’
• ‘o’, ‘u’ can be followed by ‘u’
• ‘ö’, ‘ü’ can be followed by ‘ü’
Examples: temizlik (cleanness), hastalık (illness), gözlük (glasses), yağmurluk (raincoat)

Of course, there are some noteworthy exeptions:
• Turkish words like: anne (mother), elma (apple), şişman (fat)
• Words of foreign origin: tiyatro (theatre), kitap (book), lale (tulip), kalem (pen), rozbif (roast beef), röportaj (reportage), liman (port)
• Compound words: bugün(today)= bu (this)+ gün (day), Karadeniz (Black Sea)= kara (black)+ deniz (sea)
• Words formed with invariable Turkish suffixes: -ki, -ken, -(i)yor, -(e)bil 1

2. Consonant Harmony
Voiced consonants: ‘d’, ‘g’, ‘ğ’, ‘j’, ‘y’, ‘l’, ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘r’, ‘v’, ‘z’
Unvoiced consonants: ‘ç’, ‘f’, ‘k’, ‘p’, ‘s’, ‘ş’, ‘t’
When a word ends in the unvoiced consonants ‘p’, ‘ç’, ‘k’, ‘t’ and is added by a vowel or a syllable beginning with a vowel, the unvoiced consonants change into their voiced counterparts ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘ğ’, ‘d’ :
• ‘p’ changes into ‘b’: kitap+ ı= kitabı (his book)
• ‘ç’ changes into ‘c’: ağaç+ı= ağacı (his tree)
• ‘k’ changes into ‘ğ’: köpek+i= köpeği (his dog)
• ‘t’ changes into ‘ğ’: kanat+ı= kanadı (his wings)

Some exceptions:
• Monosyllabic word roots: maç+ı=maçı (his match), saç+ı=saçı (his hair), at+ı= atı (his horse), suç+u=suçu (his fault)
• Some words ending in ‘t’ or ‘nk’: hayat+ı= hayatı (his life), hürriyet+i=hürriyeti (his freedom), anket+i=anketi (his survey), bank+ı= bankı ( his bench)

1. Rosita D’Amora, Corso di Lingua Turca, Hoepli, 2012
2. Yüksel Göknel, Turkish Grammar Updated Academic Edition, 2013