The Turkish Language Explained for English Speakers

How to learn Turkish with explanations for English Speakers. Sounds of Turkish, Street Turkish and advice for visiting Turkey. The Turkish Language explained for English speakers. Containing a few exercises and sound files for pronunciation examples. This website does not pretend to be a Course in Turkish but it explains and answers some of the difficulties that the learner of Turkish may encounter along their way. T hope that for those who are interested in the why and wherefore of Turkish that they may find amongst these pages the key to their particular problem, I had many myself on the learning curve. The way I have understood may not be the accepted way for the grammarians and linguists. However if it helps anybody to understand then I am happy. Good Luck.

Wikipedia say:

"The best site for learning Turkish with detailed explanations." - October 2006

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Now in Paperback.
A Treatise on the Turkish Language and its Grammar.

"The Turkish Language Explained for English Speakers."

IBSN 978-0-473-26508-3

Amazon USA Amazon UK
book cover

This Treatise on the Turkish Language and its Grammar explains and answers some of the difficulties that the learner of Turkish may encounter along their way. This book focuses on understanding Turkish grammar and logic. Those who are interested in the whys and wherefores of Turkish will find amongst these pages the key to their particular problem of Turkish grammar and syntax.
It covers the basics of Turkish and further expands knowledge and understanding of Turkish by using many examples with explanations. It does not contain any practice exercises or sound files as many of these type of basic Turkish grammar lessons can be found in other text books or on the world wide web.
It is a book that will be used over the whole of the learning process from basic beginner through to intermediate and advanced stages of learning.


The contents of the 43 chapters range over:

Turkish Basic Grammar: Alphabet, Vowel Harmony, Agglutination, Consonant Mutation, Lack of Gender.
Intermediate: Nouns and Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs and Tenses, Possessive Relationship and Possession.
Advanced: Verb Moods, Participles, Clauses, Spatials and Spatial Relationships, Word Formation in Turkish.
Conversational Items: Time, Seasons, Numbers, Colours, Saying "Thank you", About "buyurun", Expressing Need, Daily Interjections, Modes of Address, Turkish Sign Language, How to say "too much, too many", Daily Talk, Common Door Signs.
Glossaries: List of Daily Locutions, Daily Word List, Irregular Tense List, Turkish Single Syllable Verb List, Intensified Adjectives List.

This book is now available for purchase (US$9.99) at Smashwords in EPUB - PDF - RTF - LRF - PDP format.

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An accolade for our eBook

Thank you so much for the "The Turkish Language Explained for English Speakers" EBook, which will be a great support to my Turkish classes. This grammar book about the Turkish Language is up to now the best I have ever seen on the market. Kind regards.
Catherine G. Millot, France - AGA KHAN DEVELOPMENT NETWORK FOUNDATION - 21 March 2013

This website is perfect for me

Many many thanks, this website is perfect for me. I needed someone to explain Turkish Grammar in a way I could understand.
Jillian S. - a New Zealander in İstanbul by eMail - 27 July 2011

Clear and Concise Turkish

I have bought many books on Turkish and this is certainly one of the best.If read in conjunction with John Guise's excellent free website (Manisa Turkish) then together they make a powerful learning tool. Some Grammars use an awful lot of complicated English terms which I should have learnt at school, but either didn't, or have now forgotten.
John Guise uses easy language. Where there are difficulties, he explains them and often repeats explanations. Some Grammars assume that just because they have explained something once, then you are going to know it. With me it takes a bit of repetition and I am sure I am not in the minority. He often goes over rules and drops in helpful reminders.
The style of the book, clearly shows the writer has had the same struggles in learning Turkish that we all have, so you feel the tips and advice are really relevant.
By Donkeyoaty UK (Amazon Verified Purchase, 28 April 2012)

It Hit the Spot for me.

The book explains the ins and outs of Turkish grammar and usage, for native English speakers who have a good grasp of English grammar. The author explains, contrasts and gives examples that really do assist in practical terms. On the first occasion that I read the book, I found an answer to a question that nobody had been able to explain to me in 15 years! Whenever I have a question, such as "Why is that so?", "How is that the case?" or I wonder how something is constructed then I have referred to the book and found my answer very quickly.
The cost of the book and the time involved to find the answers to my questions are a fraction of what a private tutor would have cost me and the author seems to totally connect with the mentality of the native English speakers angle.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book if you want to improve your Turkish grammar.
By Didimsun, UK. (Amazon Verified Purchase, 27 April 2012)

Great Book!, December 18, 2013

By Alex (Adana, Turkey) - Amazon Verified Purchase

After looking EVERYWHERE online and in bookstores...This book is BY FAR the BEST Turkish language book for English learners on the market. Many thanks!

- Married to a Turkish girl…
- Been living in Turkey for 3 years…
- Used this book to learn how to talk to my wife/family…

Excellent Explanations

Excellent way to explain the Turkish grammar in ways that an English speaker will easily understand, considering how different the Turkish grammar is compared to that of English.
By JE Fajardo - (Amazon Verified Purchase, November 10, 2012)

Learning Turkish

Photograph of John Guise. Author

I went to Turkey in the late seventies to work for a couple of years on a contract. In those days Turkey was going through social-economic crises and an amount of anarchy was rife. People were being shot in the cafes and the streets (sometimes old scores were being settled), and many differing factions were scrambling for power

It was in this scenario then that I was working as a Professional Chartered Engineer. In fact daily life became so bad since electricity and water supplies were regularly cut, and petrol was scarce and rationed. However the army again took a hand and they took power under General Kenan Evren in an overnight coup and formed a Government, introducing martial law and curfews and separating the warring factions.

I was born in the middle thirties and went through the Second World War and its privations and maybe this experience helped me with the conditions which were prevailing in Turkey during my stay there. While I was working in Turkey in a factory in Izmir and later in Manisa, I made a conscious decision to try to learn the language. I am not a linguist but I know that one can get a long way with a very basic vocabulary of about fifty words and absolutely no grammar in any language.

How does one learn Turkish?

A fiendish grammar, an outlandish vocabulary and a strange construction. Per chance I met an old Turkish man whose English was excellent. He had been a pilot with THY (Turkish Airlines) and in my early days I asked him the question "How can I learn Turkish...?" His answer was simple - "Read and read and read some more everyday and take everything in, even the street signs, and gradually you will learn everything."

At first I had great difficulty in understanding and making myself understood. But I started reading (albeit with a dictionary). I bought some young children's school books and started as though I was at the age of five or six years. In my spare time I walked around the town streets with a pocket dictionary and made myself translate the signs and advertisements which were to be found. Everybody has their own way of learning a language and I extended my reading and started going to the cinema and gradually I assimilated more knowledge and I kept on reading, and my Turkish became more comfortable.

To cut a long story short, I made and still have many friends in Turkey with whom I can converse easily in their own language. And after I returned in England and retired I became part-time lecturer in Turkish at my local Technical College. I had Turkish satellite television fitted in England which kept my ear in. I still read, and it's now full blown novels, and I get a Turkish newspaper whenever I can. I have since (in 2005) come to live in New Zealand, so no satellite television any more, but I can find the occasional Turkish Kebab shop where I can have a conversation, and I still read some Turkish everyday.

Türkçe Öğrenme Hakkında

(1979 - 1981) Türkiye'ye yetmişli yılların sonunda bir sözleşme için birkaç yıllığına çalışmaya gittim. O günlerde Türkiye bir dizi sosyoekonomik krizlerden geçiyordu ve anarşi had safhadaydı. Birçok farklı grup güç için çatışıyordu – lokantada, sokaklarda insanlar vuruluyordu (bazen eski hesaplar kapatılıyordu).

Bu senaryoda ben sözleşmeli mühendis olarak çalışıyordum. Gerçekten günlük hayat o kadar kötüydü ki, düzenli elektrik ve su kesintileri vardı ve petrol kıt ve karneyle veriliyordu. Ancak General Kenan Evren yönetiminde ordu darbe yaparak yönetime el koydu. Bir gecede sıkıyönetim ve sokağa çıkma yasağı ilan ederek, savaşan grupları ayıran bir hükümet kurdu.

Ben otuzluların ortalarında doğdum. İkinci Dünya Savaşının büyük sıkıntılarıyla uğraştım. Belki de bu deneyimim Türkiye'de kaldığım sırada oradaki ortamda bana yardımcı oldu. Türkiye'de İzmir'de ve daha sonra da Manisa'da bir fabrikada çalıştım. Türk dilini öğrenmek için kendi kendime bilinçli bir karar verdim. Bir dilbilimci değilim ama hiç gramer bilmeden herhangi bir dilde elli civarında temel kelime ile pek çok yolun açılabileceğini biliyorum.

Nasıl Türkçe öğrenilir?

Zor dilbilgisi, acayip kelimeler ve garip (bize gore) dilbilgisi. Şans eseri güzel İngilizce bilen yaşlı bir Türkle tanıştım. O, THY (Türk Hava Yolları) eski bir pilotmuş. İlk günlerimde ona - Nasıl Türkçe öğrenebilirim? - diye soru sordum. Onun cevabı basitti "Okuyun, okuyun ve her gün biraz daha okuyun, hatta sokak işaretlerini, yavaş yavaş her şeyi alacaksınız." Başlarda (en az altı ay boyunca) anlatılanları anlamada ve kendimi anlatmada büyük zorluklar çektim. Ama okumaya (tabii sözlükle) başladım. Beş, altı yaşındaki çocuklar için yazılmış okul kitapları alıp okumaya başladım. Boş zamanlarımda da bir cep sözlüğü ile birlikte şehrin sokaklarında dolaşıp, bulduğum işaretleri ve reklamları tercüme ettim.

Herkesin kendine göre bir dil öğrenme tarzı var. Ben de, okumamı sinemaya giderek genişlettim. Zaman geçtikçe daha fazla bilgi özümseyerek ve okumaya devam ederek, Türkçe'm daha iyi hale geldi. Velhasıl Türkiye'de halen birçok arkadaşım var ve onlarla kendi dillerinde kolayca anlaşabiliyorum.

İngiltere'ye döndükten sonra emekli oldum ve yerel bir Teknik Kolejde yarım günlük (part-time) Türkçe öğretim görevlisi oldum. İngiltere’de Türkçe uydu televizyonum vardı. Halen okuyorum (büyük romanları da). Buldukça Türkçe gazete de alıyorum. 2005’ten beri Yeni Zelanda’da yaşıyorum. Burada uydu televizyonum yok, ama arada sırada Türk kebap salonlarına gidip Türkçe sohbet ediyorum. Hâlâ her gün bir miktar Türkçe okuyorum.

A Nutshell Overview Turkish

  1. In Turkish words are changed by suffixing other words on to them. These other little important words show motion towards, location and motion from.
  2. These added words change their spelling according to set rules and they must follow the same vowel pattern (Vowel Harmony) as the word they are being affixed to - sometimes they also have a consonant change for ease of pronunciation.
  3. Thus little words (suffixes) added to the stem of a verb may indicate its positive or negative form. Further suffixes are added for tense and person.
  4. Further meaning to verbs such as - may, might, can, can't are also supplied by an add-on to the original verb, thus producing a new word.
  5. Nouns are also suffixed with possessor and the motion or location words are then added.
  6. There is no word for "the" (the Definite Article) and also there is no gender forms (no "le" or "la" as in French).
  7. Describing words (Adjectives) precede their noun as in English and always remain in their basic form - no gender thus no agreement.
  8. The sentence form is SOV - Subject, Object, Verb.

FAQ's about Turkish

About Turkish and Turkey

Extinct: no
Family: Altaic
Branch: Turkic
Continent: Asia
Country: Turkey
Region: Spoken throughout Turkey as first or second language.
Also spoken in 35 other countries including Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Netherlands, Romania, Russia (Asia), Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan.
Turkish Native Population: 74,887,733 in Turkey (2008).
Population total all countries: 80,625,794 (est.). Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Uzbekistan, Germany, Holland.
Countries Where Official: Turkey
Three Letter Code: TRK
Alternative Names: Türkçe, Türkisch, Anatolian
Some other Statistics:
* Full name: Republic of Turkey - (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)
* Capital: Ankara
* Largest City: İstanbul
* Population (All): 75.8 million (UN, 2010). Half of population is below age 29.7 yrs. of age.
* Area: 779,452 sq km (300,948 sq miles)
* Major Language: Turkish
* Major religion: Islam (but legally Turkey is a Secular State)
* Life Expectancy: 71 years (men), 74 years (women) - [Source: Index Mundi - 2009]
* Monetary Unit: Turkish Lira - (Türk Lirası - TL)
* Main Exports: Clothing and textiles, fruit and vegetables, iron and steel, motor vehicles and machinery, fuels and oils
* GNI per capita: US $13,710 (World Bank, 2011)
* Internet Domain: .tr
* International Dialling Code: +90
* Communications (Wikipedia):
As of June 2010, there were 35,000,000 internet users in Turkey, which ranked 15th in the world while as of 2009, there were 2,961,000 internet hosts in the country, which ranked 27th in the world.
As of 2008, there were 17,502,000 operational main line telephones in Turkey, which ranked 18th in the world while there were 65,824,000 registered cell phones in the country, which ranked 15th in the world during the same year.

Agricultural Resources (world rank 2002)


Turkish Province Codes

The Turkish Province Codes used on car licence Plates
#01 - Adana#21 - Diyarbakır#41 - Kocaeli (İzmit)#61 - Trabzon
#02 - Adıyaman#22 - Edirne#42 - Konya#62 - Tunceli
#03 - Afyon#23 - Elazığ#43 - Kütahya#63 - Şanlıurfa
#04 - Ağrı#24 - Erzincan#44 - Malatya#64 - Uşak
#05 - Amasya#25 - Erzurum#45 - Manisa#65 - Van
#06 - Ankara#26 - Eskişehir#46 - Kahramanmaraş#66 - Yozgat
#07 - Antalya#27 - Gaziantep#47 - Mardin#67 - Zonguldak
#08 - Artvin#28 - Giresun#48 - Muğla#68 - Aksaray
#09 - Aydın#29 - Gümüşhane#49 - Muş#69 - Bayburt
#10 - Balıkesir#30 - Hakkari#50 - Nevşehir#70 - Karaman
#11 - Bilecik#31 - Hatay#51 - Niğde#71 - Kırıkkale
#12 - Bingöl#32 - Isparta#52 - Ordu#72 - Batman
#13 - Bitlis#33 - İçel (Mersin)#53 - Rize#73 - Şırnak
#14 - Bolu#34 - İstanbul#54 - Sakarya#74 - Bartın
#15 - Burdur#35 - İzmir#55 - Samsun#75 - Artdahan
#16 - Bursa#36 - Kars#56 - Siirt#76 - Iğdır
#17 - Çanakkale#37 - Kastamonu#57 - Sinop#77 - Yalova
#18 - Çankırı#38 - Kayseri#58 - Sivas#78 - Karabük
#19 - Çorum#39 - Kırklareli#59 - Tekirdağ#79 - Kilis
#20 - Denizli#40 - Kırşehir#60 - Tokat#80 - Osmaniye
   #81 - Düzce

Turkish Children Learn Their Mother Tongue Earliest

A research conducted worldwide has established that Turkish children are the fastest at learning their native language. The results were released at the International Association for the Study of Child Language's 10th congress in Berlin, Germany, where it was indicated that Turkish children could speak their native language by the age of 2-3 years in a grammatically correct manner.
Linguistics Professor Klann Delius noted that The Turkish Language was easy to learn. "Suffixes in Turkish that determine person and tense are regular. Using them is like arranging Lego pieces."
According to the research, it takes 12 years for Arab speaking children, and 4-5 years for German children to acquire the grammatical mastery in their mother tongue. The congress held in Berlin is attended by about 800 linguists from around the world.

28.07.2005 - Anadolu News Agency (aa) Berlin from Zaman on Sunday

About Manisa City

Manisa ity Road Sign Manisa Football Club Emblem Manisa Road Sign (png)

The capital of Manisa province, located about 30 km (about 20 mi) northeast of Izmir, the major Turkish port on the Aegean Sea. The city is situated on the northern slopes of Mount Manisa (Mount Sipylus), by the meandering Gediz River (called the Hermus River in ancient times). Due to its location on the edge of the fertile Manisa plain, agricultural produce has traditionally been the major means of support in the region. The recent development of electronics industries has diversified the city's economy. Manisa has both highway and railway connections to Izmir.

Photo: Acambaz

The Archaeological and Ethno graphical Museums (founded in 1935) contain finds and cultural artefacts from the city and its environs. Celâl Bayar University (1992), named after the third president of Turkey, is the only higher education institution in Manisa. The current settlement stands on the ancient city of Magnesia. Found 6 km (4 mi) east of Manisa, a 13th-century BC rock carving of Cybele, the ancient Mother of the Gods, is considered evidence of Phrygian or Hittite presence in the area. Held by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, and then Seljuk Turks, Manisa was captured by Ottomans in AD 1405.
Manisa became a provincial capital in the newly established Republic of Turkey in 1923. Population (2010) - 364,567.

- Taken from Microsoft© Encarta© Online Encyclopedia 2001 © 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Unforgettable Manisa

Ulu Cami, Sultan Camii, Muradiye Camii, Hatuniye Külliyesi, Saruhan Bey Türbesi, Yedi Kızlar Türbesi, Yirmi İki Sultanlar Türbesi, Süleyman Şah Türbesi, Emre Sultan Türbesi, Rum Mehmet Paşa Bedesteni, Kurşunlu Han, Yeni Han, Çukur Hamam, Dere Hamamı, Gülgün Hatun (Dere) Hamamı, Karaköy Hamamı, Hüsrev Ağa Hamamı, Alaca Hamam, Cumhuriyet Hamamı, Ağlayan Kaya, Manisa Kalesi, Ulucamii Çeşmesi, Saruhanbey Parkı Çeşme, Hacı Osman Çeşmesi, Ali Ekber (Karaköy) Çeşmesi, Yarhasanalr Çeşmesi, Alaybey Çeşmesi, Kaval Çeşmesi, Lala Paşa Çeşmesi, Dilşikar Çeşmesi vs. vs. - Thanks to Falih Salman

Comments about us

Happy Man IconAn excellent website, You will not be disappointed. Well organized. This beautiful website. Informative and entertaining. Turkish clearly explained. Helped me a lot, Great website!, One of the best sites, An excellent free site, What a great site!, Manisa Turkish - Great!, Thanks a lot, great stuff. A big thank you. Extensive resource. A wonderful introduction. Crisp delivery. A lifesaver for me. One of the best that I have seen. The most useful one. Brilliant and very different. Take a look at this one. An amazing website. La mejor. So comprehensive. Just what I need. What a great website. The best I heve ever seen. A fantastic website. Your website greatly simplifies understanding the Turkish Language.

Definitely the most useful. Interesting and better than the others, Knows the obstacles, An unbelievably helpful website. A wonderful website. A good site for learning. What a brilliant website. Simple, concise, helpful. Wünderschön. All you need to know. Çabucak alıştıracak bir site, Thanks for a great site. Recommended. Una de las mejores en Internet. An interesting website.. An in-depth guide, I think it is brilliant, We have learned more, Full of detailed information. By far the best resource for Turkish language learners on the internet. Un excellent site Internet pour apprendre le Turc. I found this web address for Manisa Turkish, I think it's brilliant!, I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful language website. Está muy bien. One of the best on the web! Manisa Turkish, about Turkish, tons of information, lessons and more.

Mükemmel bir web sitesi. Siz hayal kırıklığına uğramayacaksınız, iyi organize. Bu güzel web sitesi, Bilgilendirici ve eğlenceli. Türk net. açıklandığı gibi, bana çok yardımcı. Büyük Websayfası! En iyi siteler., mükemmel bir ücretsiz sitesi, ne bir site!, Manisa Türk - Harika! Çok teşekkürler - Harika şeyler harika., bir teşekkür ederim, kapsamlı kaynak, harika bir giriş. Crisp teslim, benim için bir lifesaver büyük. One of the best that I gördük. En kullanışlı bir, Harika ve çok farklı, Bu yüzden kapsamlı bir. Bir göz, harika bir web sitesi, LA MEJOR. Sadece ne gerek. En iyi ben heve, ne harika bir web sitesi, bunun gibi hiç görülmedi.

Gerçekten harika bir web sitesi. Web siteniz çok kolaylaştırır Türk Dil. anlayış.., Kesinlikle en yararlı, ilginç ve daha iyi diğerleri, öğrenmek için güzel bir site harika bir web sitesi. İnanılmaz yararlı bir web sitesi, engelleri iyi bilir, ne mükemmel bir web sitesi. Basit, anlaşılır, yararlı, Wünderschön., Tüm bilgiler. Çabucak alıştıracak bir sitede. Harika bir site için teşekkürler. Önerilen. Una de las mejores en İnternet. Gerçek ılginç bir web sitesi. Derin bir rehber. Ben parlak olduğunu düşünüyorum. Daha fazla bilgiye sahip. Tam ayrıntılı bilgi. İnternet üzerinden Türkçe dil öğrenenler için yazdı kadar en iyi kaynak. Un mükemmel sitesi İnternet apprendre le Turc. Ben Manisa Türkiye için bu web adresini buldum, Ben sadece harika dil web sitesi için teşekkür ederim söylemek. Está muy bien istedim bu kadar parlak! Düşünüyorum ki web sitlerinin üzerinde en iyisi.

Some Accolades for us.

Please take time to read some of the welcome comments made about our website in the link below. We always welcome suggestions, corrections and criticism and will always act upon them. For anyone who cannot realize a particular Turkish Grammar point themselves - then if you email us directly we will do our best to explain your difficulty. However we do not undertake translation of letters, poems or songs etc. Sorry, but having been inundated with these very time consuming requests, we have had to discontinue this service.

See the Accolades title="links to accolades for Manisa Turkish website" for Manisa Turkish

How one of our Turkish friends sees us.

Bir site keşfettim - Manisa Turkish. Bu alanda gördüğüm en iyi site. Tam ihtiyaca göre hazırlanmış, güzelce dizayn edilmiş, karmaşa ve işe yaramayan gramerden kasten kaçınılmış. Belki bol alıştırma ile güçlendirilebilirdi belki ama hâlâ pek çok piyasada arzı endam eden pahalı kitaptan daha iyi. Türkçe öğrenmek isteyen arkadaşlarınız varsa bedava hizmet veren bu siteden haberdar etmekte fayda var. Ben dünden beri keyifle inceliyorum.

I discovered a site - Manisa Turkish. In this area the best site ever seen. Fully prepared according to need, beautifully designed, deliberately avoiding confusion and useless grammar. It is reinforced with plenty of examples and is still a lot better than the expensive books in the marketplace. If you have friends who want to learn Turkish make them aware of this free site. I have been studying it with enjoyment for some time.

Güzel Dilimiz: TÜRKÇE FORUMU - 26 Mart 2008.