Manisa Turkish Icon - The Turkish language Explained for English Speakers

Manisa Turkish Icon - The Turkish language Explained for English Speakersadjectives > about adjectives
Google: Yahoo: BING:

About Turkish Adjectives

Position of Turkish Adjectives

Words that describe or modify nouns A blue house, a rich man.

Turkish adjectives always precede the nouns that they describe and cause no suffix to be added to the described noun. he noun can be singular or plural. The noun can be unspecific or specific according to context. English uses the to make nouns particular and specific.

  • güzel kız (the) beautiful girl
  • sarı çıçekler (the) yellow flowers
  • açık kapı (the) open door
  • beyaz evler (the) white houses
  • mavi ev the blue house
  • mavi evler (the) blue houses
  • zengin adam the rich man
  • yorgun çocuklar tired children

But note that when adjectives follow a noun the meaning is entirely different, it becomes a "Statement of Fact" :

  • ev, mavi the house is blue
  • evler mavi the houses are blue
  • adam, zengin the man is rich
  • Uzun geniş yol. The long wide road. is different to Uzun yol, geniş. The long road is wide.
  • Geniş yol, uzun. The wide road is long. is different to Yol, uzun geniş. The road is long and wide.
  • This shows that the verb to be -dir is lacking in the third person in Turkish.
  • However, it is used in public statements such as as notices:
  • Bu ev, mavidir. This house is blue.

Non-agreement of Turkish Adjectives

Adjectives do not have to agree with the noun they describe in either number as in Spanish or gender as in French. The adjective precedes the noun as it does in English.

Let us reiterate the basic rules for using adjectives in Turkish

  1. Adjectives describe nouns.
  2. The adjective is always invariable.
  3. Adjectives don't have a singular and plural form OR a masculine, feminine and neuter form.
  4. Adjectives are always the same! Never add a final s (in English) or lar/ ler (in Turkish) to an adjective.
  5. Adjectives are placed before the noun.
  6. Adjectives can be formed from both nouns or verbs as in English.
    These rules apply both in English and in Turkish.

Attributable Suffixes in Turkish

In Turkish, words can often be recognized as adjectives by their endings. This is similar to English where words can also be recognized as adjectives by their endings. For instance the ending -ful in the word beautiful "They built a beautiful house in the hill." Thus the -ful adjective adds the concept of beauty to the house. There are other adjectival endings in English where English speakers recognize instantly the attribute being added by its ending. One of these adjectival endings is used above, in the heading "Attributable". The following example also uses the "Ability Attribute" -able "They have built a beautiful, desirable house on the hill".

Some other adjectival endings in English may be:
-ly as in the lovely view.
-ing as in the shaking branch.
-ive as in the positive result.
-en as in the broken arrow.
and some other forms; each ending giving us a differing degree or meaning in concept.
This then is the way that Turkish follows and if one learns the Adjectival Endings it is easier to recognize the concept of meaning as we automatically do in our own tongue.

Turkish adjectives can often be recognized by their endings, these are words in their own right and should not be considered as words with an added suffix. As with English the (adjectival) ending on the word often points to the type of attribute that the adjective supplies to its noun. For instance in English there is a different type of attribute supplied by the adjectives lovely, loving, loveable, lovelorn, loved although the root word carries the same meaning.

Turkish Adjectival Suffix -ik -ık - uk - ük
This suffix usually forms adjectives where the described noun is in a state from which it cannot return that is it has assumed a permanent state.
From yanmak to burn the adjective yanık is formed meaning burnt (as a permanent state)
bir düşük yaprak a fallen leaf [from düşmek to fall]
bazı kırık tabaklar some broken plates [kırmak to break]
kesik parçalar cut (up) parts [kesmek to cut]
By recognizing the -ik suffix we can see a permanent adjectival state has been attained.
We must take care however not to mistake nouns which end in -ik such as balık fish or sözlük dictionary as being adjectives.

Using the present participle düşen which falls /which is falling as an adjective then the meaning changes:
bir düşen yaprak a falling leaf ( a leaf which is falling)
düşen yapraklar falling leaves
Similarly using the past participle:
düşmüş olan which has fallen
düşmüş olan yapraklar nemlidir the leaves which have fallen are damp/the fallen leaves are damp.

Emphasized and Public Forms of Turkish Adjectives

  • Uzun yol, geniştir. The long road is wide.
  • Uzun yol, geniş midir? Is the long road wide?
  • Turkish generally places a comma after the subject.
  • The emphasis is is stressed by the use of the verb to be suffix -dir
  • This makes it a "statement of fact" Yol geniştir [geniş-tir] The road is wide.

Position of the Article in Turkish

bir a, an, one can interpose between the adjective and its noun.
This has the effect of putting the emphasis on the adjective and/or causes the noun it describes to become definite.
bir güzel kız güldü a beautiful girl laughed.
In this example some girl or other laughed an indefinite girl, therefore the adjective follows bir.
Güzel bir kız gördüm. I saw a beautiful girl.
In this example a definite girl was seen and moreover she was definitely beautiful.

güzel followed by bir emphasizes all these points.
Generally speaking if the indefinite article is used with its noun, then Turkish will not separate them as we do in English

  • büyük beyaz bir ev(dir) it is a big white house
  • yaşlı bir adam an old man
  • boş bir kutu an empty box

Turkish Adjectives used as Nouns

Turkish adjectives can also be used as nouns:
hasta ill, sick
bir hasta a patient
Hastalar hastanede. The patients are in hospital.
zengin rich
bir zengin a rich person
Otelde kalan bir zengin var There is a rich [person] who is staying at the hotel.

Intensified Turkish Adjectives

Many adjectives have an Intensified Form, for instance:
yeni new yepyeni brand new
beyaz white bembeyaz snow white
dolu full dopdolu full to the brim

Many of these Intensified Forms are in daily use all the time.

Turkish Intensifying Doubled Adjectives

There are different intensification of meanings methods in Turkish. Some of them are "doublets":

(1) Repetition of Adjectives and Nouns in Turkish

  • In this version the adjective is repeated:
  • akşam akşam late in the evening(s)
  • sabah sabah early in the morning(s)
  • korka korka getting scared
  • yavaş yavaş slowing down
  • sıcak sıcak really hot and fresh
  • usul usul gently, quietly
  • Ahmet'i gördüm sabah sabah nereye gidiyordu merak ettim?
  • I saw Ahmet early in the morning and wondered where he was going?
  • Akşam akşam konuşmayalım şimdi çok yorgunum.
  • Let's not chat so late in the evening, I am very tired now.
  • İç şu çayı sıcak sıcak, soğutmadan hadi!
  • Drink that tea it's hot and fresh, come on don't let it cool down!
  • Geldiğinde kapıyı usul usul çal, çocuk uyanmasın.
  • When you come knock the door gently and quietly so the child does not wake up.
  • Burayı sevmediğini biliyorum, ama yavaş yavaş (zamanla) alışacaksın.
  • I know that you don't like it here, but you'll gradually get used to it (in time).

Many Reduplicated Forms are in use.

Yavaş yavaş is a little bit different. It indicates that something will happen in time. So we can say:
Yavaş yavaş her şey düzelir, merak etme. Don't worry, everything will be alright in (good) time.

When a "doublet" is used with a verb then it becomes a normal adverb:

Double adjectives form mostly adverbs:
ince adjective thin as an adverb ince ince adverb thinly
Soğanları ince ince doğramalısın. You must chop the onions up thinly.
When used as an adverb another word is required to intensify its meaning:
Soğanları çok ince doğramalısın. You must chop up the onions very thinly.

(2) Differing Adjectives used jointly in Turkish

In this version, for strengthening two very similar, sometimes the same, or opposite words are used:

  • sessiz sedasız quietly
  • hesap kitap calculate, sort out (finances)
  • yok yoksul very poor
  • sorgusuz sualsız beyond question, take for granted
  • utana sıkıla timidly, ashamedly
  • Sonunda sessiz sedasız ortadan kayboldu.
  • In the end he slipped away calmly.
  • Utana sıkıla patronun karşısına çıktı zam istemek için.
  • He went to the boss timidly because he wanted a rise.
  • Polis, herefi sorgusuz sualsız salıverdiler.
  • The polise released the chap without any questioning!
  • Evimizin yeni dekorasyonu için hesap kitap yapmamız lâzım.
  • We need to calculate the cost of our house's new decoration.
  • Çamurlara bata çıka sonunda lokantaya vardılar.
  • After wading through the mud they reached the cafe at last.

(3) Meaningless Adjectives used for Repetition in Turkish.

Two words are used, the second is meaningless.

  • karman çorman hodgepodge
  • karışık kuruşuk all mixed up
  • kayıt kuyut restrictions, paper work
  • zar zor hardly, scarcely
  • Eve geldiğimde ortalık öyle karman çormandı ki iki saattır toparlamaya çalışıyorum.
  • It was such a hodgepodge around the house that I took two hours to clear it up.
  • Karışık kuruşuk işlerinizinden bıktım!
  • I'm fed up with these mix ups of yours!
  • Kayıt kuyut tamam, ancak ofısa giderim.
  • All the paper work is completed, I'll go on to the offıce.
  • Çok kilo aldığımdan, oturduğum koltuktan zar zor kalkabiliyorum.
  • Because I've had put on so much weight, I hardly get up from my armchair.

(4) Adjective Repetition in Turkish with the letter "m"

The second word is changed to begin with letter m. This is called an m-doublet and can be applied to nouns and verbs indiscriminately.

If the second word is changed with a letter m it means and the suchlike.
While I was in Turkey I heard a mother say to her small child: Sokağa çık, oyna moyna! Go on the street and play about!

  • Cebimde para mara yok.
  • I have no cash or suchlike in my pocket.
  • Bugün sokakta araba maraba görülmez.
  • Today there are no cars or anything to be seen on the street.
  • Bira mira'yı ister misin?
  • Do you want a beer or anything?

If the original word already begins with an m then filan and/or falan is used to arrive at the suchlike meaning:
Müdürler falan de geliyor. The managers and all that lot are coming as well.

(5) Meaningless Prefixes to Turkish Adjectives

In fifth version only one word is used with meaningless prefixes

  • güpegündüz (in) broad daylight
  • kıpkırmızı bright red
  • dapdar so very narrow
  • sımsıcak nice an warm and comfy
  • kaskatı totally rigid
  • darmadağınık in a mess/disheveled
  • Gelin güpegündüz kaçırıldı.
  • The bride was kidnapped in broad daylight.
  • Mehmet'in suratı utançtan kıpkırmızı döndü.
  • Mehmet's face turned bright red with embarrassment.
  • Pantolon dapdar görünüyor, kilo almışsınız ki.
  • The trousers look to be so narrow, It seems that you have put weıght on.
  • Sapsarı saçlarıyla çekici görünüyor.
  • She looks very attractive with her bright yellow hair.
  • Nehir kupkuruydu, hiç akan su yok oldu.
  • The river was so parched, there was no flowing water at all.

(6) Two Meaningless words are used to produce a Turkish Adjectives

This is similar the the English constructions like pell-mell, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggeldy, mumbo-jumbo

  • hort zort like a bull a a gate, rudely and noisily
  • paldır küldür like a bull a a gate, rudely and noisily, discourteously
  • harala gürele hustle and bustle
  • zart zurt bluster, loud empty talk, bellow, intimidate
  • zırt pırt so often, so frequently
  • palas pandıras helter skelter
  • O kabadayı, tartışınca daima zart zurt/paldır küldür eder.
  • When that bully argues he is always very rude.
  • İşte ne yapalım, harala gürele gidiyor hayat.
  • What ever we do, life goes on with a hustle and bustle.
  • Belediye bugünler zırt pırt su kesintisi yapıyor
  • The town corporation are so often cutting off the water (supply) these days.
  • Babam hastaymiş, hemen birgün sonra palas pandıras Manisa'daki babamın evine gittim.
  • It seems my father was ill, straight away a day later I went helter-skelter to my father's house in Manisa.

(7) Use of "mi" Interrogative Particle to Intensify Turkish Adjectives.

In seventh version "mi interrogative particle" is used

  • çirkin mi çirkin really ugly
  • kötü mü kötü really bad
  • zengin mi zengin rich or rich!
  • Mehmet zengin mi zengin!
  • Mehmet is really loaded!, Is Mehmet rich or is he rich!
  • Film korkunç mu korkunçtu!
  • The film was so scary!

No other intensification should be used with this form:
"Mehmet o kadar zengin mi zengin." is incorrect.

(8) Normal Intensification of Turkish Adjectives

Normal intensifying Words are Used "very, quite, etc."

  • çok much, many
  • epey a good deal of, goodish amount
  • hayli fair amount, pretty much
  • hatırı sayılır miktarda/oranda considerable amount/ratio
  • bayağı common, quite, a sort of
  • ABD, Erdoğan'ı bayağı komik bulmuş! Erdogan has found the USA quite/sort of funny! Üzerinden epey/hayli/çok zaman geçti tam hatırlayamıyorum şimdi. Since than quite a lot of time has passed I cannot remember completely now. Üyelerimiz hatırı sayılır bir oranda yurtdışı gezisine katılacaklarını belirttiler. They have indicated that a considerable number of our members will join the overseas tour.

Turkish Adjectives and their Opposites

List of Turkish Adjectives and their Opposites
betterdaha iyiworsedaha kötü
first (one) of a seriesilklast (one)son
next (one)gelecekpast (one)geçmiş (olan)/geçen
old (in age)ihtiyar/yaşlıyounggenç
old (former)eskinewyeni