The Subject Definite Article "the"

There is no Turkish word for the subject definite article, only the context tells us when to insert "the" in English:

Çay pahalı.
Tea is expensive.
Çay soğuk.
The tea is cold.
Araba caddede.
The car is in the road.

The Subject Definite Article "the" does not exist as a word in Turkish.

Subjects are understood as being "specific".

The Object Definite Article is suffixed with ‑i ‑ı ‑u ‑ü "the" [accusative]

Mehmet telsizi [telsiz-i] tamir etti.
Mehmet mended "the" radio

Turkish Direct Object Suffix "the"

The Turkish Direct Object Suffix which makes the object substantive,

It is one of the most difficult hurdles for English speakers to surmount when speaking, reading and understanding the Turkish language.

Turkish Direct Object Suffix for "the"

The suffix ‑i ‑ı ‑u ‑ü used with bare nouns which end in a consonant.

‑yi ‑yı ‑yu ‑yü used with bare nouns which end in a vowel.

‑in ‑nı ‑nu ‑nü used with extended [already suffixed] nouns ending in a vowel.

In English "the" makes both subject and object specific,

Adam kapıyı
[kapı-] kapattı.

The [subject substantive] man closed the [object substantive] door.

Turkish grammar does not use classical grammar nomenclature.

The subject definite article "the" does not exist in Turkish.

There is no ""the" man" as the subject definite article.

"the" is already understood as substantive and does not need a definite article.

There is an object definite article "the" in Turkish.

Noun ending in a consonant: kilit lock

  • Adam kilidi [kilid-i] kapattı
    The man locked THE LOCK
  • The -i suffix modifies the bare noun kilit to kilidi THE LOCK substantive as a direct object.

Extended noun ending in a consonant: kilidim [kilit+im] my lock

  • Adam kilidimi [kilid-im-i] kapattı
    The man locked MY LOCK
  • The -i suffix makes the alrady extended noun kilid-im-i MY LOCK substantive as a direct object.

Bare bouns ending in vowel: kapı door

  • Adam kapıyı [kapı-yı] kapattı
    The man closed THE DOOR
  • The -yı suffix makes the bare noun kapı THE DOOR substantive as a direct object

Extended noun ending in a vowel: kapısı [kapı+sı] his door

  • Adam kapısını [kapı-sı-nı] kapattı
    The man closed HIS DOOR
  • The -nı suffix makes the extended noun kapısı-nı HIS DOOR substantive as a direct object
  • Summary: Turkish Object Definite Article Rules
  • A Turkish verb needs the object pointer:
    ‑(y)i ‑(y)ı ‑(y)ü ‑(y)u
    [buffer -y- after vowels.]
  • ‑ni ‑nı ‑nü ‑nu
    [buffer -n- after vowels for already suffixed nouns.]

Turkish Object Pointer Examples

Direct Object pointer: -y-i for simple nouns.
Arabayı boyuyorum.
[araba-y-ı]
I am painting the car.

Possessive Pronoun: -s-ı his plus direct object pointer -nı for extended nouns.
Arabasını boyuyorum.
[araba-s-ı-n-ı]
I am painting his car
[the his car]

Possessive pronoun -ları their plus object pointer -nı for extended nouns.
Arabalarını boyuyoruz.
[araba-ları-n-ı]
We are painting their car.
[the their car]

Possessive Pronoun -sı his plus direct object pointer -nı for extended nouns
Arabasını boyuyor musunuz?
[araba-s-ı-n-ı]
Are you painting his car?

Possessive Pronoun -ınız your plus direct object pointer for extended nouns.
Mehmet, arabanızı boyamıyor mu?
[araba-nız-ı]
Isn't Mehmet painting your car?

Possessive Pronoun -si his plus direct object pointer -ni for extended nouns.
Kedisini aramıyor muyum?
[kedi-s-i-n-i]
Aren't I looking for his cat?

Direct Object Pointer -i for personal pronouns
Beni istiyor musun? [ben -i] Do you want me?

Direct Object Pointer -i for personal pronouns
Seni istemiyor muyum?
[sen -i]
Don't I want you?

The Singular Turkish Indefinite Article - bir a, an, one

  • bir kapı a gate
  • bir elma an apple
  • bir bardak one glass

Caddede bir (tek) araba var.
There is a (single) car in the road

Turkish Positive Plural Indefinite Article birkaç some

In English the Article "some" is only used in Positive Statements.

"any" is used in Negative Statements and also both in Positive and Negative Questions.

Both some and any are translated as bazı.

bazı always governs a plural noun:
bazı masalarsome tables

  • Positive statements use:
    some in English:
  • Bahçede birkaç kapı var.
    There are some gates in the garden.
  • Bahçede birkaç kedi var.
    There are some cats in the garden.
  • Caddede birkaç araba var.
    There are some cars in the road.

The Negative Singular Article is
hiçbir not one OR hiç not any

  • Negative Statements use:
    any [usually with the plural] in English.
  • Bahçede hiç kapı yok.
    There aren't any gates in the garden.
  • Bahçede hiçbir kapı yok.
    There is not a (single) gate in the garden at all.
  • Bahçede hiç kedi yok.
    There aren't any cats in the garden.
  • Bahçede hiçbir kedi yok.
    There is not a (single) cat in the garden.
  • Caddede hiçbir araba yok.
    There aren't any cars in the road.
  • Caddede hiçbir araba yok.
    There is not a car in the road [at all.]
  • Both Positive and Negative Questions use a (single)? at all? in English.
  • Bahçede hiçbir kapı yok mu?
    Isn't there a (single) gate in the garden?
  • Bahçede bir kedi var mı?
    Is there there a cat in the garden?
  • Caddede hiçbir araba yok mu?
    Isn't there a car in the road at all?
  • Caddede bir araba var mı?
    Is there a car in the road?
  • The Negative Plural Indefinite Article is: hiç any, none at all
    Negative Statements use any in English:
  • Bahçede hiç kapı yok.
    There are not any gates in the garden.
  • Bahçede hiç kedi yok.
    There are not any cats in the garden.
  • Caddede hiç araba yok.
    There are not any cars in the road.
  • Both Positive and Negative Questions use any in English.
  • Bahçede hiç kapı yok mu?
    Aren't there any gates in the garden?
  • Bahçede birkaç kedi var mı?
    Are there any cats in the garden?
  • Caddede hiç araba yok mu?
    Aren't there any cars in the road?
  • Caddede birkaç araba var mı?
    Are there any cars in the road?
  • birkaç some and hiç not any always take a singular noun in Turkish.
  • The meaning is plural in both Turkish and English:
  • birkaç kadın some ladies
  • hiç ev not any houses
  • hiçbir not a single one is used for the singular both in Turkish and English:
  • Caddede hiçbir araba yok.
    There is not a car in the road?

Hiç meaning ever or never

  • In normal verbal positive questions hiç translates as "ever"
  • Hiç Alanya'ya gittiniz mi?
    Have you ever been to Alanya?
  • In normal verbal negative questions hiç translates as "never"
  • Hiç Alanya'ya gitmediniz mi?
    Have you never been to Alanya?
  • Other Indefinites are:
  • bazı some
  • Caddedeki bazı arabalar vardı, şimdi artık hiç yok.
    There were some cars in the road, now there are none.
  • To reiterate: bazı some always takes the plural:
  • bazı kadınlar some ladies
  • bazı evler some houses
  • birçok a lot of or many
  • caddede birçok araba var
    there are a lot of cars on the road.
  • caddede birçok araba var
    there are many cars on the road.
  • biraz
    a little, a small amount
    Biraz şeker, lütfen.
    A little sugar, please.

Turkish Lack of Gender

Generally Turkish has no gender.

There is only one form of the noun:

No masculine actor and feminine actress

When gender distinction is necessary within the context:

Turkish uses simple locutions:

  • kız girl or kadın lady can be placed in front of the noun to show human femininity:
  • terzi tailor
    kadın terzi tailoress
  • arkadaş friend
    kız arkadaş girl friend
  • dişi female isused before nouns to show a female animal:
  • köpek dog
    dişi köpek bitch
  • erkek male is used to show maleness:
  • kardeş sibling
    erkek kardeş brother
  • kız girl / maiden is used to show femininity:
  • kardeş sister / brother
    kız kardeş sister

This method is used whenever it is necessary to differentiate between the sexes.

Turkish Family Relationships

There is no gender distinction in Turkish.

This does not apply to close family relationships.

Many relations on the mother's side will have a different word than the father's side:

Just two examples here but they are myriad!

  • amca uncle
    [father's brother]
    dayı uncle
    [mother's brother]
  • teyze aunt
    [mother's sister]
    hala aunt
    [father's sister]
Turkish FamilyRelations
father baba
mother anne
baby bebek
brother erkek kardeş
sister kız kardeş
elder brother abi (ağabey)
elder brother's wife yenge
elder sister abla
elder sister's husband enişte
son oğul, erkek çocuk
daughter kız, kız çocuk
aunt (mother's side) teyze
aunt (father's side) hala
grandfather dede, büyükbaba
grandmother nine, büyükanne
grandmother (mother's side) anneanne
grandmother (father's side) babaanne
nephew, niece yeğen
uncle (father's side) amca
uncle (mother's side) dayı
cousin kuzen
father-in-law kayınbaba, kayınpeder
mother-in-law kaynana, kayınvalide
sister-in-law (of a male) baldız
sister-in-law (of a female) görümce
brother-in-law kayınbirader
brother-in-law's wife of a female elti
sister-in-law's husband of a male bacanak
son-in-law ; bridegroom damat
daughter-in-law ; bride gelin
sister's husband enişte
grandson ; granddaughter torun
twin ikiz
twin brother, twin sister ikiz kardeş
wife eş, hanım, karı
husband koca
step mother üvey anne
step father üvey baba