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Personal Pronouns in Turkish

Turkish Personal Pronouns - I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they

In Turkish the personal pronouns are two categories:
(1) Stand-alone Pronouns Ben gidiyorum. I am going.
(2) Pronouns in suffix form. Gidiyorum. [gidiyor-um] I am going.
The stand-alone personal pronouns are not used widely as the person is evident from the personal verb ending. They are used for emphasis only in their simple form as the verb form itself already points to the person. This is similar to Spanish where a person will say "comprendo" I understand instead of "Yo comprendo" I understand. Stand-alone are used in their extended forms bende - on me , sizin - of you, bizden - from us when suffixes to, from, with, etc. are added to them.

Turkish Simple Personal Pronouns List

  • ben I
  • sen you [familiar]
  • o He, she, it
  • biz we
  • siz you [formal]
  • onlar they

Emphasis of the Turkish Personal Pronoun

When the pronoun needs to be emphasized the stand-alone version is used together with the personal suffixed verb tense form.
gidiyorum I'm going but emphasized ben  gidiyorum  I  am going
kaldık we stayed but emphasized biz  kaldık   we  stayed

Turkish Suffixed Pronouns

These suffixed forms are used to show extended meaning pronoun within a sentence.

Turkish Suffixed Pronouns I, we
ben Ibiz we
bana to me [irregular NOT bene]bize to us
benim of me, my [NOT benin]bizim our [NOT bizimiz]
beni me (obj.)bizi us (obj.)
bende on mebizde on us
benden from mebizden from us
benimle or benle with mebizimle or bizle with us
Turkish Suffixed Pronouns you, you (plural)
sen yousiz you
sana to you (irregular) [NOT sene]size to you
senin of you, yoursizin your
seni you (obj.)sizi you (obj.)
sende on yousizde on you
senden from yousizden from you
seninle or senle with yousizinle or sizle with you
Turkish Suffixed Pronouns he/she/it, they
o he, she, itonlar they
ona to him, her, itonlara to them
onun of him, his, her, itsonların their
onu him, her, it (obj.)onları them (obj.)
onda on him, her,itonlarda on them
ondan from him, her, itonlardan from them
onunla or onla with him, her, itonlarla with them

The Third person spelling changes, all extended forms of o use buffer letter -n-. The third person singular pronoun o he, she, it adds letter -n- to become on- when adding further suffixes. The third person plural is also irregular becoming onlar they.

When adding the -le/-la suffix ben(im)le, sen(in)le, on(un)la, biz(im)le, siz(in)le are alternatives. The third person plural onlarla is the only alternative, however. It is not correct to say onlarınla.

Extended Forms Turkish Personal Pronouns

The main use for the Personal Pronouns is to extend them with the important little words to, from, with etc. which are suffixes in Turkish.

  • Motion Toward Suffix -e/-a to, towards

  • bana to me
  • sana to you
  • ona to him, to her, to it
  • bize to us
  • size to you
  • onlara to them

Personal pronouns show some changes in spelling have naturally occurred in the Turkish language:
to me becomes bana [NOT bene.]
of me, my becomes benim [NOT benin.]
to you becomes sana [NOT sene.]
of us, our becomes bizim [NOT bizimiz.]
The first and second person singular forms are irregular bana, sana where bene, sene would have been expected. This is a shift that has happened historically. The Kazakh and Uzbek Turkic languages have not made this vowel shift, they use bene, sene.

Bana onu verin. Give it/that to me
Onlara bakınız. Look at them. [lit: towards them.]
Bize inanıyorlar. They believe us. [lit: believe to us.]

The word inanmak to believe takes the "movement toward condition" (dative) as its object, hence Turkish says bize inanın believe to us. Whereas English uses the direct object for the verb to believe thus English says Believe us. There are other verbs in English that do not take the direct object case as: "I am frightened OF the dark."

Static Condition suffix -de/-da in, on, at

  • bende in, on,at me
  • sende on you
  • onda on him, on her, on it
  • bizde on us
  • sizde on you
  • onlarda on them

Bende para yok. I've got no money. [lit: on me]
Sende para var mı? Have you got any money? [lit: on you]
Bizde para var mı? Have we got any money? [lit: on us]

Motion Away Suffix -den/-dan from, via

  • benden from me
  • senden from you
  • ondan from him, her ,it
  • bizden from us
  • sizden from you
  • onlardan from them

Benden bir şemsiye alabilirsiniz. You can have an umbrella off me. [lit: from me]
Senden bir sigara alır mıyım? Can I have a cigarette off you? [lit: take from you]
Ondan korkuyorum I am frightened of him [lit: frightened from him]

Ownership Suffix -in/-ın/-un/-ün of, belonging to

  • benim my, of me
  • senin your, of you
  • onun his, hers, its, of him.
  • bizim our, of us
  • sizin your, of you
  • onların their, of them

Benim şemsiyemi [şemsiye-m-i] alabilirsiniz. You can take my umbrella.
Senin araban yeni mi? Is your car new?
Onların arabası eskidir. Their car is old.

The -i -ı -u -ü "the" direct object suffix.

  • beni me
  • seni you
  • onu him, her, it
  • bizi us
  • sizi you
  • onları them

Mehmet, beni vurdu. Mehmet shot me. [ben-i me as a direct object]
Ali, arabanı onardı mı? Did Ali repair your car? [araba-n-ı your car as a direct object]
Mustafa, onu yaptı Mustapha did it. [on-u it as a direct object]

In English we make both the subject and object of a sentence substantive by the use of the same definite article "the":
The man closed the door.
The subject is already understood as substantive in Turkish so it does not need a definite article. A subject definite article "the" does not exist in Turkish. There is no "THE man".
There is an object definite article "the" in Turkish which appears as the suffix -(y)i -(y)ı -(y)u -(y)ü
Adam kapı kapattı. The man closed the door
The direct object suffix which makes the object substantive is one of the most difficult hurdles for English speakers to surmount when speaking, reading and understanding The Turkish Language.

The -le -la (ile) suffix with, and, together with

  • ben(im)le with me
  • sen(in)le with you
  • on(un)la with him, her, it.
  • biz(im)le with us
  • siz(in)le with you
  • onlarla with them

The adding of the -le -la suffix can be considered as an exception.
For the addition of a -le/-la suffix ben(im)le, sen(in)le, on(un)la, biz(im)le, siz(in)le are alternatives. The third person plural onlarla is the only alternative, however. It is not correct to say onlarınla.
The preferred version is added to the genitive -in form of the pronouns, not directly to the root pronoun except for the third person plural onlarla with them [not "onlarınla"]

Mehmet, benimle geldi. Mehmet came with me. Mehmet and I came. [ben-im-le with me or and I]
Mustafa, bizimle kalacak. Mustapha will stay with us. [biz-im-le with us]
Ali, onlarla geldi mi? Did Ali come with them? [onlar-la with them see exception note above]
For the preferred version the -le or -la with suffix is added to the ownership (genitive) form of the pronoun. The third person plural exception retains its basic form onlarla with them

The Reflexive Pronoun kendi self/own

As an adjective kendi means own
kendi bahçem my own garden
kendi evin your own house
the person agrees with the thing which is owned kendi arabaları their own car [kendi araba-ları]

The suffixed kendi self Personalized Forms

  • kendim myself
  • kendin yourself [familiar]
  • kendi(si) himself/herself/itself
    The third person singular is almost always in the short form kendi as the -si suffix is dropped in use.
  • kendimiz ourselves
  • kendiniz yourselves (yourself [formal form]
  • kendileri themselves

Kendi is also use in its extended (suffixed) forms:

  • kendime to myself
  • kendinden from yourself
  • kendinde or kendisinde on himself
    The -si suffix IS USED when further suffixes are addedto kendi(si)
  • kendimizle with ourselves
  • kendinizin of yourselves
  • kendilerinden from themselves

Kendi is used in many different contexts, especially for emphasis:
(A) Kendi meaning myself, yourself, himself
Kendime bir bilgisayar aldım. I bought a computer for myself.
Bence kendini biraz küçümsüyorsun. I think you underestimate yourself a bit.

(B) Kendi meaning own, as an adjective.
kendi evim or benim kendi evim my own house
kendi düşüncesi or onun kendi düşüncesi her own opinion

(C) Kendi meaning on my own or in order to emphasize the subject.
Bu resmi ben kendim yaptım. I made this picture on my own (by myself).
Bunu biz kendimiz düşündük. We thought that on our own (by ourselves).

(D) Kendi giving the meaning of a formal impression:
This version is used for 3rd person singular and plural, always as kendisi or kendileri.
Size bay Sarıkurt'u takdim etmek istiyorum. Kendisi daha önce bir şirkette CEO olarak çalışıyordu.
I would like to present you Mr. Sarikurt. He used to work as a CEO in a company.
The use of the formal addressing kendisi himself is preferred to the informal o he. This usage is constantly used in newpaper reports and television interviews.

(E) Duplication of kendi kendi as an adverb is used to describe verbs:
Bilgisayar bozuktu. Ama daha sonra kendi kendine çalıştı. The computer had broken down. But then, it worked by itself.
Kendi kendime konuşuyorum. I am talking to myself.
Türkçe'yi kendi kendime öğrendim. I learned Turkish by myself/on my own

Do not confuse reflexive verbs with the use of kendi:
I had a wash. translates as Yıkandım. in Turkish [LIT: I washed myself]
The Reflexive Verb Yıkanmak to wash onself is used.
Kendimi yıkadım. is WRONG. The reflexive verb form Yıkandım. is CORRECT.
I got wet. Kendimi ısladım is WRONG. The reflexive verb form Islandım. is CORRECT.

Turkish Interrogative Personal Pronoun who?, whom? kim?, kimler?

The pronoun kim? who? has a plural in Turkish: kimler? who?. English who is both singular or plural within its context.

The Interrogative Personal Pronoun - kim/kimler who
kimeto whom?kimlere
kimiwhom? (obj.)kimleri
kimdeon whom?kimlerde
kimdenfrom whom?kimlerden
kiminle or kimlewith whom?kimlerle

Turkish Interrogative Pronoun Examples kim who

Kimi gördünüz? Whom did you see? [Objective Singular]
Kimleri gördünüz? Whom (what people) did you see? [Objective Plural]
Arabayı kimlerden aldınız? From whom (plural) did you buy the car?
Parayı kime verdiniz? To whom did you give the money?
Bu gözlük kimin? Whose are these glasses?
Kiminle geldi? Whom did he come with?

Turkish Impersonal Pronoun biri somebody

The translation of positive somebody
biri (singular impersonal) somebody
birisi (singular particular) somebody
birileri (plural) somebody
The word somebody in Turkish can be a singular somebody biri, birisi or plural somebodies birileri
biri var, birisi var birileri var all mean There is somebody there. Positive statement uses somebody in English, but in Turkish it may be a plural birileri "somebodies"

Turkish Negative Impersonal Pronoun kimse anybody, nobody

Turkish kimse is similar to the French "personne" as it can be negative/positive or interrogative meaning somebody, anybody or anybody? The meaning of kimse can be singular or plural, there is no such word as "kimseler."
nobody [negative] is kimse in Turkish
anybody [negative] is kimse in Turkish
anybody? [positive or negative question] is kimse in Turkish.
The word kimse is used for both singular and plural.
kimse can take a suffix: Kimseye [kimse-ye] anlatmam! I will not tell anybody!
Kimse var mı? Kimseler var mı? Is there anybody there? [Positive question uses anybody? in English.]
Kimse yok. There is nobody there. [Negative statement uses nobody in English.]
Kimse yok mu? Isn't there anybody there? [Negative question uses anybody? in English.]

Şimdiden evde biri (birileri) olmalı. There must be somebody at home by now. [Positive Statement.]
Saat sekizde parkta kimse görünmedi. At eight o'clock there was nobody to be seen in the park [Negative Statement.]
Saat sekizde parkta kimse var mıydı? Was there anybody in the park at eight o'clock? [Positive Question.]
Şu anda ofisinizde kimse yok mu? Isn't there anybody in your office at the moment? [Negative Question.]

Turkish Diminutive Form kimsecik kimsecikler

If the diminutive form kimsecik, kimsecikler is used with the negative as in kimsecik yok the the meaning becomes nobody at all
Odanın içerisinde/içinde kimse var mı? Is there anybody inside the room?
Odada kimsecik/kimsecikler yok. There is nobody at all in the room.
kimsecik/kimsecikler is only used with negative verbs and is invariable, it cannot take any further suffixes.