adjectives > Turkish Possessives

Turkish Possessive Adjective my, your, his, our, their

Examples of the Suffixed Possessive Adjectives -im -ım -üm my

The Possessive Adjective my, your, his, her ,our, their is a suffix which obeys vowel harmony rules.
It is called a Possessive Adjective because it shows possession and describes a noun.

Question: Which cat? the answer: my cat. The word my is a Possessive Adjective describing the noun cat.
In Turkish the suffix -ım -im -um -üm added to final consonants kolum [kol-um] my arm or just -m when added to a final vowel. arabam [araba-m] my car

Turkish Possessive Adjective Reference Summary

The suffixes for all the persons: my, your, his, our, your, their.

Suffixed to ConsonantsMeaningSuffixed to Vowels
-ım -im -um -ümmy-m
-ın -in -un -ünyour-n
-ı -i -u -ühis/her/its-sı -si -su- -sü
-ımız -imiz -umuz -ümüzour-mız- miz -muz -müz
-ınız -iniz -unuz -ünüzyour-nız -niz -nuz -nüz
-ları -leritheir-ları -leri
  • The E-Dotted Vowels Singular
  • el becomes elim my hand
  • diş becomes dişim my tooth
  • göz becomes gözüm my eye
  • gül becomes gülüm my rose
  • The E-Dotted Vowels Plural
  • eller becomes ellerin your hands
  • dişler becomes dişlerin your teeth
  • gözler becomes gözleriniz your (pl.) eyes
  • güller becomes gülleri his / their roses
  • The A-UnDotted Vowels Singular
  • ay becomes ayım my month
  • kız becomes kızın your daughter
  • dost becomes dostu his / her pal
  • sabun becomes sabunum my soap
  • The A-UnDotted Vowels Plural
  • aylar becomes aylarımız our months
  • kızlar becomes kızlarımız our daughters
  • dostlar becomes dostları his / their pals
  • mektuplar becomes mektuplarım my books

The Plural suffix is always added first. The Possessive Suffix follows the Plural Suffix.
ellerim [el-ler-im] my hands
odalarımız [oda-lar-ımız] our rooms

Adding the Possessive Adjective to words that end in a vowel
When the word ends in a vowel then the Possessive Suffix drops its own initial vowel.
kedi cat
kedim [kedi-m] my cat
The Possessive Suffix does not lose its vowel when attached to the plural of a noun as it follows the final consonant of -ler
kediler cats
kedilerim [kedi-ler-im] my cats

The Third Person Singular Possessive Suffix -i his, her, its becomes -si (uses Buffer Letter -s-) when added to a noun ending in a vowel.
oda room
odası [oda-s-ı] his room
Buffer letter -s- is used to keep two vowels apart.

The single exception su water

The word su water is the single irregular noun in Turkish. It takes a buffer letter -y- with all its suffixes.

  • su water
  • suyum my water
  • suyun your water
  • suyu his water
  • suyumuz our water
  • suyunuz your water
  • suları their water

Turkish Consonant Mutation when adding Suffixes

  • kitap book Mutation: p ⇔ b
  • kitabım my book
  • kitaplarım my books
  • sokak street Mutation: k ⇔ ğ
  • sokağım my street
  • sokaklarım my streets
  • armut pear Mutation: t ⇔ d
  • armudu his pear
  • armutları his pears/their pear(s)

This example armutları his pears/their pear(s) can be construed three ways:
armutlar -ı his pears
armut -ları their pear OR their pears ["armutlarları"is wrong, the -lar suffix cannot be re-duplicated].

It seems that their pears should be armutlarları, but suffixes ending in -lar are never doubled, the context usually makes clear the singularity or plurality of the noun.
However, to be explicit then onun his or onların their can be used:
onun armudu his pear [he has singular pear]
onun armutları his pears [he has plural pears]
onların armudu their pear [they have a singular pear]
onların armutları their pears [they have plural pears]

Turkish Possessive Adjectives showing difference of Singular and Plural Nouns

Vowel Harmony must be observed when suffixing singular or plural words.

  • kapı door
  • kapım my door
  • kapılarım my doors
  •  
  • bahçe garden
  • bahçem my garden
  • bahçelerim my gardens
  •  
  • oda room
  • odası his room
  • odaları his rooms
  •  
  • aile family
  • ailesi his family
  • aileleri their family/families
  •  
  • araba car
  • arabamız our car
  • arabalarımız our cars
  •  
  • otobüs bus
  • otobüsümüz our bus
  • otobüslerimiz our buses
  •  
  • kulak ear
  • kulağınız your ear
  • kulaklarınız your ears
  •  
  • şemsiye umbrella
  • şemsiyeniz your umbrella
  • şemsiyeleriniz your umbrellas
  •  
  • domuz pig
  • domuzu his pig
  • domuzları his pigs domuzlar-ı
  • domuzları their pig(s) domuz-ları
  •  
  • göz eye
  • gözü his eye
  • gözleri his eyes [gözler-i]
  • gözleri their eye(s) [göz-leri]

Turkish Suffixed Possessed Nouns - Extended

A noun with the possessive suffix being a noun in its own right can be subject to further suffixes.
Buffer letter -n- is used when adding second suffixes to possessed items for third person singular his, her, its and third person plural their:
arabasına [araba-sı-n-a] to his/her car
elmalarından [elma-ları-n-dan] from their apple(s)

kedi cat. Singular kedi ends in a vowel so only suffix -m is added
kedim my cat [kedi-m]
kedimden from my cat [kedi-m-den]
kedime to my cat [kedi-m-e]

kediler cats. Plural kediler ends in a consonant so suffix -im is added
kedilerim my cats [kedi-ler-im]
kedilerimden from my cats [kedi-ler-im-den]
kedilerime to my cats [kedi-ler-im-e]

araba car. Singular araba ends in a vowel so only suffix -n is added
araban your car [araba-n]
arabana to your car [araba-n-a]
arabanda in your car [araba-n-da]

arabalar cars. Plural arabalar ends in a consonant so total suffix -ım is added
arabaların your cars [araba-lar-ın]
arabalarına to your cars [araba-lar-ın-a]
arabalarında in your cars [araba-lar-ın-da]

elma apple ends in a vowel so third person suffix using buffer letter -sı is added
onun elması his apple [elma-s-ı]
onun elmasında in his apple [elma-s-ı-n-da]
onun elmasından from his apple [elma-s-ı-n-dan]
Note: onun hisis used to show that this apple belongs to one person

elmalar apples
onun elmaları his apples [elma-lar-ı]
onun elmalarında in his apples [elma-lar-ı-n-da]
onların elmasında in their apple [elma-s-ı-n-da]
onların elmasından from their apple [elma-s-ı-n-da]
onların elmaları their apples [elma-ları]
onların elmalarında in their apples [elma-ları-n-da]
onların elmalarından from their apples [elma-ları-n-dan]
Note: onların their is used to show that this/these apple(s) belongs to more than one person

köy village
köyümüz our village [köy-ümüz]
köyümüzde in our village [köy-ümüz-de]
köyümüzden from our village [köy-ümüz-den]

köyler villages
köylerimiz our villages [köy-ler-imiz]
köylerimizde in our villages [köy-ler-imiz-de]
köylerimizden from our villages [köy-ler-imiz-den]

köpek dog
köpeğiniz your dog [köpeğ-iniz]
köpeğinizde on your dog [köpeğ-iniz-de]
köpeğinize to your dog [köpeğ-iniz-e]
The Rule of Consonant Mutation -k changes to is operating here when a vowel suffix is being added to a hard consonant.

köpekler dogs
köpekleri their dogs [köpek-leri]
köpeklerine to his dogs [köpek-ler-i-n-e] or to their dog(s) [köpek-leri-n-e]
köpeklerinden from their dogs [köpek-leri-n-den]

ev house
onların evi their house [ev-i]
onların evine to their house [ev-i-n-e]
onların evlerinde in their houses [ev-leri-n-de]
onların evlerinden from their houses [ev-leri-n-den]

evler houses
onun evleri his houses [ev-ler-i]
onun evlerinde in his houses [ev-ler-i-n-de]
onun evlerinden from his houses [ev-ler-i-n-den]

A reminder about buffer letter -N-
A noun with the possessive suffix can be subject to further suffixes.
Buffer letter -n- is used when adding second suffixes to possessed noun.

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