Formation of Turkish Possession

There is a construction in Turkish which means "belonging to"

In English generally only the Possessor is marked as in Janet's house
The 's tells us that the house belongs to Janet.

Possession can also be marked by both the Possessor and the Possessed:

THE hair OF THE dog.

Both words hair and dog are marked.

This construct is the method that Turkish uses.

Both the Possessor and the Possessed are always marked:

  • köpeğin tüyü The hair of the dog
    [LIT: köpeğ-in tüy-ü "dog-the-of hair-the"]

The Possessor in Turkish

In Turkish the Possessor is suffixed with -in -ın -un -ün

Buffer -n- is used when suffixed to vowels: →
-nin -nın -nun -nün

The -in suffix means "of, belonging to.."

Turkish Grammar calls it Suffix of Ownership [genitive]

Formation of the Possessor:

Words ending in a consonant add -in, -ın, -un, -ün

  • adamadamın [adam-ın] the man's, of the man
  • gözgözün [göz-ün] the eye's, of the eye
  • All plural forms end in a consonant -ler / -lar
  • adamlaradamların [adam-lar-ın] the men's, of the men
  • farelerfarelerin [fare ler in] the mice's, of the mice,
  • lastiklerlastiklerin [lastik-ler-in] the tyres', of the tyres
  • Nouns ending in vowels use buffer letter -n to form -nin
  • banyobanyonun [banyo-nun] the bath's, of the bath.
  • köprüköprünün [köprü-nün] the bridge's, of the bridge.
  • The plurals are formed without the buffer -n-
  • banyoların [banyo-lar-ın] the baths', of the baths
  • köprülerin [köprü-ler-in] the bridges', of the bridges

Formation of the Possessed

The possessed item in Turkish is suffixed with -i, -ı, -u, -ü his, hers, its.

Buffer -n- is used when suffixed to vowels: →
-si, -sı, -su, -sü

The only exception is su water.
Su uses the buffer letter -y-suyu
[susu is incorrect]

The Possessive Relationship Explained

Both the Possessor and Possessed are suffixed in Turkish.

This is the model for all Possessive Relationships in Turkish.

  • The Possessor: adamın [adam-ın] of the man with The Possessed: eli [el-ı] hand-his
  • adamın eli the man's hand, the hand of the man
    [LIT: adam-ın el-i "man-of hand-his"]
  • The Possessor: Mehmet with the Possessed: palto overcoat
  • Mehmet 'in paltosu Mehmet's overcoat
    [LIT: Mehmet-'in palto-su "Mehmet-of overcoat-his"]
  • The irregular noun su water
    adamın suyu
    [adam-ın su-yu]
    the man's water

Proper Names are kept separated.

With Proper Names the suffix is separated by an apostrophe:

Nouns beginning with a capital letter take a separated suffix:

Londra London
Londra'nın London's, of London.

Plurals of the Turkish Possessive Relationship -

The plurals are formed by the addition of -ler / -lar to either the Possessor, the Possessed or to both according to context.

Both Possessor and Possessed Singular
  • adamın arabası the man's car
    [adam-ın araba-sı]
  • evin damı the roof of the house
    [ev-in dam-ı]
The Possessor Plural and Possessed Singular
  • yıldızların ışığı the light of the stars
    [yıldız-lar-ın ışığ-ı]
  • adamların arabası the men's car
    [adam-lar-ın araba-sı]
The Possessor Singular and Possessed Plural
  • adamın arabaları the man's cars
    [adam-ın araba-lar-ı]
  • odanın duvarları the walls of the room
    [oda-nı duvar-lar-ı]
Both Possessor Plural and Possessed Plural
  • adamların arabaları the men's cars
    [adam-lar-ın araba-lar-ı]
  • çocukların oyunları the children's games
    [çocouk-lar-ın oyun-lar-ı]

Turkish Possessive Relationship in Use

The possessive relationship is a compound noun.

Further suffixes are added to the possessed item(s) to modify the meaning:

  • Adamın arkadaşına kitabı verdim.
    [Adam-ın arkadaş-ı-na kitab-ı verdim.]
    I gave the book to the man's friend.
    [LIT: Man-of friend-his-to book-the gave-I.]
  • Oğlunun kardeşinden bu şapkasını aldım.
    [Oğlu-nun kardeş-in-den bu şapka-sı-nı al-dım.]
    I got this hat from his son's brother.
    [LIT: Son-his-of brother-his-from this hat-his got-I.]

Turkish Possessive Relationship Model

Both the Possessor and the Possessed Singular
adamın arabası the man's car
adamın arabasının of the man's car, the man's car's
adamın arabasına to the man's car
adamın arabasını the man's car (object)
adamın arabasında in the man's car
adamın arabasından from the man's car
adamın arabasıyla with the man's car
Possessor Singular withthe Possessed Plural
adamın arabaları the man's cars
adamın arabalarının of the man's cars, the man's car's
adamın arabalarına to the man's cars
adamın arabalarını the man's cars (object)
adamın arabalarında in the man's cars
adamın arabalarından from the man's cars
adamın arabalarıyla with the man's cars
Possessor Plural with the Possessed Singular
adamların arabası the men's car
adamların arabasının of the men's car, the men's car's
adamların arabasına to the men's car
adamların arabasını the men's car (object)
adamların arabasında in the men's car
adamların arabasından from the men's car
adamların arabasıyla with the men's car
Both Possessor andPossessed Plural
adamların arabaları the men's cars
adamların arabalarının of the men's cars, the men's cars'
adamların arabalarına to the men's cars
adamların arabalarını the men's cars (object)
adamların arabalarında in the men's cars
adamların arabalarından from the men's cars
adamların arabalarıyla with the men's cars

Separation of Possessor and Possessed in Turkish

The Possessive Relationship can be separated by adjectives or adjectival phrases:

  • Adamın eski arkadaşından.
    From the man's old friend.
  • Adamın büyük ve pahalı arabasında.
    In the man's large and expensive car.

Chaining Turkish Possessors

  • evin kapısının penceresi.
    the house's door's window.
  • evin kapısının pencereleri.
    the house's door's windows.
  • evlerin kapısının penceresi.
    the houses' door's window.
  • Ali'nin defterinin sayfaları yırtılmıştır.
    Ali's notebook's pages are torn.
    [LIT: have been torn]
  • Bahçenin duvarlarının tuğlaları kırılmıştır.
    The garden's walls' bricks are broken.
    [LIT: have been broken]
  • Mehmet'in bisikletinin lastikleri aşınılmıştır.
    Mehmet's bicycle's tyres are worn down.
    [LIT: have been worn down]
  • Arabamızın motorunun benzin deposunun doldurma kapağı eksiktir.
    Our car's engine's petrol tank's filler cap is missing.
    [LIT: is absent, -tir makes this definite]

Turkish "possessed nouns" have to be made definite.