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Some Basic Phrases

Merhabā / İyi günler İyi akşamlar İyi geceler

Hello / Good day Good evening Good night

Selâm / Merhabā Güle güle / İyi günler Lütfen

Hi (merhabā is more common) Bye / Goodbye (Good day) Please

Teşekkür ederim / Sağol Bir şey değil / Ricā ederim Hoş geldiniz / Hoş geldin
Thank you / Thanks You're welcome / My pleasure Welcome (formal / informal)

Sonra görüşürüz Görüşürüz! Yarın görüşürüz

See you later See you! See you tomorrow

Özür dilerim! Affedersiniz / Pardon! Hadi gidelim!

Sorry! Excuse me! Let's go!

Nasılsınız? Nasılsın / Nāber? İyi değilim / Fenā değil

How are you? (formal) How are you? / What’s up? (inf.) Not fine / not bad

İyiyim. İyilik. Evet / Hayır / Yok

I'm fine. I'm fine. (informal) Yes / no / no (common inf. use)

İsminiz? İsmin/Adın ne? Adım / İsmim…

What's your name? (formal) What's your name? (informal) My name is...

Memnun oldum ___ Bey, ___ Hanım Hanımlar ve Beyler

Nice to meet you. Mister, Misses Ladies and gentlemen

Nerelisiniz? Nerelisin? …lıyım / …liyim.

Where are you from? (formal) Where are you from? (informal) I am from...

Nerede oturuyorsunuz? Nerede oturuyorsun? …de/da/te/ta oturuyorum.

Where do you live? (formal) Where do you live? (informal) I live in...

Kaç yaşındasınız? Kaç yaşındasın? ____ yaşındayım.

How old are you? (formal) How old are you? (informal) I am ____ years old.

Türkçe biliyor musunuz? İngilizce biliyor musun?

Biliyorum / Bilmiyorum.
Do you speak [know] Turkish? Do you speak [know] English?
I speak [know]… / I don’t speak…
(formal) (informal)

Anlıyor musunuz? / Anlıyor

musun? Anlıyorum / Anlamıyorum. Biliyorum / Bilmiyorum.
Do you understand? (formal / I understand / I don’t understand. I know / I don’t know.

Yardım eder misiniz? / Yardım

Tabii / Tabii ki Efendim?
eder misin?
Of course. What? Pardon me?
Can you help me? (formal / informal)

…nerede? İşte / Buyurun …var / ...vardı.

Where is... / Where are...? There it is / Here you are. There is/are... / There was/were...
Bu ne? / Bunun mānāsı ne?
Türkçe’de ____ nasıl denir? Neyin var?
What is this? / What does this
How do you say ____ in Turkish? What's the matter?

Önemli bir şey değil. Ne oluyor? Hiç bilmiyorum.

It doesn't matter. What's happening? I have no idea.

Yoruldum / Hastayım. Acıktım / Susadım. Yandım / Üşüdüm.

I'm tired / sick. I'm hungry / thirsty. I'm hot / cold.

Sıkıldım. Beni ilgilendirmez Merāk etmeyin / Merāk etme.

I'm bored. I don't care. Don't worry (formal / informal)

Sorun değil / Önemli değil Unuttum. Gitmem lāzım.

It's no problem. / It's alright. I forgot. I must go.

Kolay gelsin! / İyi şanslar!

Çok yaşayın / Çok yaşa! Tebrikler / Tebrik ederim.
(wish of success) / Good luck!
Bless you! (formal / informal) Congratulations!
(less common)

Sıra sizde / Sıra sende Sessiz olun / Sessiz ol! Seni seviyorum.
It's your turn! (formal / informal) Be quiet! (formal / informal) I love you (singular)

Notice that Turkish has informal and formal ways of saying things. This is because there is more than one
meaning to "you" in Turkish (as well as in many other languages). The informal you is used when talking to
close friends, relatives, animals or children. The formal you is used when talking to someone who is older
than you or someone for whom you would like to show respect (a professor, for example).

As in many Romance languages, personal pronouns can be omitted, and they are only added for emphasis.

Turkish has Vowel Harmony. That’s why we have given a choice of suffixes in the example “I live in…”. This
will be dealt with in later sections.

In the examples used, we have used a vowel lengthener sign (as in ā, ī and ū) to differentiate between short
and long vowels. Note that it does not show the stress; rather it shows that the vowel is pronounced longer.

The “^” sign is used to soften the consonant that precedes it.

The length and the softening of vowels is conveyed through this one sign “^” in standard writing. Even then it
is only used in certain words or phrases nowadays. For that reason we have used two different signs and
have put it at every point where needed, to help the new learner.

2. Pronunciation
a car ı cousin r

b big i tea s sun

c jam j ş shine

ç charm k kid t time

d do l lake u wood

e ever m mine ü fruit

f fight n nine v van

g gate o grow y yard

ğ ö first z zoo

h harp p push

Turkish is a very phonetic language, so pronunciation is very easy. Most words are pronounced exactly as
they are spelled.

ü is exactly pronounced like “u” in French, like “tu”.

ğ is in most cases a silent letter. It has a unique sound to it when pronounced separately

(The closest would be the “r” sound in French, but ğ is not a guttural letter).

Today, ğ is used:

• as a vowel lengthener, that is, it lengthens the vowel that precedes it.

Dağ (“da:”) “mountain”

Ağlamak (“a:lamak”) “to cry”

Ağaç (“a:ch”) “tree”

• in the middle of two vowels to connect them.

Eğilmek “to stoop”, eğitim “education”.

ı is pronounced like the “e” sound of “kommen” in German. It is an undotted i in appearance.

kâ is pronounced like the “qua” sound in “quatre” in French.

gâ is pronounced in a similar way, similar to “gare” in French.

lâ is pronounced like the “la” sound in French.

3. Subject Pronouns
ben I biz we

you you
sen siz
(singular) (formal&plural)

o he / she / it onlar they

The plural you, siz, is also used for formal address. The subject pronouns for the third person singular and
plural (o and onlar) are generally replaced by the noun they specify (i.e. the person, the object) in the
spoken language.

4. General Vocabulary
and ve friend arkadaş

but ama man adam

only sādece woman kadın

now şimdi boy çocuk; oğul

at the moment şu anda baby bebek

always her zaman girl kız

never hiç child çocuk

something bir şey book kitap

nothing hiçbir şey pencil kalem

also / too de/da paper kâğıt

again yine; gene; tekrar dog köpek

of course tabii; tabii ki cat kedi

5. Question Words
what ne

why niye

when ne zaman

where nerede

how nasıl

how much / many ne kadar / kaç

which / which one hangi / hangisi

who kim

whom kimi

to whom kime

whose kimin

from where nereden

to where nereye

Nereden biliyorsun? How do you know?

Kimi tanıyorsun? Whom do you know?
Kaç dil öğreniyorsun? How many languages are you learning?
Hangi üniversitede okuyorsun? In which university are you studying?
Niye gülüyorsun? Why are you laughing?

6. The suffix “to be” and Vowel Harmony

ben -im I am biz -iz we are

sen -sin you are (sing.) you are (plural)

o onlar
he / she / it is they are
-dur -dırlar

The suffixes –dur and –dırlar are mostly omitted in speech, and they can sometimes be left out in the
written language.

The vowels used in the suffix “to be” shifts with Vowel Harmony. Vowel Harmony is easy to learn. The
vowels are divided into two groups for this:

The A-undotted group and the E-dotted group.

Note: Instead of memorizing the subtleties of each rule, it is more helpful to study the examples below by
writing them down and repeating them with a loud voice, thus gaining a sense of the language.

The A-undotted group includes the vowels a,ı,o,u.

The vowel used in the last syllable of a word defines the way vowel harmony is constructed.

• If the last vowel is a or ı, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is ı.

arkadaş >> arkadaş + ız >> Biz arkadaşız. “We are friends.”

hasta >> hasta + sınız >> Hastasınız. “You are ill.”

• If the last vowel is o or u, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is u.

tok >> tok + um >> Tokum. “I am full.”

The E-dotted group consists of the vowels e,i,ö,ü.

• If the last vowel is e or i, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is i.

ben >> ben + im >> Benim. “It’s me.” (lit. “I am.”)

• If the last vowel is ö or ü, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is ü.

üzgün >> üzgün + sün >> Üzgünsün. “You are upset.”

mutlu - happy ( ending in a vowel )

mutlu + y + um I am happy mutlu + y + uz we are happy

mutlu + sun you are happy mutlu + sunuz you are happy (plural)

mutlu he/she/it is happy mutlu they are happy

• If the word ends in a vowel, y is added before suffixes for “I” and “we”.

hasta >> hasta + y + ım >> Hastayım. “I’m ill.”

evde >> evde + y + iz >> Evdeyiz. "We are at home."

It should be noted that there are words that end with a soft L. In this case, the endings take E –dotted
vowels instead.

meşgūl >> meşgūl+üz >> Meşgūlüz. “We are busy.”

7. To Read, Study and to Learn

okumak - to read/to study öğrenmek - to learn

okuyorum okuyoruz öğreniyorum öğreniyoruz

okuyorsun okuyorsunuz öğreniyorsun öğreniyorsunuz

okuyor okuyorlar öğreniyor öğreniyorlar

Türkçe öğreniyorum. I’m learning Turkish.

Ne okuyorsun? What are you reading / Which subject are you studying?
Edebiyat okuyorum. I’m studying Literature.
Harry Potter okuyorum. I’m reading Harry Potter.
8. Respect Words

There are respect words that are used in daily life. Instead of addressing a teacher or a professor with siz,
students would prefer the word Hocam(which means app. ‘my master’ or ‘my teacher’). Amca, is used to
address a male who is older than the speaker. It can also be added to the name of people who are known to
the person. In formal situations, the words Bey and Hanım are used after the name. They are also used to
address people who are totally unknown to the speaker. In less formal situations, the endings for informal
you, sen, can be used, as in the first example.

Ahmet Bey, meşgul müsün? Mr. Ahmet, are you busy?

İpek Hanım, misāfiriniz var. Ms. İpek, you have a visitor/guest.
Merhabā Ömer amca, nasılsın? Hello Ömer amca, how are you?
Merhabā Hocam, nasılsınız? Hello Professor, how are you?

9. To Know People and Facts

tanımak - to know people bilmek - to know facts

tanıyorum tanıyoruz biliyorum biliyoruz

tanıyorsun tanıyorsunuz biliyorsun biliyorsunuz

tanıyor tanıyorlar biliyor biliyorlar

10. Numbers / Ordinals

0 sıfır zero

1 bir first birinci / ilk

2 iki second ikinci

3 üç third üçüncü

4 dört fourth dördüncü

5 beş fifth beşinci

6 altı sixth altıncı

7 yedi seventh yedinci

8 sekiz eighth sekizinci

9 dokuz ninth dokuzuncu

10 on tenth onuncu
11 on bir eleventh on birinci

12 on iki twelfth on ikinci

13 on üç thirteenth on üçüncü

14 on dört fourteenth on dördüncü

15 on beş fifteenth on beşinci

16 on altı sixteenth on altıncı

17 on yedi seventeenth on yedinci

18 on sekiz eighteenth on sekizinci

19 on dokuz nineteenth on dokuzuncu

20 yirmi twentieth yirminci

21 yirmi bir twenty-first yirmi birinci

22 yirmi iki twenty-second yirmi ikinci

30 otuz thirtieth otuzuncu

40 kırk fortieth kırkıncı

50 elli fiftieth ellinci

60 altmış sixtieth altmışıncı

70 yetmiş seventieth yetmişinci

80 seksen eightieth sekseninci

90 doksan ninetieth doksanıncı

100 yüz hundredth yüzüncü

1000 bin thousandth bininci

11. The Present Tense Şimdiki Zaman

-yorum I am ___ing -yoruz we are ___ing

-yorsun you are ___ing (sing.) -yorsunuz you are ___ing (plural)

-yor he / she / it is ___ing -yorlar they are ___ing

The Present Tense covers the uses of the Present Continuous Tense in English. Furthermore, it also covers
some uses of the Simple Present Tense, especially in the oral language. It is constructed by adding the
suffixes above to the verb stem. Yet, a vowel that connects the verb stem to the suffix is added in between,
following the rules of Vowel Harmony. The construction is the same with the suffix “to be”.

• If the last vowel (or the only vowel) of the verb stem is a or ı, then the vowel is ı, making –

açmak “to open” aç- >> aç + ı + yor >> açıyor “he/she/it is opening”

• If the last vowel of the verb stem is o or u, then the vowel is u, making –uyor.

olmak “to become, to happen” ol- >> ol + u + yor >> oluyor “it is happening”

• If the last vowel of the verb stem is e or i, then the vowel is i, making –iyor.

içmek “to drink” iç- >> iç + i + yor >> içiyor “he/she/it is drinking”

• If the last vowel of the verb stem is ö or ü, then the vowel is ü, making –üyor.

gülmek “to laugh” gül- >> gül + ü + yor >> gülüyor “he/she/it is laughing”

• Verb stems ending in a vowel either drop this vowel to avoid vowel clusters,

anlamak “to understand” anla- >> anl + ı + yor >> anlıyor “he/she/it understands”

• or the final vowel mingles with the vowel and they become one. This happens if the final
vowel is u, ü, ı or i.

okumak “to read / to study” oku- >> ok + u + yor >> okuyor “he/she/it is reading”

In all cases the ending –yor and the personal suffixes always remain the same in all verbs in the Present

Ne yapıyorsun? What are you doing?

Şimdi uyuyor. He/she/it is sleeping now.
Yunus Emre’yi tanıyorum. I know Yunus Emre.
Hemen geliyorum. I’m coming right now.

The verbs gitmek (to go) and etmek (to do) go through a consonant mutation when conjugated. The final
consonant of the verb stem t softens to d.

git- >> gid + i + yor >> gidiyor “he/she/it is going” et- >> ed + i + yor >> ediyor “he/she/it is doing”

12. Days of the Week

Monday pazartesi

Tuesday salı
Wednesday çarşamba

Thursday perşembe

Friday cumā

Saturday cumartesi

Sunday pazar

the day gün

the week hafta

this week bu hafta

the weekend haftasonu

today bugün

tomorrow yarın

yesterday dün

To say “on Monday”, the expression pazartesi günü is used. It means literally “on the day of Monday”. This
is true for other days of the week (salı günü, cuma günü etc.). Days of the week are not capitalized; unless
they are used in an exact date, as in 19 Ocak Salı (January 19th, Tuesday).

13. Possessive Suffixes

To say “my school”, “his car” in Turkish, we add certain suffixes to the word.

anne - mother; mom ( ending in a vowel )

annem my mother annemiz our mother

annen your mother (singular) anneniz your mother (plural)

annesi his/her/its mother anneleri their mother

Possessive suffixes follow the rules of Vowel Harmony. The construction is quite similar to the suffix “to be”.

• For the suffixes “my” and “your”, words ending in a vowel get –m and –n respectively,
without the need of an additional vowel.

āile >> āile+m >> āilem “my family”

araba >> araba+m >> arabam “my car”

• If the last vowel (or the only vowel) of the word is a or ı, then the vowel of the suffix is ı.

araba >> araba+mız >> arabamız “our car”

• If the last vowel (or the only vowel) of the word is o or u, then the vowel of the suffix is u.

uyku >> uyku+su>> uykusu “his/her/its sleep”

• If the last vowel (or the only vowel) of the word is e or i, then the vowel of the suffix is i.

kedi >> kedi+niz >> kediniz “your cat” (plural)

• If the last vowel (or the only vowel) of the word is ö or ü, then the vowel of the suffix is ü.

türkü >> türkü+müz >> türkümüz “our folk song”

• The suffix for “their” is either –ları or –leri, depending on the last vowel of the word being an
A-undotted vowel or an E-dotted vowel.

arabaları “their car(s)”

ev - house (ending in a consonant)

evim my house evimiz our house

evin your house (singular) eviniz your house (plural)

evi his/her/its house evleri their house

• When the word ends in a consonant, a vowel is added before the suffix. This is the same
vowel with the one in the suffix, as can be seen in the examples below.

ev >> ev + i + miz >> evimiz “our house”

köy >> köy + ü + nüz >> köyünüz “your village” (plural)

• If the word ends in a consonant, the letter s is omitted from the suffix for “his/her/its”.

at >> at + ı >> atı “his/her/its horse”

• The suffix for “their” –leri/–ları remains unchanged even if the word ends in a consonant.

14. Months of the Year

January ocak

February şubat

March mart

April nīsan

May mayıs

June hazīran

July temmuz

August ağustos

September eylül

October ekim

November kasım

December aralık

the month ay

this month bu ay

next month gelecek ay

last month geçen ay

the year yıl /sene

this year bu sene

To say “In May” for instance, the expression mayıs ayında is used. It translates as “in the month of May”.
The same expression is used for all months, thus; ekim ayında etc. Months are not capitalized; unless they
are included in an exact date, as in 20 Mart 2002 (March 20, 2002).

15. Seasons

spring bahar autumn sonbahar

summer yaz winter kış

To say “in the summer” or “in the winter”, the words yazın and kışın are used. For “in the spring” and “in the
autumn”, the locative suffix is used. Thus baharda and ilkbaharda.
16. Directions

north kuzey east doğu

south güney west batı

northeast kuzeydoğu northwest kuzeybatı

southeast güneydoğu southwest güneybatı

17. Colors and the Indefinite Article

red kırmızı turquoise turkuaz

pink pembe brown kahverengi

orange turuncu azure gök māvisi

yellow sarı black siyah

green yeşil gray grī

blue māvi white beyaz

light blue açık māvi gold altın rengi

purple mor silver gümüş rengi

kırmızı elma red apple

yeşil yapraklar green leaves

beyaz kapı white door

There is no definite article in Turkish.

The indefinite article bir comes after the adjective. In poetry and creative writing, it can sometimes precede
the adjective as well, but this is rare in the spoken language.

Bahçemizde yeşil bir ağaç var. There’s a green tree in our garden.
Gümüş rengi bir saatim var. I have a silver-colored watch.

Also note that it might be left out in some places where it is used in English.

Öğrenciyim. I’m a student.

Most of the time, the last consonant of bir is not pronounced in daily life.
Bi hafta sonra geliyorum. I’m coming in a week.
Bi saat önce buradaydı. He was here an hour ago.

18. Formation of Plural Nouns

Formation of plural nouns is fairly easy in Turkish. To make words plural, add –ler or –lar to the word,
according the vowel in the last syllable. If the vowel in the last syllable is an E-dotted vowel it gets –ler, if it
is an A-undotted vowel it gets –lar.

evler houses

arabalar cars

okullar schools

hastalar patients

insanlar people

There are some exceptions as well that can be memorized without much difficulty:

saatler hours

festivaller festivals

Galler Wales (i.e. the country)

19. Time

Saat kaç? What time is it?

Bir. It's one.

İki/üç/dört… It's two/three/four...

Öğle vakti. It's noon.

Gece yarısı. It's midnight.

Beşi beş geçiyor. It's 5:05

Sekizi çeyrek geçiyor. It's 8:15

Dokuz kırk beş. It's 9:45 (common use)

Dokuza on var. It's 8:50

Beş otuz beş. It's 5:35 (common use)

Üç buçuk. It's 3:30

It is also common to give the hour and the minute simply, an easier way to tell the time (the two examples
signed with parentheses show this).

20. Weather

Bugün hava nasıl? How's the weather today?

Hava güzel. The weather's nice.

Hava kötü / bozuk. The weather's bad.

Soğuk. It's cold.

Sıcak. It's hot.

Güneşli. It's sunny.

Rüzgârlı. It's windy.

Yağmurlu. It's raining.

Kar yağıyor. It's snowing.

Bulutlu. It's cloudy.

21. Family and Animals

family āile sibling kardeş dog köpek

parents ebeveyn grandfather dede cat kedi

husband koca grandmother nine bird kuş

wife karı; eş grandson torun fish balık

father baba granddaughter torun horse at

mother anne uncle amca/dayı goat keçi

son oğul aunt hala/teyze pig domuz

daughter kız nephew yeğen cow inek

child(ren) çocuk(lar) niece yeğen rabbit tavşan

sister kız kardeş cousin kuzen turtle kaplumbağa

brother erkek kardeş relatives akrabā mouse fāre

22. To Have and There is / are

The meaning of “There is, there are” is conveyed through the word var. It means “there is / it exists”.

Otoparkta beş araba var. There are five cars in the parking lot.
Bahçemizde üç ağaç var. There are three trees in our garden.

To say “There aren’t, there isn’t”, the word yok is used, which means “there isn’t / it doesn’t exist”.

Apartmanımızda hiç Amerikalı yok. There are no Americans in our apartment.

Saying you have something is fairly easy in Turkish. For this purpose, the possessive suffixes and the word
var are used together.

Küçük bir kaplumbağam var. I have a (lit. “my”) small tortoise.

Sāhilde evi var. He/she has a (lit. “his/her”) house by the seaside.

For negation, yok is used in the same way.

Kedimiz yok. We don’t have a (lit. “our”) cat.

To ask questions like “do you have, don’t you have”, var and yok are used with the question particle,
making var mı and yok mu.

Arabanız var mı? Do you have a (lit. “your [pl. or formal] car”) car?
Bilgisayarları yok mu? Don’t they have a computer of their own?

23. Work and School

doctor doktor history tārih

dentist diş hekimi / dişçi math matematik
lawyer avukat algebra cebir
professor profesör geometry geometri
teacher öğretmen science fen
engineer mühendis physics fizik
architect mīmar chemistry kimyā
writer yazar zoology zooloji
journalist gazeteci botany botanik
musician müzisyen geography coğrafya
artist ressam music müzik
pharmacist eczācı art sanat
banker bankacı drawing (noun) çizim
carpenter marangoz painting (noun) resim
barber berber linguistics dilbilim
mechanic makine ustası languages diller
salesman satıcı drawing (verb) çizim yapmak
electrician elektrikçi painting (verb) resim yapmak
postman postacı
policeman polis
soldier asker
pilot pilot
secretary sekreter
poet şāir
nurse hasta bakıcı

24. Also and To Be at a Place

The meaning of being at/in one place is conveyed through the particle –de or –da in Turkish. Either of these
endings is added to the word, according to the vowel in the last syllable. An E-dotted vowel will get –de,
and an A-undotted vowel will get –da, similar to the plurals.

arabada in the car

evde at home

okulda at school

Note that there is also –te and –ta, used if the last letter of the word is a hard consonant (one of these
letters: f, s, t, k, ç, ş, h, p).

işte at work

Note: Proper nouns are separated from suffixes by an apostrophe in Turkish.

New York’ta in New York

The particle de/da also means “too, also”. It is then written separate from the word and is not bound with
hard consonant rules.

Arkadaşım da İngilizce biliyor. My friend knows English too.

Gökay da gelmek istiyor. Gökay also wants to come.
Biz de bilmiyoruz. We don’t know either.

25. Fruits, Vegetables and Meat

apple elma lettuce marul ham jambon

orange portakal cabbage lahana meatball köfte

banana muz cauliflower karnabahar chicken tavuk

grapefruit greyfurt asparagus kuşkonmaz turkey hindi

lemon limon spinach ıspanak lobster yengeç

peach şeftāli tomato domates water su

fig incir bean fasulye soda soda

grape üzüm rice pirinç wine şarap

pear armut carrot havuç pork domuz eti

plum erik turnip şalgam pancake gözleme

cherry kiraz onion soğan corn mısır

pineapple ananas cucumber salatalık sauce sos

melon kavun artichoke enginar pasta makarna

watermelon karpuz eggplant patlıcan beet pancar

strawberry çilek radish turp egg yumurta

raspberry ahududu broccoli brokoli cake kek

blackberry böğürtlen pepper biber pie turta; börek

beef sığır eti; biftek garlic sarımsak ice cream dondurma

pancake with meat

sausage sosis potato patates lahmācun

26. Negative Sentences

Negation in verbs is conveyed through the suffix –me or –ma. This suffix is added to the verb stem, forming
the negative infinitive.

vermek “to give” ver- >> ver + me >> vermemek “not to give”

almak “to take” al- >> al + ma >> almamak “not to take”

To form the negative verb in the Present Tense, the vowels a and e in –ma and –me change into the vowels
ı,u or i,ü through Vowel Harmony.

• If the last vowel (or the only vowel) of the verb stem is a or ı, then the vowel is ı, making –

ağla- >> ağla + mı + yor >> ağlamıyor “he/she/it is not crying”

• If the last vowel of the verb stem is o or u, then the vowel is u, making –muyor.

ol- >> ol + mu + yor >> olmuyor “it is not happening, not working”

• If the last vowel of the verb stem is e or i, then the vowel is i, making –miyor.

iç- >> iç + mi + yor >> içmiyor “he/she/it is not drinking”

• If the last vowel of the verb stem is ö or ü, then the vowel is ü, making –müyor.

gül- >> gül + mü + yor >> gülmüyor “he/she/it is not laughing”

• Verb stems ending in a vowel do not drop this vowel, unlike the positive conjugation.

anla- >> anla + mı + yor >> anlamıyor “he/she/it does not understand”

Bugün okula gitmiyoruz. We’re not going to school today.

Sigara içmiyorum. I don’t smoke.
Çocuklar bir şey yemiyorlar. The children aren’t eating anything.

Consonant mutation does not occur in the verbs gitmek (to go) and etmek (to do), unlike the positive

git- >> git + mi + yor >> gitmiyor “he/she/it is not going”

et- >> et + mi + yor >> etmiyor “he/she/it is not doing”

27. Double Negation

Double negation is observed in Turkish.

Hiçbir şey bilmiyorum. I don’t know anything (lit. “I don’t know nothing.”)
New York’a hiç gitmedim. I’ve never been to New York (lit. “I haven’t never went to New York.”)
Bana hiç kimse yardım etmiyor. No one is helping me. (lit. “No one is not helping me.”)

There is one exception to this rule: Sentences in which the particles " (de)" are
used. " (de)" has the meaning of "neither....nor" in English.

Ne o ne de kardeşi Almanca biliyorlar. Neither he, nor his brother know German.

Ne kalmak istiyorlar, ne bir şey yemek istiyorlar. They neither want to stay, nor want to eat

Yet, it should also be noted that some speakers still observe double negation with " (de)".
In either case, the meaning (neither...nor) does not change (that is, the sentence pertains the
negative meaning).
Ne ben ne de oğlum hiçbir şey hatırlamıyoruz. Neither me, nor my son remember anything.

28. To and From Places

The meaning of the particles “to, into” in English is conveyed through the suffix –e or –a in Turkish. An E-
dotted vowel (one of e,i,ö,ü) in a word’s last (or the only) syllable gets –e, an A-undotted vowel (one of
a,ı,o,u) gets –a.

eve to the house

okula to school

İstanbul’a to Istanbul

arkadaşıma to my friend

If the word ends in a vowel, y is included between the word and the suffix.

arabaya to the car

hastāneye to the hospital

Fransa’ya to France

The meaning of the particle “from” in English is conveyed through the suffix –den or –dan, while the
construction remains the same.

evden from the house

üniversiteden from the university

kütüphāneden from the library

Note that there are also –ten and –tan, used if the last letter of the word is a hard consonant (one of these
letters: f, s, t, k, ç, ş, h, p).

Teksas’tan from Texas

Mehmet’ten from Mehmet

kitaptan from the book

29. Noun Compounds

When two nouns come together (like “school bag”), they form a noun compound. Noun compounds are used
very often in Turkish. In a noun compound, the first element is the possessor, and the second one is the
possessed. In Turkish, the possessed noun in an indefinite noun compound takes a suffix. This is the same
with the possessive suffix for the third person singular (“his/her/its”).

öğrenci >> öğrenci + si >> üniversite öğrencisi “university student”

If the word ends in a consonant, the letter s is omitted from the suffix, as explained in possessive suffixes.

otobüs >> otobüs + ü >> okul otobüsü “the school bus”

adam >> adam + ı >> iş adamı “businessman”

If the possessed noun is in plural, it takes the possessive suffix for “their”.

yemek >> yemek + leri >> Türk yemekleri “Turkish dishes”

There are certain cases where no suffix is needed. Some of them are:

• If the first word is an adjective.

beyaz at “white horse”, yüksek dağlar “high mountains”

• If the first word is a name of a material.

altın yüzük “golden ring”, tahta masa “wooden table”

Üniversite öğrencisiyim. I am a university student.

İş adamları bu akşam İstanbul’da toplanıyorlar. Businessmen are meeting in Istanbul this evening.
Türk yemekleri çok lezzetli. Turkish dishes are very delicious.

30. Countries and Nationalities

Country Nationality

Germany Almanya Alman

Argentina Arjantin Arjantinli

Australia Avustralya Avustralyalı

Bolivia Bolivya Bolivyalı

Bosnia Bosna Boşnak

Turkey Türkiye Türk

Canada Kanada Kanadalı

Columbia Kolombiya Kolombiyalı

Costa Rica Kostarīka Kostarīkalı

Cuba Küba Kübalı

Croatia Hırvatistan Hırvat

Chile Şili Şilili

China Çin Çinli

Ecuador Ekvador Ekvadorlu

Egypt Mısır Mısırlı

Georgia Gürcistan Gürcü

Spain İspanya İspanyol

United States Amerika Amerikalı

Albania Arnavutluk Arnavut

France Fransa Fransız

India Hindistan Hintli

England İngiltere İngiliz

Hungary Macaristan Macar

Italy İtalya İtalyan

Japan Japonya Japon

Jordan Ürdün Ürdünlü

Kazakhstan Kazakistan Kazak; Kazak Türkü

Lithuania Litvanya Litvanyalı

Mexico Meksika Meksikalı

Norway Norveç Norveçli

Poland Polonya Polonyalı

Portugal Portekiz Portekizli

Russia Rusya Rus

Serbia Sırbistan Sırp

South Africa Güney Afrika Güney Afrikalı

Sweden İsveç İsveçli

Syria Sūriye Sūriyeli

31. To Do or Make

yapmak etmek

yapıyorum yapıyoruz ediyorum ediyoruz

yapıyorsun yapıyorsunuz ediyorsun ediyorsunuz

yapıyor yapıyorlar ediyor ediyorlar

The verbs yapmak and etmek both mean “to do / to make” in English. While yapmak is used more as a
stand-alone verb, etmek has many uses as an auxiliary verb. As noted earlier, the verb etmek goes through
a consonant mutation: t turns into d when conjugated.

Common verbs with etmek:

reddetmek – to refuse
hapsetmek – to imprison
kabul etmek – to accept
emretmek – to command
fark etmek – to notice
hak etmek – to deserve

32. Commands

The imperative form is constructed simply by dropping the infinitive suffix from the verb root, and adding the
necessary suffixes. There are no exceptions.

The imperative for you (sen) does not get a suffix, as it is complied of the verb root. Vowel Harmony is
observed. Studying the earlier mentioned rules of Vowel Harmony is sufficient to master the imperative

Person Imperative Form gitmek–to go

sen git!

siz (formal / plural) gidin! / gidiniz! (more formal&less common)

o gitsin!

onlar gitsinler!
As in the Present Tense, t in the verbs etmek and gitmek softens to d, in the imperative form for siz.

Sabırlı ol! Be patient!

Buraya gelin! Come here! (formal / plural)

Acele edin, lütfen! Please hurry up! (formal / plural)

Çocuklar uyusunlar. Let the kids sleep.

Şuna bak! Look at that!

33. Food and Meals

breakfast kahvaltı tablecloth masa örtüsü

lunch öğle yemeği napkin peçete
supper akşam yemeği fork çatal
meal yemek knife bıçak
food yiyecek spoon kaşık
bread ekmek plate, dish tabak
roll tost ekmeği glass bardak
butter yağ cup fincan
meat et salt tuz
fish balık saltshaker tuzluk
vegetables sebze pepper biber
fruit meyve pepper shaker biberlik
cheese peynir sugar şeker
crackers kraker sugar bowl şekerlik
candy şekerleme vinegar sirke
sandwich sandviç coffeepot cezve
ice cream dondurma teapot çaydanlık
tray tepsi

34. Holiday Phrases

the new year yeni yıl

birthday doğum günü

Mother’s Day anneler günü

Father’s Day babalar günü

may it be blessed! kutlu olsun!

Eid-al-Fitr Ramazan bayramı

Christmas Noel bayramı

Feast of Sacrifice Kurban bayramı

Yeni yılınız kutlu olsun! / Yeni yılın kutlu olsun! (formal / informal) Happy New Year!

Doğum gününüz / günün kutlu olsun! (formal / informal) Happy Birthday!

Anneler gününüz / günün kutlu olsun! Happy Mothers’ Day!

Ramazan bayramınız / bayramın kutlu olsun! Happy Ramadan Bayram (Eid-al-Fitr)!

Noel bayramınız / bayramın kutlu olsun! Merry Christmas!

Kurban bayramınız / bayramın kutlu olsun! Happy Feast of Sacrifice (Eid-al-Adha)!

Turkish National Anthem: İstiklâl Marşı (March of Independence)

Written by Mehmet Akif Ersoy, 1921

Composed by Zeki Üngör, 1922.

These are the first two stanzas sung in ceremonies.

Korkma, sönmez bu şafaklarda yüzen al sancak

Sönmeden yurdumun üstünde tüten en son ocak.
O benim milletimin yıldızıdır, parlayacak!
O benimdir, o benim milletimindir ancak!

Çatma, kurban olayım, çehreni ey nazlı hilâl!

Kahraman ırkıma bir gül... ne bu şiddet, bu celâl?
Sana olmaz dökülen kanlarımız sonra helâl.
Hakkıdır, Hakk'a tapan milletimin istiklâl.

Fear not, the crimson flag waving in these dawns will never fade
Before the last hearth that is burning in my nation vanishes.
That is my nation's star, it will shine;
That is mine, it belongs solely to my nation.

Oh coy crescent do not frown, for I am ready to sacrifice myself for you!
Please smile upon my heroic nation. Why that anger, why that rage?
If you frown, our blood shed for you will not be worthy.
Freedom is the right of my nation who worships God and seeks what is right.

Translation by Burak Sansal (This is a semi-literal translation).