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Lesson 04

THE SIX TURKISH CASES

4.1 NOMINATIVE

The nominativ is just as in English the basic noun:

Example:
araba = the car
oda = the room
pencere = the window

Remember, in Turkish there is no definite article, just the indefinite article bir = a.

4.2 ACCUSATIVE
4.2.1 Who or What?

The accusative answers the question for "Who?" oder "What?".
For this you need the suffix -i which is following the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY . Therefore the suffix can be:
-ı, -i, -u, -ü

Examples:
Peyniri verir misin? = Do you pass me the cheese? (What do you pass me?)
Çayı içiyoruz. = We are drinking the tea. (What are we drinking?)
Sütü getirdim. = brought the milk. (What did I bring?)

4.2.2 Ending on Hard Consonantes
Some words end with the so called "Hard Consonantes" k, p and t. Do you remember the note in lesson 3.2? These consonantes have to be modified to ğ, b and d when followed by the accusative suffix.
Examples:
Mektubu aldın mı? = Did you receive the letter?
mektup (= the letter) actually ends with p which has to be "softened" to a b.

Müziği duymuyorum. = I don’t hear the music.
müzik (= the music) ends with k which is to be changed to ğ

4.2.3 Vowel Ending
If the noun ends with a vocal, y has to be inserted.
Examples:
Odayı gördün mü? = Did you see the room?
Lütfen kapıyı kapat. = Please close the door.

BUT: If the vocal ending results from a possessive suffix or pronoun, then you DON'T insert y, but n:

Examples:
Peyniri verir misin? = Do you pass me THE cheese?
Onun peynirini verir misin? = Do you pass me HER/HIS cheese?

Use first the possessive pronoun with its related possessive suffix (blue), then add the accusative suffix (green) connected with an n, not y.
Onun peyniriyi verir misin? would be therefore wrong!

We recommend you to use always the possessive pronoun when speaking in 3rd person plural (onun/onlarin). This way you make sure that there is no mix up of accussative suffix with possessive suffix, as they are the same when ending on a vowel:
... bisikleti... on its own could mean "the bicycle" in accusative or "his/her bicycle" as possessive. Usually the intended meaning results from the context of the sentences.

4.2.4 Proper Nouns
You have to add an apostrophe to separate the noun from the suffix.
Examples:
Mehmet'i gördüm. = I saw Mehmet.
Türkçe'yi öğreniyorum. = I'm learning (the) Turkish (language).

4.2.5 Accusative Pronouns
The accusative pronouns of personal pronouns are:
beni = me
seni = you (famous example: Seni seviyorum. = I love you.)
onu = him/her/it
bizi = us
sizi = you (plural or polite form)
onları = them

4.3 DATIVE
4.3.1 Whom?... or Whereto?

Usually dative answers the question for "Whom?". Additionally in Turkish the dative form is also used for "Whereto?". Therefore dative in Turkish is frequently used with verbs expressing movement. Here we need the suffx -e/-a, determined by the Little Vowel Harmony:

Examples:
Eve gidiyorum. = I'm going home. (Whereto?)
Havuza gidiyor. = He/she goes to the swimming bath.(Whereto?)
Ona anlatacağım. = I will tell it to him/her. (Whom?)

4.3.2 Ending on Hard Consonantes
As well as in accusative the consonantes are modified. ç, k, p and t prior to the suffix are softended to c, ğ, b and d:
Çocuğa bir masalı okudum. = I read a fairy tale to the child.

4.3.3 Vowel Ending
If the noun ends with a vocal, y has to be inserted.
Examples:
Masaya koydum. = I've put in on the tabel. (Where?)
Lokantaya gidiyor. = He/she/it goes to the cookshop. (Whereto?)

... except the vowel ending results from a possessive. Then again you insert an n insteat of a y:
Onun masana koydum. = I've put it on his/her table.

4.3.4 Proper Nouns
You have to add an apostrophe to separate the noun from the suffix.
Examples:
Deniz'e güveniyorum. = I trust in Deniz.

4.3.5 Dative Pronouns
The dative pronouns are:
bana = me (Example: Bana verir misin? = Do you give me?)
sana = you
ona = him/her/it
bize = us
size = you (plural or polite form)
onlara = them

4.4 GENITIVE
4.4.1 Whose?

Genitive is the answer to "Whose?". You already know a genitive construction from the example in lesson 3.5:
Mehmet'in arabası. = literal translation: Of Mehmet his car? (Whose car?)

Genitive is formed with the suffix -in. And as it is determined by the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY it can change to:
-ın, -in, -un, -ün.

Some example sentences (green the genitive suffix, blue the according possessive suffix which is familiar to you from lesson 3.5):
bakkalın penceresi = the shop's window (whose window)
onun saçları = his/her hair (whose hair?)

4.4.2 Ending on Hard Consonantes
As well as in accusative the consonantes are modified. ç, k, p and t prior to the suffix are softended to c, ğ, b and d:
bisikletin tekerleği = the bicycle's tyre respectively simply: the bicycle tyre - tekerlek ends actually on k, but is to be softened to ğ prior to the suffix.

4.4.3 Vowel Ending
If the noun ends with a vocal, n has to be inserted. So this time it's not a y.
odanın kapı = the room door (the room's door)

4.4.4 Proper Nouns
As usual an apostrophe separates the suffix from the noun:
Türkiye'nin plajları = the Turkey beaches (the beaches of Turkey)

4.4.5 Exceptions in Genitive
Well, there is an exception: After some words with vowel ending you have to insert y instead of n as mentioned in 4.4.3:
su = water and
ne = what.

Examples:
Suyun rengi mavidir. = The colour of water is blue.
-dir in mavidir is a "to be" construction you still don't know. We will come back to this later. k in renk (= the colour) has been softened to g instead ğ, which in this case is an exception, too.
Neyin fayda? = The advantage of what?

Why these exceptions? It's obvious: to make it not too easy for foreigners to learn Turkish. A piece of exclusivty should be kept.

4.5 ABLATIVE
4.5.1 From where, from who or from what?

The ablative is the contrary of dative. With the ablative you answer the questions "from where?", "from who?" and "from what?". The ablative is formed with -den/-dan, depending on the Little Vowel Harmony.

Examples:
Evden çıkıyorum. = I'm going out of the house.
Lokantadan geliyor. = He/she/it comes from the cookshop.

4.5.2 Ending on Hard Consonantes
If a word ends on a hard consonante there is NO softening. This time the following suffix gets hardened, so -den/-dan is modified to -ten/-tan . This rule is valid for all hard consonantes ç, f, h, k, p, s, ş and t:
Kitaptan öğrendim. = I learned from the book.

4.5.3 Proper Nouns
An apostrophe separates the suffix from the noun:
Mehmet'ten çakmağı aldim. = I received the fire lighter from Mehmet.
İstanbul'dan geliyorum. = I'm coming from Istanbul.

4.6 LOCATIVE
4.6.1 Where?

And finally we also have to be able to answer the question "where?", which leads us to the locative. This is to be formed with the suffix -de/-da determined by the Little Vowel Harmony.

Examples:
Lokantada. = In the cookshop.
Evde. = In the house.

4.6.2 Ending on Hard Consonantes
Also here the following suffixe have to be hardened, so -de/-da are then -te/-ta:
Sokakta. = On the street.

4.6.3 Proper Nouns
Once again insert an apostrophe to separate the suffix :
İngiltere'de. = In England.
Mehmet'te. = At Mehmet.

4.6.4 Remarks to the Locative
a) The locative suffix -de/-da is not to be mixed up with the word de or da which means "too". It is a single word following the Little Vowel Harmony.

Examples:
Mehmet de evde. = Mehmet is at home, too.
O da lokantada. = He/she/it is in the cookshop, too.
Ben de gidiyorum. = I go, too.

b) The locative can be combined with var/yok as well as with the question particle mi:
Antalya'da plaj var mı? = Is there a beach in Antalya, too?

c) The location prepositions are also connected with the locative:
nerede = where? which you already know. Furthermore:
burada = here
şurada = there (visible)
orada = (over) there (not visible anymore)

Colloquially these prepositions are sometims shortend to
nerde, burda, şurda and orda.
Burda plaj yok. = Here is no beach.
Ama orda havuz var. = But over there is a swimming bath.

4.7 REMARK TO THE DIFFERENT CASES IN REFERENCE TO PROPER NOUNS

Forming the different case suffixes it's important to know that not the way of writing but the pronounciation determines the suffixes. This remark especially refers to non-turkish names. The following examples should clarify what this means:

Burbanks'de. = In Burbanks.
=> The last vowel in Burbanks is an a, nevertheless the Turk would use de and not "da", because of the way the a is spoken which determines the suffix de.
Burbanks'den (instead of 'dan). = From Burbanks.
Burbanks'e (instead of 'a). = To Burbanks.


Vocabulary:
anlatmak = to tell; bakkal = the grocery shop; bisiklet = the bicycle; çakmak = the fire lighter; çay = the tea; de/da = too; duymak = to hear; fayda = the advantage; görmek = to see; güvenmek = to trust; havuz = the swimming bath; içmek = to drink; kapatmak = to close; kapı = the door; koymak = to put, to place; lokanta = the cookshop, place where you can eat snacks; lütfen = please; masa = the table; masal = the fairy tale; mavi = blue; mektup = the letter; müzik = the music; öğrenmek = to learn; öğretmek = to teach; okumak = to read - also: to study; peynir = the cheese; plaj = the beach; renk = the colour; saç = the hair; sokak = the street; su = the water; süt = the milk; tekerlek = the tyre
 
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