Turkish Suffixes

A letter or a group of letters that is added to the end of a word to modify its meaning.
In Turkish they are suffixed directly to the noun that they modify thus forming new complete words.
In English prepositions: in, on, of, by, etc. are placed separately in front of the word they modify.
In English we have many words which agglutinate (extend) to form other words.
argue can be modified with a suffix argu-meant.
Other suffixes produce argu-menta-tive, argu-ment-ative-ly
This is the way of Turkish.
This produces extended words with a different meanings.

Turkish Suffix addition

Adding suffixes:

-da -de / -ta -te in on at
-dan -den / -tan -ten from

ev house
evde [ev-de]
in the house

evden [ev-den]
from the house

odada [oda-da]
in the room

masada [masa-dan]
from the table

After Turkish Unvoiced Consonants: p ç t k f h s ş

geçit passage
geçitte [geçit-te]
in the passage

girişten [giriş-ten]
from the entrance

yatakta [yatak-ta]
on the bed

kasaptan [kasap-tan]
from the butcher

The Six Noun Conditions

Turkish has a Subject Condition (nominative) which carries no suffix.

Also there are five Noun Conditions each with a suffix ending.

The vowels of the suffix must match final vowel of the root word according to Vowel Harmony Rules
[-de → -da]

The initial consonant of the suffix may change according to Consonant Mutation Rules.
[-da, -de → -ta, -te]

The suffixes of the Noun Conditions are:

  • (1) Subject Condition:
  • Is the Subject [nominative] of a sentence.
  • The noun in its root form without a suffix is the subject.
  • The subject definite article "the" does not exist in Turkish
  • The Turkish subject is understood as being definite / substantive
    adam the man

Turkish Subject:

Adam kapıyı kapattı.
"The" man closed "the" door.

The Subject does not need a definite article.
[adam = "the" man]

The Object is suffixed wit the the object pointer
[kapı -y-ı = "the" door]

About the Turkish Object Condition

  • (2) Object Condition:
  • The Objective [accusative] is the direct object of a verb.
  • It equates to objective definite article "the" in English..

When the noun is an object of a verb as in Mehmet mended "the radio"

Turkish does use an objective suffix "the"

It does exist as a suffix to specify the object of a verb.

English makes both the subject and object of a sentence substantive by the use of the same definite article "the".

Turkish Object:
does need an Object Pointer
[kapı-yı = "the" door]

Suffix -(y)i -(y)ı -(y)u -(y)ü
[buffer -y keeps vowel apart]

Extended Turkish Object:
uses letter -n-
becoming -ni -nı -nu -nü when added as a second suffix to an already extended noun.

Adam kapısını kapattı.
The man closed his door.
kapı-sı-nı = "his door"
[-sı + -nı as an Object ponter.]

kedisi his/her cat
[kedisi-n-i] his / her cat as an object.

bankası his/her bank
[bankasını] his / her bank

The Direct Object Suffix:
which makes the object substantive is one of the most difficult hurdles for English speakers to surmount when talking, reading, listening and understanding The Turkish Language.

  • (3) Movement Towards Condition:
  • Movement Towards [dative] equates to to, towards in English.
  • Suffix -(y)a/-(y)e [uses buffer -y]
  • -ne/-na when affixed to already extended words ending in a vowel.
  • kedisine to his cat
    [kedi + is + ne]
  • (4) Static Position Condition:
  • The Static Postion [locative] is the condition of place.
  • Suffix -da -ta /-de -te according to vowel harmony and consonant change rules.
  • -nde/-nda when affixed to extended words which end in a vowel.
  • masasında at his table
    [masa + sı + nda]
  • (5) Movement Away Condition:
  • [ablative in grammar]
  • Suffix -dan -tan /-den -ten according to vowel harmonyand consonant change rules.
  • -nden/-ndan when affixed to extended words which end in a vowel.
  • ailesinden from his family
    aile + si + nden
  • (6) Ownership Condition:
  • The Ownership [genitive] suffix signifies that the noun "owns" something:
    [of Mehmet, Mehmet's]
  • Suffix -(n)in/-(n)ın/-(n)un/-(n)ün [buffer -n is used] when affixed plain or extended words ending in a vowel.
  • onun evi his house
    o-nun ev-i

A sole exception su water
of the water suyun uses exceptional buffer letter -y.

This applies to the Possessed Case:
Meyve Suyu Fruit Juice
[NOT: meyve sunu]

  • (7) With Condition:
  • [meaning: together with, and, also]
  • Suffix -(y)le/-(y)la [Buffer -y is used.]
  • This suffix can also stand alone as a separate word ile

Translation of ile and, also

When it stands between two nouns the suffix ile is translated "and" when the basic meaning is "with, also".

Masada fincanla tabaklar var.
There are cups and plates on the table.

Ali ile arkadaşı , odaya girdi
Ali and his friend entered the room.

If the suffix -le/-la does not come between the nouns it is translated: "with, together with".

Benimle Mehmet geldi.
Mehmet came with me.
[LIT: With me Mehmet came.]

Ali arkadaşıyla , odaya girdi.
Ali entered the room with his friend.

  • (8) Without (lacking) Condition: [meaning: without]
  • Suffix -siz -sız -suz -süz "without, un-, non-, -less, dis-" gives the sense of lacking.
  • It equates to without [without sugar]
  • Also various negating prefixes and suffixes of English un- dis- non- -less
  • [unfair, dishonest, unavailable, hopeless]
  • ehliyet licence
    ehliyetsiz unlicensed
    [ehliyetli licensed]
  • renk colour
    renksiz colourless
    [renkli - coloured]
  • sabır patience
    sabırsız impatient
    [sabırlı - patient]
  • işaret sign
    işaretsiz unsigned
    [işaretli - signed]
  • ses noise
    sessiz noiseless
    [sesli - noisy]
  • şeker sugar
    şekersiz unsugared
    [şekerli - sugared, sweetened]
  • namus honesty
    namussuz dishonest
    [namuslu - honest]

İçkisiz bir aile gazinosuna gittik.
We went to a non-alcoholic family restaurant.

içkisiz without alcoholic drinks

[Alcohol is not served] is seen on many Public Signs.

Plural nouns are formed by adding the -ler/-lar plural suffix to an adjective:

sabırsızlar the impatient ones

şekersizler the unsugared ones

renksizler the uncoloured / colourless ones

  • (9) Containing Condition:
  • [meaning: furnished with, containing, belonging to, place of]
  • Suffix ‑li / ‑lı / ‑lu /‑lü gives the sense of belonging to somewhere or being contained in something.
  • It equates to with [with sugar]
  • Also various "additional and augmenting" suffixes and prefixes in English.
  • [leafy, salty, coloured, numbered]

Turkish Containing Condition

Suffix: ‑li ‑lı ‑lü ‑lu originating from, furnished with, place of,

This suffix gives the sense of belonging to something or somewhere.

It is used with place names especially to say where one is from.

İngiltereliyim. I am from England.

Mançesterliyim. I come from Manchester.

Nerelisiniz? Where (exactly) are you from?

The -li suffix is not separated from a Proper Noun by an apostrophe:
"Londra'lı" is incorrect Londralı is correct.

  • Londralı [Londra-lı]a Londoner
  • Londralılar [Londra-lı-lar]Londoners
  • İstanbullu [İstanbul-lu]an Istanbuli
  • İstanbullular [İstanbul-lu-lar]Istanbulis
  • İngiltereliyim [İngiltere-li-yim]I am from England
  • Bolulu [Bolu-lu]a person from Bolu
  • Çinli [Çin-li]a Chinese Man (Chinaman)
  • The meaning of furnished with is used to make attributive adjectives:
  • tuz salttuzlu salty
  • şekerli çaysweet tea, sugared tea, sugary tea, according to context.
  • sabır patiencesabırlı patient
  • kuvvet strengthkuvvetli strong
  • yaprak leafyapraklı leafy
  • çimen lawnçimenli having a lawn
  • yaş ageyaşlı old
  • renk colourrenkli coloured
  • ses noisesesli noisy
  • yatak bedyataklı furnished with a bed

An Actual Example of the "containing" suffix.

A billboard shows available sandwich fillings
Sandwichboard Advert
  • karışık mixed
  • kaşarlı [kaşar-lı] → containing hard cheese
  • sucuklu [sucuk-lu]Turkish type sausage
  • salamlı [salam-lı]salami
  • sosisli [sosis-li]sausage
  • Due to vowel harmony -li has three of its four forms.

Turkish Dependent Adverbs

Some Turkish adverbs require that the preceding noun have the Motion Towards [dative] ‑e / ‑ye, ‑a / ‑ya to/toward suffix:

-e nazaran compared with

  • buna nazaran compared to this
  • bunlara nazaran compared to these
  • şuna nazaran compared to that
  • şunlara nazaran compared to those
  • ona nazaran compared to that
  • onlara nazaran compared to those
  • Düne nazaran bugün hava daha güzel Compared to yesterday, the weather is better today.

-e kadar up to, until, as far as.

  • şimdiye kadar. [şimdi-ye kadar] up to now.
  • Ankara'ya kadar. as far as Ankara.
  • Gelecek pazara kadar bekleyelim. Let us wait until next Sunday.
  • Çarşıya kadar gidiyorum. I am going as far as the shops.

-e doğru straight toward.

  • bankaya doğru [banka-ya doğru] straight to the bank
  • Eve doğru git! Go staight home!
  • Evden okula doğru gidin. Go straight to school from home.

-e göre according to, compared to

  • sana göre according to you
  • Memed'e göre according to Mehemet
  • Yeni plâna göre, evimizin arka bahçesi küçültülecekmiş. According to the new plan our back garden will be made smaller.

-e karşı against

  • duvara karşı [duvar-a karşı] against the wall
  • rüzgara karşı [rüzgar-a karşı] against the wind
  • Garajın kapısına karşı bisikletimi bırakmışım. I believe I left my bicycle against the garage door.

-e rağmen (arb.) or -e karşın. (tur.) in spite of (pos.), despite (neg.)

  • buna rağmen/buna karşın in spite of this
  • bunlara rağmen in spite of these
  • şuna rağmen in spite of that
  • şunlara rağmen in spite of those
  • ona rağmen in spite of that
  • onlara rağmen in spite of those
  • Her şeye rağmen/karşın başarabilirdik.
    In spite of everything we were able to succeed.
  • Havanın kararmasına rağmen/karşın, yollarına hâlâ yürüyerek devam ediyorlardı.
    Despite the weather getting worse, they still carried on walking along the road.

Turkish Dependent Adverbs with ‑den / ‑dan

These adverbs require that the preceding noun have the motion away ‑den /‑dan, ‑ten /‑tan from suffix:

  • -dan dolayı because of.
  • -dan başka except for, apart from, other than.
  • -dan beri since
  • -dan evvel before (in time).
  • -dan sonra after.
  • Mehmet'in yaptıklarından dolayı asla başaramayız!
    Because of what Mehmet did we will never be able succeed.
  • Piyanomdan başka her şeyi geri bırakacağım.
    Except for my piano I will leave everything behind.
  • Saat üçten beri sizi arıyordum.
    I have been looking for you since three o'clock.
  • Geçen haftadan beri hastayım.
    I have been ill since last week./ I have been ill for a week.
  • Mayıs ayından evvel/önce mühendis olarak çalışıyordum.
    Before May I was working as an engineer.
  • Haziran ayından sonra emekli olacağım.
    After July I shall retire (from work).