Determiners

Determiners in Turkish

The Turkish language does not use the determiners (a/an/the) in Turkish. Unlike the order in English where the article is before the adjective, in Turkish, the article is used right after the adjective, before the noun.

If you want it to have an indefinite article like the ‘a/an’ in English, we use the word ‘bir’ which means ‘one’ to make the noun be a general thing.

 

Usage of Definite Articles

The definite article “the” doesn’t exist in Turkish. If you want to emphasize a direct object in a sentence, use the accusative suffix “-i/-ı/-u/-ü” to state the definite case “the”. This is the proper way to use the indefinite article in Turkish. If you use the accusative suffix after a noun, there needs to be a direct interaction between the noun and the action verb, unlike a general statement.

 

Let’s see how “bir” and the “accusative suffix” work in these sentences:

 

  • Adam, ince bir pantolon ve kalın bir kazak giydi. (The man wore a thin trouser and a thick sweater.)

 

  • Küçük kedi ayağımın yanında uyuyor. (The little cat is sleeping next to my foot.)

 

  • Yaşlı adam, boş bir evde yaşıyor. (The old man is living in an empty house.)

 

  • Çocuk bir hambuger yiyor. (The child is eating a hamburger)

 

  • Çocuk hamburger yiyor. (The child is eating the hamburger

 

  • Çocuk hamburgeryiyor. (The child is eating the hamburger.)

 

Other Determiners in Turkish

There are more choices for indefinite articles in the Turkish language.

Here are some other determiners you can use in your sentences:

 

Bira/ an, oneSingular Usage
BirkaçA couple / SeveralSingular Usage
BirçokManySingular Usage
BazıSome / Certain / A FewPlural Usage
AzLittleSingular Usage
HerEach / Every /AllSingular Usage
KimiSome / CertainSingular & Plural
HiçbirNoSingular Usage
BütünAll / EntirePlural Usage
TümAll / Whole / EntirePlural Usage

 

Let’s see some sentence examples:

  • Dünya’da birçok insan Türkiye’yi bilmiyor. (Most people in the world don’t know Turkey.)
  • Kimi Türkler etli yemek yemeyi sevmez. (Certain Turks don’t like eating meaty foods.)
  • Birkaç arkadaşım ile sinemaya gittim. (I went to cinema with a couple of my friends)

 

When you use these determiners, don’t change the noun into plural forms (-ler/-lar) unless you are using these determiners in conjunction with a previous sentence or statement. Also, be careful not to use a singular usage determiner with a plural noun.

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