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Basic Phrases

Merhaba / İyi günler
Hello / Good day
İyi akşamlar
Good evening
İyi geceler
Good night
Selâm / Merhaba 
Hi (merhaba is more common)
Güle güle / İyi günler
Bye / Goodbye (Good day)
Teşekkür ederim / Sağol
Thank you / Thanks
Bir şey değil / Rica ederim
You’re welcome / My pleasure
Hoş geldiniz / Hoş geldin
Welcome (formal / informal)
Sonra görüşürüz
See you later
See you!
Yarın görüşürüz
See you tomorrow
Özür dilerim!
Affedersiniz / Pardon!
Excuse me!
Hadi gidelim!
Let’s go!
How are you? (formal)
Nasılsın / Naber?
How are you? / What’s up? (inf.)
İyi değilim / Fena değil
Not fine  / not bad
I’m fine.
I’m fine. (informal)
Evet / Hayır / Yok
Yes / no / no (common inf. use)
What’s your name? (formal)
İsmin/Adın ne?
What’s your name? (informal)
Adım / İsmim…
My name is…
Memnun oldum
Nice to meet you.
___ Bey, ___ Hanım
Mister, Misses
Hanımlar ve Beyler
Ladies and gentlemen
Where are you from? (formal)
Where are you from? (informal)
lıyım / …liyim.
I am from…
Nerede oturuyorsunuz?
Where do you live? (formal)
Nerede oturuyorsun?
Where do you live? (informal)
de/da/te/ta oturuyorum.
I live in…
Kaç yaşındasınız?
How old are you? (formal)
Kaç yaşındasın?
How old are you? (informal)
____ yaşındayım.
I am ____ years old.
Türkçe biliyor musunuz?
Do you speak [know] Turkish? (formal)
İngilizce biliyor musun?
Do you speak [know] English? (informal)
Biliyorum / Bilmiyorum.
I speak [know]… / I don’t speak…
Anlıyor musunuz? / Anlıyor musun?
Do you understand? (formal / informal)
Anlıyorum / Anlamıyorum.
I understand / I don’t understand.
Biliyorum / Bilmiyorum.
I know / I don’t know.
Yardım eder misiniz? / Yardım eder misin?
Can you help me? (formal / informal)
Tabii / Tabii ki
Of course.
What? Pardon me?
Where is… / Where are…?
İşte / Buyurun
There it is / Here you are.
var / …vardı.
There is/are… / There was/were…
Türkçe’de ____ nasıl denir?
How do you say ____ in Turkish?
Bu ne? / Bunun manası ne?
What is this? / What does this mean?
Neyin var?
What’s the matter?
Önemli bir şey değil.
It doesn’t matter.
Ne oluyor?
What’s happening?
Hiç bilmiyorum.
I have no idea.
Yoruldum / Hastayım.
I’m tired / sick.
Acıktım / Susadım.
I’m hungry / thirsty.
Yandım / Üşüdüm.
I’m hot / cold.
I’m bored.
Beni ilgilendirmez
I don’t care.
Merak etmeyin / Merak etme.
Don’t worry (formal / informal)
Sorun değil / Önemli değil
It’s no problem. / It’s alright.
I forgot.
Gitmem lazım.
I must go.
Çok yaşayın / Çok yaşa!
Bless you! (formal / informal)
Tebrikler / Tebrik ederim.
Kolay gelsin! / İyi şanslar!
(wish of success) / Good luck! (less common)
Sıra sizde / Sıra sende
It’s your turn! (formal / informal)
Sessiz olun / Sessiz ol!
Be quiet! (formal / informal)
Seni seviyorum.
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 aī 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.


a car ı cousin r role (rolled)
b big i tea s sun
c jam j Jean d’Arc 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 see below. 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.
 is pronounced like the “qua” sound in “quatre” in French.
 is pronounced in a similar way, similar to “gare” in French.
lâ is pronounced like the “la” sound in French.

Subject Pronouns

ben I biz we
sen you (singular) siz you (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.

General Vocabulary

and ve friend arkadaş
but ama man adam
only sadece 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

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?

The suffix “to be” and Vowel Harmony

ben     -im I am biz     -iz we are
sen     -sin you are (sing.) siz     -siniz you are (plural)
o         -dur he / she / it is onlar  -dırlar they are



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 >> hast+ 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.”

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.

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

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

 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

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    –ıyor.
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 uüı 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 Tense.
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”

Days of the Week

Monday pazartesi
Tuesday salı
Wednesday çarşamba
Thursday perşembe
Friday cuma
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 günücuma 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).

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.
aile >> aile+m >> ailem  “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.

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).


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.


north kuzey east doğu
south güney west batı
northeast kuzeydoğu northwest kuzeybatı
southeast güneydoğu southwest güneybatı

Colors and the Indefinite Article

red kırmızı turquoise turkuaz
pink pembe brown kahverengi
orange turuncu azure gök mavisi
yellow sarı black siyah
green yeşil gray grī
blue mavi white beyaz
light blue açık mavi 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.

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)


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).


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.

Family and Animals

family aile 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 akraba mouse fare

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.
Sahilde 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?

Work and School

diş hekimi / dişçi
makine ustası
hasta bakıcı
drawing (noun)
painting (noun)
drawing (verb)
painting (verb)
çizim yapmak
resim yapmak

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.

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 şeftali 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
sausage sosis potato patates pancake with meat filling lahmacun

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    –mıyor.
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 conjugation.
git- >> git + mi + yor >> gitmiyor “he/she/it is not going”
et- >> et + mi + yor >> etmiyor  “he/she/it is not doing”

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 “ne… (de)” are used. “ne….ne (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 something.

Yet, it should also be noted that some speakers still observe double negation with “ne….ne (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.

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
hastaneye       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
kütüphaneden       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

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 >> öğrenc+ 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.

 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

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 dwhen 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


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 construction.

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!

Food and Meals

ice cream
öğle yemeği
akşam yemeği
tost ekmeği
plate, dish
pepper shaker
sugar bowl
masa örtüsü

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)!


air hava
bay koy
beach sahil
branch dal
bridge köprü
cave  mağara
city şehir
climate iklim
cloud bulut
daisy papatya
darkness karanlık
dust toz
soil toprak
grass çimen
moon ay
mountain dağ
water su

 Parts of the Body

eye göz
arm kol
ear kulak
mouth ağız
eyebrow kaş
face yüz
finger parmak
hand el
foot ayak
forehead alın
hair saç
head baş
leg bacak
knee diz
nose burun
shoulder omuz
tongue dil