LESSON 03

Let’s go on with the simple things…

3.1 THE NUMBERS

sıfır = 0
bir = 1
iki = 2
üç = 3
dört = 4
beş = 5
altı = 6
yedi = 7
sekiz = 8
dokuz = 9
on = 10

The next numbers then just are simple combinations:

on bir = 11
on iki = 12
on üç = 13
…
on dokuz = 19

Now the tenners, also just combinations:

yirmi = 20
yirmi bir = 21
yirmi iki = 22
yirmi üç = 23
yirmi dört = 24
…
otuz = 30
kırk = 40
elli = 50
altmış = 60
yetmiş = 70
seksen = 80
doksan = 90

yüz = 100
yüz bir = 101
yüz on bir = 111
yüz yirmi bir = 121
iki yüz = 200
üç yüz = 300

bin = 1,000
bin bir = 1,001
bin iki yüz doksan bir = 1,291
on bin = 10,000
yüz bin = 100,000
bir milyon = 1,000,000
iki milyon = 2,000,000
bir milyar = 1 billion

3.2 THE ORDINALS

Learning the numbers also includes the ordinals. For this we need a new suffix:
-(i)nci (the vowel in bracks is just used if the number ends on a consonante).

The suffix depens on the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY

If last vowel is an a or ı the suffix must be -ıncı.
If last vowel is an e or i the suffix must be -inci.
If last vowel is an o or u the suffix must be -uncu
If last vowel is an ö or ü the suffix must be -üncü

birinci = 1st
ikinci = 2nd
üçüncü = 3rd
dördüncü = 4th (notice that t is modified to d
beşinci = 5th
altıncı = 6th
yedinci = 7th
sekizinci = 8th
dokuzuncu = 9th
onuncu = 10th
on birinci = 11th
…
yirminci = 20th
otuzuncu = 30th
yüzüncü = 100th
milyonuncu = 1,000,000th
milyarıncı = billionth

Let’s have a closer look to dördüncü as you surely wondered why t changes to d. This is because of the “harmony”. There are the so called “Hard Consonantes” k, p and t. Always keeping them sometimes doesn’t sound “harmonic” for turkish ears. For example, it’s easier to speak out dördüncü instead of “dörtüncu”. Try it, which word is more fluently to speak? Exactly… But it’s also a question of feeling. With the time you get used to which sounds more harmonic as you develop a sense for the language.

Modification of “Hard Consonantes” is very usual so better get familiar with it.
But these three letters are not the only “Hard Consonantes”, there are also ç, f, h, s and ş. These consonantes are not getting modified but they harden the following suffix (depending on the suffix also after k, p and t). These will be more understandable in following lessons, but we mention it here, so you have a fair chance to get mentally prepared.

3.3 PLURAL

Forming the plural is almost as easy as in English. You just have to add a -lar or -ler, following the  Little Vowel Harmony
If last vowel is an a, ı, o or u then use -lar.
If last vowel is an e, i, ö or ü then use -ler

Examples:
araba = the car – arabalar = (the) cars
oda = the room – odalar = (the) rooms
çocuk = the child – çocuklar = (thee) children
pencere = the window – pencereler = (the) windows
kedi = the cat – kediler = (the) cats
(Remember that in Turkish there are no definite articles!)

BUT: If you indicate a quantity you don’t have to use the plural form anymore. What does that mean?

For example you say in English:
one car, two cars, three cars, a undefined quantity of cars… thus if the quantity of cars is more than one, in English you are forced to use the plural. Not so in Turkish:

bir araba = a car
arabalar = (we don’t know how many) cars
iki araba = two cars
üç araba = three cars
etc.

The Turk prefers the simple way and thinks: If anyway the number indicates that I speak about many cars, why forming additionally a plural?

Another hint: You can combine the plural also with names, which can be the description of a complete “clan” or group of people. This can be practical.
Examples:
Mehmetler = the “Mehmets”, which can mean: brothers, sisters, father, mother of Mehmet or his (closest) friends, etc.
Mehmetler gelecek. = The Mehmets (Mehmet and his family) will come.
It’s even not unusual for English ears as it could be translated with: Mehmet and Co.

3.4 “THERE IS” AND “THERE IS NOT”

The expressions “there is” and “there is not” are used very often in Turkish.

var = there is
yok = there is not

That’s it, you don’t need more.

Examples:
You in are shop and would like to buy vegetables. So you ask the vender:
Domates var mı? = Are there tomatoes?
(in this context it means something more like: Do you have tomatoes?)

3.5 POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

In lesson 1 you have learned the personal pronouns ben, sen, o, biz, siz, onlar(I, you, he/she/it, we, you (plural), they). By adding another suffix you form the possessive pronouns:

benim = my
senin = your
onun = his/her/its
bizim = our
sizin = your (plural or polite form)
onların = their

Combinating with nouns these possessive pronouns never change.

Examples:
benim araba = my car
etc.

But usually these possessive pronouns are not used but replaced by another suffix added to the noun. The pronouns itself are used to emphasize that something is YOURS, HIS, MY, etc… So without possessive pronouns it looks as follows:

arabam = my car
arabası = his/her/its car
arabamız = our car
arabanız = your (plural or polite form) car
arabası = their car

Explanation: The possessive suffixes are determined by the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY, so the complete list looks as follows:
1st person singular: -(i)m / -(ı)m / -(u)m / -(ü)m
2nd person singular: -(i)n / -(ı)n / -(u)n / -(ü)n
3rd person singular: -(s)i / -(s)ı) / -(s)u / -(s)ü
1st person plural: -(i)miz / -(ı)mız / -(u)muz / -(ü)müz
2nd person plural: -(i)niz / -(ı)nız / -(u)nuz / -(ü)nüz
3rd prson plural: -(s)i / -(s)ı) / -(s)u / -(s)ü as in 3rd person singular)

In case the noun ends on a consonate you don’t need the letter in bracks:
arabası (his/her car), kedin (your cat), evimiz (our house), gülünüz (your (plural or polite form) rose), kitapları (his/her books)

In case of a proper name (names, towns, countries) you separate the suffix with an apostrophe:
İngiltere’si... (England’s…), İstanbul’u… (Istanbul’s…), Lale’si... (Lale’s…)

Another example but already anticipated with a genitive construction:
Mehmet’in arabası. = Mehmet’s car. Literally: Of Mehmet his car…(Mehmet’in is a genitive construction)).

In next lesson we are going to deal with all cases. Then this example sentence will be more clear.

By the way: As in English in Turkish proper nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning. Apart from that in you write always with small letters – except on a sentence’s beginning of course!

3.6 FORMING QUESTIONS

3.6.1 Questions with “mi
With mi you have the possibility of forming simple questions. These are just simple yes/no questions.

Examples:
Gelecek mi? = Will he/she/it come? – This question can be answered with yes or no, “from where” or “to where” doesn’t matter.

Depending on in which person you are asking, mi gets modified:
miyim = referring to myself => Gelecek miyim? = Will I come?
misin = referring to you => Gelecek misin? = Will you come?
mi = referring to him/her/it => Gelecek mi? = Will he/she/it come?
miyiz = referring to us => Gelecek miyiz = Will we come?
misiniz
= referring to you (plural) => Gelecek misiniz? = Will you (plural) come?
mi = referring to them ==> Gelecekler mi? = Will they come?

The verb is always in 3rd person and you adjust mi accordingly to the related person (except in 3rd person as mi is already the 3rd person question particle). In plural 3rd person the verb of course has to be modified to plural form, but  miitself remains unchanged.

Important to know that mi is determined by the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY
– if last vowel of the anterior word is an a or ı, then mi changes to
(=>accordingly mıyım, mısın, mı, mıyız, mısınız, mı
– if last vowel of the anterior word is an e or i, then mi remains unchanged
(=>accordingly miyim, misin, mi, miyiz, misiniz, mi
– if last vowel of the anterior word is an o or u, then mi changes to mu
(=>accordingly muyum, musun, mu, muyuz, musunuz, mu
– if last vowel of the anterior word is an ö or ü,then mi changes to
(=>accordingly müyüm, müsün, mü, müyüz, müsünüz, mü)

Examples:
Sigaran var mı? =Do you have a cigarette? (literally: Is there your cigarette?)
Kaleminiz var mı? = Do you (plural) have a pen? (literally: Is there your pen?)
Kalıyor musun? = Do you stay?
(Note: These examples include already the possessiv pronuns and Continuous Present which will be explained in later. Here it’s just about the mi.)

3.6.2 Other interrogative words

Kim? = Who? – Example: O kim? or Kim o? = Who is this?
Ne? = What? – Example: Ne yapıyorsun? = What are you doing?
Nerede? = Where? – Example: Kitap nerede? = Where is the book?
Nereye? = Where to? – Example: Nereye gidiyorsun? = Where are you going?
Neden? or Niye? = Why? – Example: Neden/Niye gittin? = Why did you go?
Nasıl? = How? – Example: Nasıl dinleniyoruz? = How do we rest?
Hangi? = Which? – Example: Hangi araba? = Welches Auto?
Kaç? or Ne kadar? = How much/many? Example: Fiyatı ne kadar/kaç? = How much is it? (literally: Its price is how much?)

Vocabulary:
açmak = to open; akraba = the relative; araba = the car; çocuk = the child; dinlenmek = to rest, to relax; domates = the tomato; ev = the house; fiyat = the price; gül = the rose; hangi = which; İngiltere = England; kaç = how much; kalem = the pen; kedi = the cat; kim = who; kitap = the book; nasıl = how; ne = what; ne kadar = how much; neden = why; nerede = where; nereye = whereto; niye = why; oda = the room; pencere = the window; sigara = the cigarette; var = there is/existent; yok = there is not/not existent