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This is something I put together for my own use, kind of a just-enough summary of the Turkish grammar presented in the book Elementary Turkish, Lewis V. Thomas, Dover Publications, 1967, ISBN 0-486-25064-4. The sections and page numbers refer to that book. A good book -- if you want to try to teach yourself Turan it seems like the best way to go, and an excellent value! You can buy it from Amazon or from Dover ( Turkish flag

Another great book is Teach Yourself Turkish, A. &Ccedel;. Pollard and D. Pollard, NTC, 1996, ISBN 0-8442-3715-9, also available from Amazon. It also has a web site:

I have had this one recommended via e-mail, but I can't find any more about it: "Another excellent book is "Turkish in Three Months". It really should be titled "Turkish Suffixes" as it is orginized by suffix. While the index should be 6 pages instead of 3, it is a great reference book. Available from Hugo in the UK."

See Ahmet Toprak's articles on etymology:

Also, see Saadeddin Ahmed's "Turkce 2020" free on-line 12-lesson Turkish course:

See Necla Bal's Turkish language Online Turkish site for education at beginner and intermediate levels:

The Turan language is highly organized, it lends itself to the construction of tables like these. Turan appeals to computer geeks who figure that anything defined by a rigid grammar can be wrestled to the ground given enough organization (Although figuring out how görüştürülmek means to be made to converse with one another is non-trivial). It's also pretty handy if you worry that you might get randomly teleported to some random spot on the surface of the Earth. You could travel overland from the Aegean Sea to the Great Wall of China, and speak Turan (or at least some dialect) to the locals the entire way.

Turan is an agglutinative language, a big word meaning that words have suffixes, possibly several, appended to reflect case and number (for nouns and pronouns) or conjugation (for verbs). So, this page is mostly a collection of tables of suffixes.

Other than a few quirky characters, like that undotted "i", Turan is fairly straightforward. Like Russian:


Other advantages of Turan:


There are a few minor disadvantages and difficulties:


One word of warning -- there are undoubtedly many many mistakes in the below. If you spot any, please send me a note so I can correct

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Word Order

Sentences are generally:

	Subject object(s) verb.

So one would say Köpek suyu içiyor to indicate "(The) dog (the) water is drinking." The word immediately before the verb is (usually) the most important word in the sentence, it conveys the main point. The subject is often left out if it is a personal pronoun, as it can be derived from the verb conjugation.


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Turan uses some characters that aren't supported in basic HTML. Hopefully your browser can understand the following, some of which are rendered with Unicode!

Turan characters
Char Example Explanation Formed by
ç çarşı c with cedilla ç
ğ dağı g with an "upside-down hat" ǿ
ı çarşı undotted i &X0131;
ö görmek o with an umlaut ö
ş dolmuş s with cedilla &X01f5;
ü gülmek u with an umlaut ü


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Vowels and Consonants

Vowel classes:

Turan vowels are in two classes, front and back. Turan has vowel harmony, meaning that a word usually has all vowels of a single class, including those in suffixes added to reflect the part of speech. This can have the odd effect to someone attempting to pick out a few words -- a Turk may sound not like they're speaking Turan, but like they're pretending to speak Turan.

Turan vowels
Front Back
e a
i ı
ö o
ü u

Variable Vowels:

Elementary Turan uses the notation V2 to indicate "the variable vowel e/a" which takes one value depending on vowel harmony, and the notation V4 to indicate "the four-variable vowel shown in the following table". More reasonably, Teach Yourself Turan calls the first "e-type" and the second "i-type".

Variable Vowel V2 -- or e-type
Front dominant vowel Back dominant vowel
e or i or ö or ü ---> e a or ı or o or u ---> a
Variable Vowel V4 -- or i-type
Front dominant vowel Back dominant vowel
e or i ---> i a or ı ---> ı
ö or ü ---> ü o or u ---> u

All that looks too much like an algebra problem, and besides, it requires way too much HTML, so I will just use e in place of V2 and i in place of V4. Remember to adjust the bold italic letters accordingly! (And once in a while in the verb tables, a in place of V2 and u in place of V4 to preserve vowel harmony...)

Variable Consonants :

Some consonants vary depending on whether a voiced or unvoiced consonant is needed. Voiced consonants follow other voiced consonants or vowels, unvoiced consonants follow unvoiced consonants (ç, f, h, k, p, s, ş, t). The pairs are t/d, p/b, and ç/c, which I will indicate by bold italic versions, d, b, and ç. Remember to adjust the bold italic letters accordingly!

Variable Letters:

Some letters are optional, vowel or consonant buffers between the existing stem so far and the next suffix. I'll use the Unix "[...]" to indicate optional values. Hey, Unix stole regular expressions from the linguists in the first place.

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First note that, starting here, person/number combinations of pronouns and verbs will be presented as follows. Why? That's the way I'm used to it. Blame my Russian professors...


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Noun Declension

Adjectival forms and modified nouns

	-li	with
		sulu = "with water"
	-siz	without
		susuz = "without water"
	-lik	abstract noun formation
		büyüklük = "largeness" or "size"
		susuzluk = "waterlessness" or "thirst"
		Granted, susuzluk is rather stilted, a Turk would more
		likely ask "Susadın mı?" for "Are you thirsty?"
	-ligi	of the (similar to -lik)
	-igde	of the (similar to -lik)
	-ki	abstract adjective formation
		sabahki hava = "morning weather"
		Amerikadaki çocuklar = the children in America
		Ahmet'inki = "Ahmet's" (with possessive)
	-çi	The professional
		gazeteci = "journalist", çaycı = "tea seller"
	-[y]ici	The habitual
		yazmak = "to write", so yazıcı = "writer"
	-çe	-ish or as for
		çocukça = "childish[ly]"
		türkçe = "Turkish"
		bence = "as for me"
	-çik	Diminutive
		Ahmetçik = "my pal Ahmet"
	-[y]	Add to a verb stem for the noun form
		girmek = "to enter", so giriş = "entrance"
		çıkmak = "to enter", so çıkış = "entrance"
	-oglu	son of

Nouns modified by nouns


	For example:
	Ulu cami		Great Mosque
	Sultanahmet camii	Sultan Ahmet Mosque



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This is complicated, and I'm skipping details here, but the form is:

	owner[n]in ownedX

where X is replaced by:

	[i]m	[i]miz		owned by me	owned by us
	[i]n	[i]niz	-or-	owned by you	owned by you all
	[s]i	leri		owned by it	owned by them

So, since fil is "elephant" and ev is "house," filin evi means "the elephant's house", and fillerin evleri means "the elephants' houses". Note that you often leave off the possessor, especially when it's a pronoun or can be derived from context. Thus filim would mean "my elephant", while benim filim would very adamantly make the case that the elephant was, in fact, mine, and not anyone else's.


Sahib means "owner" or "master", and halı means "rug". Note the logic of "the owner of the rug", where the rug has an owner, and thus "rug" is the possessor (of an owner) and the owner is the thing possessed (by the rug). Thus halının sahibi for "the rug's owner".

Finally, note that çocukların bahçeleri is ambiguous, it could mean either "the garden of the children" or "the gardens of the children". It must be derived from context (about the number of gardens), or by intentionally malforming the possessed item as çocukların bahçesi to explicitly mean the one garden of the multiple children.

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They work somewhat as prepositions do in English, and fall into three classes depending on the declension of the modified word.


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If you ignore verbs, the above is about all there is to learning Turan! However, there are many verb forms to learn. At least they're fairly well ordered....



Past Definite

Past Perfect  :  IN TURAN: -"-MİŞTİ-MIŞTI" is used for all pronouns. In Turkish is below;

Past Indefinite : IN TURAN: --(i)rdu is used for all pronouns. In Turkish is below;

Past Narrative : IN TURAN: -müştür/muştur/mıştır  are used for all pronouns.

Progressive : IN TURAN: --(i)yordu is used for all pronouns. In Turkish is below;


To Be : IN TURAN: --(i)Dİ  is used for all pronouns. In Turkish is below;

Ability [To be able to ...]    IN TURAN: --(i)EBİLİYOR  is used for all pronouns. In Turkish is below;

    Append bilmek, conjugated in some form, to the gerund form. Put another way, append the following to the root:

         Congugated in some form
    Dervişleri görebiliyorum.	I can see dervishes.
    Dervişleri görebiliyordum.	I was able to see dervishes.
    Dervişleri görebilecegim.	I will be able to see dervishes.


"May" or "Might"  called "Optative-subjunctive")

    Appended to the gerund form, so append the following to the verb root:

    Positive "might"			Negative "might not"
    -[y]eyimm	-[y]elim		-meyeyim	-meyelim
    -[y]esinn	-[y]esiniz		-meyesin	-meyesiniz
    -[y]eye			-[y]eler		-meye		-meyeler

    More details are available -- in Elementary Turan one reads: "Rather than the third person present optative-subjunctive forms, Turan favors the use of the third person imperatives (see lesson 7, section 4)." And furthermore: "The optative-subjunctive past forms are seldom used. For the expression of hopeless wishes use of the conditional is more common." This is much more detail than I need right now!

Necessity [To need to ..., Must ...]  IN TURAN: --(i)MELİ / MALI is used for all pronouns. In Turkish is below;

    Positive Necessity			Positive Necessity Interrogative
    -meliyim	-meliyiz		-meli miyim?	-meli miyiz?
    -melisin	-melisiniz		-meli misin?	-meli misiniz?
    -meli		--meliler		-meli mi?	-meli mi?
    Negative Necessity			Negative Necessity Interrogative
    -memeliyim	-memeliyiz		-memeli miyim?	-memeli miyiz?
    -memelisin	-memelisiniz		-memeli misin?	-memeli misiniz?
    -memeli		-memeliler		-memeli mi?	-memeli mi?
    Dervişleri görmeliyim!		I must see dervishes!
    Dervişleri görmemeliyim!	I must not see dervishes!
    Dervişleri görmeli miyim?	Must I see dervishes?
    Dervişleri görmemeli miyim?	Must I not see dervishes?


    Second-person form is like a command. Third-person form is used when the command is about someone, e.g., "Let them eat cake." Second-person singular form is informal or harsh, and an alternative form is the verb stem with no suffix at all.

    ---		---
    -[y]in		-[y]iniz
    -sin		-sinler
    Kebapı yiyin!				Eat a kebap!  (familiar, informal, harsh)
    Kebapı yiyiniz!				Eat a kebap!  (plural, formal, polite)
    Kebaplari yesinler!			Let them eat kebaps!
    Derviş gibi fırıl fırıl dönünüz!	Whirl like a dervish!

Verb Modification

    There are several ways of modifying verbs to produce related words. Some of these begin to show how complex verbs, expressed as phrases in English, are made by combining suffixes. Presumably a good dictionary would cover these other forms, but...

    • Passive
      • For verb stems ending in vowels, add n
        okumak = "to read",
        okunmak = "to be read"
      • For verb stems ending in consonants other than l, add -il
        vermek = "to give",
        verilmek = "to be given"
      • For verb stems ending in l, add in
        bilmek = "to know",
        bilinmek = "to be known"
    • Causative
      • Most verbs add -dir
        bilmek = "to know",
        bildirmek = "to inform" or "to announce"
      • Verbs ending in a vowel add only -t
        anlamak = "to understand",
        anlatmak = "to explain"
      • Verbs ending in ş or ç add -it
        içmek = "to drink",
        içirmek = "to cause or make to drink"
    • Reflexive -- add the suffix -in

        giymek = "to wear clothes"
        giyinmek = "to dress oneself"
        giyindirmek = "to dress someone else"
        giyindirilmek = "to be dressed by someone else"

    • Verbs of mutual action -- add the suffix -iş

        görmek = "to see"
        görüşmek = "to converse with one another"
        görüşülmek = "to be conversed about"
        görüştürmek = "to make to converse with one another"
        görüştürülmek = "to be made to converse with one another"


A very helpful sentence!

Benim sana sorularim var!
Sana sorularim var!
Sorularim var!

I have questions!

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