Ablative case: “from” in Turkish

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Beginner commands

-(no ending)/-ın
Singular and plural
Pronouns with commands
Handling irregular verbs

Continuous present tense

Handling irregular verbs
Asking yes or no questions

Compound noun ending


Using the -dan/den/tan/ten ending to say “from”

The Turkish -dan/den/tan/ten ending marks the person, place or thing that is the origin or starting point of the action verb in the sentence. In this lesson, you will learn to make sentences with verbs and nouns together with the -dan/den/tan/ten ending. Most often, this ending can be translated as the word “from” in English. In linguistic terms, this ending is called an ablative case marker.

Let’s get started by looking at an example.

İşten geliyorum.
I am coming from work (right now).

In this example sentence, the person speaking is moving away from their workplace toward an unspecified location. Since “iş” (work) is the place that the person is moving away from, that is the word that gets the -dan/den/tan/ten ending.

Grammar form:

  • Noun + dan/den/tan/ten    verb

To add the ending to a noun, first check to see if the noun ends in a voiceless consonant (ç, f, h, k, p, s, ş, or t). If it does, the ending will have a letter t at the beginning. Otherwise, if the word ends in a vowel or a voiced consonant (b, c, d, g, j, l, m, n, r, v, z), the ending will have a letter d at the beginning.

Next, you add an a or e vowel according to e-type vowel harmony rules based on the last vowel of the word.

Finally, add the letter n to make the word ending. So, depending on the word, the ending will be –dan, –den, –tan, or –ten.

In the examples below, you will see how this form can be made using the continuous present tense and the basic command forms.

Examples with continuous present tense
Türkiye’den geliyorum.
I am coming from Turkey / I am from Turkey.

Dışarıdan geliyorum.
I’m coming (in) from outside.

Kerem İstanbul’dan taşınıyor.
Kerem is moving away from Istanbul.
(Title of YouTube video)

Her kafadan bir ses çıkıyor.
A sound is coming from every head.
(A common saying that means, “everyone is expressing a different opinion on this subject and it’s really confusing”)

Examples with commands
Oradan gel.
Come away from there.

Arabadan in.
Come out of the car.

Havuzdan çık.
Come out of the pool.

Adding an “n” to pointer pronouns o, bu and şu

For the pointer pronouns (“o,” “bu,” and “şu”), you need to add an extra letter “n” before adding -dan/den/tan/ten or any other word ending.

“Bu,” “şu,” and “o” with -dan/den/tan/ten endings

Pronoun With -dan/den/tan/ten ending
Bu (this) Bundan (from this)
Şu (this/that) Şundan (from this/that)
O (he, she, it, that) Ondan (from him, her, it, that)
Bunlar (these) Bunlardan (from these)
Şunlar (these/those) Şunlardan (from these/those)
Onlar (they/those) Onlardan (from them/those)

Other uses of the -dan ending besides saying “from”

There are some sentences in Turkish where the -dan/den/tan/ten ending cannot be translated as “from” in English. In this section, we will cover some of the other ways this ending can be used.

Using -dan to mean “before” or “after”

When you want to say that something happens before a certain time or event, you use the -dan/den/tan/ten ending followed by the word “önce,” which means “before.” In the same way, to say that something happens after an event, you say “-dan/den/tan/ten sonra.”

Öğleden sonra
(lit. after the mid-day öğle namaz prayer time)

O günden sonra
After that day
(Title of a movie)

30 Haziran’dan sonra her şey değişiyor!
After June 30, everything changes!
(From the title of a news story)

Yeni yıldan önce son fırsatlar!
The last deals before the new year!
(Excerpt from an advertisement)

Dünden önce
Before yesterday
(Title of a song)

Using -dan to make comparisons

A common way to compare things in Turkish is to use the -dan/den/tan/ten ending with the word “daha” (more). After “-dan daha” comes a descriptive word (an adjective) such as “iyi” (good), “güzel” (good/beautiful), “kötü” (bad/evil), etc.

For example: “bu ondan daha iyi” means, “this is better than that.”

In some sentences, the word “daha” can be removed if the meaning is clear enough from the context. So the sentence above without “daha” (“bu ondan iyi”) also means, “this is better than that.”

Note: If you want to say that someone does something more than someone else, you cannot use “daha” right before a verb. This is because the word that comes after “daha” has to be an adjective or adverb. The default word to combine “daha” with verbs is “fazla.” For example, you can say, “ondan daha fazla yapıyorum” (I do it more than him/her).

Bundan daha büyük gemi yok.
There is no ship bigger than this.
(Title of a YouTube video)

Ben onlardan daha az kazanıyorum.
I earn less than they do.
(Quotation from a character in a fictional short story)

Gençler ondan daha fazla hak ediyor.
The young men deserve [it] more than he does.
(Title of a sports story explaining why someone didn’t make the team)

Using -dan to mean “made from” or “made of”

Sometimes, the -dan/den/tan/ten ending is used to show the material that something is made up of.

Kardan adam
Snowman (lit. man made of snow)

Plastikten yapıyorlar.
They make (it) from plastic.
(Excerpt from hardware blog)

Using -dan to mean “through” or “out”

When you want to talk about an action that involves something going out or through an object such as a door or window, you will use the -dan/den/tan/ten ending.

Pencereden bakıyorlar.
They are looking out the window.
(Excerpt from a blog post)

O kapıdan gir.
Go through that door.
(Excerpt from a social media post)

Using -dan to mean “one of” or “a few of”

When the -dan/den/tan/ten ending is followed by a word with a compound noun ending -(s)ı, it means that we are talking about one of, a few of, or a certain number of something. Normally, these phrases will have a word in them showing the approximate number or amount such as “birkaç” (a few) or an exact number. In some cases, the compound noun ending may be left off if the meaning is clear enough from the context.

Adamlardan biri
One of the men (or, “a certain man”)
(A commonly used phrase)

Bu meyvelerden bir tanesi lime limon.
One example of these fruits is the lime variety of lemon. (Literally, “One of these fruits is lime lemon”)
(Excerpt from product description in online store selling limes)

Güzel yazılar var. Onlardan birkaç tanesi: …
There are some good articles (here). A few of them are: …
(Excerpt from the introduction to a magazine issue)

Onlardan 40 tane var.
There are 40 of those (here).
(Excerpt from a dialogue)

Using -dan to mark the object of feelings

For some verbs in Turkish that express feelings, the -dan/den/tan/ten ending marks the object or the source of the feeling. Examples of these types of verbs are: -dan korkmak (to fear), -dan hoşlanmak (to like), -dan nefret etmek (to hate) and -dan emin olmak (to be sure of).

Köpeklerden korkuyorum.
I am afraid of dogs.
(Part of a forum post)

Sıcak havadan nefret ediyorum.
I hate hot weather.
(Quote from a user on Twitter)

Acaba senden hoşlanıyor mu?
I wonder, do they like you?
(Title of an online quiz)

Using -dan to show the reason for something

In some Turkish sentences, the -dan/den/tan/ten ending goes on the word shows the reason for something. Often, the -dan ending is followed by the word “dolayı,” as in, “ondan dolayı yapıyorum” (for that reason I am doing it). However, the word “dolayı” can be left off with the same meaninɡː “ondan yapıyorum” (for that [reason] I am doing it).

In the same way, the most common way to ask “why?” is to add the -den ending to the question word “ne” (what). This makes the word “neden,” which means “why” (literally “from what?”).

Neden gidiyorsun?
Why are you leaving?
(Title of a song)

Ondan dolayı çok mutluyum.
That is the reason why I am very happy.
(From a website user’s profile description)

Ondan geç geliyoruz.
That is why we are coming late.
(From a social media post)

Hep korkudan yeniliyoruz.
We are continuously being defeated because of fear.
(Lyrics of the song, korkudan)

Using -dan when giving directions

The -dan/den/tan/ten ending is important to use when giving directions to a taxi driver or someone else who is driving. When you tell someone to turn at a certain point in English, we say, “Turn here,” or, “Turn there.” In Turkish, however, you have to use the -dan/den/tan/ten ending to mark the point at which a person should turn or go a certain direction.

Şuradan dön.
Turn over there. (Lit. turn from there)
(A person giving directions)

Işıklardan düz devam edin.
Keep going straight through the intersection.
(Excerpt from instructions on how to get to an apartment complex)

Jumping “off,” “out,” or “over”

When using words like, “atlamak” (to jump), the -dan/den/tan/ten ending can either mean jumping off of something, out of something or over something.

Arabadan atlıyor.
(She) jumps out of the car.
(Excerpt from a story about someone escaping from an attacker)

Ateşten atlıyorlar.
They jump over fires.
(From a description of special forces training)

Yüksek bir duvardan atla.
Jump off of a high wall.
(Excerpt from blog post)

Forming the -dan/den/tan/ten ending with words that break vowel harmony

There are a few words that were imported into Turkish that do not follow normal vowel harmony rules when adding word endings. This often happens with words that end with a palatalized L sound. Watch out for these words when adding the -dan/den/tan/ten ending (or almost any other ending for that matter!)

Bu saatten sonra…
After all that has happened… (lit. After this hour)
(Common phrase)

Rıdvan Abi kontrolden çıkıyor
Brother Rıdvan loses control (lit. leaves from control).
(Title of YouTube video)

Havaalanı 3 terminalden oluşuyor.
The airport is made up of 3 terminals.
(Excerpt from a blog post)

Metalden yapıyorlar.
They make (it) from metal.
(Excerpt from forum post about car parts)

Golden önce faul var.
There is a foul before the goal!
(Title of a sports replay video)

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