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How to show ownership in Turkish
- (Owner) + (n) + ın/in/un/ün (noun) + (s) + i/ı/u/ü
In Turkish, possession is marked with a word ending on both the owner and the object that is owned.
The ending that marks the owner is -nın/nin/nun/nün (according to i-type vowel harmony). But if the owner is a word that ends with a consonant, the first “n” in the ending is dropped: -ın/in/un/ün.
The ending that marks the thing that is owned is the same as the compound noun ending. So the ending is -sı/si/su/sü on words ending with a vowel and -ı/i/u/ü on words ending with a consonant.
Possessive pronouns: his, her, my, your…
|Benim||(noun) + (ı/i/u/ü) + m|
|Senin||(noun) + (ı/i/u/ü) + n|
|Bizim||(noun) + (ı/i/u/ü) + mız/miz/muz/müz|
|Senin||(noun) + (ı/i/u/ü) + nız/niz/nuz/nüz|
|Onun||(noun) + (s) + ı/i/u/ü|
|Onların||(noun) + (s)/(lar/ler) + ı/i/u/ü||Bunun||(noun) + (s) + ı/i/u/ü|
|Bunların||(noun) + (s)/(lar/ler) + ı/i/u/ü||Şunun||(noun) + (s) + ı/i/u/ü|
|Şunların||(noun) + (s)/(lar/ler) + ı/i/u/ü|
If you are using a pronoun such as sen (“you”) or ben (“me”) to talk about the owner of something, you still mark that pronoun with the “owner” ending -nın. But the first person pronouns “ben” and “biz” get a slightly different “owner” ending: -im.
The object that is owned is marked with a different ending that matches the pronoun for the person who owns it.
Your (plural or formal) house
Mahallenin gururu, ülkenin enerjisi
The pride of the neighborhood, the country‘s energy source
(From an İpragaz propane delivery truck)
Exceptions to the rules
Here are the exceptions you should know when you are using the ownership endings in Turkish.
Adding an apostrophe after names of people and places
When adding an ownership (either -nın or -sı) to the name of a person or place, you need to first add an apostrophe (‘).
Exception words ending with Ç, K, P, T
As with the compound noun ending, there is another rule for words that end with ç, k, p or t. The last letter is often replaced with another letter, as follows:
- ç gets replaced with c
- k gets replaced with ğ
- p gets replaced with b
- t gets replaced with d
|Araç (vehicle)||Benim aracım (My vehicle)|
|Yemek (meal)||Senin yemeğin (your meal)|
|Kitap (owner)||Öğretmenin kitabı (the teacher’s book)|
|Kâğıt (paper)||Çocuğun kâğıdı (the child’s paper)|
There are a few Turkish words that drop the last vowel in the word when adding the endings that mark ownership (or any other ending starting with a vowel).
|İzin (permission/permit)||Benim iznim (my permit)|
|Vakit (time)||Senin vaktin (your time)|
|Karın (stomach)||Sizin karnınız (your stomach)|
|Oğul (son)||Ahmet’in oğlu (Ahmet’s son)|
|Vakıf (foundation/institution)||Onların vakfı (their foundation)|
|Şehir (city)||Bizim şehrimiz (our city)|
Objects with no ending
In some Turkish sentences, the object that is owned does not any ending. This is most common with the first person plural pronoun, “bizim.”
Our Mehmet (the one that we know, not some other Mehmet)
Ownership endings with repeated consonants
For a handful of words in Turkish, you repeat the last consonant in the word before adding an ending either -ın (for the owner) or -ı (for the thing that is owned).
My (phone) line
Your (legal or moral) right
The base’s commander
Ownership endings with no “s” buffer
There are a few Turkish words that end in a vowel but that normally do not take an “s” before the ownership ending in formal writing.
The neighborhood’s mosque
The topic of the fight
Words ending in -nk
Also, there are a few words in Turkish that end in “nk.” For these words, the “k” at the end of the word turns into a hard “g.” The only common word like this is “renk” (color).
The mountains’ color
Your (plural or formal) wreath
Ownership with short words
In Turkish, if the owner or the object that is owned is a two-letter word, it sometimes gets a “y” buffer letter instead of the normal “n” or “s.” This mainly happens with the Turkish word for water (“su”). But it also shows up in some idiomatic expressions with other two-letter words ending with vowels.
The Mediterranean’s water
What is it (literally, what’s what is it?)
Onların şuyu buyu…