Noun possession (benim, senin, onun, bizim, sizin, onların)


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Prerequisites

Vowel harmony

-lar
I-type vowel harmony
E-type vowel harmony
Exceptions



How to show ownership in Turkish

Grammar form:

  • (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.

    Examples

    Benim evim
    My house

    Senin evin
    Your father

    Bizim evimiz
    Our father

    Sizin eviniz
    Your (plural or formal) house

    Onun evi
    His/her/its house

    Onların evi
    Their 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 (‘).

    Examples
    Türkiye’nin şehirleri
    Turkey’s cities

    Mehmet’in baba
    Mehmet’s dad

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

Examples

Araç (vehicle) Benim aracım (My vehicle)
Yemek (meal) Senin yemeğin (your meal)
Kitap (owner) Öğretmenin kita (the teacher’s book)
Kâğıt (paper) Çocuğun kâğı (the child’s paper)

Dropping vowels

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).

Examples

İzin (permission/permit) Benim iznim (my permit)
Vakit (time) Senin vaktin (your time)
Karın (stomach) Sizin karnınız (your stomach)
ul (son) Ahmet’inlu (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.”

    Examples
    Bizim ev
    Our house

    Bizim mahalle
    Our neighborhood

    Bizim Mehmet
    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).

    Examples
    Benim hattım
    My (phone) line

    Senin hakkın
    Your (legal or moral) right

    Onların sır
    Their secret

    Üssün komutanı
    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.

    Examples
    Mahallenin camii
    The neighborhood’s mosque

    Ahmet’in bayii
    Ahmet’s store

    Kavganın mevzuu
    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).

    Examples
    Dağların rengi
    The mountains’ color

    Benim dengim
    My balance

    Ayşe’nin fiyongu
    Ayşe’s bow

    Sizin çelenginiz
    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.

    Examples
    Akdeniz’in suyu
    The Mediterranean’s water

    Neyin nesi?
    What is it (literally, what’s what is it?)

    Onların şuyu buyu
    Their this-or-that…

This lesson is a prerequisite for:

Familial terms

-çığım
Vocab: immediate family
Vocab: extended family

Accusative case: the direct object ending

-(y)ı
When to use it and when to not
burayı, şurayı, orayı, nereyi
bunu, şunu, onu



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