3 rules for using “bazı” (some)

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Prerequisites for this Turkish Grammar Lesson

Past tense verbs

-dı/di/du/dü or -tı/ti/tu/tü
Asking yes or no questions

Simple Present Tense or Aorist

12 uses of the aorist

Using “bazı” to mean “some”

Grammar form:

  • Bazı    (noun) + lar/ler

The descriptive word “bazı” is used similarly to the word “some” in English. It is used with nouns to indicate a group of an indeterminate number.

Pronouncing “bazı”

Sometimes, “bazı” is written with a “hat” (called a circumflex) on the letter a: “bâzı.” This is because the vowel is drawn out longer than usual ‑ almost as if it were spelled, “baazı” or “bağzı.” This oddity is due to the fact that the word comes from Arabic, a language that does more with the elongation of vowels than Turkish does.

To hear a native speaker pronounce the word “bazı,” check out the word’s page on Forvo, the pronunciation dictionary.

For more information about pronouncing the circumflex a, go to the Pronunciation topic.

Rules for using “bazı”

Rule #1: only use “bazı” with countable things.

Unlike the word “some” in English, “bazı” can only be used to describe things that can be counted or otherwise distinguished from each other. In other words, it would not be correct to use “bazı” to translate the English phrase “some water” or “some sand.” You could, however, use “bazı” to say “some lakes” (“bazı göller”) or “some beaches” (“bazı sahiller”).

    Basic examples
    Bazı günler
    Some days

    Bazı şeyler
    Some things

    Bazı hayvanlar
    Some animals

    Bazı kurallar
    Some rules

Rule #2: say “bazı insanlar,” not “bazı kişiler.”

When using the word “bazı” to mean “some people,” you will almost always use “insanlar” and not “kişiler.” One reason for this is that the plural form of “kişi” is rarely used. The other reason for this is that “insan” is preferred when making generalizations about people, which is usually the case when using the word “bazı.” For more information, see 7 rules for using “insan” versus “kişi.”

    Example sentences
    Bazı insanlar kötüdür.
    Some people are evil.
    (Excerpt from newspaper column)

    Bazı insanlar neden kilo alamaz?
    Why can’t some people gain weight?
    (Title of informational video)

Rule #3: don’t use “bazı” when describing a single event.

“Bazı” is generally not used in simple narratives ‑ that is, events that happened only one time. The normal usage of “bazı” instead can only be used in the context of generalization of some kind. This can be at a universal level:

    Bazı kadınlar tehlikelidir!
    Some women are dangerous!
    (Title of short story)

It can also be used to describe a specific event if it happened multiple times or in multiple places:

    Ankara’da bazı yollar trafiğe kapatıldı.
    Some roads in Ankara were closed to traffic.
    (Headline of news story)

    Bazı günler çok mutsuzum.
    Some days I’m really unhappy.
    (From song lyrics)

In English, you can say things like, “Some cats came up to me.” If you were to say the same thing in Turkish, you would not be able to use the word “bazı” in place of the English “some.” Instead, you could say something like, “Yanıma birkaç kedi geldi.” In natural Turkish, however, if you are talking about an unspecified number of people or things in a narrative context, it is more common to just say the noun in the plural form without using “bazı,” “birkaç” or any other word like it: “Yanıma kediler geldi.”

    Narrative examples without “bazı”
    Bağırınca köpekler geldi. Ayılar köpeklerden korkup kaçtı.
    When I shouted, [some] dogs came. The bears got scared and ran away.
    (Excerpt from news story)

    Sabahın ilk ışıklarıyla çalışanlar geldi.
    With the first light of the morning, [some] workers came.
    (Excerpt from short story)

    Ağacın altında çürük elmalar vardı.
    There were [some] rotten apples under the tree.
    (Excerpt from short story)

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