What is the Dative Case?
The dative case suffix is used to show motion towards something or someone. In Turkish, the dative case suffix can be used by adding the “-e/-a” to the end of a noun. These suffixes equal to the prepositions “to” in English.
Words that with the last vowels “a/ı/o/u” take the “-a” ending, while words with the last vowels “e/i/ö/ü” take the “-e” ending.
- Esin okula gidiyor – Esin is going to
- Hergün işe araba sürüyorum – Everyday I drive to
- Bugün pazara gidiyor musun? – Are you going to the bazaar today?
- Ayşe yarın İstanbul’a seyahat ediyor – Ayşe is travelling to Istanbul tomorrow.
In the last example, if you use a dative case suffix with a proper noun, you need to use an apostrophe between the noun an the suffix.
Consonant Mutation with Dative Case
Don’t forget that some words have Consonant Mutation when a suffix is added:
- Lütfen kitaba (Kitap) bak – Please look at the book.
- Sözlüğe (Sözlük) yazı yazıyor – He is writing on the dictionary
- Çocuğa (Çocuk) şeker verdi – She gave the kid candy.
You might have noticed from the last two examples that sometimes a Turkish sentence with a dative case suffix may not equal to it having any preposition when translated into English.
The Buffer Letter -y
If a word ends in a vowel, we insert the buffer letter “y” between the dative case suffix and the noun:
- Ayşe arabaya biniyor – Ayşe is getting on the bus.
- Bu akşam partiye gidiyor musun? – Are you going to the party tonight?
Question words like “to where” and “to whom” are also made by adding the dative case suffix to the end of the words “Nere” and “Kim”:
- Nereye gidiyorsun? – Where are you going?
- Okula gidiyorum – I’m going to school.
- Kime bakıyorsun? – Who are you looking at?
- Ayşe’ye bakıyorum – I’m looking at Ayşe.
Dative Case with Personal Pronouns
Personal Pronouns can also use the dative case:
|Personal Pronouns||Modified Pronouns|
|Ben||Bana (To Me)|
|Sen||Sana (To You)|
|O||Ona (To He/She/It)|
|Biz||Bize (To Us)|
|Siz||Size (To You)|
|Onlar||Onlara (To Them)|
Let’s see some examples:
- Baba bana oyuncak al! – Dad buy me a toy!
- Teyzemler bize geliyor – My aunts are visiting us.
Finally, the dative case can also be used with post-positions of direction by changing it to “-e/a doğru” meaning “towards” and “-e/a kadar” meaning “until” or “as far as”.
- Üniversiteye doğru koşuyorum – I’m running towards the university.
- Lütfen Cuma’ya kadar ödevini bitir – Please finish your homework until Friday.
- Bu otobüs Fatih’e kadar gidiyor – This bus goes as far as Fatih.