Turkish Case Markers

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Case Markers

Starting with this lesson we will learn how to use Prepositional suffixes in Turkish. In this video lecture we will learn about the Dative, Locative, Ablative and Accusative Cases. On the next part of this lecture, we will so how other prepositions are used in Turkish.

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 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 school.
  • Her gün işe araba sürüyorum.
  • Everyday I drive to work.
  • 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 and the suffix.

Don’t forget that some words have Consonant Assimilation when a suffix is added:

  • Lütfen kitaba bak. (Kitap)
  • Please look at the book.
  • Sözlüğe yazı yazıyor. (Sözlük)
  • He is writing on the dictionary.
  • Çocuğa şeker verdi. (Çocuk)
  • 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.

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?
  • Ayşeye bakıyorum.
  • I’m looking at Ayşe.

Personal Pronouns can also use the Dative Case:

Personal
Pronouns
With
Dative Case
BenBana
(To Me)
SenSana
(To You)
OOna
(To He/She/It)
BizBize
(To Us)
SizSize
(To You)
OnlarOnlara
(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.

Locative Case

The Locative case is used to indicate the place where the action occurs. It can also be used to indicate the time the action occurs. The Locative case marker in Turkish is “-de/-da/-te/-ta” which is usually “in/at/on” in English.

-de/-da
after soft consonants
b/c/d/g/ğ/j/l/m/n/r/v/y/z
-de/-da
after vowel
e/i/ö/ü/a/ı/o/u
-te/-ta
after hard consonants
ç/f/h/k/p/s/ş/t
  • Ben Ankarada yaşıyorum.
  • I live in Ankara.
  • Her gün işte çok çalışıyorum.
  • Everyday, I work a lot at work.
  • Ahmet arabada uyuyor.
  • Ahmet is sleeping in the car.
  • Kitapta ne yazıyor?
  • What’s writing on the book?
  • Kedi ağaçta bekliyor.
  • The cat is waiting on the tree.

If you’re going to use a personal suffix right after a noun with a locative case, we add the buffer letter “y” before the “I” personal suffix:

  • Bugün evdeyim.
  • Today, I’m at home.
  • Ben işteyim, sen neredesin?
  • I’m at work, where are you?

Similarly to the dative case, Personal Pronouns can also be followed by the Locative case “-de/-da”:

Personal
Pronouns
With
Locative Case
BenBende
(On Me)
SenSende
(On You)
OOnda
(On Him/Her/It)
BizBizde
(On Us)
SizSizde
(On You)
OnlarOnlarda
(On Them)
  • Evin anahtarı bende.
  • The house’s keys are on me.
  • I have (got) the house’s keys.
  • Bugün sizde ne yapacağız?
  • What are we going to do at your place?
  • Onlarda kalem yok.
  • They don’t have a pencil.

We can also make locative question words. The words “Nerede” meaning “Where” and “Kimde” meaning “On Whom” or “Who’s got” are made by adding “-de” suffix to “Nere” and “Kim”:

  • Annem nerede?
  • Where’s my mom (at)?
  • Kumanda kimde?
  • Who has (got) the remote?

Ablative Case

We use the ablative case to talk about a point of departure, “place of which” and indicating a comparison. The Turkish suffix for the ablative case is “-den/-dan/-ten/-tan” which corresponds to “from” in English.

-den/-dan
after soft consonants
b/c/d/g/ğ/j/l/m/n/r/v/y/z
-den/-dan
after vowels
e/i/ö/ü/a/ı/o/u
-ten/-tan
after hard consonants
ç/f/h/k/p/s/ş/t
  • Okuldan eve dönüyorum.
  • I’m returning from school.
  • Marketten bir şey istiyor musun?
  • Do you want anything from the market?
  • Benim arabam, o arabadan daha güzel.
  • My car is prettier than that car.
  • Yağmurdan nefret ediyorum.
  • I hate the rain. (Exception)
  • Yorgunluktan başım ağrıyor.
  • I have a headache from tiredness.

You can also make the question words “From Where” and “From Whom” by adding the ablative case suffix to the question words “Nere” and “Kim”, making them “Nereden” and “Kimden”:

  • Nereden geldin?
  • Where did you come from?
  • İstanbul’dan geldim.
  • I came from Istanbul.
  • O hediye kimden?
  • Who’s that present from?
  • Arkadaşımdan (geldi).
  • (Came) from my friend.

Accusative Case

Nouns that are affected by the action of a verb use the accusative case. The accusitve case is used to show the definite object of a verb. The accusative case can be found by answering the questions “Kimi” meaning “who” and “neyi” meaning “what”.

After words ending in vowelsyı/yi/yu/yü
After words ending in consonantsı/i/u/ü
  • Ayşe gazete okuyor.
  • Ayşe is reading (a) book.
  • Ayşe gazeteyi okuyor.
  • Ayşe is reading the book.
  • Ben brokoli yemek istemiyorum
  • I don’t want to eat broccoli.
  • Ben brokoliyi yemek istemiyorum.
  • I don’t want to eat the broccoli.
  • Ben sandviç istiyorum.
  • I want a sandwich.
  • Ben sandviçi istiyorum.
  • I want the sandwich.

Don’t forget to use the apostrophe with proper nouns:

  • Dün Ahmet’i gördün mü?
  • Did you see Ahmet yesterday?
  • Ahmet Selin’i seviyor.
  • Ahmet loves Selin

Personal Pronouns can also be followed by the Accusative Case:

Personal
Pronouns
With
Accusative Case
BenBeni
(Me)
SenSeni
(You)
OOnu
(Him/Her/It)
BizBizi
(Us)
SizSizi
(You)
OnlarOnları
(Them)
  • Seni seviyorum.
  • I love you. (Exception)
  • Bizi sakın unutma.
  • Don’t ever forget us. (Exception)

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