Turkish Conjunctions – Lesson 1

Lessons > Speaking Turkish in 30 Days

In today’s lesson we will learn about the most important conjunctions than you need to know to make complex sentences in Turkish. You may have seen some conjunctions in action in the earlier lessons, now we will learn about the rest in these two lessons.

Turkish Conjunctions – Lesson 1

Here is a list of all the conjunctions in Turkish you will learn in today’s and tomorrow’s lesson with their English meanings:

ConjunctionMeaning
Veand
de/daand, also,
too, as well
Hem… hem deBoth … and
Ya … ya daEither … or
Veya, ya da,
yahut, veyahut
or
Ne … ne deNeither … nor
İle, -(y)le/-(y)laWith, by, and
Ama, fakat, lakin,
ne var ki
But
Ancak, yalnızBut, only
Buna rağmen,
(ama) bununla birlikte
Despite this,
nevertheless
Ne var ki,
gel gelelim
However
Ne yazık ki,
maalesef
unfortunately
Halbuki, oysakiWhereas, though
güyaAllegedly, supposedly
iseWhereas, as for,
however
Meğer, meğerseApparently,
it seems that
Yoksa, aksi takdirde,
aksi halde
Otherwise, if not,
I wonder if
Çünkü, ziraBecause, for
Bu yüzden, bu nedenle,
bu sebeple, bundan dolayı
So, therefore

Because there are so many conjunctions and so little time, we will mostly focus on using these conjunctions inside sentences instead focusing on the grammatical explanation.

“Ve” , “-de/-da” , and “hem… hem de”

The conjunction “ve” just like the “and” in English, is used to connect words, phrases or clause:

  • Mehmet ve Ayça dışarıda top oynadılar.
  • Mehmet and Ayça played ball outside.
  • Çantamda defterim, ders kitabım ve kalem kutum var.
  • I have my notebook, my class book and my pencil case inside my backpack.
  • Dün okula gittim ve öğretmenimle konuştum.
  • Yesterday I went to school and talked with my teacher.

The “-de/-da” conjunction is a separate word which co-ordinates words or clauses. In English it generally means “too”. Changing the position of “-de/-da” can change the meaning of the sentece:

  • Ahmet de hamburger yemek istiyor.
  • Ahmet too wants to eat a hamburger.
  • Ahmet hamburger de yemek istiyor.
  • Ahmet wants to eat a hamburger too/as well.

Be sure to not mix the conjunction “-de/-da” with the locative marker “-de/-da/-te/-ta”. The locative case marker is a suffix that is added directly after the word and the meaning is completely different.

The conjunction “hem… hem de” literally means “both… and” in English. It can also mean “on the one hand,… on the other hand …”. The “de” on the second “hem” is also optional. Be sure to use the same grammatical word when using this conjunction:

  • Tülün hem akıllı hem (de) çok güzel bir kız.
  • Tülün is both an intelligent and beautiful girl.
  • Her gün hem dersine çalışıyor hem de spor yapıyor.
  • He both studies and does sports everyday.
  • Hem ödevim var diyorsun hem de bütün gün televizyon izliyorsun!
  • On the one hand you say you have homework, on the other hand you watch TV all day!

“ya… yada”, “veya”, and “ne … ne de”

The conjunction “ya… yada” equals in meaning to “either … or” in English. It is used to show two or more possbilities or choices in a statement:

  • Ahmet ya Türk yada Azeriydi, ona soralım mı?
  • Ahmet was either Turkish or Azeri, shall we ask?
  • Ya bizim arabamızla gidebilirsin yada ablamların arabasıyla gidebilirsin, lütfen karar ver.
  • You can either come with our car our or my sister’s car, please make a choice.

It is possible to replace “ya… yada” with “veya”, “yahut” or “veyahut” which only means “or” in English:

  • Türkçe sınavı Çarşamba veya/yahut/veyahut Cuma günü olacak.
  • The Turkish exam will be on Wednesday or Friday.
  • Bu akşam sinemaya gidebiliriz veya/yahut/veyahut evde takılabiliriz.
  • Tonight, we can go to the cinema or hangout at home.

The negative counterpart for the conjunctions “ya..yada” and “veya” is “ne… ne de” which means “neither… nor” in English. Although the verb in the sentence is positive, the meaning in the sentence is negative:

  • Bugün ne futbol oynadık ne de dışarıda yemek yiyebildik.
  • Today, we could neither play football nor eat outside
  • Bu yerin adresini ne Şeyma ne de Ahmet biliyor.
  • Neither Şeyma nor Ahmet knows this place’s address.
  • Ne seni istiyorum ne de senden uzaklaşabiliyorum.
  • I neither want you nor can stay away from you.

“ile”, “ama”, “ancak”, and “buna rağmen”

The conjunction “ile” has two seperate usages. As a postposition, it means “with” or “by” in English. It can be used as a suffix as “-le/-la” after a consonant or “-yle/-yla” after a vowel. As a conjunction, “ile” means “and” in English:

First let’s see sentences examples for its postposition usage:

  • Michael uçakla Amerika’ya döndü.
  • Michael returned to America by plane.
  • Lütfen bu formu kurşun kalemle doldurunuz.
  • Please fill this form with a lead pencil.
  • Yanlışlıkla sizi aradım.
  • I called you by mistake.

Now let’s see it used as a conjunction:

  • Aslı ile Kerem geçen hafta sonu evlendi.
  • Aslı and Kerem got married last weekend.
  • Bugün Sinan ile Ahmet’i okulda gördün mü?
  • Did you Sinan and Ahmet at school today?
  • Ayşe ile Veli bu akşam bizim eve geliyor.
  • Ayşe and Veli are coming to our house tonight.

The conjunction “ama” means “but” in English. The conjunctions “fakat” and “lakin” has especially become famous thanks to some Ottoman periods soap operas on Turkish televisions that seem to overuse it for some reason. But I still prefer “ama” to the rest.

  • Recep’in parası var ama/fakat/lakin sevgilisi yok.
  • Recep has money but no girlfriend.
  • Bugün hava yağmurlu ama/fakat/lakin çok sıcak.
  • Today is rainy but really hot.
  • Üzgünüm ama/fakat/lakin doğum günü partine bu akşam gelemeyeceğim.
  • I’m sorry but I can’t come to your birthday party tonight.

The conjunctions “ancak” and “yalnız” can be used as a conjunction like “ama:

  • Yemek güzel gözükmüyor ancak/yalnız lezzetli.
  • The food doesn’t look good but it’s tasty.
  • Seni telefonla beş kere aradım ancak/yalnız cevap vermedin.
  • I called you five time by phone but you didn’t respond.

It can also be used as an adverb meaning “only” in English:

  • Bugün ancak/yalnız bir saat ders çalıştım.
  • Today I only studied an hour.
  • Bu kapıyı ancak/yalnız Ahmet bey açabilir.
  • Only Mr. Ahmet can open this door.

“buna rağmen”, “bununla birlikte” and “bununla beraber”

Our last conjunction for today “buna rağmen” means “despite this/in spite of this” in English. It is used at the start of a new sentence to counter the argument in the previous sentence:

  • Dolar yükseldi. Buna rağmen insanlar hala pahalı şeyler satın almaya devam ediyor.
  • The dollar has risen. Despite this/in spite of this, people are still continuing to buy expensive things.
  • Arkadaşım hiç ders çalışmıyor. Buna rağmen sınavlardan hep yüksek not alıyor.
  • My friend never studies. Despite this/In spite of this, he still gets high scores from the exams.

We can also use “ama bununla birlikte” or “ama bununla beraber” similarly to “buna rağmen”without ending the sentence:

  • Bu ev çok küçük (ama) bununla birlikte / (ama) bununla beraber çok kullanışlı.
  • This house is really small (but) nevertheless it’s really practical.

Homework Time

It’s time to practice Turkish Conjunctions

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