Turkish Grammar

Çağlar Öksüzoğlu

Grammar Instructor

I have been teaching Turkish for already 5 years on this website with my colleagues. We have created this well-organized course designed specially for fast progress. You’ll learn real Turkish right from the streets of Istanbul, not the boring textbook stuff.

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You can find free Turkish grammar lessons on this page. We all know that learning only grammar can be boring. New techniques focus on different methods without grammar teaching and fail in the end. We are grown-ups and we have a higher mental capacity than children. Using grammar knowledge effectively makes a great amount of progression.

8 Important Rules in the Turkish Grammar That You Need to Know

There are some basic grammar rules that will make your life easier when learning Turkish.

  1. Two vowels or two consonants rarely follow each other.
  2. Vowels from a specific type need to proceed the same type of vowels.
  3. Consonants from a specific type need to proceed the same type of consonants.
  4. If you are attaching a suffix to a proper noun, you’ll need to use an apostrophe to separate the suffix from the word.
  5. Word order in English is subject + verb + object whereas in Turkish subject + object + verb
  6. Non-continuant voiceless consonants (p,ç,t,k) tend to go voiced because it’s easier to say!
  7. There are three different buffer letters: ‘y’,’n’ and ‘s’. They prevent two vowels to come after each other.

Big websites and apps try to teach you every language with the same syllabus by matching photos and words. And they fail in the end. For that reason, we have prepared these lessons and explained everything you need to know about Turkish grammar.

Turkish Grammar: 19 Essential Lessons

Each topic has its short summary below. To see the details, click on the title.

1. Beginner: Alphabet

  • List of 29 letters
  • <Ü, İ, Ö, Ç, Ğ, Ş>
  • Some history
  • Changes in loanwords
  • TDK (turkish language society)
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    2. Beginner: Vowels

  • Vowels
  • Back and front
  • Rounded and unrounded
  • Soft g (eng. yumuşak g)
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    3. Beginner: Vowel Harmony

  • Def. of vowel harmony
  • Agglutinative languages
  • Rule 1: minor vowel harmony
  • Rule 2: major vowel harmony
  • Examples and tips
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    4. Beginner: Apostrophe and Circumflex Accent

  • “Kesme işareti” (‘) (apostrophe)
  • How to say ‘what’s up’?
  • Capital letter rules
  • The Circumflex Accent
  • â (şapkalı a) and how to type it.
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    5. Beginner: Var/Yok

  • Var/Yok
  • Yok: There is not / There are not
  • Var: There is / There are
  • Paradigm of var/yok
  • Question Form: Var mı? / Yok mu?
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    6. Elementary: Cases

  • What is a ‘case’?
  • Buffer-letter
  • The absolute form
  • Accusative
  • Genitive
  • Dative
  • Locative
  • Ablative (also its etymology)
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    7. Elementary: Consonant Alternation (Consonant Harmony)

  • ‘K’ to ‘G’
  • Proper nouns
  • Exceptions in the written language
  • P,ç,t > b,c,d
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    8. Elementary: Verb ‘to be’

  • Olmak ya da olmamak
  • “to be”
  • Negative form
  • The past form of “to be”
  • Hayatta en hakiki mürşit ilimdir.
  • Conditional of to be
  • Inferential of to be
  • Değil
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    9. Elementary: Possessive Determiners (Personal Suffixes)

  • Benim, senin, onun, bizim, sizin, onların
  • Food: sarma, dolma
  • The absolute form
  • Words indicating nationality
  • Exceptions
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    10. Elementary: Loanwords in the Turkish Language

  • Etymology of ‘coffee’
  • French and Italian loanwords in Turkish
  • ‘Muharebe’ (eng. War), ‘Kitap’ (eng. Book), ‘Zan’ (eng. Doubt)
  • Recent loanwords
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    11. Elementary: Present Tense

  • What is the present tense?
  • When to use present tense?
  • Şimdiki zaman
  • Interrogative form
  • Singular/Plural
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    12. Elementary: Turkish Word Order

  • SVO and SOV
  • Adverbs
  • Adjectives
  • Emphasis
  • Inverted Sentence
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    13. Intermediate: Future Tense

  • -ecek / -acak
  • How to use Future tense?
  • Future past
  • Ancient future
  • Examples
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    14. Intermediate: Turkish Adverbs

  • Adverb suffix -CA
  • Adjective or Adverb?
  • Examples
  • Convert the Noun into Adverb
  • Cases with Adverbs
  • Çok and Daha
  • Adverbs of frequency
  • Months and Season
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    15. Intermediate: Conjunctions

  • What is conjunction in Turkish?
  • ‘Dahi anlamındaki -de ayrı yazılır.’
  • Ve (and)
  • Ama, Ancak Fakat, Lakin (but)
  • Madem, madem ki (seeing that)
  • Ne … Ne (Neither nor)
  • Gerek, Hem, İster, Ha, Ya
  • İse
  • Ki (that)
  • Diğer taraftan, yoksa, çünkü etc.
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    16. Intermediate: Miş-Past (Reported Past Tense)

  • Geçmiş zaman
  • I gather that you have gone
  • Negative of miş-past
  • Interrogative of miş-past (Have I read?)
  • Past perfect tense
  • Video!
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    17. Intermediate: Postpositions, Circumpositions and Prepositions

  • İçinde, içerisinde (in)
  • Üzere, nezdinde, içerisinde
  • Üstünde (on)
  • Yan, alt, dış (side, under, out)
  • Ara, üst, orta
  • Bu yana, dolayı, sonra etc.
  • Esnasında, zarfında etc.
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    18. Upper Intermediate: Past Tenses in Turkish

  • Simple Past Tense
  • Past Continuous Tense
  • Future in the Past
  • Necessitative Past
  • Turkish Conditional Past
  • Turkish Pluperfect
  • Reported Past Tense
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    19. Upper Intermediate: Verb Moods

  • Indicative mood
  • Passive mood
  • Potential mood
  • Obligation mood
  • Imperative mood
  • Causative mood
  • Reflexive mood
  • Subjunctive mood
  •  
    Go to the lesson

    Turkish Suffixes: 15 Most Common Suffixes

    Mastering Turkish grammar is only possible if you know well the Turkish suffixes, and how to attach them to words. Turkish suffixes can be learned by studying hard but attaching them, finding the correct vowel/consonant needs a different practice.

    Vowel and consonant harmonies decide which vowel or consonant need to be attached when you conjugate a verb. Thinking fast while attaching the suffixes (doing it automatically) is a must to speak Turkish fluently.

    Here’s a list of suffixes in Turkish grammar. (If you click them, you’ll go to the video)

    Check the sidebar for more suffixes.

    Turkish Reading Book for Advanced and Intermediate Learners

    Turkish Short Story Book – For Intermediate to Advanced Learners

    This book has 9 captivating short stories written with simple Turkish and reading is assisted with the vocabulary section at the bottom of every page.

    Some knowledge of grammar/vocabulary is highly recommended to enjoy these short stories which are written by real Turkish authors such as Ömer Seyfettin, Sabahattin Ali, or Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil.
     


    Turkish Grammar Books

    Turkish Grammar: Geoffrey Lewis (Amazon)

    This authoritative work investigates Turkish grammar in every aspect. Studying Turkish grammar with it can be challenging in the elementary stages but this is a book that you must have in your studying repertoire.

     


    The Delights of Learning Turkish: Yaşar Esendal Kuzucu (Amazon)

    This is a self-study course book that introduces Turkish grammar with examples, dialogues, and exercises. It takes the learners from the beginner level to the intermediate level. At the end of the book, you can also find a glossary section.

     


    Turkish Phrasebook & Dictionary: Collins (Amazon)

    You will never be lost for words in your travels around Turkey again” can describe this book very clearly. You can find important tips for your travels and 3000 words that you may use during your trips to Turkey.

     


    Elementary Turkish: Lewis V. Thomas (Amazon)

    This book enables learners to gain basic abilities and understanding of Turkish grammar. It is written by Lewis V. Thomas who is a professor at Princeton University and revised by Norman Itzkowitz to update for the modern Turkish.

     


    For the learners willing to know more about Istanbul:

    Inside Out in Istanbul: Lisa Morrow (Amazon) (Website)

    For most people, Istanbul is synonymous with its world-famous sights, the Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Dolmabahçe Palace. Few tourists manage to go beyond the beauty of the historical district of Sultanahmet to visit the other face of Istanbul. Yet a short ferry ride from the Bosphorus to the Sea of Marmara brings you to the shores of Asia, to the everyday extraordinary. The stories in the 2nd edition of Inside Out In Istanbul take the reader beyond the tourist façades into a suburban world.

    🎧 AUDIO LESSON FREE: Talking About Your Schedule With a Turkish Friend

    Two colleagues are talking about their schedule in Turkish. You’ll learn time expressions and some useful sentences like “How’s schedule tomorrow?” or “Do you want to meet?“.

    GO TO THE LESSON