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Turkish Personal Endings (PEs)

"Türkçeyi öğrenmek ekleri öğrenmektir."
"In order to learn Turkish, you have to learn the suffixes."
Jean Deny

The Personal Endings (PEs) --
How to use'm, not abuse'm...
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In the Minority?

We may be in an inconsequential minority here,
but we've muddled up our personal endings...
(Not those personal endings!
We mean the ones attached as suffixes
to Turkish verb stems, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs...)

...more than once, so we've decided to discuss the two varieties that have given us the most trouble, together on a single page -- the better for us to observe and compare them during (recurrent) lapses of memory.

But we're not as mad as we may first appear -- because in many ways the personal endings for the verb stems, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs are very similar.

Have a look for yourself, in the following paragraphs.

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Personal Endings (PEs) --

  1. The Personal Verbal Endings/suffixes:
    are those PEs that you attach to verb stems, nouns, and adjectives -- to form verb-related constructions.
    [For Example: When you attach the Personal Verbal Ending, '-ler', to the Wide-tense (Aorist) verb stem of görmek (which is görür), you get görürler; they see].
    For more info, see the
    Side-by-side Comparison Chart

  2. The Personal Possessive Endings/suffixes:
    are those PEs that you attach to nouns and pronouns and that are meant to show possession.
    [For Example: When you attach the Personal Possessive Ending '-leri' to 'anne', you get anneleri; their mother]
    For more info, see the
    Side-by-side Comparison Chart
    If you're really determined to see these endings used for verb-related constructions,
    then go ahead and click here.

    Or have a romp on
    the Verbal Nouns page...
    Or jump below to see
    all the oddball uses of the PPE.

    But, remember how we tried to keep it nice n' easy for ya'...

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Side by Side Comparison
of the Personal Verbal
and the Personal Possessive Endings/suffixes
Special Note !!!
All endings in the following chart are subject to
the Rule of Vowel Harmony...
Personal Verbal Endings (PVE) Personal Possessive Endings (PPE)
Type I
[attach to nouns, adjectives, and verb stems (except the definite past tense, -di stem)]
Type II
[only attach after the
definite past tense, -di stem]
After Consonants After Vowels
  • öğretmenim
    I am a teacher
  • gidiyormuşum
    It's said that I am going
  • öğretmendim I was a teacher
  • gitmiştim
    I had gone
  • kitabım
    my book
  • örümceğim my spider
  • kapım
    my door
  • şapkam
    my hat
  • gidiyorsun
    you are going
  • delisin
    you're crazy
  • gidiyordun
    you were going
  • delidin
    you were crazy
  • kalemin
    your pen
  • fıncanın
    your coffee cup
  • kedin
    your cat
  • araban
    your car
[doesn't have to
be present always ...]
  • avukattır
    she's a lawyer
  • uçacak...
    he will fly
(no personal ending)
  • avukat...
    she is a lawyer
  • uçuyor...
    he is flying
  • bisikleti
    his bicycle
  • gözlüğü
    her eyeglasses
  • gözlüğü
    her eyeglasses
  • rengi
    its color
  • mesleği
    his job

  • masa
    his table
  • Cim'in ailesi
    Jim's [his] family
  • çerçevesi
    its frame
  • paltosu
    her coat
  • arabanın akü
    the car's [its] battery
  • kaynama
    its boiling (action)
    [Note that the noun in the preceding example (kaynama) is a verbal noun (not a negative verbal command) -- and is subject to the same PPE endings as any other Turkish noun...]
  • iyiyiz
    we are well
  • evleneceğiz
    we will marry
  • güleriz
    we laugh
  • iyiydik
    we were well
  • evlendik
    we married
  • güldük
    we laughed
  • makbuzumuz our
  • şekerimiz
    our candy
  • ölçümüz
    our measurement
  • içkimiz
    our drink
  • kötüsünüz
    you are bad
  • misafirimizsiniz you are
    our guests
  • geliyor musunuz? are you all
  • kötüydünüz
    you were bad
  • misafirimizdiniz you were
    our guests
  • geliyor muydunuz? were you all
  • makasınız
    your scissors
  • feneriniz
    your flashlight
  • ayakkabınız your shoes
  • klavyeniz
    your keyboard
[these endings can also
appear in reverse order,
but they are not
always present...
  • tembeldirler
    they are lazy
  • açıyorlar
    they are opening
  • gitmeyecekler mi?
    aren't they going to go?
  • görürler
    they see
  • (Example where no verbal ending required)
    domuzlar kokar-
    pigs stink
  • tembeldiler
    they were lazy
  • açtılar
    they opened
  • gitmediler mi?
    didn't they go?
  • besleyemiyordular
    they were unable to nourish
    [alternative spelling: besleyemiyorlar -- Click link to see more examples...]
  • koltukları
    their easy chair
  • günleri
    their days
  • anneleri
    their mother(s)
  • babaları
    their father(s)

Also see Essential Turkish, Verb to be -- present tense
Also see Essential Turkish, Verb to be -- past tense

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Confusions that may arise

Since the Personal Endings are so similar  to each other and because they are identical in looks to other types of endings, it's not surprising that confusion may arise in their use and interpretation.

For example, depending on the sentence it's found in...

  1. çocuklarI can mean his/her/its children -- that's because 'çocuklar' can represent the plural of 'child' and, when you attach the 3rd personal singular, Personal Possessive Ending 'I' it means 'his/her/its'. Thus, his/her/its children...

  2. çocukları can mean their child -- that's because 'çocuk' can represent the singular of 'child' and, when you attach the 3rd person plural, Personal Possessive Ending 'ları' it means 'their'. Thus, their child...

  3. çocuklarI can mean their children -- that's because 'çocuklar' can represent the plural of child and, when you attach the 3rd person, Plural Personal Possessive Ending 'larI' it means 'their'. Thus, their children... (Note: You only see one 'lar' in this construction because 'larlar' can't occur in Turkish. So, one 'lar' must be dropped.)

  4. çocuklarI can mean the children -- that's because 'çocuklar' can represent the plural of 'child' and when you attach the 'direct object' Case Ending 'ı' (which is identical in appearance to the 3rd person singular, Personal Possessive Ending), it means 'the'. Thus, the children...

In another confusing instance, çocukların can mean...
  1. your children -- that's because 'çocuklar' can represent the plural of 'child' and, when you attach the Personal Possessive Ending 'ın' it means 'your' which results in
    your children...

  2. of the children -- that's because 'çocuklar'
    can represent the plural of 'child' and
    when you attach
    the Case Ending 'ın' (which is identical in appearance to the Personal Possessive Ending that
    we just used in the previous paragraph)

    it means 'of' which results in
    of the children...

No worry, mate.
We talk more about
all Case Endings on another page.

Does any of this make sense to you, Marvin?
Umm... Can I get back to you on that one, Mabel?

Click here
for more about "Ambiguities"
like the ones above

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'Oddball' Uses of the 'Personal Possessive Endings' (PPEs)

It's probably too strong to call these uses 'Oddball'.

Or is it?

Well, we call'em 'oddball' if they are found among any of the following list items. What do you think?

  1. When attached to verb stems, the PPEs help form 'Past Personal' or 'Future Personal' Participles in Turkish...

  2. ...but sometimes not. And when not, they may simply be 'faux-participles'. The best way to quickly understand 'faux-participles' is to observe an example of one. Click the following hyper-link to see a 'faux-participle' in action. And click this next hyper-link to see another...

  3. When PPEs get involved with saying "when", we often dive for cover...Do you remember our heavy duty charts on this interesting Turkish language construction? Actually, no, I don't. Remind me, please.

  4. When PPEs are attached to interrogatives they can raise serious questions...For example, when you attach the 1st person singular PPE, '-im' to the interrogative 'ne' you get an oddball pronoun, nem or neyim meaning what of mine? And, it doesn't end there -- as the chart reveals...
    say what?
    nem? or neyim? what of mine? nen? or neyimiz? what of ours?
    nen? or neyin? what of yours? neniz? or neyiniz? what of yours (pl.)?
    nesi? or neyi? what of his/hers/its? neleri? what of theirs?

  5. And when PPEs are attached to certain adjectives and even adverbs, in oddball ways, we get extremely nervous...For example, when you start adding PPEs to oddball adjectives, like hangi (which) then you start getting oddball pronouns, like...
    which of...?
    --- --- hangimiz? which of us?
    --- --- hanginiz? which of you (all)?
    hangisi? which one of them? hangileri? which (ones) of them?

    Or when you anoint good ole ordinary adverbs, like çok; much, very, many with PPEs, they turn into oddball pronouns (or even adjectives) -- right before your very eyes...

    --- --- çoğumuz most of us
    --- --- çoğunuz most of you
    (as pronoun)
    most of it, most of them çokları, as in bir çokları a good many of them
    (as adjective),
    e.g. çoğu zaman
    most times, most often --- ---

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