Paroramic view of Göreme village and the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.

Basics of Turkish Grammar

Welcome to an exploration of Turkish grammar!

Sunset on the Bosphorus at Istanbul, with the Ayasofya (Haghia Sophia) and Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet district.

Sunset on the Bosphorus in İstanbul, looking from the Asian shore across to the Sultanahmet district with the Ayasofya (Haghia Sofia) and Sultanahmet Cami (Blue Mosque). See my travel pages for many pictures of Turkey.


Turkish flag

This is something I put together for my own use, to serve as a study guide and reasonably complete and organized refresher or review material.

The best book is Geoffrey L. Lewis' excellent Turkish Grammar. My attempt in these pages is to put together a heavily compressed summary of his textbook.

Turkish is a very challenging language for a native speaker of English or other Indo-European languages. Turkish is completely different.

one    two    three    mother    water     English
un    deux    trois    mere    eau     French
ien    twa    trije    mem    wetter     Frisian
eins    zwei    drei    mutter    wasser     German
en    to    tre    mor    vann     Norwegian
odin    dva    tri    mat    voda     Russian
bir    iki    üç    anne    su     Turkish

As Steve Martin observed of the French, "They have a different word for everything!" It's the same with Turkish, except even more so. Much of English, after all, is based on Norman era French, and much of the rest shares the same ancestry as German, Old Norse, and so on. Even Russian is an Indo-European language, so once you get past its alphabet you find similar words. See how similar Indo-European words can be, but look at how different the Turkish equivalents are.

It's not just the semantics or individual words that are very different in Turkish, the syntax or how words are assembled into sentences is also radically different from that of English. You the verb at the end will find.

Let's get to the details. It probably makes the most sense to look at these pages in the following order: