Grammatical Cases

Turkish language has six grammatical cases for nouns. These cases help us to use nouns in different grammatical setting. We simply use some prefixes to mark these noun cases. All these prefixes will follow vowel harmony rule that we covered earlier. Do not worry! It is pretty straightforward, indeed.


Mete: Merhaba. Bu kitabı satın almak istiyorum.

— Mete: Hi! I want to buy this book.

Fatma: Kitabın adı ne?

— Fatma: What is the name of the book.

Mete: Savaş ve Barış

— Mete: War and Peace

Fatma: Tamam. Kitaba bakıyorum.

— Fatma: OK. I look for the book.

Mete: Peki. Sizi bekliyorum.

— Mete: Alright. I am waiting for you.

Fatma: Bir saniye. Bilgisayardan arıyorum.

— Fatma: A sec. I search from computer.

Fatma: Buyrun. Kitap masada.

— Fatma: Here you are. Book is on the table.

Mete: Teşekkür ederim. Hoşçakalın! 

— Mete: Thank you. Good-bye!


Kitap – Book

Satın Almak – To Buy

Savaş – War

Barış – Peace

Bir Saniye – A Second

Aramak – To search

Masa – Table

Yol – Road

Adres – Address


1) Nominative case (no suffix)

There is not much to talk about this case since it has no suffix. We usually have words in nominative case when they are the subject of a sentence.

 

2) Genitive case (-in + -i)

Genitive case marks possession. Generally, genitive case marks a noun as being the possessor of  another noun. We ask the question whose or of what to find genitive case.  The noun that possess other gets -in or appropriate ending in accordance with vowel harmony rule. Whereas the possessed noun gets -i or appropriate ending in accordance with vowel harmony rule.

Examples:

Öğretmenin kitabı = book of the teacher

Okulun yolu = road of the school

 

3) Dative case (-e)

Dative case indicates indirect object of a verb. We ask to whom or to what questions for the dative case. The ending is -e or the appropriate one in accordance with vowel harmony rule.

Examples:

Okula gidiyorum. = I am going to school.

Polise yazıyorum. = I am writing to police.

 

4) Accusative case (-i)

Accusative case indicates direct object of a transitive verb. Note that all verbs do not necessarily have a direct object. For instance, when you say “I sleep”, you would not need an object.  The ending is -i or the appropriate one in accordance with vowel harmony rule.

Examples:

Seni seviyorum. = I love you.

Adresi biliyorum. = I know the address.

 

5) Ablative case (-den)

Ablative case indicates a separation or a motion away from an object. In many occasions, we can find ablative case by asking “(from) where” question. The ending is -den or the appropriate one in accordance with vowel harmony rule.

Examples:

İstanbul‘dan yazıyorum. = I am writing from Istanbul.

Evden geliyorum. = I am coming from home.

 

6) Locative case (-de)

This case indicates location. Since, it is very similar to English prepositions of “in”, “on” and “at” in the sense of lcoation, we can find ablative case by asking “(at) where” question. The ending is -de or the appropriate one in accordance with vowel harmony rule.

Examples:

Kafede oturuyorum. = I am sitting in the cafe.

Beyrut’ta yaşıyorum. = I live in Beirut.

 

Let’s mix things up!

Evden okulu görüyorum. = I see school form home.

Kafede çay içiyorum. = I drink tea in the cafe.

Seni okuldan tanıyorum. = I know you from school.

Hüseyin’e kitap alıyorum. = I am getting a book for Hüseyin.


Grammatical Cases

Let's complete sentences using grammatical cases.