This tutorial was written by Ömer & Mehmet Sener. If you are interested in authentic uses of language, go to Turkish realia for photos taken in Turkey.
Noun Compounds in Turkish
When two nouns come together (like “school bag”), they form a noun compound. Noun compounds are used very often in Turkish. In a noun compound, the first element is the possessor, and the second one is the possessed. In Turkish, the possessed noun in an indefinite noun compound takes a suffix. This is the same with the possessive suffix for the third person singular (“his/her/its”).
öğrenci >> öğrenci + si >> üniversite öğrencisi “university student”
If the word ends in a consonant, the letter s is omitted from the suffix, as explained in possessive suffixes.
otobüs >> otobüs + ü >> okul otobüsü “the school bus”
adam >> adam + ı >> iş adamı “businessman”
If the possessed noun is in plural, it takes the possessive suffix for “their”.
yemek >> yemek + leri >> Türk yemekleri “Turkish dishes”
There are certain cases where no suffix is needed. Some of them are:
If the first word is an adjective.
beyaz at “white horse”, yüksek dağlar “high mountains”
If the first word is a name of a material.
altın yüzük “golden ring”, tahta masa “wooden table”
Üniversite öğrencisiyim. I am a university student.
İş adamları bu akşam İstanbul’da toplanıyorlar. Businessmen are meeting in Istanbul this evening.
Türk yemekleri çok lezzetli. Turkish dishes are very delicious.
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