Turkish Vowel Harmony

Learn about vowel harmony in Turkish

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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.

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Turkish Vowel Harmony

Vowel Harmony is easy to learn. The vowels are divided into two groups for this: The A-undotted group and the E-dotted group.

Note: Instead of memorizing the subtleties of each rule, it is more helpful to study the examples below by writing them down and repeating them with a loud voice, thus gaining a sense of the language.

The A-undotted group includes the vowels a, ı ,o, u. The vowel used in the last syllable of a word defines the way vowel harmony is constructed.

If the last vowel is a or ı, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is ı.

arkadaş >> arkadaş + ız >> Biz arkadaşız. “We are friends.”

hasta >> hasta + sınız >> Hastasınız. “You are ill.”

If the last vowel is o or u, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is u.

tok >> tok + um >> Tokum. “I am full.”

The E-dotted group consists of the vowels e, i , ö, ü.

If the last vowel is e or i, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is i.

ben >> ben + im >> Benim. “It’s me.” (lit. “I am.”)

If the last vowel is ö or ü, then the vowel(s) of the suffix is ü.

üzgün >> üzgün + sün >> Üzgünsün. “You are upset.”


mutlu - happy (ending in a vowel)

mutlu + y + um  I am happy  mutlu + y + uz  we are happy 
mutlu + sun  you are happy  mutlu + sunuz  you are happy (plural) 
mutlu  he/she/it is happy  mutlu  they are happy 


If the word ends in a vowel, y is added before suffixes for “I” and “we”.

hasta >> hasta + y + ım >> Hastayım. “I’m ill.”

evde >> evde + y + iz >> Evdeyiz. "We are at home."

It should be noted that there are words that end with a soft L. In this case, the endings take E –dotted vowels instead.

meşgūl >> meşgūl + üz >> Meşgūlüz. “We are busy.”




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