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Suffix order


I was asked to prepare a guide to help decide in which order you should arrange the suffixes that you add onto a word.

If the English sentence has "am/is/are/was/were, etc" (i.e.; any form of verb 'to be'), then it's a pretty straightforward thing, actually. You can either use the general formula: Plural > Possessive > Case > Past tense Marker > Personal ending, or think of it as the exact opposite of the English structure. Just start reading the English phrase from the end and continue towards the beginning. Observe the following sentences:

It was at my table = Table-My-At-it was : Masa-m-da-ydı

You are from the bar = Bar-from-you are : Bar-dan-sın

We were with your friends = Friend-s-your-with-we were : Arkadaş-lar-ın-la-ydık

With verbs, though, there are other combinations. Let's go over them one by one:

  1. X-miş-ti = he had Xed. Ex: Sen geldiğinde o çoktan gitmişti. = When you arrived, he had already gone.

  2. X-iyor-du = he was Xing. Ex: Telefon çaldığında uyuyordu. = He was sleeping when the phone rang.

  3. X-ecek-ti = he was going to X. Ex: Dışarı çıkacaktı; ama parası olmadığını fark edince vazgeçti. = He was going to go out, but when he realized he didn't have money, he changed his mind.

  4. X-di-yse = if he has Xed. Ex: Geldiysen, görmüş olmalısın. = If you have come, you must have seen it.

  5. X-iyor-sa = if he is Xing. Ex: Eğer gelmiyorsa, zorlama. = If he's not coming, don't insist.

  6. X-ecek-se = if he is going to X. Ex: Sen de geleceksen, listeye adını ekle. = If you're going to come too, add your name to the list.

  7. X-se-ydi = if he had Xed. Ex: Eğer gelseydi, eğlenirdi. = If he had come, he would have had fun.

  8. X-se-ymiş! = He should have Xed then! Ex: Madem film izlemek istemiyor, gelmeseymiş! = If he doesn't want to watch a movie, he shouldn't have come then!

  9. X-mişmiş = he claims to have Xed but I don't buy it. Ex: Onu görmemişmiş. = He says he didn't see it. But it's a lie.

  10. X-diydi (dialect)= it had Xed. Ex: Sen geldiğinde o çoktan gittiydi. = When you arrived, he had already gone.

  11. X-ecek-miş-ti (dialect, highly incorrect) = it turns out he was going to X. Ex: O da gelecekmişti, ama vazgeçmiş. = Apparently he was going to come too, but he changed his mind. (This is used in various dialects, in order to convey "apparently" and the "pastness" at the same time. But it's nonstandard).

If I can think of anything else, I'll add them.

Meanwhile, feel free to ask your questions below.

October 31, 2016



I have been wondering about this. Thanks a lot!


Çok çok teşekkürler! This post will be very helpful for us!


Thanks for this. This is the only language that I've studied where grammar still hasn't became automatic for me yet.

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