1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Turkish
  4. >
  5. "Benim bir köpeğim var."

"Benim bir köpeğim var."

Translation:I have a dog.

March 26, 2015



I'm a little confused on the possessive. Although this sentence uses two possessive suffixes the correct answer given "I have a dog" does in no way indicate that the dog is mine, or that it's even my dog. Is there a simpler way to say that "I have a dog" where it's not your dog but a dog in general?


>Is there a simpler way to say that "I have a dog" where it's not your dog but a dog in general?

"Bende bir köpek var" would achieve that I think.

However, in English using the "I have a/an..." form is how you express that you have something in your possession. Think of "I have a car, I have an iPhone" etc. Not having the possessive "my" in there does not take away from that meaning that you own that object. Does this help?


Yes it does very much, thanks for the explanation!


You're welcome, I'm glad I could help. :)


So "b ende" is for things that i own and benim is for general..am i right ..please help.


Reverse that, actually :-)

  • "benim" (meaning "my") is for things that are mine
  • "bende" (meaning "on/at me") is for things that I have at the moment that may or may not be mine.


Yes and no. "have" does not always mean "own" or "possess". It only sometimes means that. You can come back from somewhere with other people's things by mistake and then you have other people's things that you need to return to them. Other people can forget their things in your car or at your house with the same result. You can call your friend and say "I have a black iphone. Are you missing one?" and "Do you have all your keys? I have a key too."


me too having the confusion in this topic ..... yes you are right these sentence have 2 possessive....... It is somewhat comfusion


So if we wanted to drop the pronoun could this be said as "bir köpeğim var" And does that literrally mean I have a dog in my possession - kind of thing.

Is this how we use the verb to have?


i will try to make this clear! :) In turkish there is not an exact verb meaning "to have" as it is in english (or "avere" in italian, "avoir" in french, "haben" in german). it is a bit different. for this you simply have to say like ;

"there is something which belongs to me" or "there is something which is mine" or "there is something of mine"

"something of mine" is translated as "benim bir şeyim"

"there is" is translated as "var" (which is the same for all persons and it becomes "vardı" for the past tense)

so you just put them together and it is done; "benim bir şeyim var." now taking the "vowel harmony" into account you can exchange "ben" and "şey" with whatever you wish!

bizim bir eşeğimiz var= "we have a donkey."

note that you can omit "bir", but if you want to express quantity you can say "bir tane" for "one" or "iki tane" for "two" and etc.

you can omit the possessive adjectives (benim, senin,...) if it is an answer for a question like "do you have something...?";

-sende evcil hayvan var mı? (do you have any pets?)

-evet, bir tane köpeğim var. -or just"köpeğim var"- (yes,I have a dog.)

but if it is just as an information you would better use the possessive adjectives like the example above;

"Benim bir köpeğim var."

hope it helps! :)


Please tell me why is it "bir tane," "iki tane" instead of just "bir", "iki" ?


"tane" is a regular measure word in Turkish, it just stresses the quantity there is.


This sort of words are very common in Japanese and Chinese as well. 匹 in Japanese and 只 or 条 in Mandarin Chinese for tane.


Thanks! That was very helpful.


I'm wondering the exact same thing, thanks for putting it into such clear words. Now let's hope we get an answer sometime :)


Do you have to use th possessive with both the subject and the object? Is it not enough to say "benim bir köpek" since Benim implies my dog?


Yes, you have to use both. Think of it as similar to conjugating a verb. We say "he eatS" instead of "he eat," even though the -s does not give us any new information that the "he" does not. But it serves to connect the two words and make their relationship clearer.


Hello! I'm not sure about how is the appropiate way to say köpeğim. I think it's not clear. Can someone help me, please? Teşeküller!


am i right that saying "köpeğim" means both "my dog" and "i am a dog"?


Right. i'm teacher: (ben) öğretmenim. my teacher: (benim) öğretmenim. i'm dog: (ben) köpeğim my dog: (benim) köpeğim.


tmm tesekkürler


How to say: i have your dog ?


Senin köpeğin bende. (Literally: Your dog is at me.)


Can I say "I have a dog" using words "bende" and "var"? I ask it because it seems to me that the turkish sentence structure is similar to the one of my native Russian: У меня (at me/bende) есть (there is/var) собака (a dog/(bir) köpek/köpeğim). Thanks in advance.


Why is it wrong to say "Sen köpeksin."?


Well, you're literally calling someone a dog, haha... But from Turkish media, I get the impression that it's more offensive in Turkish than it sounds in English.

If you were trying to say "your dog" it should be: "senin köpeğin". Not something you want to mix up. :-)


Doesn't 'benim' mean 'my' So then why is it ' I have a dog' Everything else i understand. Please reply if you can. I am finding Turkish very interesting these past few months :P


Turkish rarely translates to English literally word-for-word (perhaps that is why it is so interesting!)

It helps to keep in mind that "var" doesn't literally mean "have", but rather "there is" or "exists". What we're literally saying in Turkish is:

  • "My dog there is." = "My dog exists." = "I have a dog."

It takes a bit of getting used to, but it will feel more natural with practice! Good luck with your studies! :-)


Can I say, ben bir köpeyim var


no. that would be like saying 'me have a dog' . I see your point though., because we can say

'ben gidiyorum' and 'benim köpek gidiyor'


Thanks for helping me


how would you say " I have my dog"?


Why kopegim not simply bir kopek =a dog? For me the translation of the turkish sentence is I have my dog (one dog)


Shouldn't "benim" be translated as "my"? Why can't I use "Ben"? So confused!


QgqY, "benim"="my", possessive adjective before a noun. "Ben"="i", personal pronoun, first person singular, before a verb. Have a look on Duolingo Turkish Grammar Portal: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7736569, with a clear, helpfull table of the pronouns and there, a video veray clear, in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH2iRwfBFPs. Enjoy it!


So the possessive is structured a bit like pronoun/subject, object, there is (not)?


I am confused with this. Tell me (Benim bir köpeğim var) we use benim, is the(im) suffix in benim a possesive suffix. Why can't i use ben bir köpeğim var means i have a dog. Is this necessary to put the suffix in subjects in a sentence. Please let me know ASAP


SofiSahil, "benim"="my", possessive adjective before a noun. "Ben"="i", personal pronoun, first person singular, before a verb. Have a look on Duolingo Turkish Grammar Portal: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7736569, with a clear, helpfull table of the pronouns and there, a video veray clear, in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH2iRwfBFPs. Enjoy it! This is the answer i did to QgqY in my comment above. Should read all the comments before asking. Thanks


It makes me totally mad


Why we said "köpeğim "?? Also is "köpekim "right?


Why its not (köpeğem)?


These sentences would literally translate to something like to "My [BLANK] exists/does not exist", right? That helps me with the syntax

Learn Turkish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.