Erkek is more like a gender. It is a gender identity. Its exact meaning is "male". We usually use it in contrast to girls and women. On the other hand "adam" is any man around as a person. You cannot refer to all men as "adamlar" because by saying all men you emphasize the gender. So when you want to exclude or differentiate from females use erkek. When talking about any man as a regular person use adam. Hope it's clear
no, adam is also a male person. Think of them like this, wherever you can say "male" instead of "man" you can use erkek. Wherever you can say "guy", typically you cannot say "erkek".
- Odada 3 adam/erkek var (there are 3 men in the room, both OK)
- Bir adam seni bekliyor (a man is waiting for you, erkek is awkward here)
- Bir erkek öğrenci seni bekliyor (a male student is waiting for you - adam is wrong here)
- 10 kız, 10 erkek öğrencim var (I have 10 female, 10 male students- adam is wrong here)
Ah, ok, thanks!
I see that it's fairly commonly used preceding (modifying) another noun. That makes sense to me. I still don't really see why the first example with 'erkek' is OK, while the second is awkward, though. I probably need to be exposed to more Turkish to see what's going on. Thanks!