https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk

[Grammar] "...have a..." vs "...have the..."

Selcen_Ozturk
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In English, when you say “I have a bag”, you are talking about possession, you are giving the information that you are the owner of any bag. We translate these sentences into Turkish as “Benim (bir) çantam var”, literally “There is my bag” (note: please don’t suggest such sentences as alternatives :D). There is also a verb, sahip olmak, so the alternative is “Ben (bir) çantaya sahibim.” but it is less common.

When you say “I have the bag”, you are certainly not giving any information about possession, this sentence only tells us about the location, that it is you who currently have the bag, maybe it is mine, but I left in your car, with you. Therefore, Turkish uses locative for this. So, “I have the bag” will be translated as “Çanta bende”. Similarly, "I have your bag" is "Çantan bende"

What about possession of a specific object? There are different ways to tell it in English:

  • I own the bag. (Çantaya ben sahibim –“ben” is not really optional here/Çanta bana ait)
  • I possess the bag. (Çantaya ben sahibim –“ben” is not really optional here/Çanta bana ait)
  • The bag is mine. (Çanta benim/Çanta benimki)
  • The bag belongs to me. (Çanta bana ait)

I hope it is clear for you all. Happy learning!

3 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ektoraskan

Great guide! There were a lot of questions about this topic. :-]

Will you add this to the Grammar Portal? :-]

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk
Selcen_Ozturk
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I have been planning to write this for a looong time :) Yes we will :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
Mod
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Thank you for taking the time, Selcen! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G0108

Very useful. You guys are great.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/giovanedr
giovanedr
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Very simple and clear explanation. Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cassie746831

This is great! I have always been confused about small details like these and I always try to fix them to make myself sound more fluent! Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TonyMintz
TonyMintz
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Ooooooh! Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/soniacqua
soniacqua
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thank you! that was exactly what I needed.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mmardinii

thanks

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielRCRibeiro

Thanks! That was a recurring problem I had (:

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dorcssa
dorcssa
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Wow, it's like reading the explanation for the Hungarian possession rules. The two languages are so similar! Easier for me to learn Turkish at least :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Levkopetra

nice guide ty

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

Danke Selcen. OK perhaps I shouldn't use German in this thread! BTW I will learn Turkish but I am trying to focus on German and French as well as all my other languages, as you can see I'm quite busy!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Philip115049

Thank you, but it's too absolute. -- In English, you might say, "I have neighbors" or, a librarian might say, "I have books." These are not equivalent to your "a/the" cases. They don't imply ownership.

3 weeks ago
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