because it said "they have" for we can say it this must be "beş dakika var" it said dakika-ları."ları" means "their"
I think GiulianoBernardi already addresses the reason why this does not mean "there are five minutes," (the singular is used after a number) but to answer your question directly, "There are five minutes" would be "Beş dakika var." To solidify my understanding of this construct, I went to tatoeba.org and did a search for "there are two" (as a random example). The results that were returned can be found at the link below:
Hope that helps.
Another important (to me at least) remark (and possible source of confusion) is that counted things don't get pluralized, so the -lar doesn't represent the plural suffix but the 3rd person plural suffix. Right Turkish speakers?
-ları is ambiguous; it could either be -lar "plural" + -ı "possessed by one person" or it could be -ları "possessed by several people" (and in the latter case, you can't tell the difference between "one thing possessed by several people" and "many things possessed by several people" because you don't write "-larları" for the latter).
You're right that if there is a number in front of it, it can't be -lar + -ı because you don't use -lar after numbers.
But for example if you just had "Kitapları var", it could mean "He has books", "They have a book", or "They have books". To distinguish, you could say "Onun kitapları var", "Onların kitabı var", and "Onların kitapları var", respectively. (Though "Onların kitapları var" is theoretically also ambiguous between "they have a book" and "they have books".)
I keep getting dinged by this "their" -lar vs plural -lar construction, I'm glad there many exolanations in this comment thread :-)
Can i say onlarin beş dakikalari var? Or its beacaus lar is not for the minute its for they?
It is fine. Both the above bolded sentence and what you are valid if you correct your spelling. "Onların beş dakikaları var."
why is there a 'ı' on the end of var? is it just for vowel harmony? I thought it was to make it accusative but 'they have five of the minutes' wasn't accepted
oh, sorry, i meant on the end of dakika... here's an apology-for-time-wasting lingot ;)
it is the 3rd person plural possessive suffix
- dakikaları or onların dakikası
The tables in the 'Tips and notes' on Possessives (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/tr/Possessives/tips-and-notes) are not correct on that respect. They give as 3rd person plural possessive suffix -(s)I, independently of whether there is onlarin in front or not. -ları is not mentioned as possessive suffix.
"Onların beş dakikaları var" "Onların beş dakikası var" or "Onun beş dakikası var."
However: "Onun beş dakikaları var" is simply incorrect :)
Read everything above before you post, it is all explained there. :)
Why doesn't "var" take the conjugation (the plural)? Beş dakika varlar.
I actually think of "var" as the verb to have.
in turkish 'to have' verb is var. the noun is conjugated according to personal pronoun. i mean it takes possesive suffix according to personal pronoun
beş dakika-m var (i have 5 minutes)
beş dakika-n var (you have 5 minutes)
beş dakika-s-ı var (he/she has 5 minutes)
beş dakika-mız var (we have 5 minutes)
beş dakika-nız var (you(pl) have 5 minutes)
beş dakika-ları var (they have 5 minutes)
It might be better to not think of "var" as the verb "to have." This would prevent a lot of confusion for learners, since "var" does not take the endings of verbs (or rather, if it does, it is an entirely different verb, varmak/to arrive).
It is more of an adverb/existential particle which is why it is not like a verb :D
But var does take past tense conjugation: vardı (it had, I had, etc.) Neden bu?
It does but any word in Turkish can take this (O bir köpekti "It was a dog." for example).
Does 'Beş dakikaları var' mean that they are having a five minute's break or that they are given five minutes to present their errand?