"The nights are short in the summer."
Translation:Yazın geceler kısadır.
why do you think so?
Yazın geceleri kısadır means It's short at nights in summer. or The nights of summer are short. The first one actually works to convey the same meaning as the given translation so your offer also awkwardly works.
I was thinking the nights belong to the summer so should, or could have the possessed ending.
yazın is an idiomatic expression which means in (the) summer. it has nothing to do with the genitive ending -(n)In. therefore geceler is the subject of this sentence and it doesn't take -i ending.
if the nights belonged to the summer as you suggested the translation would be the nights of the summer are short. (yazın geceleri kısadır)
Ok I see that now, I was just rearranging the sentence in my head to try to work out the turkish word order, which is a challenge in longer sentences.
So, are yazın and kışın exceptions? Because i thought "yazda" would have been ok since sonbaharda and ilkbaharda are.
To answer my own question it is because the nights are the subject not the object. My mental rearrangement is equivalent in meaning in English but is nevertheless a different sentence.
I have trouble telling when I should use a plural and when a singular form will be understood as a plural. I'm starting to think that if a word is the subject of the sentence, it needs "-ler/-lar" if it is plural, but that if a word is the object of the sentence, it doesn't need the "-ler/-lar" necessarily. Am I on the right track at all? :)
You are. But regarding objects... There is a definite and indefinite distinciton. A definite object(A definite object takes accusative marker.) needs plural suffix(-ler/-lar) if it is plural but an indefinite one doesn't.
EX: Ev temizlerim. (I clean houses.)<pre>
Evleri temizlerim. (I clean the houses.) Kitap yazdınız. (You wrote books.) Kitapları yazdınız. (You wrote the books.)</pre>
But sometimes indefinite objects take plural suffix too, for different purposes. But this is mostly used in spoken language.