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[Grammar] Suffix: -dir


After countless questions about the usage of "-dir", I thought we should have a small guide on the topic.

How many of you guys have started hating this annoying suffix?

This suffix has a number of uses, but I'll just talk about 3 of them here and see how it goes:

I. When writing a sentence, "writing" being the keyword here, if you're stating important facts, "important" being the keyword here, then you should use "-dir".

For example, you want to write: "Phobos is a satellite of Mars"? Yes, that's a fact. And it's pretty important! (Mind you, soon we're going to Mars). Had it been a satellite of Uranus, you wouldn't need it, because we're not going there anytime soon! ................ (Just kidding. You would use it there too. It's all encyclopaedical information. You need the "-dir" with such statements.)

But this is when writing. When speaking, it's up to you really. I never use it when I speak, for instance.

Also remember my remark about using the "-dir" in important facts. So please don't walk around saying "-dir" with sentences like "This chicken smells fishy", "The weather is nice today," "My father is in the kitchen," or "My car is a BMW," because everyone knows a Mercedes is better……… And also because none of these are encyclopaedical pieces of information. TL;DR : No one cares about your car. (I love BMWs btw. Contact me and we can exchange photos).

If it seems hard to decide when to use it, just never use it. It's much worse (for the listeners) when you use it in the wrong place than when you simply discard it where it's expected. You'll learn it in time. No rush.

II. Here comes the weird part: the "-dir" is also used when you're not too sure of something. After reading the first rule about encyclopaedical usage of "-dir" which you state established facts with, this might seem like a paradox. But this is usually a spoken language thing, although it's fine to use it in writing too. For example, you're about to rob a bank with some friends. (With friends like that…) And one of them asks: "So where do you think they're keeping all the money?" (He's asking in Turkish, btw. So feel free to ask him to take his sock-mask off so you can hear him clearly; Turkish is hard to understand as it is!) And so you turn to him with rolling eyes: "Probably in the vault?" You could say: "Muhtemelen kasada," but wait! Don't kill the moment! Remember this guide and use the "-dir"! "Muhtemelen kasadadır." That's not necessarily a fact. With the "-dir", you mean: "I mean I haven't seen it, but that's probably the case."

Another example: "You give a bacon to the cat, but it won't eat it." (Dogs > cats. #grabs popcorn#) So you go to your friend and say: "The cat's not eating the bacon." Your friend might say: "Aç değil." He's not hungry, hinting he had fed him earlier. But, he could also say: "Aç değildir," which would mean: "He's probably not hungry".

III. You would use "-dir" also to indicate the duration of something. English uses "for" for this. "5 saattir buradayım." → I've been here for 5 hours, or: "Sen o şehre taşındığında 10 yıldır orada yaşıyordum." (When you moved to that city, I'd been living there for 10 years). But remember, you can only use it when in English you would use a perfect tense. Otherwise you can't. For example a sentence like "I'll be in London for 5 days," would not allow "-dir". No perfect tense is used. So: "Dört gün Londra'da olacağım." You could use "boyunca" in this case if you really want to use something: "Dört gün boyunca Londra'da olacağım."

I hope this sheds some light on the matter!

May 16, 2015



Your posts are amazing. I thought Turkish was going to be very difficult to learn; however, the course is constructed so well with clear and comprehensive tips and notes, relevant sentences in exercises (you guys went to the extent of adding different words which sound or appear similar to the same "logical" sentence so that we know the difference!), logical progression of skills and most importantly brilliant moderators, who are very active in the discussion rooms and explain every issue with such clarity. My mind is blown away, not only am I finding the Turkish course the easiest to learn (I tried different apps before and was fed up with how difficult the language seemed to be!), this course is actually helping me improve my English grammar! Çok acayıp, çok şaşırtıcı! In short, I want to declare to the universe that I love the Turkish course moderators, the course and language itself, Doulingo and Turkey!! Çok teşekkür ederim :-)


Very good explanation, indeed! For the first one I would like add some points that I consider important. I think -dir is used mostly in written and formal language. I recently realized that I have seen it quite often in warning and information texts in public places such as subways, buses, concerts, restaurants, shopping malls... Let me give a couple examples

İki bira alana bir tane ücretsizdir. - One beer is free when you buy two beers. (Written on a menu or on a signboard on the table.)
Sistem geçici süreyle servis dışıdır. - The system is temporarily unavailable. (Written on a screen at subway)
Film gösterimi üst kattadır. - The movie screening is at the top floor. (Written on a signboard)

However advertisements don't like it very much. They usually use -dir when giving necessary information in small fonts such as 'KDV dahildir'. (Vat is included). But if this is part of advertising/campaign they don't use it and say KDV Dahil! (Vat is included!) in big fonts. Because it's less formal, so more attractive.

So when you want to go formal, official or public (all in all, BORING) you can prefer to use -dir. It's usually used in written language (especially public or formal) and public speechs. In daily speaking some people may also use it in order to sound very assuring and confident especially when they try to prove their points or teach something. It can make a statement sound something very true and need to be accepted/learned. I personally find it a bit bumptious, smarty or distant in a one to one conversation.

Yes in one word it can be explained as boring.


Funny and informative! Thanks! They made a good choice, adding you to Team Turkish.

[deactivated user]

    I laughed like an idiot ahahah I love the way you explained the whole topic, gg wp


    Hilarious and helpful. (Everyone knows Turkish cats are Muslim and don't eat bacon. Look it up on the encyclopedia.)

    However, it's very peculiar and subtle. İt'll take years to master, no doubt. (That's a "-dir")


    Very useful and funny, I will never forget the puzzled robber :) Thanks and have a lingot!


    Have writtin more articals? If yes please give me the links, because you are hilarious! I really did enjoy the reading :D


    I loved everything about this post as a Turkish person! :) Great job. If anyone needs help i would be more than happy to participate :3


    Simply Amazing. You explained it so well and in such a witty way, that it really becomes very interesting to read it again and again. And after reading this, I am reading all your comments you have ever posted. I have to search "Ektoraskan" in order to read your posts. Is there any other way to find all your/his posts?

    Thanks again


    Your posts are blowing my mind. Thanks! :)


    for the first one, in order to use -dir, the verb must be ''to be''


    Very well written!


    teşekkür ederim, çok faydalı.....


    hahaha, so funny! sağ ol!


    I wish I had read this earlier, would've saved me a lot of time and head-scratching! I remember reading that -dir is sometimes used when the word on its own sounds vague(probably in longer sentences)? If that is indeed true, I would like some examples, please! :D

    P.S. Cats > Dogs :p

    [deactivated user]

      nice explanation sir.

      1. Loved the explanation! 2. Does this work for past as well? E.g If I want to say "It was the correct file" (really stressing the fact that it was (:) Thanks!


      very useful :):)


      you are a good teacher, although I didn't grab the entire subject but I'm happy that it's something that we can skip in speaking.

      Frankly speaking all the suffixes are driving me insane :)


      Turkish is strange :P Love it though !


      "...but wait! Don't kill the moment! Remember this guide and use the "-dir"! "..."

      This is one of the most amazing and definitely the most funny grammar explanation that I've ever read.
      I'll definitely remember this guide =D


      Bu açiklamayı çok sevdim! :-D


      I loved it! would like some more examples of III


      but mutludir and mutludirlar have the same translatation.....what is the difference between them??


      answering my own inattentiveness and rush questioning

      mutludir-->gives both singular and plural meaning (according to presence of "o" or "onlar"respectively)

      mutludirlar-->gives plural meaning only (presence of "onlar"is optional)


      Ektoraskan, thanks a lot to shed ligth on that murky point.


      Great explanation! Teşekkür ederim. Have my lingots!


      You are an amazing teacher.......Learning can be fun if one is taught this way....I wonder you can create fun in such a boring subject i.e. Grammer.....Helpful


      It's funny to me that -dir can imply "that's a fact" or conversely "that's probably true, but I'm uncertain." Learning Turkish will be an interesting journey.

      Another lesson here: avoid using "-dir" when dealing with Turkish bank robbers. That will make them want to go give up what they are doing and go home.

      "I am not robbing another bank with you until you learn how to use the proper suffix!"


      Thank you so much!! This is amazingly helpful, take all my lingots!!


      I'll give an upvote rather than a lingot, as you already have 244 from this explanation alone, and cats are clearly the best!


      Thank you! Makes a lot if sense.


      I came across the suffix a couple of times and asked the question right away and got your answer. Thank you thank you for making your answer funny... Now I just have to think, "DUH!


      I guess using -dir in the wrong places may sound somewhat like this in English- "Lo & behold! I hereby declare the chicken to be smelling fishy" (•_•) (≧∀≦)


      Thanks for the explanations!!

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