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Handy Turkish Words for Beginners

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Are you a yeni başlayan (“beginner”) in Turkish?

If you’ve just started learning the language, it’s a good idea to begin with the basics. 

Acquiring a rudimentary vocabulary is the first step toward proficiency. By learning the essential Turkish words for beginners, you’re building a base upon which to further develop your language skills. With only a few words, you’ll be able to start communicating with native speakers and fulfilling your daily obligations while in Turkey. Then, you can start working on the grammar and building sentences using the simple words you’ve learned. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a masterlist of the most useful Turkish beginner words. We’ve included everything from numbers to conjunctions to ensure you’re not missing out on any essentials! 

Ready? Let’s start with something simple.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Numbers
  2. Pronouns
  3. Nouns
  4. Adjectives
  5. Adverbs
  6. Verbs
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Discover More About the Turkish Language on TurkishClass101.com

1. Numbers

One of the first things you should add to your Turkish vocabulary are numbers. We use them every day in a variety of contexts, from shopping to planning dates. 

Let’s count from 0 to 10 in Turkish:

0Sıfır
1Bir
2İki
3Üç
4Dört
5Beş
6Altı
7Yedi
8Sekiz
9Dokuz
10On

The Numbers 1-5 Represented by Colorful Blocks

Important note: 

When a Turkish noun is plural and preceded by a number, the noun does not take the usual -lar / -ler plural suffixes. Rather, it retains its singular form as the number indicates that it’s plural. 

Examples:

  • Elma – “Apple”
  • Bir elma – “One apple”
  • İki elma – “Two apples”

2. Pronouns

As you start speaking Turkish, pronouns will have your back time and again. There are four categories of pronouns we’ll be looking at today: personal, demonstrative, possessive, and interrogative

Personal Pronouns

There are six personal pronouns in Turkish. Since Turkish has no grammatical gender, there’s only one personal pronoun for the third person singular (he / she / it).

I would like to point out one more thing: The second person plural pronoun (siz) also functions as the polite form of the second person singular.

English Pronouns
TurkishEnglish
BenI
SenYou
OHe / She / It
BizWe
SizYou
OnlarThey

Demonstrative Pronouns

TurkishEnglish
BuThis
ŞuThat
BunlarThese
ŞunlarThose

Possessive Pronouns

TurkishEnglish
BenimMy
SeninYour
OnunHis / Her / Its
BizimOur
SizinYour
OnlarınTheir

Interrogative Pronouns

TurkishEnglish
NeWhat
KimWho
HangiWhich

You’ll see some of these pronouns used in example phrases below. Take note, because understanding their use in context will be helpful as you start learning how to build sentences with your new vocabulary. 

3. Nouns

Nouns are the words we use to label people, places, things, and concepts. Unlike some other languages, Turkish nouns do not have grammatical gender. 

Below, you’ll find the most essential nouns in Turkish for beginners grouped by category. If you want to pick up even more words, though, you should check out our dedicated Turkish nouns article

Time 

Here are the days of the week and some other words related to time.

TurkishEnglish
PazartesiMonday
SalıTuesday
ÇarşambaWednesday
PerşembeThursday
CumaFriday
CumartesiSaturday
PazarSunday
GünDay
HaftaWeek
AyMonth
YılYear
SaatHour
DakikaMinute

Now, let’s use some of these words with numbers:

  • Üç ay – “Three months”
  • İki saat – “Two hours”
  • Beş dakika – “Five minutes”

Places

TurkishEnglish
Dünya World
KıtaContinent
Ülke Country
Şehir  City
Deniz Sea
RestoranRestaurant
MarketMarket
Hastane Hospital
Postane Post office

Let’s see how these words might be used with the Turkish pronouns we saw earlier: 

  • Şu market – “That market”
  • Benim ülkem – “My country”
  • Hangi restoran? – “Which restaurant?”

Transportation

While trying to get around in Turkey, you’ll benefit from knowing the basic words and terms for transportation. 

TurkishEnglish
MetroSubway
OtobüsBus
TaksiTaxi
ArabaCar
TrenTrain
UçakAirplane
BisikletBicycle
Yol              Road
Trafik ışıklarıTraffic lights
Otobüs durağıBus stop
HavaalanıAirport
Tren istasyonuTrain station

And here’s how these beginner Turkish words might be used with pronouns:

  • Bu otobüs durağı – “This bus stop”
  • Benim arabam – “My car”
  • Hangi otobüs? – “Which bus?”

Technology

Technology is everywhere. Who knows where and when you’ll need to know a few technology-related words?

TurkishEnglish
İnternetInternet
Web sitesi Website
Wi-Fi          Wi-Fi
Bilgisayar  Computer
Dizüstü bilgisayarLaptop
TabletTablet
Cep telefonuCellphone
Şarj aletiCharger

School

If you’ve decided to pursue your studies in Turkey, memorizing these essential school-related terms will prove useful. 

TurkishEnglish
OkulSchool
LiseHigh school
OrtaokulMiddle school
İlkokulElementary school
ÖdevHomework
ÖğretmenTeacher
SınavExam
KitapBook
DefterNotebook
KalemPen / Pencil

Occupations

Knowing the terms for common occupations will come in handy when introducing yourself or someone else. 

TurkishEnglish
Doktor                 Doctor
Hemşire     Nurse
Avukat                   Lawyer
Mühendis             Engineer
Öğretmen              Teacher
İş adamı                Businessman
İş kadınıBusinesswoman
Yönetici                 Manager
Mimar                    Architect

A Doctor and a Nurse

Family Members

Here are some nouns you can use to introduce your family:

TurkishEnglish
AileFamily
Spouse
Kız evlatDaughter
Erkek evlatSon
AnneMom
BabaDad
EbeveynParent
KardeşSibling
KuzenCousin
ÇocukChild

Body Parts

In case of a medical emergency, knowing the body parts in Turkish will be crucial. Here’s a handy list for your reference: 

TurkishEnglish
VücutBody
Baş / KafaHead
OmuzShoulder
KolArm
ElHand
BacakLeg
AyakFoot
YüzFace
GözEye
BurunNose
AğızMouth
KulakEar
ParmakFinger

Food and Beverages

Food is vital to our wellbeing, so these words should be some of the first you memorize! You’ll use them while grocery shopping, ordering at a restaurant, or cooking at home. 

TurkishEnglish
Sebze        Vegetable
EtMeat
TavukChicken
BalıkFish
MeyveFruit
TatlıDessert
SuWater
BiraBeer
ŞarapWine
ÇayTea
Türk kahvesiTurkish coffee

You can learn even more Turkish nouns for food, utensils, and tableware on our website. 

4. Adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe nouns, whether we’re talking about objects, people, feelings, situations, or environments. As a beginner in Turkish, learning a few common adjectives will help you better express yourself and add flair to your speech or writing.

Describing Objects

You just need two words to describe an object: the correct noun and the adjective of your choice. Below are some frequently used adjectives for describing objects.

TurkishEnglish
Büyük Big
Küçük Small
Uzun Long
KısaShort
İnce  Thin
Kalın  Thick
Geniş  Wide
Dar  Narrow
AğırHeavy
HafifLight
SivriSharp
YassıFlat
Sert  Hard
YumuşakSoft

Now, let’s use some of these adjectives with the nouns we learned above:

  • Büyük şehir – “Big city”
  • Dar yol – “Narrow road”
  • Yumuşak kalem – “Soft pen/pencil”
  • Küçük burun – “Small nose”

Describing People

TurkishEnglish
Güzel Beautiful
YakışıklıHandsome
Çekici Attractive
ÇirkinUgly
Kısa boylu Short
Uzun boyluTall
Zayıf Thin
ŞişmanFat
Yaşlı  Old
Genç  Young

Examples:

  • Güzel çocuk – “Beautiful child”
  • Yakışıklı öğretmen – “Handsome teacher”
  • Genç bir mühendis – “A young engineer”

Describing Emotions

TurkishEnglish
MutluHappy
Üzgün Sad
Heyecanlı Excited
Şaşkın Surprised
NeşeliJoyful
Kızgın Angry
Gergin Tense
Sinirli Nervous
Sakin Calm
Endişeli Worried

Examples:

  • Mutlu bir anne – “A happy mother”
  • Endişeli bir baba – “A worried father”

Describing the Weather

TurkishEnglish
YağmurluRainy
BulutluCloudy
RüzgarlıWindy
GüneşliSunny
KarlıSnowy
SisliFoggy
SoğukCold
SıcakHot
IlıkWarm

Examples:

  • Yağmurlu bir gün – “A rainy day”
    Soğuk bir gün – “A cold day”

A tRainy Day

5. Adverbs

An adverb gives additional information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause. It basically answers questions regarding where, when, how, and why something happened. You can refer to our relevant blog article for more about adverbs.

Once we go over some verbs in the following section, you’ll see some examples of how these adverbs might be used. 

Qualitative Adverbs

TurkishEnglish
İyiWell
KolaycaEasily
SessizceQuietly
HafifçeLightly
BasitçeSimply
AçıkçaFrankly / Openly / Clearly

Adverbs That Indicate the Time of Action

TurkishEnglish
Dün Yesterday
Dün gece Last night
Bugün Today
Bu sabah This morning
Bu gece Tonight
Yarın Tomorrow
Gelecek hafta Next week
Şimdi Now
Hemen Immediately
Hemen şimdi Right now

Adverbs That Show Quantity / Measurement

TurkishEnglish
AzLittle / Few / A bit
BirazSome / A little
ÇokMuch / Many / Very / Too much

Adverbs That Indicate Frequency

TurkishEnglish
BazenSometimes
AslaNever
DaimaAlways
Sık sıkFrequently
NadirenRarely

Interrogative Adverbs

TurkishEnglish
Ne zamanWhen
Ne kadar  How much / How long
NasılHow
NiçinWhy

6. Verbs

Verbs are the most important building block of sentences. They show actions, occurrences, processes, conditions, and states of being.

Verbs Used for Daily Routine

TurkishEnglish
Uyumak To sleep
Uyanmak To wake up
Kalkmak To get up
Gelmek To come
Gitmek To go
Yemek To eat
İçmek To drink
Çalışmak To work
Ders çalışmak To study

Eating

Examples:

  • O sessizce gitti. – “He/she/it went quietly.”
  • Dün gece çok az uyudum. – “I slept very little last night.”
  • O ne kadar ders çalışır? – “How long does he study?”

Action Verbs

TurkishEnglish
Koşmak To run
Oynamak To play
Yürümek To walk

Examples:

  • O sık sık koşar. – “He/she/it frequently runs.”
  • O ne zaman koşar? – “When does he/she/it run?”

Verbs of Emotion

TurkishEnglish
SevmekTo love
Nefret etmekTo hate
İstemekTo want

Examples:

  • Seni seviyorum. – “I love you.”
  • Ondan niçin nefret ediyorsun? – “Why do you hate him/her/it?”

A Couple Walking Down the Street Holding Hands

Possession Verbs

TurkishEnglish
Sahip olmakTo have / To own
Ait olmakTo belong

Example:

  • Bu araba bana ait. – “This car belongs to me.”

Verbs Related to the Senses

TurkishEnglish
DuymakTo hear
GörmekTo see
KoklamakTo smell

Thought-related Verbs

TurkishEnglish
DüşünmekTo think
BilmekTo know
İnanmakTo believe
HatırlamakTo remember

 Example:

  • Onu daima iyi hatırlayacağım. – “I will always remember him/her/it well.”

7. Conjunctions

Conjunctions are those small words we use to connect words or phrases together. These are essential beginner words in Turkish as they’ll allow you to sound more fluid when speaking and add clarity to your writing, even if you have a limited vocabulary. 

Here are some common conjunctions in Turkish:

TurkishEnglish
Fakat / AmaBut
ÇünküBecause
VeAnd
VeyaOr
BöyleceSo

Examples:

  • Okula bisiklet ile veya araba ile gidiyorum. – “I go to school by bike or by car.”
  • Kuzenim mutlu ama endişeli. – “My cousin is happy but worried.”

8. Discover More About the Turkish Language on TurkishClass101.com

You’ve now learned quite a number of useful beginner Turkish words. However, there are many more words to memorize and grammatical concepts to explore. 

Learning Turkish is simple with TurkishClass101. We provide our students with numerous audio lessons and recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and a variety of free resources (including this Turkish dictionary) that you can refer to. You can also utilize our MyTeacher service, which allows you to study and practice 1-on-1 with a native Turkish teacher. 

What’s more, you can download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

It’s our goal to help you learn Turkish in a fun and effective manner, all at your convenience. As such, we welcome any feedback or questions you may have! 

Before you go: How many of these words did you know already? Were most of them new to you? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish