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Lesson Transcript

Ece: Merhaba! This is Ece!
Gina: Hello everyone, and welcome to TurkishClass101.com. This is All About, Lesson 3 - Painless Turkish Grammar. I’m Gina.
Ece: We have a lot to talk about, so let’s get started right away!

Lesson focus

Gina: Yes Ece, please go ahead and explain the structure of Turkish sentences to us.
Ece: A regular sentence in Turkish is built in the order of subject, object and verb. The verb placed at the end of the sentence collects all the components together, and gives an order to the sentence, prohibiting the mixture of subordinate clause with the predicate.
Gina: That’s strange, because in English as well as many other European languages, the verb follows right after the subject.
Ece: True, but not strange. First of all Turkish is not a European language, it’s Asian. Second, this order is actually more common among all the other languages in the world.
Gina: My bad Ece, please continue!
Ece: Anyways, the order of words is not a necessity though. According to the words one wants to emphasize, he can reverse the sentence as he pleases.
Gina: Isn’t it confusing to understand the meaning that way?
Ece: Not at all! Rather, it’s easier to understand the feelings of the speaker and grasp the importance order. You can make six combinations of placement out of a three-word sentence.
Gina: In English that’s impossible. If the place of a word changes, the sentence may lose its meaning or it can be grammatically incorrect.
Ece: You’re right, but in Turkish, it is not the case. In English, in order to emphasize a word in the sentence, you put a toning on the word or you increase your voice while speaking, and you have to use italic fonts while writing. These functions are all properly met in Turkish by only changing the order: The word you say first, or the word standing before the verb is the stressed one.
Gina: We’ll have many examples in the future, listeners, so let’s focus only on the grammatical characteristics of Turkish for now. On the other hand Ece, it’s not necessary using subjects in the sentences either, right?
Ece: That’s so true! We use subjects only when we want to emphasize who committed the action. Because with the help of suffixes, verb constructions contain that information naturally.
Gina: So we’ll have to learn personal suffixes for every verb, for every tense and their irregular forms or special cases? What a headache!
Ece: Hey, what are you saying..? You’ll scare our listeners! There are certain suffixes per six personal pronouns for all the verbs and tenses, that’s it. Turkish is a relatively simple language in that manner. One rule applies to every other case. And greatest news is that there is no irregularity in Turkish grammar. Once a person learn the logic, which is universal, then he can extrapolate it to the tenses, cases and words he has seen for the first time. That’s why when acquiring their native language, Turkish children are early speakers and sound grammatically and logically correct.
Gina: That loyalty to rules and extreme regularity are thanks to the fact that Turkish is not a language derived from another.
Ece: Indeed! When one learns the vowel harmony rule, and the hardening and softening of four consonants, then adjusting suffixes to the words will follow automatically.
Gina: Let’s talk about Turkish personal pronouns now.
Ece: There are six personal pronouns, and they not gender-dependent neither towards the person you are speaking to, nor the person you are speaking about.
Gina: …But now that’s strange. Because European – Latin, Germanic, Arab, Slavic, and even sister language Japanese have different personal pronouns depending on the gender.
Ece: That’s because Turkish has a genderless grammar. In Turkish, you can address anyone and anything without addressing their gender.
Gina: Very interesting Ece, thank you. But when addressing an elderly person…
Ece: Ah, sure, we use honorifics and respectful ways of addressing. That’s very important and proper. Turkish people love showing their respect to the others and keeping themselves in a modest position. However it’s not hard, only use second plural personal pronoun in the place of singular, that’s it!
Gina: What about making plurals of nouns?
Ece: That’s also very lucid. Again rather than changing the word’s root or at least a few letters of it, we add the suffix for plurality. Also unlike in English, descriptive and demonstrative adjectives are not affected by plurality, and the plural suffix is not used with numeral adjectives.
Gina: I think the more we talk about Turkish the more our listeners ease their worries. And prepositions, are they in the format of suffixes too?
Ece: Yes, but in Turkish postpositions can be found, not prepositions. They are added to the endings of nouns; the suffixes for possessive pronouns are also the same.
Gina: Turkish obviously likes “adding” things adjacently.
Ece: Haha, true. We like everything to stay unified, composed and harmonized.


Gina: Well listeners, that’s going to do it for this lesson!
Ece: Thank you for having joined us.
Gina: Until next time!
Ece: Hoşça kalın!