Welcome
Login:   Pass:     Register - Forgot Password - Resend Activation

Print view

Minor Vowel Harmony

Vowel harmony is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of Turkish grammar. Turkish words generally obey two vowel harmony rules, called the major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony. More important than the words obeying these rules, there are ways these rules change the vowels in the suffixes added to words. A good understanding of these rules is necessary to be able to use suffixes, hence to be able to make correct and meaningful sentences.

 

2. Minor Vowel Harmony

We saw that the 8 vowels in the Turkish alphabet are divided into two groups as hard and soft vowels. Besides this grouping, the 8 vowels are divided into two groups as round vowels and flat vowels. There are 4 flat and 4 round vowels. A vowel´s being round or flat is actually determined from the shape of the mouth when pronouncing that vowel, but it can also be seen in the shape of the capital characters.

Flat vowels: A, E, I, Ä°
Round vowels: O, Ö, U, Ü

 

A Turkish word is either a round word or a flat word depending on its last vowel.

ev[home] is a flat word since its last and only vowel, e, is a flat vowel.

okul[school] is a round word since its last vowel, u, is a round vowel.

kahve[coffee] is a flat word since its last vowel, e, is a flat vowel.

 

Now, try to guess if the following words are round or flat. Move the mouse over the right table cell of the word to see the answer.

Word Round or Flat
meslek[job] ?
araba[car] ?
güzel[beautiful] ?
yemek[food] ?
gülümse[smile] ?
çabuk[quick] ?
gül[rose] ?
göl[lake] ?
gidelim[let´s go] ?
telefon[telephone] ?
(Correct answers: flat, flat, flat, flat, flat, round, round, round, flat, round)

 

Minor vowel harmony states that:

If a suffix starting with -i is appended to a round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -u or -ü. This depends on whether the word is hard or soft. The major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony apply to words simultaneously. This means:

 

  • If a suffix starting with -i is added to a hard and round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -u.
    • okul --> school [a hard vowel]
    • suffix we will add is -im (gives the meaning my)
    • my school --> okulum [the suffix -im changes according to vowel harmonies and becomes -um]
  • If a suffix starting with -i is added to a soft and round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -ü.
    • gül --> rose
    • suffix we will add is -im (gives the meaning my)
    • my rose --> gülüm [the suffix -im changes according to vowel harmonies and becomes -üm]

 

my telephone --> telefonum

my beautiful --> güzelim

my lake --> gölüm


HalaHjr, Hana99, Khanhtramkk, ben shz, Vasoula35 and 144 others liked this lesson


View all beginner level lessons in this class - Turkish Grammar Lessons

View all lessons in this class - Turkish Grammar Lessons

View All Turkish Classes


Comments (91)



Turkish Dictionary
Turkish Chat
Open mini chat
New in Forums
Birthday wish...
soul2soul: Hi all, my name is Sara, and I´m new to this forum! I´m...
wish (verb)
og2009: WISH I wish to travel: Seyahat etmek istiyorum. I w...
Two verb with Geniş Zaman
Hishamabs: So So Helpful and ... ... I liked this ... ... Thanks alot.
Turkey May Hit Netherlands With Sanctions ...
denizli: Well at least we hit 3 pages. I ... remember the last time that happen...
E to T my attempt!
Polyglot: Gokuyum thank you
taxi translation
john250: cok sagol Gokuyum
Teach yourself Turkish audio?
Inderjit : ... help me out and mail me this audio book ... anyone
Oda hizmetçisi
Kasimpasa: Harpoon, ... ... ... ...
e to t pls urgent!!
muratalp: I have not any idea What is ...
T-E
og2009: HAYAT DENÄ°LEN OLGU Hayat denilen kutsal olgu ... okuyup anlama...
T-E
aurum: Çok ... ederim!
E to T my attempt!
Polyglot: Denizli and aurum thanks
Random Pictures of Turkey
Add thumbnails like this to your site
Most liked
Major Vowel Harmony

Turkish lesson by admin
Level: beginner
Alphabet

Turkish lesson by admin
Level: beginner
Noun states

Turkish lesson by admin
Level: beginner
small bazar small bazar

Picture by molena
Istanbul Levent Istanbul Levent

Picture by catwoman
Sultanahmet in Istanbul Sultanahmet in Istanbul

Picture by catwoman
Marmara Deniz Marmara Deniz

Picture by AMaior
Canım Seninle Olmak İstiyor
(I Want to Be with You)

Poem by Zuhal Olcay
Korkuyorum
(I am Afraid)

Poem by Unknown
Ayşe

Story by erdinc