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In this lesson you will learn forms of plural suffixes in Turkish. Than you will understand where can you use it and where shouldn’t use it.

There are 2 form of plural suffixes to make nouns plural: -ler, -lar

Which plural suffix is used with which word? How do we decide this? Of course according to 2 way vowel harmony! The reason for this rule (vowel harmony) is to make speaking easier and more fluent, as we always say.

  • if the last vowel of the word is “a,  ı,  o  or  u”  then the next suffix should be “-lar” (which is contain “a”)
  • if the last vowel of the word contains “e,  i,  ö  or  ü” the next suffix should be “-ler-“  (which is contain “e”)
plural suffixes in turkish
Remember the 2 way vowel harmony!

For example:

Anne (mother): The last vowel of the word is “e” so the suffix will come end of the word will be “-ler” anneler (mothers

Let’s see more sample words below

diş (tooth)  /  el (hand)  /  yüz (face)  /  göz (eye)  /  ayak (foot)  /  kıl (bristle)  /  kol (arm)  /  burun (nose)

diş – ler > dişler (teeth)

el – ler > eller (hands)

yüz – ler > yüzler (faces)

göz – ler > gözler (eyes)

ayak – lar > ayaklar (feet)

kıl – lar > kıllar (bristles)

kol – lar > kollar (arms)

burun – lar > burunlar (noses)



The plural suffix is not used with the nouns used with numbers. Since the number already indicates that there is more than one, the Turks do not want to tire themselves by adding the plural suffix to the end of the noun. This makes perfect sense!

For example;

instead of saying 3 gözler ( 3 eyes) you can use 3 göz (3 eyes). This is both easier and sounds better and already people can understand there is more than one eye.

2. TIP!

There are some adjectives and question expressions that have a plural meaning. In this case, there is no need to use plural suffix with nouns. Again, we use the same logic. We don’t need the plural suffix because words that used already have the meaning of plurality. The most common are: hiçbir (none, any), birkaç (a few), herhangi (any), çoğu (most), biraz (some), birçok (a lot, several, many) bir sürü (a lot, many) kaç tane?  (how much?  how many?) 

For example;

  • It’s not “hiçbir öğrenciler,” > hiçbir öğrenci (any students) is right.
  • It’s not “birkaç ağaçlar,” > birkaç ağaç (a few trees) is right.

3. TIP!

In some words that are outside the 2nd rule, plural suffixes are used. The most common are: bazı (some), bütün (all), tüm (all), kimi (some, some who), birtakım (some)

For example;

  • Bazı öğretmenler hoşuma gitmiyor. (I don’t like some teachers .)
  • Aslında bütün diller bana çekici geliyor. (Actually, all languages appeal to me.)

4. TIP!

There are some words. These were transferred to Turkish from other languages such as English, Arabic and French… These words doesn’t follow turkish vowel harmony because of they are borrowed words. So we don’t look at the rule (after a, ı, o, u > -lar / after e, i, ö, ü > -ler) that i told you at beggining of the lesson. What is these borrowed words?

  • Saatler (hours)
  • Hayaller (dreams)
  • Semboller (symbols)
  • Roller (roles)
  • Alkoller (alcohols)
  • Kalpler (hearts)
  • Harfler (letters)
  • Seyahatler (travels)

If you have any question about Turkish language just let me know in the comment below. Btw we also share all Turkish grammar lessons, some daily usefull tips, Turkish idioms and more about Turkish language and Turkish culture on YouTube channel! You can watch all lessons for free now! Just click here and subscribe to don’t lose our videos.  See you in another lesson!

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  1. Hi, what is the rule for 2 consecutive plurals please? I notice that one of them is normally dropped.

    so for horses eat apples, I’ve noticed it isn’t
    Atlar elmalar yer
    At elmalar yer
    Is this right?
    Many thanks

    1. It is difficult to talk about all rules about this topic. I explained the most general rules above. There is no rule that says “no plural suffix is used in 2 consecutive words”.

      What you’re talking about is a bit more special.

      The use of the plural suffix can change depending on many situations. Since some words already have a plural meaning in the sentence, -ler/-lar may fall in the word that has a plural meaning at that moment. Sometimes we can optionally use the plural suffix to exaggerate or emphasize.
      Sometimes, if the words change their function (like verb, noun, ajjective, adverb …) in the sentence, the use of the plural suffix may also change. In fact, it changes by many situations. You can only gradually understand this with a lot of examples and by listening, reading. I will share some examples with you below. And I will try to explain with their meaning.👇👇👇👇👇👇

    2. EXAMPLE 1:
      In your example, “apple” is already plural. Therefore, there is no need to use the plural suffix with apple.

      —“Atlar elma yer.” (Horses eat apples.)— is correct.

      EXAMPLE 2:
      Let’s make the subject singular and make a similar sentence again.

      —“Emine elma yer.” (Emine eats apples.)—

      The first word, subject (Emine) is singular, but there is no plural suffix with also apple (object). But apple is again in the plural sense. We can understand this. There is no need to emphasize this with the plural suffix. Because if Emine always eats apples, she already eats more than one apple.

      ATTENTION: As you can see, I didn’t look for two consecutive plural suffixes. I looked at the context and the meaning and I dropped the plural suffix again.

      EXAMPLE 3:
      If our object has to take other suffixes, we may need to add the -ler/-lar suffix as well.

      1. Atlar elmaLARI yiyor. (Horses are eating apples.)
      2. Atlar elmaLARA bakıyor. (The horses are looking at the apples.)
      3. Atlar elmaLARDAN zehirlendi. (Horses were poisoned FROM apples.)
      4. Atlar şehirLERDE yaşıyor. (Horses live in cities.

      ATTENTION: If you look at the objects; As you can see, I used the plural suffix before the case suffixes in the objects. Because if i dropped the plural suffix and only used the case suffix, then I would be talking about one apple, one city.

      EXAMPLE 4:
      1. Kovid19 hayvandan insana bulaştı.
      2. Kovid19 hayvanlardan insanlara bulaştı.
      (Covid19 was transmitted from animals to humans).

      In the both examples (1. and 2.) above, animal and human are plural. There is no mention of a single animal or a single human.Since the meaning does not change, it is up to the person speaking to use the plural suffix or not. But don’t forget, if there will be confusion of meaning, i mean if there is a possibility of misunderstanding by the listener, it should be used with plural suffix.

      EXAMPLE 5:
      —“Marketten çay aldım.”(I bought tea at the market.)—

      Maybe I bought a tea. (A package or some kind). (Perhaps I bought several types of tea, or several packets.)
      But I did not attach importance to the singularity and plurality of tea while saying the sentence.

      EXAMPLE 6:
      —Annem: “Pazardan domates, patates, biber al.” dedi.—
      (My mother said: Buy tomatoes, potatoes, peppers from the market.)

      It’s doesn’t mean “Just buy one tomato, one potatoes, and one pepper.” My mother spoke generally. No need to say “domatesler, patatesler, biberler”. Because the listener already knows. When buying vegetables, we buy more than one vegetable and put them in the bag. Maybe 1 kilo maybe 2 maybe 3…

      EXAMPLE 7:
      1. Arkadaşımın evleri, arabaları, şirketleri varmış.
      (My friend has houses, cars, companies.)
      2. Arkadaşlar pastalar yapmışlar.
      (Friends made cakes.)

      As you can see, the plural suffix is ​​used repeatedly in these examples. But the sentence is not wrong . If I do not use the plural suffix at the end of the objects and subjects in these sentences, it will be misunderstood. Therefore, it is necessary to use the plural suffix here.

      EXAMPLE 8:
      (some people)
      2. (İnsanların) BAZILARI
      (some of) people

      In the first sentence, “bazı” (some) don’t have a plural suffix. Because it is used as an adjective. Adjectives do not take suffixes. We use it directly.
      In the second sentence, “bazı” have suffixes. Because it is no longer an adjective, it is a noun here. It is used to mean some people.

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