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Lesson 136: The -lİ suffix

In this lesson, you will learn more about the -lİ suffix, one of the most frequently used suffixes in Turkish. It is used to create adjectives and nouns out of nouns. The most common translation of -lİ is 'with', but it can also convey the meaning of other prepositions, compounds and other verb-derived adjectives in English. That is to say, there is no one-to-one translation for -lİ, but you will master this suffix as you get exposed to it more and more.

Now let's look at a chart about it's functions with some examples:

Functions of -lİ Turkish English
To indicate that the entity is described by or has the property of the root word

hız

akıl

çelişkili

rapid

clever

contradictory

To indicate a place of origin, or where someone belongs

Berlinli

Samsunlu

Berliner

from Samsun

To talk about groups of items which are composed of the root number

üç

dört

threesome (or trio)

quartet

Adjectival phrases out of Noun phrases

uzun bacak

kırmızı tişört

yarım akıl

long-legged

in the red tshirt

half-wit

Adverbial Phrases

senli benli (konuşmak)

ana kız (gezmek)

gizli sak (iş yapmak)

(to speak) on first name basis

(to travel/promenade) as mother-daughter

(to work) in secret/in clandestine ways

Adverbial phrases are only derived by using -lİ doubly, as in the examples.

When making adjectival phrases out of two nouns, drop the possessive suffix in the compound, and add -lİ. For example, aşk acısı, is a noun phrase literally meaning 'love pain', aşk acılı (bir film) is an adjectival phrase meaning '(a movie about) love pain'.

We also use nereli (from where) to inquire about someone's origins, and neli to ask about the flavour of something.

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