The definite/indefinite articles: the/a/-

English and many other languages have three article states for the noun:

  • definite: The house (meaning: this is a book we already know).
  • indefinite: A house.
  • no article: House.


(Some languages (for instance Serbo-Croat) has only a single state for the noun.)


The definite article: In Turkish all these three states can be expressed separately, but a definite article “the” does not exist. The -i state of the name is used to express the definite case “the".


The indefinite article: “bir” (meaning: a/an/one) is used to express the definite case.


  • There are no separate words for a/an/one: They are all “bir” in Turkish.


The distinction between “a” and “one” is expressed with the stress in Turkish. Example:

  • bir ağaç = a tree
  • bir ağaç = one tree





Definite case

Show me the house

Bana evi göster

Indefinite case

Show me a house

(Show me one house)

Bana bir ev göster

(Bana bir ev göster)

No case

Show me house(s)

Bana ev göster

Bana evler göster