Lesson 6: Definite & Indefinite Nouns (a, the, some)

To make a noun indefinite (a book), Kurmanji adds a suffix to the end of the noun.

Scroll through the slides below to see all forms.

Singular Nouns

To make singular nouns indefinite, add the suffix “-ek” to the end of the word. This comes from the word “yek” meaning “one,” but the meaning here is “a.” For example,

book a book
pirtûk pirtûkek
boy a boy
law lawek
Indefinite Singular 1 Listen to Example 1

If the noun ends in a vowel, however, a “y” is added before “-ek” so the indefinite suffix becomes “-yek.”

house a house
xanî xaniyek
room a room
ode odeyek
Indefinite Singular 2 Listen to Example 2

Note: When a word ends in the letter î and a suffix is added, the î often changes to i (although it is still pronounced as î when read or spoken). This is not consistent from book to book and writer to writer, but we will apply the rule on this site.

Plural Nouns

There are two possibilities for making plural nouns indefinite.

1. The first, most common, and easiest option is to us the word “hin” before the noun.

book some books
pirtûk hin pirtûk
room some rooms
ode hin ode
Indefinite Plural 1 Listen to Example 1

2. The second option is to add the suffix “-in” to the end of the noun. This option is less common and seems to be used more only in certain regions.

book some books
pirtûk pirtûkin
boy some boys
law lawin
Indefinite Plural 2 Listen to Example 2

If using the second option, add “-yin” to nouns ending in a vowel.

house some houses
xanî xaniyin
room some rooms
ode odeyin
Indefinite Plural 3 Listen to Example 3

Now for the easy part. If a noun does not have an indefinite suffix, it is considered definite. For example,

The book is red. Pirtûk sor e.
The car is big. Erebe mezin e.
The apples are small. Sêv biçûk in.
The rooms are empty. Ode vala ne.
Definite Noun Examples Listen to the Examples
Note:

In English, when we identify objects with simple sentences, we use an indefinite noun: This is a book.

However, in Kurmanji in simple sentences like this, the indefinite suffix is not used. Therefore:

This is a book. = Ev pirtûk e. NOT Ev pirtûkek e.

Remember that these Quizlet sets allow for lots of study and test options. For an explanation of these options, see this page.

Vocabulary Lesson 06 Vocabulary Lesson 06 Audio

Remember that these Quizlet sets allow for lots of study and test options. For an explanation of these options, see this page.