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.
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,
If the noun ends in a vowel, however, a “y” is added before “-ek” so the indefinite suffix becomes “-yek.”
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.
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.
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.
If using the second option, add “-yin” to nouns ending in a vowel.
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.|
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.|