Sunday, July 27, 2008

Possessive pronouns

OK - this is a little more difficult than other cases because both words take possessive suffixes. Confused? Let's look at a few examples.

Mənim yoldaşım, sənin yoldaşın, onun yoldaşı, bizim yoldaşlarımız, sizin yoldaşlarınız, onların yoldaşları. Whew! That is, in English, my husband, your husband, her husband, our husbands, your husbands, their husbands. Let's look at this again in a chart.

Mənim yoldaşım - my husband (or spouse)
Sənin yoldaşın - your husband
Onun yoldaşı - her husband
Bizim yoldaşımız - our husbands
Sizin yoldaşınız - your husbands
Onların yoldaşı - their husbands

Because yoldaş ends with a consonant, the endings begin with a vowel for the possessed word:

-im (ım, üm, um) with 1st person singular (mən)
-in (ın, ün, un) with 2nd person singular (sən)
-i (ı, ü, u) with the 3rd person singular (o)
-imiz (ımız, ümüz, umuz) with the 1st person plural (biz)
-iniz (ınız, ünüz, unuz) with the 2nd person plural (siz)
-i (ı, ü, u) with the 3rd person plural (onlar) if the possessed thing is singular, otherwise:
-ləri, ları with the 3rd person plural

To have vowel harmony, the suffix form with ı must be used to agree with the the a in yoldaş. Let's look at another example with different vowel harmony to make this clear. We will deal with other possessor words later. For now let's just stick to the pronouns since these forms are always the same. Because o takes u for vowel harmony, "my friend ..." looks like this:

Mənim dostum - my friend
Sənin dostun - your friend
Onun dostu - his friend / her friend
Bizim dostumuz - our friend
Sizin dostunuz - your friend
Onların dostunu - their friend

OK, let's just do an example of the two other suffix endings to get this vowel harmony thing straight once and for all. You can also check out the post on vowel harmony to refresh. We need to do the two guys with dots. So, let's talk about my school and your school ...

Mənim məktəbim
Sənin məktəbin
Onun məktəbi
Bizim məktəbimiz
Sizin məktəbiniz
Onların məktəbi

That leaves just one more, our friend ü. To keep things simple we will use güc = strength.

Mənim gücüm
Sənin gücün
Onun gücü
Bizim gücümüz
Sizin gücünüz
Onların gücünü

That's clear, yes? I feel better about possessives myself after all that! Just one more thing (two actually) ... All of those possessed words ended in consonants. What if they end in vowels? Guess what? Yes, different suffixes! The endings are really very simple. In the previous possessed words ending in a consonant, a buffer vowel was needed before the mainly consonant endings. So this time around it is not so bad. We've already done school, let's give the teacher an apple = alma.

Mənim almam
Sənin alman
Onun alma
Bizim almamız
Sizin almasız
Onların alma

The first and second person singular are always the same because you just add m or n after the final vowel. For the rest of course, vowel harmony comes into play. Here are examples from the other suffixes. Examples below are: possessed skin, driver, and thief. Better suggestion than thief, please find one for me!

Mənim dərim
Sənin dərin
Onun dərisi
Bizim dərimiz
Sizin dərisiz
Onların dərisi

Mənim sürücüm
Sənin sürücün
Onun sürücü
Bizim sürücümüz
Sizin sürücüsüz
Onların sürücü

Mənim oğrum
Sənin oğrun
Onun oğrusu
Bizim oğrumuz
Sizin oğrusuz
Onların oğrusu

Had enough? Don't quit yet, there is one more thing, that is, of course, completely ignoring the fact that we can have possessives that are in the accusative case. But we won't go there! To complete a discussion of possessives, we need to consider when a word other than the pronouns listed above are used. So this means looking at the 3rd person. Some examples: qız and qızlar (the girl and the girls) + kişi and kişilər (the man and the men).

The suffix endings for the possessor are the same for 3rd person singular and plural:
-in, ın, ün, un for words ending in a consonant
-nin, nın, nün, nun for those ending in a vowel

The endings for the possessed thing is the same as above. So the girl's then the girls', the man's then the men's spouse, friend, school, strength, apple, skin, driver, and finally thief!

qızın yoldaşı
qızların yoldaşı
kişinin yoldaşı
kişilərin yoldaşı

qızın dostu
qızların dostu
kişinin dostu
kişilərin dostu

qızın məktəbi
qızların məktəbi
kişinin məktəbi
kişilərin məktəbi

qızın gücü
qızların gücü
kişinin gücü
kişilərin gücü

qızın alma
qızların alma
kişinin alma
kişilərin alma

qızın dərisi
qızların dərisi
kişinin dərisi
kişilərin dərisi

qızın sürücü
qızların sürücü
kişinin sürücü
kişilərin sürücü

qızın oğrusu
qızların oğrusu
kişinin oğrusu
kişilərin oğrusu

Some Azerbaijani learning materials conflate possessives with the genitive case (yiyəlik hal). This may be correct, but I think they are two different things, or at least, should be treated as such. Personally, I find it easier to deal with them separately, so if you are now interested in a closely related topic, see genitive case.

Well, I think we have DONE possessives! Now go talk about something you own!

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