I'm studying Turkish, and regarding the locative, I've learned that it is implemented by adding the suffix -DA or -TA, the latter being used when the word starts with "p, ç, t, k, f, h, s, and ş".

So some examples from Duolingo are:

  • Park means park and the locative used to say "in/at the park" is parkta
  • Otel means hotel and the locative used to say "in/at the hotel" is otelde
  • Banyo means bathroom and the locative used to say "in/at the bathroom" is banyoda
  • Bakkal means store and the locative used to say "in/at the store" is bakkalda
  • Okul means school and the locative used to say "in/at the school" is okulda

My question here is: sometimes the suffix is really -DA as in okulda, and sometimes the suffix is -DE as in otelde.

How does one decide if it should be -da or -de? Is any other possibility for the locative other than -da, -de, -ta and -te?

If so, for each word what decides the form of the suffix to be used?

  • 1
    There is no option other than -da -de -ta -te. The original suffix is condisederd to be -da. d becomes t when the rules are suitable for consonant softening (?). The vowel changes according to the big and small vowel harmony, so there is no choice other than e for main vowel being a
    – kabraxis
    Feb 4, 2017 at 2:18
  • That's because /e/ and /a/ are non-high vowels; the other two, /ö/ and /o/, don't participate in vowel harmony (this is called "low vowel harmony"; "high vowel harmony" uses four vowels, not two: /i,ü, ɨ, u/). Look at the vowel in the syllable before -de/da/te/ta -- you'll always see the same vowels before each variant. Here's a few examples to practice on.
    – jlawler
    Feb 4, 2017 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


Turkish has a rule of vowel harmony: it depends on the vowel of the preceding syllable. You get [a] after u ı o a and [e] after ü i ö e. There are some complications about final consonants in loan words which can be treated as exceptions. The t vs d thing has to do with whether there is a previous voiceless consonant. This might clarify things for you.

  • 2
    Also, the Wikibooks article on Turkish/Cases has a nice overview. Feb 4, 2017 at 2:22
  • It has lot's of mistakes: Essive, Inclusive, Abessive, Likeness, Coverage, Qualitative are not considered as cases in Turkish instead they are derivational affixes, means they create new words which have dictionary entries.
    – kabraxis
    Feb 4, 2017 at 13:51

For locatives, the basic suffix is –de/da (otelde, okulda) but after an unvoiced consonant (ç, f, h, k, p, s, ş or t) the suffix appears as –te/ta (otobüste, maçta). Now for the vowel harmony.

a is followed by a or ı

e is followed by e or i

ı is followed by ı or a

i is followed by i or e

o is followed by a or u

ö is followed by ü or e

u is followed by u or a

ü is followed by ü or e

It will all become second nature once you practice it repeatedly.

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