I've read that in Turkish adjectives always comes before the noun. So to say "nice house" we say "güzel ev".

But we also could say "the house is nice", and in that case this becomes "ev güzel".

My question here is: both constructions seems to lead to the same meaning. If we say "güzel ev" or "ev güzel" we are saying that the house is nice.

In that setting, in Turkish adjectives can come both before and after nouns? Or it is in the way I read and adjectives always comes before nouns?

If adjectives comes just before nouns, what is the difference between these two sentences "güzel ev" and "ev güzel"? In the second one güzel is not an adjective?


3 Answers 3


Turkish is a typical head-final language which means that nouns, which are the heads of noun phrases (NP) and verbs which are the heads of verb phrases (VP) always come at the end of those phrases.

Because of this, the adjectives always come before the nouns they are attributes of, like in "güzel ev", this is an NP, "(a) beautiful house", an adjective + a noun, it cannot function as a sentence.

As for "ev güzel", "(The) house is beautiful, this is a VP, here "güzel" is a verbal adjective "is beautiful", the predicate of the VP, which in Turkish inflects for person, number and tense. This VP can function as a valid sentence, here "güzel" is a 3rd person singular present tense verbal adjective. The 3rd person present tense suffix -tır/-tir/-dır/-dir/-tur/-tür/-dur/-dür can be omitted in such verbal adjective, still it is easily reconstructed, because here the adjective follows the noun, it cannot be an attribute.


the house is nice is a sentence. Its equivalant is Ev güzeldir which is a sentence too. For convinience people say ev güzel. On the other hand güzel ev is not a complete sentence. Bu güzel evdir is a complete sentence. People can omit -dır for convenience. I think this is why you are confused.

Adjectives come before nouns all the time except when it is used for profession or honorifics. Ahmet Bey, Ayşe Öğretmen etc.


That part you've mentioned contains a implicit auxiliary verb like is or are. With a sample, I can explain it like when you say Güzel ev which means this house is nice but if you say nice house which means an adjective declension.

With another example; this house is nice, bu ev guzel which contains an auxiliary verb in it after guzel: Bu ev guzel(dir). This is the difference.

  • What is a secret auxiliary verb? Since the thing in your answer after guzel in bu ev guzel is the English word "which", I don't see any verb at all after guzel. I think this needs more explaining.
    – user6726
    Feb 17, 2017 at 0:51
  • @user6726, it must be the implicit verb, edited to clarify Feb 17, 2017 at 6:11

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