böyle makes the object definite?

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Senior Member
Hello, merhaba!

I am only starting to learn Turkish.

I came across this sentence in the book I am studying it from:

"Böyle bir şeyi kim istedi?"

That it is "şeyi" (with direct object marking -i at the end) and not "şey" there, I am assuming is because of it saying "Who wanted a house like this?", so even though it's "a house," but then the house is qualified of a certain type, so it is assumed to be a definite type. Am I right? So will the sentence "Böyle bir şey kim istedi?" be wrong?

In plural, should it be then again "Böyle birkaç şeyleri kim istedi?" (Who wanted things like these?)

Thanks in advance!
  • Rallino

    First of all, indefinite objects can receive the accusative suffix as well. We do it rarely, but it's correct either way.

    That being said, böyle bir şey kim istedi is incorrect, because if you put anything in between a verb and its object, the object can no longer remain in the nominative. You could say: Kim böyle bir şey istedi? and that would be correct.

    Ben dün elma yedim. :tick:
    Elma yedim ben dün. :tick:
    Dün elma ben yedim. :cross: --> Dün elmayı ben yedim. :tick:
    Ben elma dün yedim. :cross:--> Ben elmayı dün yedim. :tick:

    In plural, should it be then again "Böyle birkaç şeyleri kim istedi?" (Who wanted things like these?)
    No, birkaç requires singular. You can use something else: Böyle birtakım şeyleri kim istedi? or simply Böyle şeyleri kim istedi?


    Senior Member
    Thanks so much, @Rallino, for such subtle points: I had no idea it worked like that!

    So, ok, "Ben dün elma yedim" is fine, but can one also say "Ben dün elmayı yedim" even when there's nothing between the verb and its object?


    This is a really good question and @Rallino has explained it very well but I want to add something to clarify why birkaç requires singular words.

    "Birkaç" is an adjective that makes Turkish words plural. In the Turkish language, those words written with an adjective that makes words plural are written singular.

    For instance;
    "Birkaç elma topladım." correct
    "Birkaç elmalar topladım." incorrect
    "Birkaç kişi geldi." correct
    "Birkaç kişiler geldi." incorrect
    "3 kitap aldım." correct
    "3 kitaplar aldım." incorrect
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