Last updated 2021-04-10 17:59:29

Vowel Harmony and Consonant Assimilation

All suffixes with vowel harmony or consonant assimilation will be written in capitals, ex. -lAr exhibits a/ə harmony.

There are two main attributes of vowels that are important for Azeri: front vs. back and rounded vs. unrounded. Endings require one or both of these distinctions to match, depending on the vowel in the suffix, which must match the final vowel in a word.

  rounded unrounded
front ü ö i e ə
back u o ı a

Vowel wise, there are two main distinctions in endings:

Thus qələm:penqələmlər:pens or kitab:bookkitablar:books.

Consnant assimilation happens in two capacities:

  1. As part of a suffix
  2. Depending on the final consonant of a word and the first consonant of a suffix

Part of a suffix

Some suffix's final consonant will change based on the front/back-ness of the vowel. Thus if it is a front vowel, the consonant will be k and if back, the consonant will be q. For example, with Biz sürücüyIQ:We are driversBiz sürücüyük, first the I turns to ü because the last vowel ü is front and rounded. Secondly, the Q turns to k because ü is a front vowel.

Based on final consonant

If a suffix which begins with a vowel is added to a word that ends in q or k, that final consonant changes to ğ and y, respectively. For example, uşaq-ın-dıruşağındır:is the child's.

Note that k may not change to y if it is the end of the root of a verb. For example, in Məndən əl çəkə bilərsən!, we see it is çəkə, not çəyə, as one might expect.

Based on final consonant of a verbal root

If a verbal root ends in t and is followed by a suffix that begins with a vowel, the final consonant will change to d. Thus, gedirəm:I'm going (rather than getirəm). There are some exceptions to this, see EA, pg 86.




1s. mən mənim məndə məni mənə məndən
2s. sən sənin səndə səni sənə səndən
3s. o onun onda onu ona ondan
1p. biz bizim bizdə bizi bizə bizsən
2p. siz sizin sizdə sizi sizə sizsən
3p. onlar onların onlardə onları onlara onlardan


  near far
SG bu bunlar
PL o onlar

Bu and o also function as adjectives, in which case, they do not distinguish between singular and plural form, like all adjectives. Thus, Bu kitablar maraqlıdır ⧸ These books are interesting. When used as a demonstrative pronoun, it is often fronted in the sentence and offset with a comma. For example, O, yaxşı kitabdır ⧸ That is a good book.EoA, 29


Case markings occur after suffixes, thus Leyla şəkil-lər-də-dir, Leyla is in the pictures.

nominative. The default case.
genitive. Takes n as the buffer consonant, rather than the more common y. For example, evindən:from her house.
-(n)I or ∅
accusative. The accusative is only marked when it is a definite object (e.g. "the apple" or "this apple") or a person, otherwise it is unmarked and is understood from context. So monosyllabic words, such as nə:what or su:water use y as the joining consonant.
dative. Indicates indirect object as well as movement towards a place.
locative. Indicates location of an object or action, as well as time phrases related to seasons.
ablative. Indicates motion away from or out of an object or place. It has some additional uses as well. It can be used in comparative sentences and to mean "due to" or "because of". For example, Onlar parka yağışdan getmədilər ⧸ We didn't go to the park because of the rain. It can also be used to indicate part of a whole, for example, Bu köynəklərdən birni alıram ⧸ I am buying one of these shorts.

While there is no case-marked vocative (e.g. when calling someone's name), the stress on the person's name does change. The stress moves left one syllable. For example, if someone is Əhmèd (stress on med) in normal conversation, they would be Ə̀hmed (stress on əh) when their name is being called.


Azeri is an exclusively suffixing language when producing new words.

to, towards, DAT.
present partiple. Wiktionary refers to this as the "subject non-past particple" and Elementary Azerbaijani calls it the "present subject participle", however with the caveat that it can sometimes be used to express past actions.[EA, 239] It appears that the participle can only be used as the subject of the sentence.
verbal suffix meaning "when X is happening". For example, Qış gələndə, soyuq olur ⧸ When winter comes, it becomes cold.. Since this suffix does not take a personal marker, speakers will often use the personal pronoun (which may normally be dropped) to indicate who is the actor in the -AndA clause.
language of X. Note, cannot be used for countries that take -lI to form their adjective of nationality. It can be affixed to 1st and 2nd person pronouns to mean, "in my/your/our/y'alls opinion".
one who does X.
the more one does X, the more Y. It is suffixed to the clause that expresses the "more one does" thought. For example, İnsan böyüdükcə başa düşür ki... ⧸ The more a person grows up, the more they understand that....
with. See also "ilə" in postpositions.
plural, only used for animate things, plus some animals. One exception is when used with number. This is most often heard when describing bus routes, e.g. 85lər:buses on route 85.
adjectival suffix meaning "possessing X" or "characterized by X". This is used to create adjectives of nationality or birthplace, ex. bakılı:one from Baku.
nominalizing suffix meaning "state of being X". Attached to adjectives, ex. çətin:difficultçətinlik:difficulty.
-mAQ üçün (appended to a verb)
in order to do the verb.
-mAzdAn əvvəl (appended to a verb)
before verb-ing, ex. evə girməzdən əvvəl:before entering the house.
question particle, not required, comes at the end of the sentence.
with. A colloquial version of ilə.
a suffix derived from Persian, in most cases with a sense of "having X", though may have fossilized meanings now and is no longer a productive suffix. For example, qonaq:guest and qonaqpərvər:hospitality.
adjectival suffix meaning "without X" or "lacking X".
profession of.
house of, ex. çay:teaçayxana:teahouse.
  1. Siz haralısınız?
    Where are you from?
    using the nationality suffix -lI
  2. Yemək üçün evə gəldim.
    In order to eat, I came home.
  3. Kitabı oxuyan uşaq mənim oǧlumdur.
    The child who is reading the book is my son.

Relative Suffix (-kI)

-kI can only be attached to nouns in LOC and GEN or to time words.EoA, 105

To form relative clauses, add -kI to the last word in the clause. For example, Yazıçı kitabxanadakı kitabları yazdı ⧸ The author wrote the books which are in the library. Kitabxanada:in the library is the clause we want to relativize. Thus, adding -kı makes it "which are in the library" and putting it in front of the kitabları:books.ACC makes the relative phrase modify the word books. When attached to nouns in GEN, it functions much like the English phrasing "that which is".

When attached to time words, they become adjectives. Thus indi:now becomes indiki:current.


Azerbaijani prefixes are generally no longer productive.

"not", from Persian.
"un-", from Persian.
reverses meaning of following word. For example, mümkün:possible and qeyri-mümkün:impossible. A hypen is always used with this prefix.


başqa (ABL)
except for.
because of. Implies blame or fault.
the home of, "chez". Takes additional case and suffixes.
görə (NOM or DAT)
for, due to (with DAT)
kimi (GEN)
like, as soon as (with preceding verb in +An), till.
ilə (GEN)
with (both comitative and instrumental), by way of (with modes of transportation, except feet, that is piyada:by foot). Occasionally, when preceded by a word ending in a consonant, it will become the suffix -(y)lA. This is most often used with people. The y appears with words ending in a vowel. For objects or "who", the LOC suffic -dA is used. Colloquially, this is often -nAn.
as a. The present participle of to be, "being".
towards. Used in formal or poetic speech. Also means yellow.
like. May be seen attached to the word.Simpson, p18
üçün (NOM or GEN)
for, for the purpose of. Expresses intent when used with an infinitive.
  1. Mən Con gilə gedirəm.
    I am going to John's house.
  2. Sən ay kimisən.
    You are like the moon.
  3. Leyla bacısı ilə evə getdi.
    Leyla went home with her sister.
  4. Yeni filmə baxmaq üçün Eldar kinoya getdi.
    Eldar went to the film for the purpose of seeing the new film.
  5. O yazıçı Azərbaycan haqqında yazır.
    That author writes about Azerbaijan.
  6. Ailədə məndən başqa daha iki uşaq var.
    In the family, besides me, there are two more children.
  7. Avtobusla oğlan metroya neçə dəqiqəyə çatar?
    How long will it take the boy to get to the metro by bus?
    lit. how many minutes

Location Postpositions (GEN/POSS)

Many postpositions are marked with GEN/POSS. That is, the object related to the postposition is in GEN and postposition is marked with POSS.

inside, during (when used with time expressions).
in the middle of.
in front of.
in front of.
across from.
next to, on the side of.
  1. Pişik maşının üstündədir.
    The cat is on (top of) the car.


Verbs appear at the end of clauses.

All verbs, with the exception of imək below is conjugated as follows.

  1. Remove the -mAQ infinitive ending
  2. Add the tense suffix
  3. Add the personal suffix

For example, for the verb bilmək:to know:

  1. bilmək → bil
  2. bilIr → bilir
  3. bilirAm → bilirəm

Colloquially, the personal suffix -sInIz, for the 2nd person plural is said as if it were -sIz, even if written in the full form. This is indicated below by parentheses around the In part, to indicate that it may be dropped.


Present (PRS) -(y)Ir

Personal suffixes are very similar to "to be", differing only in 3rd person, where -dIr is not used.

1 -Am -IQ
2 -sAn -s(In)Iz
3 -(lAr)

The 2PL form is most often -sIz is spoken Azeri.

Past (PST) -dI

1 -m -Q
2 -n -(nI)z
3 -(lAr)

In some poetic scenarios, e.g. songs, one may hear x-mAz oldI to mean the same thing, where x is the verb in question. For example, sən gəlməz oldun:you didn't come is equivalent to sən gəlmədin:you didn't come, though the former has a more poetic air to it.

Imperative (IMP) -∅

1 -Im -AQ
2 -AsIz
3 -sIn -sInlAr

Outside of the basic imparative form, there are 3 words that can come before an IMP verb, that mean something similar to "let's" or "allow one".

qoy comes from qoymaq:to let and gəl(in) comes from gəlmək:to come. These words should be placed at the beginning of hte clause. Gəlin parka gedək ⧸ Let's go to the park.

The 2PL form of an IMP verb can be used as a polite request.EA, 59 Additionally, the INDEFFUT for 2sg/2pl can be used for an even more polite form. One may also hear +A at the end of the sentence as a softener.

In Baku, the suffix -gInAn is often attached to the root in colloquial speech, especially with monosyllabic roots.

You may also find ki or görüm (more polite than ki) at the end of clauses emphasizing the imperative nature of the request. For example, Bir də görüm ⧸ Tell me one thing.


Azeri differentiates between two types of future tenses: defnitive and indefinite. The definite future tense "indicates that the action in question definitely will (or will not) occur."EoA, 88 Whereas the indefinite future tense is more ambiguous as to the likeliness of occurance.

Definitive Future (DEFFUT) -AcAQ

Since the tense marker ends in Q, there will be consonant assimilation. See the Vowel Harmony and Consonant Assimilation section above.

An example of the consonant assimilation can be seen in "I will go" and "I will read": gət-gədəcək-gədəcəyəm, oxu-oxuyacaq-oxuyacağam.

1 -Am -IQ
2 -sAn -s(In)Iz
3 -(dIr) -(lAr)

In 1SG, the suffix is often reduced to -Ac in casual speech. In Baku, the c in this suffix is often pronounced as ciy, thus, göndərəciyəm vs. the more standard colloquial version of göndərəcəm.

  1. Mən söz verirəm ki qrupuda yazacam.
    I promise I will write in the group chat.

Indefinite Future (INDEFFUT) -Ar

Since the suffix contains r, the negative is -m (like PRS). However, in negative for 2nd and 3rd person, the suffix becomes -Az. Thus, görməzsən:you will not see. Note that the stress does not change either. 🤷‍♀️

This form of the future has a sense of probability or possibility, but you're not totally sure it's going to happen. "The indefinite future tense can also express a regular or habitual activity. This meaning, however, is mostly reserved for proverbs and folk sayings."EoA, 92

It is often used to form polite questions or ask permission. When asking permission, often the verb used is olmaq:to happen and the second verb is left in the infinitive. Otherwise, the verb is simply left in the INDEFFUT tense.

As might be expected, negating olmaq:to happen with an infinitive indicates that the action is impossible.

1 -Am -IQ
2 -sAn -s(In)Iz
3 -(lAr)
  1. Onların evinə getmək olar?
    May I go to their house?
    Asking permission with olmaq
  2. Siz mənə qələm verərsiniz?
    Can you give me a pen?
    Polite question
  3. O kitabı almaq olmaz.
    Oxuya bilərsiz?
  4. Can you (please) sing? // Polite request
    It's impossible buy that book.
  5. Adam, kişi olar!
    Would a person become a man!
    Often heard when asking someone to do a favor

Future-in-the-Past (FUTPST)

Azeri has a tense that is referred to on Wikipedia as "future-in-the-past". It is used to talk about things that would have happened had the situation in the past been different. As a result, it is often paired with the past conditional. For example, "if you had studied it, you would be smart". "Studied" would be the past conditional ("if you had") and "would be" is the "future-in-the-past", since it is the speculative future result of a past action.

As with the standard future, the future-in-the-past is divided into definite and indefinite forms, which are formed by adding -dI to the future forms.

  1. Əgər sən onu oxusaydın, ağıllı olardin.
    If you had studied, you would be smart.

Definite Future-in-the-Past (DEFFUTPST) -AcAQdI

1 -m -Q
2 -n -nIz
3 -(lAr)

Indefinite Future-in-the-Past (INDEFFUTPST) -ArdI

This follows the INDEFFUT for the negative, in that the r becomes z. Thus, the negative form is -mAzdI.

Could be thought of as equivalent to "would have done" in English.

1 -m -Q
2 -n -(nI)z
3 -(lAr)

Past Continuous (PSTCONT) -IrdI

This follows the INDEFFUT for the negative, in that the r becomes z. Thus, the negative form is -mAzdI.

When emphasizing the on-going nature of past actions.

1 -m -Q
2 -n -(nI)z
3 -(lAr)

Present Perfect (PFT) -mIş/-Ib

The ş is often dropped in the 2nd person in both spoken and written Azeri.EoA, 112

For completed actions that are relevent to the present, e.g. "I have seen it". Often this form will be used with sequential actions, where one is completed before the other one commences. It will be in 3SG regardless of number of people. For example, Sonra isə uzanıb bir az istirahət etdik ⧸ After, we laid down and took a rest.

1 -Am -IQ
2 -sAn -s(In)Iz
3 -(lAr)

-Ib is a more colloquial form of the same ending. Indeed, some may give the following declensions, using yığmaq:to collect. Notice the 3rd person forms, using -Ib.

1 yığmışam yığmışıq
2 yığmısan yığmısız
3 yığıb yığıblar

Past Perfect (PSTPFT) -mIşdI

For completed actions which finished in the past and happened before a second, more recent, contextual action.

1 -m -Q
2 -n -nIz
3 -(lAr)

Conditionals (COND)

There are three ways of expressing the conditional in Azeri:

① other verb ending + personal ending + -sA
-sA + personal ending
-sAydI + personal ending

Of the three, ① is the most common and the easiest, but all 3 forms are found. An example of ① is Əgər sən məktəbə gedirsənsə, bunu bilməlisən ⧸ If you're going to school, you must know this. Note that -sA is attached to the PRS form of the verb getmək:to go.

The use of the three forms can be found in the table below. It is divided by tense and by hypothetical/real situations. Broadly speaking, real situations will be type ① conditionals and hypothetical situations will vary based on the tense used.

&nbps; Hypothetical Real
PRS ③ -sAydI ① -sA
PST ③ -sAydI ① -sA
FUT ② -sA ① -sA
PSTCONT ① -sA ① -sA
FUTPST ① -sA ① -sA
  1. Əgər sən yaxşi yəsən, tız böyüyərsən.
    If you eat well, you will grow up quickly.
  2. Əgər mən uça bilsəydim, mən hər yerə səyahət edərdim.
    If I could fly, I would travel everywhere.
  3. Əgər siz gələcəkdizsə, mənə niyə xəbər etmədiz?
    If you were going to come, why didn't you inform me?
  4. Əgər sən gəlməsən, mən səndən küsərəm.
    If you don't come, I will be offended.

Non-Past (NPCOND) -sA

Any conditional that takes place not in the past, e.g. present or future. Often used in if-statements.

1 -m -Q
2 -n -z
3 -(lAr)

Past (PCOND) -sAydI

Any conditional that takes place in the past or the hypothetical present. Corresponds more or less to the English "had I done X, then Y would have happened".

1 -m -Q
2 -n -z
3 -(lAr)

Optative (OPT) -A

Used to express wishes and desires. Wiktionary calls it the subjunctive and Speak Azeri calls it the "should" case. It is often found with gərək:should or kaş:I wish.Speak Azeri The negative form is -mAyA.Simpson, p27

1 -m -Q
2 -sAn -sI(nI)z
3 -(lAr)

imək (to be)

The only irregular verb in Azeri. Exists only as a suffix and is attached to the final word of a sentence in PRS. For example, Mən professoram ⧸ I am a professor. imək is only used in PRS or PST. olmaq, a regular verb, is used in all other tenses.

As with all suffixes in Azeri, if a suffix is attached to a word ending in a vowel, a "buffer consonant"EoA, 21 y is added. Thus, sürücü:driverMən sürücüyəm:I am a driver.

The 'to be' suffix is not stressed.

Present (PRS)

1 -Am -IQ
2 -sAn -s(In)Iz
3 -dIr -dIrlAr

In colloquial Azeri, the pronunciation varies somewhat. In particular, 2PL is pronounced as -sIz, 3SG as -dI, and 3PL as -dIlAr.EA, 17

3rd Person PluralEoA, 24

The 3PL ending changes based on the subject in question:

Past (PST)

In the past, "to be" functions as a standalone verb, following the regular past tense with a root of i-. idi, the 3SG form, can be paired with var:there is to mean there were. One may see idi attached directly to nouns as -dI (similar to the standard PST ending), such as Qardaşın evdəydi ⧸ Your brother was not at home.

1 idim idik
2 idin idiniz
3 idi idi(lər)

Serial Verbs

In most cases, the subsequent verbs in a series of verbs (ex. to see in "I want to go to the movie") are placed before the declined verb. Thus, Mən kinoya gətmək istəyirəm ⧸ I want to go to the movies.

As with all rules, there are exceptions. Two common verbs, sevmək:to love and xoşlamaq:to like, require the subsequent verbs, still in the infinitive, to be marked as if a direct object. That is, keep -mAQ and add -I. For example, Mən oxumağı sevirəm ⧸ I like reading. Note that because the infinitive ends in k or q and will be followed by a vowel, consonant assimilation will occur.

başlamaq:to start functions similarly, but takes -A as the case marking of the verb. For example, Ora biz gedən kimi, hər şəy yeməyə başlama! ⧸ Don't start eating everything as soon as we get there.

See also Expressing Ability for those types of serial verb forms.

Must -mAlI

-mAlI is suffixed to the verbal root and indicates that the action must be done. The person markers are the same as in PRS.

There are two nuances worth calling out: -mAlI with person markers and -mAlI deyil with person markers. Using demək:to tell to illustrate:

  1. Dəməlisən – you musn't tell.
  2. Dəməli deyilsən – you don't have to tell.

In cases where -mAlI is affixed to a form of "to be" that isn't in PR, such as oxumalı imişəm (versus oxumalıymışam), it indicates that the action was done against the speaker's desires/wishes. It is often said either in anger or ironically.

  1. Getməliyəm.
    I must go.

Should gərək

Do no use gərək in questions. Use OPT or -mAlI instead.

gərək proceeds the verb, which is declined as follows.

1 -Im -AQ
2 -AsAn -AsIz
3 -sIn -sInlAr

One may also see forms that have two verbs, one in PFT and one declined like the above, such as Gərək baxıb deyim. Compare this form with the expected form Gərək baxım. In the first form, two actions are required: 1st one will see (baxmaq) and then they will say (demək). It could be translated as "I have to see before I say." The 2nd form, without the PFT form, could be translated as "I should see", without out any additional actions.

Verbal Suffixes

These suffixes, when appended to the root of the verb, change the meaning from the base meaning of the root. In some cases, additional meanings have become associated with the suffixed form. For example, yazmaq:to writeyazdırmaq:to register, though yazdırmaq could be interpreted as "to make someone write".

to make someone do something, içmək:to drinkiçdirmək:to make someone drink
reflexive verbal suffix, affixed to stem. Compare döyür:he is knocking (on the door) versus döyürünür:(my heart) is beating.
reciprical verbal suffix, affixed to stem. Indicates that the action is done between the subjects of the sentence. May have idiomatic meanings, too. Thus, döyürük:we are knocking versus döyürüşük:we are fighting, that is "knocking/hitting each other".
"verbs the noun", so to speak. Takes a noun and makes it into a related verb, such as, soyuq:coldsoyuqlamaq:to be cold.

Passive Voice

There are 5 ways to form the passive voice, based on the final letter of the verbal stem (i.e. without -mAQ).

If the stem ends in...

  1. a consonant, except l: -Il, göstərməkgöstərilmək:to be shown
  2. l or a vowel: -(I)n, işləməkişlənmək:to be used
  3. a vowel and is one of a few monosyllabic stems: -yIl, deməkdeyilmək:to be told
  4. an irregular formation: -nIl, istəməkistənilmək:to be wanted
  5. -lA: -n(Il), bağlamaqbağlan(ıl)maq:to be closed

The agent of the passive voice is marked with the postposition tərəfindən.

Question Words

Question words are found at the end of the sentence, before the verb.

which one.
where at (where.LOC). Colloquially pronouced "harda".
where to (where.DAT). Only used formally.
how, in what manner.
what. Note it is nəyi in ACC and nəyə in DAT.
nə üçün
why. Literally "what for".
nə vaxt
why. Baku dialect.
saat neçədə
what time.
  1. Maşın haradadır?
    Where is the car?
    lit. "at where"EA, 44

Sentence Structures

Contrast (isə & bəs)

When contrasting two clauses (similar to English's but), isə is used. İsə "is the frozen conditional form of the auxiliary verb i- (to be)".EA, 15 For example, Mən müəlliməm, sən isə tələbəsən ⧸ I am a teacher, but you are a student. It occurs after the subject in the second clause. Contrast, if you will, with bəs, which contrasts between speakers, often after a question, such as in the common bəs sən?:and you?.

There is... (var)

The verb var is placed at the end of the sentence, to indicate "there is/are...". To express the past tense (e.g. there were), var is paired idi:was.

  1. Universitetdə çoxlu tələbə var.
    There are many students at the university.
  2. İki kitab stolda var idi.
    There were two books on the table.

Expressing Need (lazım)

Need or necessity is expressed with the adjective lazım. The one needing something is in DAT and the thing needed is in NOM. Since it is an adjective, the verb for the sentence is "to be".

  1. Leylaya maşın lazımdır.
    Leyla needs a car.
    lit. A car is necessary to Leyla.

Expressing Ability (-A bilmək, olar/olmas)

Expressing the ability to do something can be done in two diffrent ways.

The first is done with a special form of the verb. It is formed by removing the infinitive ending and appending -(y)A. This special form is paired with bilmək:to know. For example, Mən görə bilirəm ⧸ I am able to see.

The second is with olar for positive statements and olmas for negative statements. The verb is left in the infinitive.

Relative Conjunction (ki)

Similar to English's conjunction "that", ki conjoins two sentences. It is required and is always followed by a comma. For example, Mən sənə dedim ki, onlar evdə deyil ⧸ I told you that they are not home.

Indicating Suprise (ki)

As a sentence final particle in a question, ki adds a sense surprise or disbelief. It is loosely equivalent to staring sentences in English with "doesn't/didn't/don't", as in "didn't you do that already?"

Emphasis in Negative Sentences (ki)

As a sentence final particle in a negative sentence, ki emphasizes the obvious nature of the sentence. It can be thought of as adding the "of course" part in "of course I didn't do it."


There are a few ways to compare things in Azeri.


Indicates the comparative degree of an adjective, thus, daha böyük:bigger.


Indicates the superlative degree of an adjective, thus, ən böyük:the biggest.

Ablative case

The ablative case is marked on the one that would follow "than" in English. For example, Sevil Leyladan böyükdür ⧸ Sevil is bigger than Leyla. The noun in ABL may be follwed by dA.


The possessive suffix (③ or ④) occurs before any case ending. In the 3rd person, when this occurs, a buffer consonant n is always added.

Possession can be expressed in multiple ways.

LOC + var
The possessor takes LOC and the verb is var. This type of possession emphasizes the possessorEoA, 47 and is often temporaryEA, 80 or transitory (e.g. a mailcarrier with mail).
GEN + to be
The possessor takes GEN and the verb is to be. The possessed object precedes the possessor.
The possessor takes GEN and the possessed item takes the POSS case. If there are more than one noun doing the possessing, the last POSS marking agrees with the last noun. This is the most common form of indicating possession.EoA, 78

The ③ form has these POSS suffixes:

  SG pl
1 -(I)m -(I)mIz
2 -(I)n -(I)nIz
3 -(s)I -(s)I

Since the only the 3rd person endings are ambiguous, a pronoun is only required for 3SG and 3PL. Otherwise, the GEN pronoun can be dropped.[EoA, p53]

For chained possession, ex. my friend's cat's encyclopedia, each object possessed must get a POSS suffix and each object possessing must get the GEN suffix. This means that some objects will have multiple suffixes. For example, Universitet-in böyük kitabxana-sı-n-ın təzə kitablar-ı ⧸ The university's big libray's new books. How does this work?

  1. First we have "university's big library", which is universitet-in böyük kitabxana-sı.
  2. Then we have the "library's new books", which would be kitabxana-nın təzə kitablar-ı.
  3. We put it all together, going left to right, meaning that before the library possesses anything, it is also possessed, so the GEN suffix attaches to the POSS suffix as seen above. Voila!
POSS + var
Similar to ①, this emphasizes the object possessed.EoA, 79 In colloquial speech, in 1st or 2nd person, one may hear the POSS marker on var, rather than on the object. For example, Varımdır ⧸ I have it or Yoxumdur ⧸ I don't have it.EA, 81
Just POSS is used in compound nouns, such as "radiator hat". The first part of the compound noun is unmarked and the second part is marked with POSS, e.g. konsert bileti:concert ticket. This becomes the noun itself, so case markings will append to the POSS marked noun (buffered with -n- if 3SG POSS), ex. məktəb kitablarında:in the school books.
  1. Məndə çoxlu kitab var.
    I have a lot of books.
    Type ① possession
  2. Bu kitab Leylanındır.
    This book is Leyla's.
    Type ② possession
  3. O sənin kitabındır.
    That is your book.
    Type ③ possession
  4. Pulunuz varmı?
    Do you have any money?
    Type ④ possession
  5. Onların evində kim var?
    Who is at their house?


Note that Azeri exhibits double negation, thus heç nə görmürəm:I see nothing.

There are three different ways of negating a sentence.

To Be sentences (deyil)

When something is not something, the word deyil is used. In spoken Azeri, it is often pronounced [dö:l].EA, 20 The personal suffix is affixed to deyil.

There is... (yoxdur / yox)

var from existential sentences is replaced with yoxdur in the negative. In the past tense, it is yox idi.

Colloquially, you may hear yox used with personal endings. For example, Məndə feys yoxdur ⧸ I am not on Facebook versus Mən feysdə yoxam ⧸ I am not on Facebook. Compare this with Məndə deyiləm. This sentence would mean something more like "I am not presently on Facebook (i.e. logged in)" versus using yoxdur which implies that you don't have a Facebook account at all.

Regular Verbs (-mA)

The suffix -mA (or -m if r is in the following tense suffix, such as in the present tense) is inserted between the verbal root and the tense suffix. Thus, Mən bilirəm:I knowMən bilmirəm:I don't know.

In IMP, where one would be tempted to look for a word meaning "don't", as in "don't do this", the negative marker suffices.

  1. Mən həkim deyiləm.
    I am not a doctor.
    Notice that the 'to be' ending is attached to deyil
  2. Universitetdə çoxlu tələbə yoxdur.
    There aren't many students at the university.
  3. Fəridə dünən məktəbdə deyil idi.
    Fəridə wasn't at school yesterday.
  4. Kitabxanada tələbələr yox idi.
    There were no students in the library.

The three uses of da/də

dA can be used in a variety of ways, even all three within one sentence. The vowel in dA changes based on the immediately preceding vowel.

  1. Adds emphasis when following a verb. It's often to heighten the emotion of the sentence, such as emphasizing "on" in "come on".
  2. Equivalent to "also", following the word which is "also" had
  3. A conjunction, "even though" or "despite the fact". The clause preceding dA is the "even though X" clause and is either in the past or non-past conditional tense.
  1. Mənim qələmim olsa da, yaza bilmirəm.
    Even though I have a pen, I cannot write.
  2. Mənim də ailəm var.
    I also have a family.
    Note that is following mənim, as it 'I also have a family', rather than 'I have a family also'.

In order to

There are two ways to express "in order to". We can see this using the example sentence "in order to be strong, you must do sports".

① Using üçün:for, place the "in order to" clause in the first half of the sentence. Gülcü olmaq üçün, sən idman etməlisən. ⧸ In order to be strong, you must do sports.

② Using ki, place the "in order to" clause after ki in the Optative. Sən idman etməlisən ki, güclü olasan. ⧸ You must do sports, in order to be strong.

Emphatic Expressions

In music or poetry, and occasionally in spoken language, emphatic "I/you/we/etc. are" statements can be made by attaching the copula to the personal pronoun, followed by the adjective. For example, Sənsən qəşəng ⧸ YOU are pretty, as opposed to a neutral statement like Sən qəşəngdir. Other pronouns can be used, each taking their specific ending.

Direct and Indirect Speech (demək ki)

Direct speech is offset with quotes and followed by a conjugated form of demək:to say. Thus, Mən ona "sağa dön" dedim ⧸ I said to him "turn to the right".

Compare with marking indirect speech, where ki is used: Mən ona dedim ki, sağa dönsün ⧸ I said to him that he must turn to the right. This second example is a bit hard to translate, as -sin here is the 3rd person imperative marker.


Adverbs can often be formed by dropping the infinitive marker (-mAQ), adding -A and duplicating the word. For instance, baxa-baxa:watchingly (from baxmaq:to watch) or gülə-gülə:laughingly (from gülmək:to laugh).

In other cases, it may be a noun followed by səkildə:in the image. This indicates perhaps more literally "in the image of X", but is used much as English adds -ly to the ends of adjectives. For example, həvəskar:amaturehəvəskar şəkildə:amaturishly.


Participles are often equivalent to English relative clauses (which/who does X).

Non-Future (-dIQ-)

Non-future here means past or present. These participles are often used as relative clauses, such as "that which I am reading". It formed by appending -dIQ after the verb root (and negative marker) and before the POSS marker.EA, 212 The object of the relative clause will be marked with GEN.

Since the suffix ends in Q, there will be consonant changes. For example, oxu-duğ-ım:that which I am reading. Or a more full example, oxuduğun məktub ⧸ the letter which you read/are reading.

This participle can be negated with -mA, placed before the suffix. Such as, baxmadığımız film:the film which we didn't see.

  1. Nazimin oxuduğu kitab maraqlı idi.
    The book that Nazim read was interesting.
  2. Dünən baxa bilmadiyim kinoya bugün baxdım.
    The film that I couldn't see yesterday, I watched today.

Non-Past (-An)

It is formed by appending -An to the verb root and corresponds roughly with the English gerund, ex. "to write" → "writing". Thus, yazmaq:to writeyazan:(who is) writing. "The head noun in a participle phrase comes at the end and all words modifying this noun procede it."EA, 246 Compare gələn qonaq:the guest who is coming and qonaq gələn:she is coming as a guest (qonaq gəlmək:to come as a guest). Sometimes the head noun is omitted and the participle functions as the noun. For example, mənə məktub yazanı tanımıram ⧸ I don't know (the person) who wrote the letter to me.

This participle can be negated with -mA, such as in gəlməyən:the one who isn't coming. Note that y here is used to separate between the ending vowel of the negative marker and the suffix.

  1. Amərikadan gələn qonaq...
    The guest who is coming from America...


Cardinal Numbers

When a number is used, the following noun does not need to be in the plural.

0 - sıfır
1 - bir
2 - iki
3 - üç
4 - dörd
5 - beş
6 - altı
7 - yeddi
8 - səkkiz
9 - doqquz
10 - on

Numbers 11-19 are formed as on + {number 1-9}. Additional higher order numbers are formed the same way, with special words for 10s, 100, 1000, and 1000000.

20 - iyirmi
30 - otuz
40 - qırx
50 - əlli
60 - altmış
70 - yetmiş
80 - səksən or həştad
90 - doxsan
100 - yüz
1000 - min
1000000 - milyon

Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal number are formed with the suffix -(I)ncI. For numbers above 10, such as 15, only the final number takes the suffix. Thus, on beşinci:15th. The abbreviation is the last two letters of the suffix: 15-ci or 4-cü.

1st - birinci
2nd - ikinci
3rd - üçüncü
4th - dördüncü
5th - beşinci
6th - altıncı
7th - yeddinci
8th - səkkizinci
9th - doqquzuncu
10th - onuncu


Decimal numbers are said in the form of {number} tam {decimal place (10s, 100s etc.)}+dA {number}. Here are some illustrative examples:

  1. 2.3 = 2 tam 10-da 3 = iki tam onda üç
  2. 4.25 = 4 tam 100-də 25 = dörd tam yüzdə iyirmi beş
  3. 6.875 = 6 tam 1000-də 875 = altı tam mində səkkiz yüz yetmiş beş

Time and Dates

Time Vocabulary

There are two sets for names of the week. In formal Azeri, there are specific names:

Monday - bazar ertəsi
Tuesday - çərşənbə axşamı
Wednesday - çərşənbə
Thursday - cümə axşamı
Friday - cümə
Saturday - şənbə
Sunday - bazar

In colloquial Azeri, though, starting with Monday, they are simply spoken as birinci gün:1st day, etc. If something takes place on a day, the phrase is treated as a compound noun (see ⑤). This means that for forms already said as a compound noun: bazar ertəsi, çərşənbə axşamı, and cümə axşamı, no change is needed. For the other days, the day of the week will be followed by günü. Thus, cümə günü:on Friday. Note that during Nowruz, su/od/yel/torpaq çərşənbə actually refers to Tuesday (çərşənbə axşamı): the axşamı is dropped.

Months are listed below.

January - yanvar
February - fevral
March - mart
April - aprel
May - may
June - iyun
July - iyul
August - avqust
September - sentyabr
October - oktyaber
November - noyabr
December - dekabr

Full dates, such as June 11th, are written withe POSS/GEN construction. The month takes POSS and the number (non-ordinal) is marked with the GEN. Thus, June 11th is iyunun on biri.

Time Expressions

The year in which something occurs is expressed as an ordinal number. The month in which something occurs is expressed with LOC. If it is a month + year combo, then GEN/POSS is used, which the year marked in GEN and the month marked in POSS, as well as LOC. Similarly, if it is a month + day combo, the month is marked with GEN, the day (in cardinal form) with POSS and LOC.

Similar to Georgian, the first hour of the day is 12. Thus, all time expressions are one off from English. That is, 12:30 would be "1's thirty", or birin yarısı. Other minutes use either işləyib:past or qalıb:til. These are paired with the hour in DAT. No additional verb is needed, as işleyib and qalıb are verbal forms. For example, Birə beş dəqiqə işleyib ⧸ It is 12:05.

Since saat:hour,o'clock is a versatile word, be careful with ordering when paird with neçə:how many. Thus, saat neçədir:what time is it? versus neçə saat:how many hours (is it)?. When in the form saatliq, it means "for x number of hours", thus 2 saatliq:for two hours.

  1. Mən Bakıya 2003-cü ildə getdim.
    I went to Baku in 2003.
    lit. the 2003rd year.
  2. Doqquza iyirmi beş dəqiqə qalıb.
    It is 8:35.


Pronunciation Notes

It words where y becomes ğ, but is shortly followed by q, such as in alacağıq:we will get, the ğ is pronounched as y. It is still written with ğ though!

Most words are stressed on the last syllable, but some words are not. For example, sàbah:tomorrow, versus sabàh:morning, where the accent indicates the stressed syllable.

Make sure to pay attention to this, as well as when vowels are lengthened in speech (which is unmarked in writing).

Dialetical Notes

In casual or rapid speech, the final r in -dIr or yoxdur may be dropped.

ilə may become -nə, such as bizimnə:with us.