Azerbaijani/Contents (Latin)/Nouns

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There is no definite article, "the", in Azerbaijani. When a noun stands alone the article "the" is understood. adam the man ev the house

The indefinite article, "a" or "an", is expressed by the numeral bir, meaning "one". bir xanım a lady bir saat an hour

The Azerbaijani language, like the English, makes no distinction of genders in nouns, except in borrowing an Arabic or Russian word, when they import it as they find it used.

Ex. şairə, the poetess. validə, the mother.

Distinctions of sex, when not conveyed in the word itself, are marked by oğlan for male and qız for female in human relations; by erkək, male, and dişi, female, for animals.

Azerbaijani nouns have two numbers -singular and plural. Their cases are formed by terminal variations. The plural is made by adding lar or lər to the singular -the first after a hard consonant, the second after a soft one. -lar if the vowels of the word are hard vowels (a, ı, o, u) -lər if the vowels of the word are soft vowels (ə, e, i, ö, ü)

insan human insanlar humans əl hand əllər hands


Properly speaking there are no declensions, as the word never changes, but takes an affix which gives it the required meaning.

The nominative case is the simple stem of the noun.

All other cases are formed by the addition of appropriate terminations to the nominative.

There is only one standard declension for all Azerbaijani nouns; such variations as exist being merely due to the necessity of observing the various rules for hard and soft vowels.

Azerbaijani nouns are two kinds -those ending in a consonant, as nazir, papaq, and those in a vowel-sound, as baba, grandfather; qapı, door; dərə, valley.


case Singular Plural
Nom. nazir the minister nazirlər the ministers
Acc. naziri the minister nazirləri the ministers
Gen. nazirin of the minister nazirlərin of the ministers
Dat. nazirə to the minister nazirlərə to the ministers
Voc. ay nazir O minister ay nazirlər O ministers
Loc. nazirdə in or by the minister nazirlərdə in or by the ministers
Abl. nazirdən from the minister nazirlərdən from the ministers


case Singular Plural
Nom. baba the grandfather babalar the grandfathers
Acc. babanı the grandfather babaları the grandfathers
Gen. babanın of the grandfather babaların of the grandfathers
Dat. babaya to the grandfather babalara to the grandfathers
Voc. ay baba O grandfather ay babalar O grandfathers
Loc. babada in or by the grandfather babalarda in or by the grandfathers
Abl. babadan from the grandfather babalardan from the grandfathers

Thus vowel-nouns add nIn, yA, nI, dA, and dAn to the nominative singular for genitive, dative, accusative, locative, and ablative, while consonant-nouns add for the three first cases In, A, I.

When the stem ends in a vowel, a buffer consonant (or auxiliary consonant) must be inserted in front of the case-ending, whenever the case-ending itself also begins with a vowel. Thus, with the accusative and genitive case endings, n is used as the buffer consonant; with the dative case-ending y is used.

Both in substantives and infinitive verbs, those words which have a q change it into a ğ for the sake of euphony.

Thus, papaq makes papağın, papağa, and papağı in the genitive, dative and accusative cases singular.

For the same reason the k is softened into a y.

Ex. köpək makes köpəyin, köpəyə, köpəyi in the inflected (i.e., the gen., dat. and acc.) cases singular.

These case-endings vary according to the rules of vowel agreement, in the same way as other terminations vary.


case after a or ı after ə, e or i after o or u after ö or ü
Nom. - - - -
Acc. (n)ı (n)i (n)u (n)ü
Gen. (n)ın (n)in (n)un (n)ün
Dat. (y)a (y)ə (y)a (y)ə
Loc. da da
Abl. dan dən dan dən

Note: The only noun which shows any irregularity in its declension is su (water), which has the irregular accusative and genitive forms suyu (the water), suyun (of the water), instead of the regular forms sunu, sunun.


Nominative: Whenever the noun is the subject of a verb, the simple nominative form is used.

adam gəlir the man is coming uşaq yazacaq the child will write

Accusative: When a noun is the direct object of a verb, it must be put into the accusative case; i.e. the accusative case-ending must be added. kitabı gətir bring the book südü iç drink the milk

However, this full accusative form is only used when the object is a particular, definite article or thing. If the object referred to is indefinite, it is proper to leave the noun in the nominative case. şəkər gətir bring sugar, bring some sugar bir az su içsin let him a little water

In these two examples, şəkər and su are both indefinite articles; that is, no particular piece of sugar or particular drop of water is meant. Hence the simple nominative form of the noun is employed.

Genitive: This case signifies relationship or possession, and is translated by "of the ..." evimin of my house evin qapısı the door of the house

As with the accusative, so with the genitive, if the article referred to is indefinite, the nominative form may be used. dəmir qapılar doors of iron, iron doors

It will be seen that the full accusative and genitive forms provide a means of indicating that a particular, definite article is referred to.

Dative: This case is used whenever the sense of "motion towards" the object is implied. It is therefore usually translated by the English preposition "to"; but may also be translated by "towards", "at", etc., whenever the sense of "motion towards" is implied by these prepositions. At times it is not necessary to use any preposition in translatino the meaning into English. evə gəl come to the house adama baxdım I looked at the man mənə ver give me! give to me! otağa gəlir he is coming towards the room haraya gediblər where have they gone (to)

Locative: In contrast to the dative case, the locative implies "rest in" a place, with no sense of motion either to or from the object. It may therefore be translated by the prepositions "in", "on", "at", "within", whenever the sense of rest, position, or stationary state is inferred. otaqda oturur he is sitting in the room evdədir he is at the house, he is at home boşqabda on the plate bu tərəfdə on this side o tərəfdə on that side

Ablative: This case implies "motion from"; and is consequently usually translated by the preposition "from". maşından yıxıldı he fell from the car işdən gəlmişəm I have come from work


The stem of a noun is its simplest form, the nominative singular. From this stem, or root, the various derivatives, the plural, the possessive forms, and the various cases, are obtained by the simple addition of certain suffixes to the stem itself. Such a method of building up words by means of suffixes, each with a specific meaning, is termed agglutination; and this process of agglutination is a characteristic quality of the Azerbaijani language.

In the case of nouns this agglutination takes place in a definite order:

The stem of the noun is always placed first.

The plural suffix (lar or lər) follows immediately after the stem.

Any possessive suffix must then be added.

Finally, the case-ending is appended at the very end of the word.


əl the hand əllər hands əlim my hand əllərim my hands əlimdə in my hand əllərimdə in my hands əliniz your hand əlləriniz your hands əlinizə to your hand əllərinizdən from your hands

In this manner, with due observance of the rules of euphony described, any derivative of any noun may be built up.


The English language employs the preposition "of" to indicate the relationship of one noun to another.

e.g. the work "of" man.

This can also be expressed in another way, e.g. man's work (lit. "man his-work").

It is this latter form which the Azerbaijani language adopts, and it does so by adding the third person possessive suffix to the second noun.

adam işi man's work, the work of man ("man his-work").

By suffixing the genitive case-ending to the first noun, the expression is rendered more definite.

adamın işi "the" man's work, the work of "the" man.

This latter construction, the association of the genitive form of one noun with the third possessive form of a second noun, is styled "izafət" construction; and is of very frequent use in Azerbaijani, being the normal manner of expressing the relationship of one noun to another.

evin qapısı the door of the house uşağın anası the mother of the child


Certain two-syllabled nouns are contracted whenever suffixes beginning with vowels are added to them. The contraction consists in omitting the vowel of the second syllable.

oğul son oğlum my son ağız mouth ağzı his mouth

bağır liver; heart, boyun neck, burun nose, çiyin shoulder, əyin human body, könül heart / wish, qarın abdomen.