Kurmanji grammar

Kurmanji grammar

This article is about Kurmanji Kurdish grammar.


The Latin-based Kurdish alphabet employs 31 characters, 8 vowels and 23 consonants. Lengthened short vowels (E, I, U) are represented using a circumflex (e.g. Ê, Î, Û). See Kurdish alphabet for more information.



Kurmanji Kurdish uses two types of personal pronouns.

Ez forms are used as subjects in the present and future tenses. They are also used as subjects in past tenses when the verb is a intransitive one. They are used as objects in past tenses when employed with a transitive verb. The "min form" is used with any proposition or postposition. They are also employed as objects in present and future tenses, but as subjects of the transitive verbs in past tenses.


The reflexive pronoun is "xwe".


Nouns in Kurmanji are divided into two genders, masculine and feminine, with feminine nouns being more numerous than masculine. Aside from female and male living things, these are largely assigned at random, including for loan words from languages with gender. Nouns are also inflected for number (singular and plural), and declined in four cases: nominative, oblique, construct (or ezafe) and vocative [Thackston (2006), p. 7] .


In Kurmanji, adjectives are not inflected according to the nouns they modify.

The suffix "-tir" is added to an adjective to form the comparative, and "-tirîn" to form superlative form.



There are three main Tenses of the verb: the Present, the Past, the Future; as,

:Ez nanê di xwum (Present):"I eat the meal"

:Min nan xuard (Past):"I ate the meal"

:Ez nanê dê xuom (Future):"I shall eat the meal"

The tense also shows the 'state' of the action referred to, whether the action is, was or still going on (continuous).

:Ezê nanê di xwum (Present continuous):"I am eating the meal"

:Min nan di xuard (Past continuous):"I was eating the meal"

:Min nanê xwardi (Presnt perfect):"I have eaten the meal"

:Min nan xwardi (Past perfect):"I had eaten the meal"

Simple tenses

(1) Present simple tense : I go = Ez di çim (2) Past simple tense : I went = Ez çum (3) Future simple tense : I shall go = Ez dê çim (4) Future simple in the past : I should go = Ez dê bi çim

Continuous tenses

(5) Present continuous tense : I am going = Ezê di çim (6) Past continuous tense : I was going = Ez di çum (7) Future continuous tense : I shall be going = Ezê dê çim (8) Future continuous in the past : I should be going = Ezê dê bi çim

Perfect tenses

(9) Present perfect tense : I have gone = Ezê çuoym (10) Past perfect tense : I had gone = Ez çuoym (11) Future perfect tense : I shall be going = Ezê dê çuoy bim (12) Future perfect in the past : I should be going = Ezê dê bi çim (13) Pluperfect tense : Ez çuo buom --- There is no English equivalent.
The time of the action is before the Past Perfect. (14) Past Pluperfect tense : Ez çuoy --- There is no English equivalent.
The time of the action is before the time of Pluperfect.

Imperfect tenses

;Present imperfect tense

There is no equivalent in English. It denotes that the action has just been started or has been decided on to start.

e.g. Ezê çuom

;Past imperfect tense

There is no English equivalent. It denotes indefinite past. It is different from any other past tense (simple, perfect, etc.)

e.g. Ezê çuoy


This article incorporates text from Kurdish grammar


* W. M. Thackston (2006) "Kurmanji Kurdish: A Reference Grammar with Selected Readings"

External links

* [http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~siamakr/Kurdish/grammar.html Kurdish grammar]
* [http://www.institutkurde.org/en/library/online/grammar_of_the_kurmanji/ Kurmanji grammar]
* [http://www.kurdishacademy.org/english/grammar/north/content.html Kurdish grammar course]

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