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Tips and notes

HO GELDINIZ! WELCOME!
Turkish, unlike many Indo-European languages, contains no articles at all! Surprisingly
simple, right? Turkish does have its own little quirks that will make it a challenge.

Word Order
Turkish is a Subject-Object-Verb language, meaning that sentences take on a different
word order than that of English, French, German, or most other languages that English
speakers most commonly study. That being said, a background in Japanese, Korean, or
Hungarian will prove very useful. The verb always comes at the end of the sentence in
written Turkish (spoken Turkish allows for some flexibility).
For example: Ben gazete okurum. Literally I newspaper read., meaning, I read
newspapers.

Verb Tenses
The Turkish language does distinguish between a present continuous and a simple
present tense. In this lesson, we have included the simple present form of a few
verbs, but this will be taught later in greater detail. This means that there is a difference
in the sentences:
I eat a sandwich. (present simple) I am eating a sandwich. (present continuous)
Be careful while you are translating, because this does make a difference, just like in
English!

Pronouns
The Turkish pronouns are as follows:
Singular

Plural

1st Person

Ben

Biz

2nd Person

Sen

Siz

3rd Person

Onlar

Siz behaves just like vous in French, serving both as you (plural) and you (formal).

Articles
There are no articles in Turkish! The number one (bir) is sometimes used to distinguish
between the/a(n). However, if a noun is in the subject position, there is no way to tell!
Cool, right? This being said, if the noun is in the object position, Turkish does distinguish
between the/a(n). In this lesson, we will only use a(n) in the object position, but we will
teach you in the Accusative skill how to do it the other way.

Commands
Forming the informal imperative form in Turkish is extremely simple. All you have to do is
use the root form of the verb. More information about the formal imperative can be found
in the skill to be. Here are the two verb in this lesson in their dictionary (infinitive) and
informal imperative forms:
Infinitive

English

Inf. Imp.

English

yemek

to eat

Ye!

Eat!

imek

to drink

Drink!

Tips and notes


Adjectives and all modifiers in Turkish must always come before the nouns that they
modify when they operate as modifiers. This does not stand true if it is used as a
predicate adjective with the verb to be in English (e.g. The dog is happy). If you use the
number bir as an article, this will come directly before the noun. For example:
souk elma --The cold apple
souk bir elma -- A cold apple
Elma souk -- The apple is cold.
Adjectives are also not declined according to gender and number like what is common to
many European languages. This means that adjectives behave pretty close to their
English counterparts and shouldnt pose too big of a challenge.

Tips and notes


General Direct Objects

Selam!
In Turkish, if you have a general direct object, there is no need to put any case or suffix
on the object itself. A general direct object is one that uses a/an or the plural without
the. If you want to be extra specific, you can add the numeral bir to makes sure that the
meaning a/an is given. For example:
Turkish

English

O portakal yer.

He/She/It eats oranges or He/She/It eats an orange.

O bir portakal yer.

He/She/It eats an orange.

Just keep in mind, "O portakallar yer" is simply wrong in Turkish.


Happy Learning!

Tips and notes


Welcome to your second of the 7 cases in Turkish. You have already been using the
nominative case to describe subjects and some objects. The accusative case in Turkish
is used to mark specific direct objects. What does this mean exactly? A specific direct
object is one that uses the article the. For example:
Turkish

English

Ben gazete okurum.

I read newspapers. or I read a newspaper.

Ben gazeteyi okurum.

I read the newspaper.

Ben bir gazete okurum.

I read a newspaper.

As you can see above, the accusative is only used when referring to the newspaper.
Now, how do we form the accusative case? This will bring you to one of the funnest
aspects of the Turkish language, vowel harmony.

Vowel Harmony
In Turkish, vowels within a (native) word and any suffixes that are attached to said word
must obey vowel harmony rules. This means that vowels tend to either be the same or
similar, making words easier to pronounce than they may look. There are two types of
vowel harmony in Turkish, 4-way and 2-way. The accusative case uses 4-way vowel
harmony. In order to figure out what may go on the end, you will have to look at
thefinal vowel in the word.

Turkish

Accusative Suffix

-(y)

o,u

-(y)u

e,i

-(y)i

a,

-(y)

If the noun ends in a vowel, you have to insert the buffer letter y. Here are some
examples:
Turkish, Nominative

Turkish, Accusative

English

elma

elmay

apple

gazete

gazeteyi

newspaper

st

st

milk

limon

limonu

lemon

Consonant Mutations
There is one final thing to talk about in terms of the accusative case. That would be your
first taste of consonant mutations, often called consonant harmony. Consonants
often change at the end of words depending on if it is followed by a vowel or a
consonant. If they are followed by a vowel, they will generally change into voiced
consonants. For example:
Turkish, Nominative

Turkish, Accusative

English

kitap

kitab

book

aa

aac

tree

kpek

kpei

dog

This means:

pb

td

This rule in general does not affect single syllable words, but there are exceptions of
course. You will even come across exceptions to vowel harmony in loanwords from
Arabic, Farsi, and French. These must be learned as you encounter them. In the
meantime, happy learning and kolay gelsin.

Tips and notes


Plural Suffix
Forming the plural in Turkish is simple compared to the Accusative case. It is formed
using the suffix -lAr. Now you might be thinking, what is that capital A doing there? to
which we respond with 2-way vowel harmony.
This is the other form of vowel harmony found in Turkey suffixes. Basically if the final
vowel is front (i, e, , ) use -ler. If it is back (a, , o, u), use the suffix -lar. This rule along
with the rule for 4-way vowel harmony will be used in several suffixes across Turkish
grammar, so try to get used to it now.
Here are some examples:
Turkish, Nominative

English

Turkish, Plural

English

ay

bear

aylar

bears

ku

bird

kular

birds

kurbaa

frog

kurbaalar

frogs

kpek

dog

kpekler

dogs

hindi

turkey

hindiler

turkeys

men

menu

menler

menus

Tips and notes


Copula
There are a few ways to say to be in Turkish depending on what you are saying. This is
shocking since there is not an actual verb to be. A suffix is used to form to be in the
present tense. The suffixes are as follows:

Suffix

Person/Number

Example

English

-(y)Im

1st sing.

(Ben) mutluyum.

I am happy.

-sIn

2nd sing.

(Sen) mutlusun.

You are happy.

, -DIr

3rd sing

O mutlu.

He/She/It is
happy.

-(y)Iz

1st pl.

(Biz) mutluyuz.

We are happy.

-sInIz

2nd pl.

(Siz) mutlusunuz.

You are happy.

, -DIr

3rd pl.

Onlar mutlu/mutludur.

They are happy.

-lAr, -DIrlAr

3rd pl.

(Onlar)
mutlular/mutludurlar.

They are happy.

There are a few points to talk about in the above chart.


1) All except the 3rd person pl. suffix follow 4-way vowel harmony.
2) In the 1st person, you will see a buffer -y- be used if the adjective or noun ends in a
vowel.
3) The suffix -DIr is used to clarify any ambiguity, emphasize, or state facts. This both
follows 4-way vowel harmony and has consonant harmony; d changes to t after the
following consonants (p t k s h f).
4) The suffix -lAr is optional in the 3rd person pl. However, it is only optional when
referring to people. This suffix may not be used for items and animals. Only humans!

Be as a Command
To form be as a command in Turkish, the stem of the verb olmak, which means to
become. All you have to do is take off the -mak and you have the command for ol. To
make it formal, add the ending -In, which according to 4-way vowel harmony, comes out
as olun. This same sufix gets added to all verbs to make formal commands.

Tips and notes


Possessive Suffixes
Possessive Determiners ( my, your, his, her, its, our, and their) are represented by a set
of suffixes, all of which follow 4-way vowel harmony, where applicable. These suffixes are
as follows:

Sing.

Plural

1st Person

-(I)m

-(I)mIz

2nd Person

-(I)n

-(I)nIz

3rd Person

-(s)I

-(s)I

Some of the suffixes have buffer vowels (or in the case of the 3rd person, a buffer
consonant). These means that the suffixes gain the buffer vowel when the root ends in
consonant and do not have it when the root ends in a vowel. For the 3rd person suffix,
the buffer s will be added when the root ends in a vowel and will be omitted when it ends
in a consonant. This may seem a little confusing, but it is extremely simple with practice.
The same consonant harmony that we talked about in the accusative skill will occur with
the possessive suffixes as well Now lets see these in real use. This chart will give an
example of a word that ends in a vowel:
Turkish

English

(Benim) kedim

My cat

(Senin) kedin

Your cat

(Onun) kedisi

His/Her/Its cat

(Bizim) kedimiz

Our cat

(Sizin) kediniz

Your cat

(Onlarn) kedisi

Their cat

This chart gives an example of a word that ends in a consonant:


Turkish

English

(Benim) aslanm

My lion

(Senin) aslann

Your lion

(Onun) aslan

His/Her/Its lion

(Bizim) aslanmz

Our lion

(Sizin) aslannz

Your lion

(Onlarn) aslan

Their lion

When you own multiples of the same thing, you will use the plural suffix. The plural
suffix comes before the possessive suffixes. For example:
Turkish

English

(Benim) pastalarm

My cakes

(Onun) limonlar

His/Her/Its lemons

(Sizin) portakallarnz

Your oranges

If you attach any other case suffix to a noun with a possessive suffix, it will always
come after the possessive suffix. They will also obey vowel harmony according to the
last vowel in the whole word. If you add a case to a noun with the 3rd person possessive
suffix, it will always have a buffer -n-. This buffer -n- can lead to ambiguities with the
second person possessive suffix. Here are some examples of nouns in the accusative
case with a possessive suffix:
Turkish w/o Accusative

Turkish w/ Accusative

English

(Benim) adm

(Benim) adm

My name

(Onun) kahveleri

(Onun) kahvelerini

His/Her/Its coffees

(Senin) kahvelerin

(Senin) kahvelerini

Your coffees

Genitive Case
The genitive case is expressed with the suffix -(n)In in Turkish. This case is used to
showpossession. The buffer -n- must be added to roots that end in a vowel. For example:

Selcens dog: Selcenin kpei

zges cats: zgenin kedileri

Notice: Possessors get the genitive case ending. Possesees get the possessive
suffixes. Pay attention to this! Look at the above tables to get a full list of the pronouns in
the genitive case.
If you want to say something like your cats food, this would have both the personal
suffix and the genitive case. The translation to this is kedilerinin yemei. This is
ambiguous (remember, it can be your cats or his/her/its cats.

To Have
Turkish has a verb for "to have" (sahip olmak) but that's rarely used and will be taught in
a future skill. We mostly use just possessive + var to say "X has Y" and possessive +
yokto say "X does not have Y". For example:

Selcen has a dog: Selcenin kpei var

zge has cats: zgenin kedileri var

I do not have water: Benim suyum yok

You do not have milk: Senin stn yok

Tips and notes

The dative case in Turkish is normally used to describe indirect objects and
motionstowards a place. The dative pronouns in Turkish are as follows:
Sing.

Plural

1st Person

bana

bize

2nd Person

sana

size

3rd Person

ona

onlara

They generally have the meaning of to me, to you, etc. If you are reading to
me, speaking to me, or coming to me Turkish would use the dative pronoun.
For example: O bize gazeteyi okur. He/She/It reads the newspaper to us OR
He/She/It reads us the newspaper.
These pronouns and this case are used for more things in Turkish, but we will
cover that when we get to the Dative skill. Until then, kolay gelsin!

Tips and notes


Questions
Turkish question words do not undergo the same movement that they do in English
(notice...questions words almost always are at the beginning of questions in English).
Instead, they keep put in the place that naturally occur in the sentence-form of the
question. For example, imagine that you are surprised while asking the question Where
did you buy the present? You might exclaim, You bought the present WHERE?!
Turkish maintains this position in sentences.
Do not forget Turkish is a SOV language. This means that verbs are always at the end if
the sentence contains a verb.
Good luck and happy learning!

Tips and notes

The locative case in Turkish is used to describe location in, at, or on a place. It is formed
with the suffix -DA. Now, you may be asking, what is that capital D doing there
...to which we respond with the answer consonant harmony. Turkish employs both
vowel and consonant harmony in its grammar. What does consonant harmony mean
exactly? Basically, unvoiced consonants like to be next to unvoiced consonants and
voiced consonants like to be next to voiced consonants. For example, things about how
we pronounce the plural marker -s in cats and dogs (one should sound like an s and
the other should sound like a z). With the locative (and later the ablative), you will see a
similar phenomenon. The suffix -DA will become -TA after the letters p, , t, k, f, h, s, and
(We use Fstk ahap or "Efe Paa ok hasta" as mnemonics to remember these).
These are unsurprisingly all of the unvoiced consonants in Turkish. The suffix remains as
-DA in all other instances (after following any other consonant or a vowel). Remember,
this suffix will also employ 2-way vowel harmony.
Here are some examples:
Turkish, Nominative

English

Turkish, Locative

English

park

park

parkta

in/at the park

otel

hotel

otelde

in/at the hotel

banyo

bathroom

banyoda

in/at the bathroom

bakkal

store

bakkalda

in/at the store

kpek

dog

kpekte

on/at the dog

Tips and notes


Forming numbers in Turkish is very simple after you know the core vocabulary. The
numbers are as follows:
Turkish Number

Digit

Turkish Number

Digit

bir

on bir

11

iki

on iki

12

yirmi

20

drt

otuz

30

be

krk

40

Turkish Number

Digit

Turkish Number

Digit

alt

elli

50

yedi

altm

60

sekiz

yetmi

70

dokuz

seksen

80

on

10

doksan

90

When you use a digit with a noun, you should NEVER use the plural suffix on the end of
the noun. This is redundant and grammatically incorrect in Turkish. That means you
should say iki kedi and not iki kediler. The larger numbers are as follows:
Turkish Number

Digit

yz

100

bin

1000

milyon

1000000

Now, have fun!

Tips and notes


The tense sign of the present continuous tense in Turkish is -iyor, -yor, -yor, -uyor,
which is added to the verb root. These suffixes are added according to 4-way Vowel
Harmony.
Just how does one find the verb root in Turkish? Infinitives in Turkish end in -mAk, for
example: istemek.
You must simply remove the -mek off of "istemek" to get the root "iste-"
The tense endings are completed by adding the following personal suffixes:
Sing.

Plural

1st Person

-um

-uz

2nd Person

-sun

-sunuz

3rd Person

Sing.

Plural

- / -lar

*If the nominative pronoun "onlar," is used in the sentence, you are not required to
include '-lAr as a suffix, since it is already clear that the verb is plural from context. You
can only use -lAr if the subject is human. Sorry cat, trees, and cars!
When the verb root itself ends in a vowel, as in bekle-mek (to wait, expect), then this
vowel is also dropped as the head vowel of the "-iyor" tense sign replaces it, becoming
bekl-iyor.
The first letter "-i" of "-iyor" is subject to 4-way vowel harmony with the verb stem's final
vowel. The tense sign "-iyor" can be likened to the English Tense sign "-ing".
Some examples:

geliyorum [geliyor-um] (I am coming)

alyorsun [alyor-sun] (you are taking)

dyorlar [dyor-lar] (they are paying)

Tips and notes


Noun Compounds
In this skill, you will encounter your first Turkish noun compounds. A noun compound is
when you combine two nouns to create something with a new meaning (i.e.
birth+day=birthday). Forming these in Turkish will be easy using the knowledge that you
already have up to this point.
All you have to do is put two nouns next to each other and add the possessive suffix on
the second noun. There is no suffix on the first word. For example:
Word 1

Word 2

Noun Compound

English

doum

gn

doum gn

birthday

tavuk

su

tavuk suyu

chicken broth

balk

orba

balk orbas

fish soup

kuzu

et

kuzu eti

lamb (meat)

Tips and notes


Ablative Case
You have learned 4 of the 7 Turkish cases so far (Nominative, Accusative,
Genitive/Possessive, Locative). Tebrikler! In this lesson you will get closer to learning all
of them. In this lesson we will cover the Ablative case, which is used in Turkish to convey
motion from a place. After learning the Locative case, the Ablative will be extremely
easy. In fact, it is almost the exact same! The suffix that you will have to use is -DAn. This
suffix follows the exact same consonant and vowel harmony rules as the Locative. In fact
the only difference is the letter n at the end of the suffix. Here are some examples:
Turkish Nominative

Turkish Ablative

English

park

parktan

from the park

ky

kyden

from the village

saray

saraydan

from the palace

ofis

ofisten

from the office

Tips and notes


Dative Case
It is time for case 6 out of 7. How are you feeling? Overwhelmed? Dont be! You are
doing great so far! Just remember that Turkish isnt as complicated as you think, and it
will be easy. It is different from English, but it much more regular and isnt too
complicated. The Dative case in Turkish is used to describe
movement towardssomething and for indirect objects. An indirect object tells to whom
or for whom an action is being done. It always tells the recipient of the direct object.
I gave her a hug.
I told him about the event.
We showed them the cake.
Forming the Dative case is very simple, considering the amount of knowledge you have
under your belt now. The suffix is -(y)A. The suffix obeys 2-way vowel harmony and
uses a buffer -y- when attached to a word that ends in a vowel. Consonant harmony will
often happen at the end of words that end with /p t k /. Simple, right? It is a great way to
review concepts while still learning something new. Here are some examples:

Turkish Nominative

Turkish Dative

English

park

parka

to the park

apka

apkaya

to the hat

domates

domatese

to the tomato

fare

fareye

to the mouse

fareler

farelere

to the mice

kpek

kpee

to the dog

Good job and see you in the next lesson!

Tips and notes


This skill, unlike the last Time skill is only dedicated to telling time in Turkish. There will
be a lot of information below, so read carefully.

Saat ka?
1) The phrase Saat ka? is used to ask What time is it? in Turkish. The response
isSaat followed by the number of the hour. This is really simple when you are at the full
hour. When at the full hour, saat is optional.
Turkish

English

Saat ka?

What time is it?

Saat be.

It is 5 o'clock.

Be

It is 5.

2) The word buuk is used to describe time at the half hour.


Turkish

English

Saat ka?

What time is it?

Saat be buuk.

It is 5:30.

3) For telling time before the half hour, you will use the word geiyor and
the accusativecase. The word denoting the hour gets the accusative case ending which
is then followed by the minute number. Then you add geiyor to the end.

Turkish

English

Saat ka?

What time is it?

Saat bei on geiyor.

It is 5:10.

Saat drd on drt geiyor.

It is 4:14.

4) For telling time after the half hour, you will use the word var and the dative case. The
word denoting the next hour gets the dative and the remaining minutes until the next
hour follows. Then add var to the end.
Turkish

English

Saat ka?

What time is it?

Saat yediye var.

It is 6:57.

Saat altya on var.

It is 5:50.

5) When you are unsure, you can just say saat+ the hour number + the minute number.
This construction is used for trains, buses, and television.
Turkish

English

Saat ka?

What time is it?

Saat on krk.

It is 10:40.

Saat dokuz elli.

It is 9:50.

6) To describe things at the quarter hour, use the word eyrek using the same grammar
from above.
Turkish

English

Saat ka?

What time is it?

Saat onu eyrek geiyor.

It is 10:15.

Saat sekize eyrek var.

It is 7:45.

Saat kata?
Now that you have taken in how to tell the time, we have to explain how to explain At
what time?. This uses a similar, but not identical system.

7) If it is the full or half hour, you will use the described system above along with
thelocative case (-DA).
Turkish

English

Saat kata?

At what time?

Saat onda.

At 10.

Saat iki buukta.

At 2:30.

8) If it is before the half hour, you will use the same construction as above, but will
usegee instead of geiyor.
Turkish

English

Saat kata?

At what time?

Saat onu be gee.

At 10:05.

Saat biri eyrek gee.

At 1:15.

9) If it is after the half hour, you will use the same construction above, but
with kalainstead of var.
Turkish

English

Saat kata?

At what time?

Saat on bire eyrek kala.

At 10:45.

Saat dokuza be kala.

At 8:55.

Ok...I know this was a lot to take in, but with some practice, it will be very easy! Good
luck in the skill and please feel free to repeat it several times until you have the hang of
it. Until then, kolay gelsin!

Tips and notes


In Turkish, there are no such things as prepositions. Before you feel really relieved, I
must give you some bad news. Turkish uses postpositions. All English prepositions are
represented in Turkish either by a case or by postpositions. There are two types of
postpositions in Turkish, Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 Postpositions

Type 1 postpositions are formed by using a genitive construction with a main noun and a
location noun. Rather than saying outside of the house, Turkish says at the outside of
the house. It isnt too bad, right? We will include several of these in this lesson. Here are
some examples.
Main
(Pro)nouns

English

Location
Noun

ev

house

sen

you

kitap

Combination

English

inside

evin iinde

inside the
house

arka

behind

senin arkanda

behind you

book

st

top

kitabn
stnde

above the
book, on top
of the book

kitap

book

zeri

top

kitabn
zerinde

above the
book, on top
of the book

hastane

hospital

front

hastanenin
nnde

in front of
the hospital

Type 2 Postpositions
Type 2 prepositions resemble English prepositions more. They are single words that
follow a noun, sometimes requiring certain cases. You have already seen an example of
this in the course in the Dative Skill (doru). We have included 4 here.
hari and srasnda These are two postpositions that require the nominative
case. Harihas the meaning except. Srasnda has the meaning during.
Main
(Pro)nouns

English

Location
Noun

yaz

summer

srasnda

akam
yemei

dinner

ben

Combination

English

during

yaz srasnda

during
summer

srasnda

during

akam yemei
srasnda

during
dinner

hari

except

ben hari

except for
me

Main
(Pro)nouns

English

Location
Noun

kar

snow

hari

except

Combination

English

kar hari

except for
snow

hakknda and gibi


These two postpositions also require the nominative case. There is one exception
however. If they are used in combination with pronouns, you must use the genitive case.
For example:
Main
(Pro)noun
s

English

Locatio
n Noun

Combinatio
n

mahalle

neighborhoo
d

hakknd
a

about

mahalle
hakknda

about the
neighborhoo
d

biz

we

hakknd
a

about

bizim
hakkmzda

about us

annem

my mother

gibi

like

annem gibi

like my
mother

he/she/it

gibi

like

onun gibi

like him/her/it

English

With practice, the idea of prepositions coming post the word will be simple! Until
then,kolay gelsin!

Tips and notes


Adjective Formation
In order to form adjectives from nouns in Turkish that describe with or without, you
must use the suffixes -lI and -sIz, respectively. For example:
Turkish Nominative

With

English

Without

English

st

stl

with milk

stsz

wthout milk

peynir

peynirli

with cheese

peynirsiz

without cheese

tuz

tuzlu

with salt

tuzsuz

without salt

Turkish Nominative

With

English

Without

English

elma

elmal

with apple(s)

elmasz

without apple(s)

Instrumental Case
Are you ready for this? This is the last case in Turkish! Calm down from all of your
excitement. Everything is going to be alright! The name of the seventh case in Turkish is
the Instrumental. This is actually a hotly debated topic in the Turkic linguistic
community...is this a case or is it not a case? It is a shortened version of the
postpositionile (which also means with) -- ile kind of acts strange to be considered a case
proper. You are able to decide for yourself.
The Instrumental, like most other cases in Turkish, is surprisingly simple to form. All you
have to do is add the suffix -(y)lA. Use the buffer -y- if the noun ends in a vowel. The
Instrumental denotes the meaning with or by means of. Here are some examples:
Turkish Nominative

Turkish Instrumental

English

babam

babamla

with my father

kedi

kediyle

with the cat

retmenimiz

retmenimizle

with our teacher

And now that you have learned every case in Turkish, we will put three chart below
showing the full declensions of two nouns.
Singular

English

Plural

English

Nominative

anne

mother

anneler

mothers

Genitive

annenin

"of the mother"


"mother's"

annelerin

"of the mothers"


"mothers'"

Dative

anneye

to the mother

annelere

to the mothers

Accusative

anneyi

mother (direct
object)

anneleri

mothers (direct
object)

Ablative

anneden

from the mother

annelerden

from the mothers

Locative

annede

in/on/at the
mother

annelerde

in/on/at the
mothers

Instrumental

anneyle

with the mother

annelerle

with the mothers

Singular

English

Plural

English

Nominative

ku

bird

kular

birds

Genitive

kuun

"of the bird"


"bird's"

kularn

"of the birds"


"birds'"

Dative

kua

to the bird

kulara

to the birds

Accusative

kuu

bird (direct object)

kular

birds (direct object)

Ablative

kutan

from the bird

kulardan

from the birds

Locative

kuta

in/on/at the bird

kularda

in/on/at the birds

Instrumental

kula

with the bird

kularla

with the birds

Instrumental Pronouns

benimle

seninle

onunla

bizimle

sizinle

onlarla (why this is not ONLARINLA is a big mystery)

Tips and notes


Yes/No Questions
Forming Yes/No questions in Turkish is done by using a particle attached to the end of
sentences. This particle is mI-. It obeys 4-way vowel harmony. The personal endings for
the to be copula are always attached to this particle. They are never kept on the end of
the verb or noun that they would normally attach to in declarative sentences. For
example:
Declarative
Turkish

Declarative
English

Turkish Question

English
Question

Bir kedisin.

You are a cat.

Bir kedi misin?

Are you a cat?

Declarative
Turkish

Declarative
English

Turkish Question

English
Question

Alex retmendir.

Alex is a teacher.

Alex retmen
midir?

Is Alex a
teacher?

Mutluyum.

I am happy.

Mutlu muyum?

Am I happy?

Arkamdasn.

You are behind


me.

Arkamda msn?

Are you behind


me?

If this particle is attached to a verb in the present continuous, you will never have to
worry about vowel harmony. Since the suffix for the present continuous is -(I)yor, the
question particle will always be mu- followed by the appropriate personal suffixes.
Declarative
Turkish

Declarative
English

Turkish
Question

English Question

Parka
gidiyorum.

I am going to the
park.

Parka gidiyor
muyum?

Am I going to the
park?

Beni seviyorsun.

You love me.

Beni seviyor
musun?

Do you love me?

Emel evime
kouyor.

Emel is running to
my house.

Emel evime
kouyor mu?

Is Emel running to
my house?

Yoksa or Veya
Veya is used when you have multiple options that may exist outside of the two things you
are asking.
Nur Trke veya ngilizce biliyor.
Nur knows Turkish or English. (she may know other languages)
Yoksa is used when where are only two options. It is normally optional and
is alwaysaccompanied with the question particle following both possible options in
question.

Evim byk m yoksa kk m?

Evim byk m, kk m?

Is my house big or small?

Tips and notes

Kinship Terms

Turkish divides kinship terms in a slightly different way than English. A lot of terms
on the maternal and paternal side are different. Turks occasionally get confused
by the more obscure ones, but this skill teaches all of the ones used on a daily
basis by all Turkish people. The extra ones are in a bonus skill.

English

Turkish, Maternal

Turkish, Paternal

Aunt

teyze (also used to refer to old


women in general)

hala

Uncle

day

amca (also used to refer to old


men in general)

Grandmother

anneanne (literally 'mother


mother')

babaanne (literally 'father


mother')

Tips and notes


We are starting to finally get to the more fun parts of Turkish. Negation is formed by (you
guessed it) another suffix. This suffix will work in very mysterious ways however. This
suffix is -mA. Now we know what you are thinking...this looks similar to the question
particle! In fact in the present continuous tense, they will almost always look identical
(remember, you have to throw out the final vowel on the end of stems, so it will appear to
actually be -mI). I will guarantee that you will never confuse the two for soon to be
obvious reasons. The negation suffix always comes before the tense information on the
verb. The question particle 95% of the time comes after the tense information. Seeing
as we only know the present continuous at this point in time, we will only use that tense
in this lesson. We have more negation lessons later on in the tree to explain negation in
the other tenses. Now here are some examples of negation and the question particle in
action!
Turkish

English

Yamur yamyor.

It is not raining.

Yamur yamyor mu?

Is it not raining?

Baheye gelmiyorum.

I am not coming to the garden.

Biz parkaya gitmiyor muyuz?

Are we not going to the park?

Ne sylyorsun?

What are you saying?

Here is also a break-down of three verbs with all the grammatical information that we
know so far:

Root

Neg

Tense

QP

Person

Complete Word

English

Yap

yor

um

Yapmyorum

I am not doing.

de

iyor

sunuz

demiyorsunuz

You are not


paying.

Yr

yor

mu

yuz

Yrmyor
muyuz?

Are we not
walking?

Tips and notes


Consonant Harmony, Part Deux
Turkish has a very useful suffix for forming languages. This suffix is -CA. This suffix has
striking similarities to the locative case (in case you dont remember -DA). After the
consonants p, , t, k, f, h, s, and , this suffix will take the form -A. In all other cases, it
will have the form of -cA. Here are some examples:
Root

Language

English

Macar

Macarca

Hungarian

Trk

Trke

Turkish

in

ince

Chinese

Arap

Arapa

Arab/Arabic

####Nationality vs. Language vs. Adjective####


Turkish, unlike English (normally), distinguishes between nationalities and languages.
That means that Trk refers to things and people who are from Turkey. Trke refers to
the language spoken by most ethnically Turkish people. These are not interchangeable.
This being said, there are some cases that differentiate between the nationality and
adjective form. Amerikan refers to things from America. Amerikal refers to people from
America. If there were a such thing and an American language, it would be referred
toAmerikanca (however, there is no such thing)!
Ok...have fun! Kolay gelsin!

Tips and notes


Infinitives

The infinitive in Turkish equates to the to verb form in English. It can


also sometimes(not always) be interpreted as the -ing form (gerund) in English. This is
the form that you will always find in a Turkish dictionary. The suffix for this form is -mAk
and obeys two way vowel harmony.
The most common place where this is used is before the verb istemek, which means to
want. For example: Ben gitmek istiyorum. I want to go.
Here are some examples of words in the infinitive form:
Root

Infinitive

English

sev

sevmek

to love

yap

yapmak

to do/make

imek

to drink

uyu

uyumak

to sleep

This can also be used as a gerund in some cases, for example:


Trke konumak ok kolay. Speaking Turkish is very easy.

Tips and notes


Ordinal Numbers
One might ask, what are ordinal numbers? One might respond with examples such as
first, tenth, umpteenth, etc. Turkish also has this same grammatical structure, and it
uses the suffix -(I)ncI. If the numeral ends in a vowel, there is no need to add the buffer
vowel. This suffix does follow 4-way vowel harmony. Here are some examples:
Numeral

Ordinal Number

English

bir

birinci

first

iki

ikinci

second

alt

altnc

sixth

drt

drdnc

fourth

Kanc

Turkish has a word that is pretty hard to translate into English. This word kanc would
be which in English, but only in reference to which (number)th. Hangi is used in all
other situations. For example:
Kanc kedi? Which cat? (the first, second, or third?)
Hangi kedi? Which cat? (the brown, white, or tan one?)

Tips and notes


Past Tense
The concept of past tense is a little bit different than English and many other European
languages in Turkish. When talking about past in Turkish, you can understand if the story
teller saw the events by his / her own eyes or heard from someone else. If you want to
talk about things that you have witnessed, this is the tense you are looking for.

The Positive Form


The conjugation formula for the positive form of the Simple Past Tense (SPT) is given
below:
VERB ROOT + TENSE SUFFIX + PERSONAL SUFFIX
The Tense Suffix for Simple Past is -DI (-d, -di, -du, -d, -t, -ti, -tu and -t). Selecting the
right suffix is determined by the 4-way vowel harmony and consonant harmony rules,
which should be very simple by now.
Personal
Pronoun

Verb

Tense
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Verb

Meaning

Ben

yapmak

-t

-m

yaptm.

I did.

Sen

almak

-d

-n

aldn.

You took /
bought.

yemek

-di

N/A

yedi.

He/she/it
ate.

Biz

gelmek

-di

-k

geldik.

We came /
arrived.

Personal
Pronoun

Verb

Tense
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Verb

Meaning

Siz

imek

-ti

-niz

itiniz.

You drank.

Onlar

gitmek

-ti

-ler

gittiler.

They went.

The Question Form


The conjugation formula is below:
VERB ROOT + TENSE SUFFIX + PERSONAL SUFFIX + SPACE + QUESTION SUFFIX
+?
As seen from the formula above, the only difference from the positive form is the
question suffix at the end: -mI. Some examples are provided below:
O yedi mi? - Did he/she/it eat? Biz geldik mi? - Did we come / arrive? Siz itiniz mi? - Did
you drink?

Past Tense Copula


POSITIVE FORM
In older Turkish, the simple past version of the verb to be was idi. Since you dont see a
dash in front, this should be considered as a separate word that comes after the noun.
Example:
This was a house. Bu bir ev idi. Those were red cars. unlar krmz arabalar idi.
But, to sound it separately was quite hard in the spoken language and almost no one
prefered it to use it this way. Thats why, idi is attached to the end of the noun now. The
attachment obeys the rules of vowel and consonant harmony in Turkish. Yet, if the noun
ends with a vowel, an interesting thing happens which we will explain in the example:
This was a big castle. Bu byk bir kaleydi.
Lets investigate kaleydi in pieces: kale-y-idi. here kale is castle, idi is the past tense
copula. To be able attach two vowels, you need a buffer letter (-y). But the interesting
thing is, the first i disappears and the second one should change according to the last
vowel of the noun before it. In this case it stays as i. After this conjugation, you should
add the personal suffix. Investigating the table below, you will understand it better.

Noun /
Adjective

Tense
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Verb

Meaning

Ben

gen

-ti

-m

gentim

I was young.

Sen

yal

-(y)d

-n

yalydn

You were old


(age).

dn

-d

N/A

dnd

It was
yesterday.

Biz

yeni

-(y)di

-k

yeniydik

We were new.

Siz

gzel

-di

-niz

gzeldiniz

You were
beautiful.

Onlar

eski-

-(y)di

N/A or -ler

eskiydi /
eskiydiler

They were old


(used too
much).

QUESTION FORM
The Tense suffix is added to the Question Suffix in this form. Since question suffixes
always end with a vowel, the buffer letter -y- is always in between. The question suffix
follows the rules for vowel harmony.
NOUN + SPACE + QUESTION SUFFIX + TENSE SUFFIX + PERSONAL SUFFIX +?
Examples: Ben gen miydim? (Was I young?) Sen yal mydn? (Were you old?) Siz
gzel miydiniz? (Were you beautiful?)

Tips and notes


Future Tense
Talking about future is really easy in Turkish because you wont have the will / be going
to dilemma like in English. There is only one Future Tense. And all you need to
remember is a suffix: -(y)AcAk.

The Positive Form

The conjugation formula for the positive form of the future tense is: VERB ROOT +
TENSE SUFFIX + PERSONAL SUFFIX
Vowel in the last syllable of
the verb root

Future Tense
Suffix

Example

Meaning

a, , o, u

-acak

Ko-acak.

He/she/it will
run.

e, i, ,

-ecek

Gel-ecek.

He/she/it will
come.

If the verb root ends with a consonant, the rule above is straightforward. Otherwise, the
buffer letter -y- is used between the root and the suffix. For example; Bekle-y-ecek
(He/she/it will wait.) Syle-y-ecek (He/she/it will say.)
The only thing you need to be careful about is the personal suffixes starting with a vowel.
They transform the letter k at the end of the tense suffix into . You will see the
examples in the table below:

Verb

Tense
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Verb

Meaning

Ben

olmak

-acak

-m (-im)

olacam

I will be.

Sen

istemek

-ecek

-sin (-sn)

isteyeceksin

You will
want.

beklemek

-(y)ecek

N/A

bekleyecek

He/she/it
will wait.

Biz

deitirmek

-ecek

-iz (-z)

deitireceiz

We will
make
change.

Siz

deimek

-ecek

-siniz (snz)

deieceksiniz

You will
change.

Onlar

Verb

Tense
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Verb

gelmek

-ecek

-ler (-lar)

gelecekler

Meaning
They will
come.

EXCEPTIONS###:
The following verbs do not obey the rules above: gitmek gidecek yemek yiyecek
demek diyecek

The Question Form


The conjugation formula for the question form is given below: VERB ROOT + TENSE
SUFFIX + SPACE + QUESTION SUFFIX +PERSONAL SUFFIX
Examples are given in the table below:
Positive

Question

Meaning of the Question

Ben isteyeceim

Ben isteyecek miyim?

Will I want?

Sen olacaksn

Sen olacak msn?

Will you be? (sg.)

O gidecek

O gidecek mi?

Will he / she / it go?

Biz yiyeceiz

Biz yiyecek miyiz?

Will we eat?

Siz diyeceksiniz

Siz diyecek misiniz?

Will you say? (pl.)

Tips and notes


Past Negative for Verbs
The conjugation formula for the negative form is shown below:
VERB ROOT + NEGATION SUFFIX + TENSE SUFFIX + PERSONAL SUFFIX
Since this the negation always ends with a vowel, either -e or -a, the selection of the
Tense Suffix is narrowed down to -d or -di in the negative form. Since this is very
straightforward, we will give you only a couple of examples.

Yamur yamad. (It didnt rain) Beklemedik. (We didnt wait) Yaamadm. (I didnt live)

Past Negative Copula


For the negation of the noun sentences, the word deil is used. The Tense Suffix is
always -di in this case.
NOUN / ADJECTIVE + SPACE + DEL + -D + PERSONAL SUFFIX.
For example: Ben gen deildim. (I wasnt young) Sen yal deildin. (You werent old) O
dn deildi. (It wasnt yesterday)

Future Negative
The conjugation formula for the future tense is given below: VERB ROOT + NEGATION
SUFFIX + TENSE SUFFIX + PERSONAL SUFFIX.
Since the negation suffix (-mA) always ends with a vowel, there always is the buffer letter
-y- between that and the tense suffix. The rest is the same as the positive form.
Examples:
Positive

Negative

Ben isteyeceim

Ben istemeyeceim

Sen olacaksn

Sen olmayacaksn

O gidecek

O gitmeyecek

Biz yiyeceiz

Biz yemeyeceiz

Siz diyeceksiniz

Siz demeyeceksiniz

Tips and notes


Suggestions, Declaratve
Turkish once again uses a special suffix for what is called the optative. This suffix is (y)AlIm. This literally translates as lets or shall. Hopefully at this point in time, you can
read the suffixes, but just to be safe, there is a buffer -y- used when the root ends in a
vowel, the first vowel will follow 2-way vowel harmony, and the second vowel follows 4way vowel harmony. This means that this suffix only takes on two forms. -(y)alm/(y)elim
Here are some examples:

Infinitive

Suggestion

English

okumak

okuyalm

Let's read. We should read.

gitmek

gidelim

Let's go. We should go.

yemek

yiyelim

Let's eat. We should eat.

konumak

konualm

Let's talk. We should talk.

Suggestions, Questions
When using the optative in a question, the question particle mI always comes after the
verb. For example:
Suggestion

Question

English

okuyalm

Okuyalm m?

Shall we read? Should we read?

gidelim

Gidelim mi?

Shall we go? Should we go?

Tips and notes


Ki
ki is one of the most interesting things in the Turkish language. It is originally
a Farsiconjunction that has remained in the language from the Ottoman times. It is
however used in very interesting ways.

POSSESSIVE KI
ki can attach onto the ends of some pronouns to show possession. These are equivalent
to words like mine in English.
Pronoun

with ki

English

ben

benimki

mine

siz

sizinki

yours

RELATIVE CLAUSE KI
Notice in Turkish, you can say:

Kurbaa hasta. -- The frog is sick. Hasta kurbaa -- The sick frog
--BUT-Kurbaa sokakta. -- The frog is on the street. Sokakta kurbaa -- incorrect
This is because nouns in Turkish cannot really function as adjectives (sokakta is the
nounstreet with the locative case). To fix this problem, you can attach the suffix -ki. There
is no vowel harmony on this suffix.
Sokaktaki kurbaa -- The frog (which is/that is) on the street iedeki su -- The water
(which is/that is) in the bottle Parktaki kadn -- The woman (who is/that is) in the park

KI AS A CONJUNCTION
This will be a sight for your sore Indo-European eyes. Since this suffix was originally
borrowed from Farsi (an Indo-European language related to English), it bears some
resemblance to English grammar in one way. It can be used as a subordinate
conjunction to combine two clauses with the meaning that (as in I said that you were
happy). Remember that is optional in English, but it is not in Turkish.
Turkish

English

Annem diyor ki: "Okula git".

My mother said, "Go to school."

Biliyorum ki onu sevmiyorsun.

I know (that) you do not love him/her/it/

Remember There is a grammatically different way to say these that is natively


Turkishinstead of being borrowed from Farsi. The other way is more common for most
verbs. This will be covered later in the skill -(i)dik.

KI IN SPECIAL PHRASES
ki is also used in a large array of special phrases. Here we teach: yi ki which
meansfortunately

IRREGULAR FORMS
The -ki suffix is irregular in only two instances in the entire Turkish language. This is
when it attaches to dn and bugn. It becomes dnk and bugnk respectively. These
mean yesterdays and todays.

Tips and notes

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS: (KEND)


The reflexive pronouns in Turkish is formed by the word kendi. You can think that this
word is close to self in English, but the usage is a little bit more different. Just like
myself, yourself, etc, this word is adapted to the pronouns as shown in the table below:
Conjugation of "kendi"

Meaning

Ben

kendim

myself

Sen

kendin

yourself

kendi / kendisi

himself / herself / itself

Biz

kendimiz

ourselves

Siz

kendiniz

yourselves

Onlar

kendileri

themselves

Reflexive pronouns are generally placed just before the verb in the sentence.

Example#:

Bunu kendin mi yaptn? (Did you make this yourself?) Ahmet arabay kendisi srer.
(Ahmet drives the car himself.)
When you want to say by myself, by yourself, etc. then you need to use the word
kendi in front of the conjugated reflexive pronoun such as:
Trkeyi kendi kendime reniyorum. (I am learning Turkish by myself).

Tips and notes


GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES: (SM FLLER)
This is unfortunately one of the hardest topics in Turkish: Gerunds and Infinitives.

In Turkish, each phrase has only one conjugated verb. Thats why, the other words must
be turned into nominal words (nouns, adjectives, etc). Gerund & infinitive suffixes are
used for this purpose.
In English, you can make a gerund from a verb adding -ing to the root and an infinitive
by putting to in front of the verb root. However, in Turkish, there are three set of suffixes
for this purpose:
i. -, -i, -u, - ii. -me, -ma iii. -mek, -mak
The first groups are mostly gerunds and the last one is mostly infinitives. But the one in
the middle can be used as both gerunds and infinitives depending on the sentence.
Unfortunately there are no distinct rules to select the correct suffix for making a gerund or
infinitive, it all depends on experience.

NOTE###:
The suffix -me, -ma is not the same as the negations suffixes you have used earlier.
After the gerund / infinitive suffixes, there usually comes a personal suffix. For example:
gel-me-m (my coming) yap-ma-n (your doing) [not youre doing]
On the other hand, after the negation suffix, there should be a tense suffix.
gel-me-di-m (I didnt come) yap-ma-(y)acak (he / she / it will not do).
Since the verbs are transformed into actions and states, now they can be possessed by
the pronouns by using the possessive suffixes. This feature allows you to assess that
action or state to the pronoun with a single suffix:
Benim bekle-me-m (my waiting) Senin yazman (your writing) Onun elenmesi (his / her /
its having fun)
Although this does not sound correct in English, when you try to place it in a sentence,
you will understand how Turkish people construct their rather complex sentences:
Bizim almamz lazm (lit. Our studying is necessary) [corr. We need to study]
Ben senin sevmeni istiyorum. (lit. I want your loving / liking) [corr. I want you to like / love]
Onlarn imeleri nemli. (lit. Their drinking is important) [corr. It is important for them to
drink]

Tips and notes


Aorist / Simple Present Tense (Geni Zaman)

In Turkish, the aorist tense is used for talking about habits, hobbies, near future plans
and even for requests. In this sense, for many cases the aorist tense can be thought as
equivalent to the simple present tense.

The Positive Form


For the positive case the suffix depends on the root of the verb. The root of a verb in
Turkish is the part left when you subtract -mek/-mak from the infinitive state.
Reminder Infinitive: istemek Root of the Verb: iste
Case 1
If the root of the verb ends with a vowel;
you just need to add -r to the end of the root.

Pronoun

Stem

Tense
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Entire
Sentence

Meaning

Ben

iste

-r

-im

Ben isterim.

I want.

Sen

iste

-r

-sin

Sen istersin.

You want.

iste

-r

O ister.

He / she / it
wants.

Biz

iste

-r

-iz

Biz isteriz.

We want.

Siz

iste

-r

-siniz

Siz istersiniz.

You want.

Onlar

iste

-r

-ler

Onlar isterler.

They want.

Case 2
If the root of the verb ends with a consonant and is one syllable;
In harmony with the last vowel of the root, the tense suffix may be -ar or -er.
Verb Root

Tense Suffix

Conjugated Verb

Meaning

sev-

-er

sever

(He) loves.

yaz-

-ar

yazar

(He) writes

Case 3
if the root of the verb ends with a consonant and it more than one syllable;

Using 4-way vowel harmony, the suffix -Ir is attached.


Verb

Tense Suffix

Conjugated Verb

Meaning

cal-

-r

alr

(She) works

unut-

-ur

unutur

(He) forgets

getir-

-ir

getirir

(It) brings

Irregularities
1.

13 single syllable verbs take the tense sign as -ir -r -r -ur. Yes, there are only
13 irregular verbs, and only in this tense :) These verbs are: almak, bilmek,
bulmak, durmak, gelmek, grmek, kalmak, olmak, lmek, sanmak, vermek, vurmak

2.

There are 3 verbs ending in -t where -t is mutated into -d when the aorist suffix is
added. These are gitmek (to go), etmek (to do) and tatmak (to taste).

Example:

Ben giderim. (I go)

Sen gidersin. (You go)

O gider. (He / she / it goes)

The Question Form


The question form of verb in the aorist tense has the structure below:
Root + Tense Suffix + SPACE + Question Suffix + Personal Suffix
Note:
The Tense Suffix in the question form follows the same rules in the positive form. In
other words, the tense suffix may be -r, -ar, -er, -ir, -r, -ur or -r depending on how the
root of the verb ends.
Lets take the verb gitmek (to go) as an example.

Pronou
n

Root of
"gitmek
"

Tense
Suffix

Ben

git-

-er

SPACE

Questio
n Suffix

Persona
l Suffix

Conjugate
d Verb

mi-

-y-im

gider

Pronou
n

Root of
"gitmek
"

Tense
Suffix

SPACE

Questio
n Suffix

Persona
l Suffix

Conjugate
d Verb
miyim?

Sen

git-

-er

mi-

-sin

gider misin?

git-

-er

mi-

Biz

git-

-er

mi-

-y-iz

gider miyiz?

Siz

git-

-er

mi-

-siniz

gider
misiniz?

Onlar*

git-

-er

mi-

gider mi?

gider mi?

There are a few points that needs to be stressed on for this example.
The extra letter -y- in the conjugation for Ben and Biz is called the buffer letter which
is a topic of another subject. But in the question form, they will always be there. If you
have no information on buffer letters, you can try to learn it as this way.
There is an alternative way of conjugating the verbs for Onlar such as:
Root + Tense Suffix + Plural Suffix (-ler / -lar) + SPACE + Question Suffix.
Both conjugations are correct.

Tips and notes


Negative Form of the Aorist
To make the verb negative in the aorist tense, you can follow the structure below:
Root + Negation Suffix (-mA) + Personal Suffix
The table below gives some examples on how this is done:

Pronoun

Personal Suffix for


Negation

istemek

sevmek

yazmak

Ben

-m

istemem

sevmem

yazmam

Sen

-zsIn

istemezsin

sevmezsin

yazmazsn

Pronoun

Personal Suffix for


Negation

istemek

sevmek

yazmak

-z

istemez

sevmez

yazmaz

Biz

-yIz

istemeyiz

sevmeyiz

yazmayz

Siz

-zsInIz

istmezsiniz

sevmezsiniz

yazmazsnz

Onlar

-zlar

istemezler

sevmezler

yazmazlar

Pronoun

Personal Suffix for Negation

deitirmek

gitmek

Ben

-m

deitirmem

gitmem

Sen

-zsIn

deitirmezsin

gitmezsin

-z

deitirmez

gitmez

Biz

-yIz

deitirmeyiz

gitmeyiz

Siz

-zsInIz

deitirmezsiniz

gitmezsiniz

Onlar

-zlar

deitirmezler

gitmezler

Tips and notes


TALKING ABOUT OLD HABITS: (GEN ZAMANIN HKAYES)
If you want to talk about old habits, i.e. thing used to be done regularly but not any more, you
need to combine the aorist tense and the simple past tense. It makes perfect sense because the
aorist tense is the tense you need to use current habits and you carry this information to the
past by combining it with the simple past tense.

Positive Form
The structure for talking about old habits is given below:
Verb Root + Aorist Suffix + Past Tense Suffix + Personal Suffix
Some examples are given in the table.

Verb
Root

Aorist
T.
Suffix

Past T.
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Form

Ben

oku-

-r

-du

-m

okurdum

I used to
read.

Sen

ye-

-r

-di

-n

yerdin

You used to
eat.

i-

-er

-di

N/A

ierdi

He / she / it
used to
drink

Biz

yap-

-ar

-d

-k

yapardk

We used to
do.

Siz

sev-

-er

-di

-(n)z

severdiniz

You used to
love.

Onlar*

ol-

-ur

-du

-lar

olurdular /
olurlard

They used
to be.

Meaning

Negative Form
When you want to talk about something that you did not used to do but started doing lately,
this is the structure you need to set.
Verb Root + Negation Suffix + Aorist Suffix + Past Tense Suffix + Personal Suffix
How to apply this form is provided in the table below:
Verb
Root

Negation
Suffix

Aorist
Suffix

Past T.
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Form

Ben

ol-

-ma

-z

-d

-m

olmazdm

Sen

oku-

-ma

-z

-d

-n

okumazdn

ye-

-me

-z

-di

N/A

yemezdi

Biz

i-

-me

-z

-di

-k

imezdik

Siz

yap-

-ma

-z

-d

-(n)z

yapmazdnz

Onlar*

Verb
Root

Negation
Suffix

Aorist
Suffix

Past T.
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Form

sev-

-me

-z

-di

-ler

sevmezdiler /
sevmezlerdi

Question Form
The question form for this combined tense is given below:
Verb Root + Aorist Suffix + SPACE + Question Suffix + Past Tense Suffix + Personal Suffix
+?
Verb
Root

Aorist
Suffix

Question
Suffix

Past T.
Suffix

Personal
Suffix

Conjugated
Form

Ben

sev-

-er

mi-

-(y)di

-m

sever
miydim?

Sen

ol-

-ur

mu-

-(y)du

-n

olur muydun?

oku-

-r

mu-

-(y)du

N/A

okur muydu?

Biz

ye-

-r

mi-

-(y)di

-k

yer miydik?

Siz

i-

-er

mi-

-(y)di

-(n)z

ier miydi?

Onlar*

yap-

-ar

m-

-(y)d

-lar

yaparlar
myd

Please note that, in case of Onlar the structure is a little bit inverted.

Tips and notes


We use -iken for "while"; for an action happening in a period or interval of time. So
verb+iken should be translated using while, but not using when (short action or
consequence, check -ince skill).
e.g.:

I'll cook while you are sleeping: Sen uyurken ben yemek yapacam. (cooking is
at the same time with sleeping)

I'll cook when you sleep: Sen uyuyunca ben yemek yapacam. (cooking starts
when the other person falls asleep)

However, when we indicate the period of time without a verb, we also use -iken and this
should be translated using when:
e.g.: I used to eat chocolate when I was a child: ocukken ikolata yerdim.

Tips and notes


Can
In order to express ability in Turkish, you must use the suffix -(y)Abil along with the aorist
tense. This is actually a compound of a verb, -(y)A, and bilmek in the aorist. Here are
some examples:
Turkish Infinitive

Can

English

Yapmak

Yapabilirim

I can do.

Gitmek

Gidebilirsin

You can go.

Alamak

Alayabiliriz

We can cry.

Grmek

Grebilirsiniz

You can see.

Dayanmak

Dayanabilir

He/She/It can endure.

Cant
Remember how the can used bilmek? To negate this, you will have to instead use the
negative suffix -mA. This means you will use the verb, -(y)A, and the negative aorist
personal endings. Here are some examples:
Turkish Infinitive

Can

English

Yapmak

Yapamam

I can't do.

Gitmek

Gidemezsin

You can't go.

Alamak

Alayamayz

We can't cry.

Grmek

Gremezsiniz

You can't see.

Dayanmak

Dayanamaz

He/She/It can't endure.

Tips and notes


Meli/Mal

In Turkish there is one suffix that means all of the the above words. This is -mAlI. It obeys
2-way and 4-way vowel harmony, as expected. It will only ever have two forms maland -meli. This suffix attaches to verb roots and is followed by the personal endings.
The negatve suffix may also be added before the personal endings. Here are some
examples:
Turkish Infinitive

Can

English

olmak

Olmalym.

I must/have to/should be.

devam etmek

Devam etmemeliyiz.

We must/should not continue.

katlmak

Katlmal.

He/She/It must participate.

Keep in mind: in the negative, this implies something that must not be done.

Zorunda
To express the ideas must and have to you can also use the construction: infinitive +
(zorunda + personal endings). This is negated with deil. If negated, personal endings
attach to deil and not zorunda. Here are some examples:
Turkish Infinitive

with zorunda

English

gtrmek

Gtrmek zorundasn.

You must/have to take.

dans etmek

Dans etmek zorunda deilim.

I do not have to dance.

komak

Komak zorundayz.

We must/have to run.

Keep in mind: in the negative, this has the meaning does not have to.

Tips and notes


Reported Past Tense
Turkish has a uncommon, but not unique, feature, which is a reported past tense. This
past tense is used for things that one did not experience, see, or witness oneself. This
concept does not exist in English, and is normally presented in different ways (e.g.
apparently, it seems, they say that). This means, the lesson that you have already
learned (-DI) is used for things that the speaker has seen or witnessed. In this lesson,
you should translate sentences using the simple past tense or present perfect.
The reported past tense is formed with: the verb root + -mI + personal endings. It has 4way vowel harmony.
Here are some examples:

Turkish Infinitive

Reported Past Tense

English

yapmak

yapmm

I did.

zlemek

zlemisin

You missed.

bymek

bym

He/She/It grew.

bilmek

biliyormu

He/She/It knows. (with uncertainty)

vurmak

vurmuuz

We hit/shot

silmek

silmisiniz

You wiped/deleted

Tips and notes


The writing of this Tips and Notes has been heavily inspired by
http://www.turkishlanguage.co.uk/conditional.htm. Check it out.
The conditional/subjunctive voice is formed by adding the suffix -sA. It can attach to
basically any tense, with having two versions in the past. These are optionally introduced
with the word eer. Here is an explanation, tense by tense:
1). ##Simple Actual Conditional### This has the meaning of if X (were to) verb. It is
formed by adding -(y)sA with the personal endings for the past tense (this means, you
should use -k for biz).
Turkish

English

yapsam

if I (were to) do/make

gelsek

if we (were to) come

2). ###Present Continuous###


Turkish

English

yapyorsan

if you were doing/making

geliyorsanz

if you were coming

3). ###Simple Habitual###


Turkish

English

yaparsa

if he/she/it does/makes

Turkish

English

gelirseler

if they come

4). ###Future Intention###


Turkish

English

yapacaksam

if I (will) do/make

geleceksen

if you (will) come

5). ###Past Reality###


Turkish

English

yaptysak

if we did/made

geldeyseniz

if you came

Past Unreality
The past reality is often preceded with the word keke, which means if only.
Turkish

English

yapsaydk

if only we had done/made

gelseydin

if only you had come

Tips and notes


-DIk
-DIk or the object participle is one of the most different things from English that you will
find in Turkish. This being said, if you are able to master it, Turkish people will normally
be quite impressed. It has a non-future tense (meaning that it can be translated as past
or present tense). This participle has three main functions in Turkish.
To form this participle, you will use the following formula:
Verb Root + (I)DIk + Possessive Endings + (the Appropriate Case, if needed)
It follows both consonant harmony and 4-way vowel harmony. Here are some examples
of the participle in the nominative case:

Turkish
Root

Turkish with Obj.


Part.

English

yaz

yazdm kitap

The book (that) I wrote/am writing/write

pir

piirdiiniz yemek

The food (that) you cooked/are


cooking/cook

git

gittii restoran

The restaurant (that) he/she/it went/is


going/goes to

THE OBJECT PARTICIPLE AS AN ADJECTIVE


Like the examples seen above, when these participles are used as an adjective, they are
translated as relative clauses in English. This participle can be used to describe things as
a relative clause when they are not the subject of that relative clause. The participle
used for relatives clauses in which the reference noun is the subject will be described
later in the tree. Here are some examples in full sentence form:
Turkish with Obj. Part.

English

Yazdm kitab okudun mu?

Did you read the book that I wrote?

Piirdiiniz yemei yiyeceiz.

We will eat the food that you made.

Gittii restoran hi gzel


deildi.

The restaurant that she went to was not good at


all.

THE OBJECT PARTICIPLE AS A NOUN


Similar to other languages, you can sometimes drop nouns and only use adjectives that
function as nouns in Turkish. This also stands true in Turkish. Also, do you remember
theki skill, where it was mentioned that Turkish had a more Turkish way to use that as a
subordinate conjunction? This is it. You will need to use the appropriate cases depending
on the use of the participle in the sentence. For example:
Turkish with Obj. Part.

English

(Ben) (senin) geldiini duymadm.

I did not hear (that) you came.

Turkish with Obj. Part.

English

Selcen (benim) yazdm sevmemi

Selcen did not like what I wrote/am


writing.

(Ben) (sizin) sinemaya gittiinizi


dnyorum.

I think that you went/are going to the


cinema.

Seni grdm iin mutlu oldum

I became happy because I saw you!

THE OBJECT PARTICIPLE AS AN ADVERB


When you use the object participle with the locative or ablative cases, they take on a
special meaning. When used with the locative (-DA), it has the meaning of when,
similar to the suffix -IncA. When used with the ablative, it has the meaning of because
of or due to. Important: These will not always have these meanings. The
locative/ablative case can be used for other reasons that we have already discussed in
the course (e.g. describing locations or making comparisons). Here are some more
examples:
Turkish with Obj. Part.

English

Gne doduunda gitmeliyiz.

We must leave when the sun rises.

ok yemek yediimden tokum.

I am full because I ate a lot.

Tips and notes


Passive Voice
The passive voice is used when you do not want to explicitly state the agent (or the
thing/person doing the action of the verb). This is formed with a suffix attached to the
verb root. This suffix is attached before tense and personal endings. There are three
different suffixes used, depending on the final sound of the verb root.

Verb Roots Ending in Consonants Except for L


Verb roots than end in any consonant except for L will get the suffix -Il. This suffix has 4way vowel harmony. Here are some examples:

Infinitive

Passive Infinitive

English

yapmak

yaplmak

to be made

vermek

verilmek

to be given

dnmek

dnlmek

to be thought

##Verb Roots Ending in L##


Verb roots that end in L will get the suffix -In. This suffix has 4-way vowel harmony. Here
are some examples:
Infinitive

Passive Infinitive

English

bilmek

bilinmek

to be known

bulmak

bulunmak

to be found

Verb Roots Ending in Vowels


Verb roots than end in vowels get the suffix -n. There is obviously no vowel harmony for
the suffix, as there is no vowel. There are some examples:
Infinitive

Passive Infinitive

English

istemek

istenmek

to be wanted

sylemek

sylenmek

to be said

Tips and notes


We use -iken for "while"; for an action happening in a period or interval of time (check
while&when skill). So verb+iken should be translated using while, but not using when
(short action or consequence).
e.g.:

I'll cook while you are sleeping: Sen uyurken ben yemek yapacam. (cooking is
at the same time with sleeping)

I'll cook when you sleep: Sen uyuyunca ben yemek yapacam. (cooking starts
when the other person falls asleep)

However, when we indicate the period of time without a verb, we also use -iken and this
should be translated using when:

e.g.: I used to eat chocolate when I was a child: ocukken ikolata yerdim.

Tips and notes


Relative Pronouns
Turkish itself does not contain relative pronouns in the same way that English has them.
A participle is used instead of a pronoun proper. This is called the relative participle or
the object participle. The suffix has the form *-(y)An and it is attached to the verb root,
unless the verb is negated. In this case, it will have the form verb root + mA + yAn.
Here are some examples of how to from the relative participle:
Infinitive

Passive Infinitive

English

okumak

okuyan

(who/that/which) is reading/reads

gitmek

giden

(who/that/which) is going/goes

yazmak

yazan

(who/that/which) is writing/writes

tercih etmek

tercih eden

(who/that/which) prefers

When this is used, the same SOV word order is preserved. For example:
Turkish

English

Saat bete parkaya giden adam

The man (who is) going to the park at five


o'clock

Kitab yazan kadn

The woman (who is) writing the book

Yeni evrilen kitap

The book which/that was recently translated