Turkish Adverbial Clauses Explained
This page is an explanation of Adverbial Clauses which are treated differently in Turkish.
Order of Main and Subordinate Clauses
In English we always put the main part of the meaning at the beginning of a sentence as below:
- I shall go home
whenthe party is over.
- I went out to the library
- He put on his pyjamas
beforehe went to bed.
- We can have supper
as soon aswe arrive at the hotel.
All the above are ways of describing what will or did happen.
Turkish as always says it backwards.
So generally the Turkish construction to put the most important part last.
The main verb at the end of the sentence.
- English Construction: I shall go home when the party is over.
- Turkish Construction: When the party is over, I shall go home.
Parti bitince, eve gidiyorum.
- ENG: I went out to the library after (eating) dinner.
- TUR: After (eating) dinner,I went out to the library.
Yemek yedikten sonra,kütüphaneye çıktım.
- ENG: Ali put on his pyjamas before he went to bed.
- TUR: Before he went to bed, Ali put on his pyjamas.
Ali, yatmadan önce,pijamasını giydi
- ENG: We can have supper as soon as we arrive at the hotel.
- TUR: As soon as we arrive at the hotel, we can have supper.
Otele varır varmaz [varınca], akşam yemeğini yeyebiliriz.
The Turkish construction puts the main verb last in the sentence.
This is one of the main rules of Turkish grammar.
Differing Aspects of Adverbial Clauses
"Who did or will do what? and When?"
How does Turkish manage these time modifying words and clauses?:
(before, after, as soon as, etc.)
One of the problems to contend with is the relationship between temporal adverbs with subjects and objects.
This is best shown by example.
- Eng: I went out to the library after dinner.
- Tur: After (eating) dinner, I went out to the library
Yemek yedikten sonra, kütüphaneye çıktım.
Showing this example in other forms, the choice to change the subject or object is easily done in English.
Turkish treats this problem from another angle because of the different constructions involved.
-dikten sonra → after doing
yazdıktan sonra → after writing
Mektubu yazdıktan sonra çıktık
After writing the letter we went out.
The tense, mood and person is taken from the final verb.
Example howing a different tense, mood and person:
Sen mektubunu yazdıktan sonra çıkabilirsin.
After writing your letter you can go out.
- I went out to the library after (eating)dinner.
Yemek yedikten sonra, kütüphaneye çıktım.
- Mehmet went out to the library after he had (eaten) dinner.
Mehmet, yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıktı.
- You went out to the library after Mehmet had (eaten) dinner.
Siz, Mehmet yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıktınız.
- He went out to the library after (eating/having eaten) dinner.
O, yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıktı.
- I went out to the library after you had (eaten) dinner.
Ben, siz yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıktım.
- They will go out to the library after (having eaten) dinner.
Onlar, yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıkacaklar.
- I used to out to the library after we had (eaten) dinner.
Ben, biz yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıkardım.
- You went out to the library after we had (had) dinner.
Siz, biz yemek yedikten sonra kütüphaneye çıktınız.
The final verb tense in Turkish changes the English tense of the actual aspect of "eating dinner".
It is not usual for English to state this "eating aspect".
It is normally understood and has become redundant.
There are many differing aspects of subject, object and tenses in this simple sentence
Changes are made in Turkish to show these just as in English
This is be applied to any and all adverbial clauses.
Turkish Clauses of Place Where, Wherever
ENG I can not remember where I left my bicycle.
TUR: Bisikletimi bıraktığım yeri hatırlayamıyorum.
This is a Noun Clause:I cannot remember where I left
it ponoun replaces the noun the bicycle
- I can not remember where you left my bicycle.
Bisikletimi bıraktığınız yeri hatırlayamıyorum.
- I can not remember where he left my bicycle.
Bisikletimi bıraktığı yeri hatırlayamıyorum.
- I can not remember where I left his bicycle.
Bisikletini bıraktığım yeri hatırlayamıyorum.
- We will not remember wherever our bicycles are.
Bisikletimizi bıraktığımız yeri hatırlayamıyacağız.
- He can never remember where to leave your bicycle.
Her zamanki gibi (Asla) bisikletini bırakacağı yeri hatırlayamaz.
- You could not remember where you left my bicycle.
Bisikletimi bıraktığın yeri hatırlayamadın.
- They can not remember where they left their bicycles.
Bisikletlerini bıraktıkları yeri hatırlayamıyorlar.
The Turkish constructions puts the verb last.
The adverbial clause takes the tense and person from this verb.
This is alien to English thinking.