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Turkish Simple Tense Negative

The negative of the Turkish Simple Present tense translates as:
I don't go to work on Saturdays.
He doesn't like ice cream.
We don't keep a pet.
They never take a holiday.
We'll not see each other for some time.

The simple present tense is used in timeless habitual situations in both the present and the future.

Turkish Simple Timeless Tense Negative

The Negative Wide Tense tense sign is -mez/-maz but it has become abraded to -me/-ma in the first person singular and plural.
The Negative Infinitive is gelmemek to not come on which most of the negative tenses are based. However the Negative Simple Tense Infinitive is gelmez not to come, does not come. The simple tense infinitive sign is -mez/-maz according to vowel harmony.
The negative tense sign is -z which is added to the negative verb stem::
gitmemek not to go, does not go then adding -z to the verb stem after dropping -mek we arrive at: gitmez not to go, does not go to which the personal endings are added:

The Simple Tense Negative Infinitive gitmez not to go
First Person Singular and Plural drop the final -z of the negative infinitive.
gitmem I don't go [NOT gitmezim]
gitmezsin you don't go
gitmez he doesn't go
gitmeyiz we don't go [NOT gitmeziz]
gitmezsiniz you don't go
gitmezler they don't go
NOTE: The first person gitmem I and gitmeyiz We drop the -z when adding the personal endings to the negative verb stem. All other persons preserve the -z

  • Beni tanımazsınız. You don't know me.
  • Beni tanımaz mısınız? Don't you know me?
  • O bira içmez. He doesn't drink beer. [generally?]
  • Mehmet, bira içmez mi? Doesn't Mehmet drink beer? [usually?]
    Using the direct object marker birayı [bira-yı] in the example then "beer" becomes a definite object:
  • O birayı içmez. He doesn't drink the beer.
  • Mehmet birayı içmez mi? Doesn't Mehmet drink the (or that) beer?
  • Onun hakkında konuşmayız. We don't talk about it.
  • Genellikle bir şapka giymez misiniz? Don't you generally wear a hat?
  • Televizyonu seyretmezler. They don't watch the television. [in particular]
  • Televizyon seyretmezler They don't watch television [generally]

Turkish Negative Interrogative Simple Tense

The simple tense nterrogative is formed by adding the personalized question particles after the verb stem ending in -maz/-mez. They are written separately, but follow vowel harmony rules.

Simple Tense Negative Question Form
Negative InfinitiveNegative Question Form
bakmamaknot to lookbakmaz (bakmam) mıyım?don't I look?
kalmamaknot to staykalmaz mısın?don't you stay?
bitirmemeknot to finishbitirmez mi?doesn't he finish?
yazmamaknot to writeyazmaz mıyız?don't we write?
koşmamaknot to runkoşmaz mısınız?don't you run?
yürümemeknot to walkYürümezler mi?don,t they walk?

For first person bakmaz mıyım? conversational Turkish can say bakmam mı?

Her gün saat beşte seni görmez miyim? Don't I see you every day at five o'clock?
Londra'da oturmaz mısınız? Don't you live in London?
Ali bey bir bankada çalışmaz mi? Doesn't Ali Bey work in a bank?
Hepimiz bir parti sevmez miyiz? Don't we all love a party?

Turkish: Saying didn't use to…

If the past tense endings are added to the simple tense negative -mez verb stem then the meaning is habitual in the past. This translated by didn't use to… in English.

  • Sık sık buraya gelmezdim.
  • I didn't use to come here very often
  • Genç iken o kadar gülmezdin.
  • You didn't use to laugh very much when you were young.
  • Kuşadada kalırken denizde yüzmezdi.
  • He never used to swim in the sea when staying at Kuşadası.
  • Derslerimiz bittikten sonra yerterli zaman için beni beklemezdiniz.
  • You didn't use to wait long enough for me after our lessons had finished.
  • Tatilde kamp yaparken o kadar iyi uyumazdılar.
  • They didn't use to sleep very well while on holiday while camping.

Turkish Question didn't you use to?

Gitmez miydim? Didn't I use to go?
Hatice'yi sevmez miydin? Didn't you use to love Hatice?
Ummaz mıydı? Didn't he use to hope?
Açmaz mıydık? Didn't we use to open
Kazmaz mıydınız? Didn't you use to dig?
Soğan satmaz mıydılar? Didn't they use to sell onions?
Soğan is not in the direct object case nor is it plural in Turkish, but it is a non-specific object of the family of "onion". In Turkish "things is" and "people are"
Çıkmaz mıydılar? Didn't they use to go out?
Her gün seni görmez miydim? Didn't I use to see you every day?
Bıkmaz mıydık? Didn't we use to get fed up?

Londra'da oturmaz mıydın? Didn't you use to live in London?
oturmak means to sit (down) OR to live (at a place)
Ali İstanbul'da oturur Ali lives in Istanbul.

Atlara binmez miydiniz? Didn't you use to ride horses?

A final note on use to and didn't use to
In conversational Turkish the past imperfect Tense will often be used:
Yıllar önce Manisa'da çalışıyordum. Many years ago I was working in Manisa.

Turkish Proverbs Atasözler

Turkish Proverbs are usually written in the simple habitual tense. Here are some examples in the negative form of the timeless tense. These translations are not literal showing the difficulty of such interpretation from Turkish to English.

  • Boş çuval ayakta durmaz. An empty sack does stand up.
  • Mum dibine ışık vermez. The bottom of a candle sheds no light.
  • Havlayan köpek ısırmaz.. A barking dog does not bite.
  • Küçük suda büyük balık olmaz. There are no big fish in small pools.
  • Yuvarlanan taş yosun tutmaz. A rolling stone gathers no moss.