Turkish Auxiliary Verbs

There are two main auxiliary verbs in Turkish:

(1) etmek to do, to make, to perform

etmek is used to make Active Tenses.

  • Babamı mutlu ettim I made my father happy.
  • Dört üç daha yedi eder. Four plus three makes seven
  • Toplam sekiz dolar ediyor. The total amounts to 8 dollars

(2) olmak to be, to become to happen to occur.

olmak is used to make Passive Tenses.

  • Seni görünce mutlu oldum. I became happy on seeing you.

etmek to do/to perform

etmek is not usually used alone as a verb.

etmek is used with many Arabic and Persian words to form verbs where none exist in modern Turkish:

teşekkür [arb.] a thanking
teşekkür etmek
to thank somebody

teşekkür ederim
I thank you

Many Arabic words do not follow the rules of vowel harmony within themselves

However, any Turkish suffixes added will always be governed by the final vowel in the word.

Sometimes in Turkish there are two words in general use for the same meaning.

The old Ottoman Arabic using etmek to form its verb: →
tamir etmek [arb.]
to repair

The New Turkish rooted word will follow normal Turkisk rules of conjugation: →
onarmak [turk]
to repair

Both words are in daily use.

Turkish Verbs withauxiliary etmek
etmekto do / perform / make / act
acele etmekto hurry
affetmekto pardon
akıl etmekto think of / contrive
alay etmekto make fun of
alış veriş etmekto shop
arzu etmekto want / desire
bahane etmekto pretend / make excuse
bahse girmekto bet / wager
belli etmekto reveal / show
cesaret etmekto dare to
davet etmekto invite
devam etmekto continue
endişe etmekto worry / be anxious
farketmekto notice / realize
halletmekto solve / settle up
hareket etmekto move off / pull out (car)
hasretmek (-e)to confine (to) / limit
hissetmekto feel / sense
hitap etmekto make a speech
ısrar etmekto insist / persist
icabetmekto comply / acccept as
icap etmekto be necessary
idare etmekto manage / administer
ihmal etmekto neglect
iki lâf etmekto chat about nothing
ikna etmekto persuade / convince
ikram etmekto offer hospitality
intibak etmekto adapt (to)
itham etmekto accuse
itiraz etmekto object / disapprove
istirahat etmekto relax
iyi etmekto make good
izah etmekto explain
kabul etmekto approve / settle for
kastetmekto imply / mean
kavga etmekto quarrel / fall out with
kaybetmekto lose
laf/lâf etmekto gossip / chat
merak etmekto wonder
mutlu etmekto make sb. happy
münakaşa etmekto quarrrel / row
müracaat etmekto appeal / re-apply
müsaade etmekto permit / allow
nakletmekto transport / transfer
nankörlük etmekto show ingratitude
nefret etmek (-dan)to hate
perişan etmekto dismay sb. / to bungle so.
rahat etmekto make comfortable
rahatsız etmekto disturb / upset
rica etmekto request
sabretmekto be patient
seyretmekto watch
söz etmekto promise
şikâyet etmekto complain
tahammül etmekto put up with / endure
tahmin etmekto guess / surmise
tarif etmekto describe / define
tasnif etmekto classify
tebrik etmekto congratulate
teklif etmekto propose / suggest
telefon etmekto call on the telephone
tembih etmekto reccommend
tenkit etmekto criticise
terketmekto abandon / leave
tereddüt etmekto hesitate
teselli etmekto console
teşekkür etmekto thenk
vefatetmekto pass away (die)
yaramazlık etmekto be naughty / act up
yardım etmek (-a)to help
yok etmekto get rid of
yolcu etmekto see a traveller off
zahmet etmekto touble sb.
zannetmekto suppose

etmek is directly joined to single syllable word stems otherwise it is written separately.

etmek being a verb in its own right does undergo vowel harmony when suffixed to other words.

etmek is also used to make verbs from nouns of foreign import into Turkish:

  • izole etmek to isolate, to insulate
  • Fişi izole ettim. I isolated the plug.
  • dans etmek to dance
  • telefon etmek to telephone
  • park etmek to park

Single Syllable Verb Roots with etmek

If verbs are formed with a single syllable root then etmek is affixed directly to that root

If the word ends in a consonant will generally double that consonant.

  • af pardon [Arb.]
  • The arabic root takes a doubled "-ff" when adding a verb form:
    affetmek to beg pardon
    affedersiniz! Pardon!
  • ret a refusal [Arb.]
  • Takes a doubled "-dd" when adding a verb form.
    reddetmek to refuse
    reddederim! I refuse!

These single syllable verbs can be written separately:

There in doubling of the final consonant.

  • red etmek → red ederim
  • af etmek → af ederim

etmek as a verb of completion

etmek is used like an auxiliary verb in English:

  • English Question:
  • Are you coming to the party tonight?
  • English Answer:
  • Yes I am.
  • The English short answer includes only I am without the verb coming.
  • Turkish Question:
  • Bu aksamki partiye geliyor musun?
  • Turkish Answer:
  • Evet geliyorum. Turkish has to include the geliyorum verb.
  • English:
  • Did you accept this after all? - Yes I did.
  • The short answer in English is I did without the verb accept
  • Turkish:
  • Herşeye rağmen kabul ettin mi onu? Evet ettim.
  • The short answer in Turkish is ettim without kabul.

etmek is used like an auxiliary.

Turkish Transitive Verbs formed with etmek

  • Onun için Mehmet bana ayıp etti.
    Because of it/that Mehmet shamed me.
  • Mektubu teslim ettim. I delivered the letter.
  • Koliyi teslim ettirdiniz. you had the the parcel delivered.
  • Onu tamir edebilsek. If we can repair it/that.
  • Onu tamir edemem. I can't repair it/that.
  • Onu kontrol ettiler. They checked it/that.
  • Onu kontrol edebilir misiniz? Would you check it/that?
  • Onu reddedeceğiz. We shall refuse it/that.
  • Onu reddedelim. Let's refuse it/that.
  • Ahmet, onu takdir etti. Ahmet appreciated it/that.
  • Ali, onu takdir edememiş. Ali couldn't have appreciated it/that

Passive of etmek becomes edilmek

The passive mood is discussed in detail on "passive.htm" web page.

The passive can be formed with edilmek, the passive of etmek

  • Mektup teslim edildi.
    The letter has been delivered.
  • Yarın arabanız tamir edilecek.
    Your car will be repaired tomorrow.
  • O kontrol edildi.
    It has been checked.
  • Onu kontrol edilebilcek mi?
    Can it be repaired?
  • Ali, takdir edilecek.
    Ali will be appreciated.

Turkish auxiliary verb olmak to be / become

It is used as an auxiliary with foreign loan words.

It attaches directly to single syllable roots.

It is written separately when used with a multi-syllable verb.

Being verb in its own right it does not obey Vowel Harmony.

It is used as an auxilary with the future tense and potential mood of the verb to be

  • Hazırım I am ready.
  • Hazır olacağım. I shall be ready.
  • Zenginsiniz. You are rich.
  • Zengin olsaydınız. If you had been rich.
  • O yoksul. he is poor.
  • O yoksul olabilir. He may be poor.

The past of olmak gives the sense of "being in a state of"

  • Pişman oldum. I regret/I was sorry.
  • Memnun oldum. I'm pleased.

Other Turkish Auxiliary Verbs

  • yapmak to do as an action
  • gelmek to come
  • kalmak to remain / stay
  • bulunmak to be found / to be [Passive of "bulmak"]
  • demek to say
  • dilemek to wish
  • söylemek to speak
  • durmak to stop

eylemek to carry out [equates with etmek but not common.]

eylemek can be used as a substitute for etmek and serves the same purpose.

It is usually restricted to the written word and is seldom used in conversation.

Auxiliary Verb: -ayazmak "almost to"

yazmak to write used as an auxiliary: →
[means "almost to.." ]

  • Düşüyazdım!
    I almost fell down!

Turkish Continuative Verbs

  • -akalmak "continue, keep on doing"
  • -adurmak "continue, keep on doing:

Only the first vowel follows the vowel harmony rules.

Hence "-ekalmak -adurmak -eyazmak -ıvermek -uvermek -üvermek etc".

As these are verbs in their own right they retain their spelling.

This is similar to the Potential Verb Suffix "-abilmek / -ebilmek"

kalmak and durmak are used to form a continuing action of the main verb.

They give the sense "to keep on doing" or to "remain in a condition of."

To form the continuative verb the infinitive of kalmak or durmak is added directly to the "Wish & Desire" root of the main verb.

The "Wish & Desire" root is formed by suffixing -e or -a to the basic verb stem:

yüzmek to swim → yüze- "Wish & Desire" stem.

Examples of the direct addition of kalmak to remain:

  • yüzekalmak
    to keep on swimming
  • Yüzekaldı.
    He kept on swimming.
  • alakalmak
    to keep on taking
  • Alakalacağım.
    I will keep on taking.
  • durakalmak
    to keep on stopping
  • Durakalıyorsun.
    You're keeping on stopping.
  • bekleyedurmak
    to keep on waiting
  • Bekleyedurabilecek misiniz?
    Will you be able to keep on waiting?
  • uyuyakalmak
    to oversleep
  • Uyuyakaldım!
    I overlept.
  • kalakalmak
    to stand aghast, to be astounded
  • Kalakaldım!
    I was astounded
  • donakalmak
    to petrify
  • Donakaldım!
    I was petrified!, I was scared stiff!

Turkish Accelerative Verb

The Auxiliary verb vermek to give gives a sense of urgency and speed of action to the main verb.

It loses its meaning to give.

The direct addition of vermek means to "get a move on…"

  • Çarşıyaya koşuver! Run quickly to the shops!

The "Wish & Desire" mood sign -(y)a/-(y)e is added to the basic verb stem:

The -a / -e suffix abrades to -i -ı -ü -u according to vowel harmony rules.

koşa koşa run abrades to koşuvermek

  • gülegülüverin give a laugh!
  • kesekesiverin Cut it!, shut up! [idiom]
  • bakabakıverin Look now! Look out!
  • tutatutuverin Grab it! Snatch it!
  • koşmak to run
    koşuvermek to hurry up and run
  • yazmak to write
    yazıvermek to scribble / scrawl
  • Koşuverin! Hurry up and run! [imperative]
  • İçkisini içiverdi. He gulped his drink down.
  • Gelivereceğim! I'll dash along and come!