Turkish Causative Mood
The active form of the verb gives the sense of: "doing something" and the passive form "something is being done".
The Causative sense is "to have something done by somebody, to get something done by something."
In the case where English uses "get done by" or "to have done by" Turkish uses the Causative form of the verb.
- The Active Verb
I'm going to clean the car
[to clean it myself]
- The Causative Form
I'll get John to clean the car
[to get, to cause John to clean it.]
Tukish Causative Uses
One of the duties of the Causative is to make a Transitive Verb (which takes an Object) out of an Intransitive Verb (which has no Object).
- Active Verb
to cook (by itself)
[intransitive - no object]
[i.e. The eggs are cooking in the pan.]
- Cuasative Verb
to cook something
[transitive - with object]
- "to cook" is transitive:
[the subject]is cooking the eggs
In these examples some of the active forms are intransitive whilst their causative form is the transitive Verb.
This is the reason that the Turkish verb for to eat is yemek yemek
The first yemek means food and the second yemek means to eat
- Yemek to eat is a transitive verb in Turkish so it needs an object.
- Ali, lokantada yemek yiyor.
Ali is eating food in the cafe.
- Turkish must supply an object yemek food for the verb yemek to eat
The English verb to eat can be transitive or intransitive.
Ali is eating in the cafe.
Ali is eating breakfast (obj.) in the cafe.
- The Intransitive verb:
to halt (by itself) is such a word.
- Araba caddede durdu.
The car stopped in the street.
There is no object in the sentence.
It is intransitive.
- The Transitive verb:
to stop sb. is such a word:
- Mehmet, arabayı caddede durdurdu
Mehmet stopped the car in the street.
The object in this sentence is arabyı the car.
It is transitive.
Turkish Causative Verb Formation
The causative verb stem is usually formed by adding:
‑dir‑ / ‑tir‑ ‑dır‑ / ‑tır‑ ‑dur‑ / ‑tur‑ ‑dür ‑/ ‑tür‑
The suffix follows vowel Harmony Rules and is subject to consonant mutation.
The resulting causative new verb stem can have all mood and tense endings added as required.
Most verbs are regular in their causative formation:
- Active Verb: bakmak to look
Causative Verb: baktırmak to cause to look
Bize arkamıza baktırdılar.
They made us look behind (us)
- Active Verb: itmek to push
Causative Verb:ittirmek to cause to push
Koltuğu geri ittirdim.
I had the seat pushed backwards.
- Active Verb: koşmak to run
Causative Verb: koşturmak to cause to run
Kamyonete bağladıkları atı kilometrelerce koşturdular.
They ran the horse tied to the lorry for kilometers.
- Active Verb: satmak to sell
Causative Verb: sattırmak to cause to sell
Ekonomik Bunalımdan fabrika sattırdılar.
They had the factory sold due to the Economic Depession.
- Active Verb: gülmek to laugh
I laughed at him
He laughed at me
- Causative Verb:güldürmek to make laugh
I made him laugh
He made me laugh
- Active Verb: bilmek to know
onu biliyorum I know that.
- Causative Verb: bildirmek to make known
Mehmed' e haberi bildirdik
We made the news known to [informed] Mehmet.
- Active Verb: çalışmak to work
Bugün çalışıyorum I am working today
- Causative Verb: çalıştırmak to cause to work
Bugün, arabamyla Mehmet'i çalıştırıyorum
Today, I am getting Mehmet to work on my car.
- Active Verb: unutmak to forget
Çantamı unuttum I forgot my bag
- Causative Verb: unutturmak to cause to forget
Mehmed'e çantasını unutturduk
We've let Mehmet forget his bag.
Turkish Causative Verbs Extended with Verb Moods
- Potential Causative Verb Stem
you can make her laugh
- beni güldüremeyecek
he will not be able to make me laugh
- bizi güldüremediler
they couldn't make us laugh
- Necessitative Causative Verb Stem
Mehmet seni güldürmeliydi.
Mehmet should have made you laugh.
- onu yaptırmalıyım.
I should have it done.
Turkish Irregular Causative Forms
The Formation of the Turkish Causative is one area where there is some irregularity in the language.
- 1. Basic verb Stems ending in a vowel or -r form their causative by the addition of the suffix -t to produce the causative verb stem:
- Active Verb: oturmak to sit
Causative Verb: oturtmak to seat somebody
- Active Verb: anlamak to understand
Causative Verb: anlatmak to make understand [ENG: to explain]
- Active Verb: boyamak to paint
Causative Verb: boyatmak to get / have something painted
2. Single Syllable Verbs - Causative Formation
Some single syllable verbs form their causative by the addition of -ır
i.e The initial -d/-t of the causative verb sign is dropped.
This generally happens when the basic verb stem terminates in -ç or -ş but there are other verbs included in this group.
Some verbs which end in -ç or -ş take the full -tir suffix.
The problem of these irregularities is not too great as the number of verbs involved is quite small although some of them are fairly common.
These verbs are best learned separately.
Irregular Single Syllable Causative Verb Stems
|Basic Verb||Causative Verb|
|artmak||to increase||artırmak||to cause to increase|
|batmak||to sink||batırmak||to cause to sink|
|bitmek||to finish||bitirmek||to finish off|
|doğmak||to be born||doğurmak||to give birth|
|doymak||to be filled||doyurmak||to fill up s.o.|
|düşmek||to fall||düşürmek||to cause to fall/to drop s.o|
|geçmek||to pass||geçirmek||to cause to pass|
|göçmek||to move / migrate||göçürmek||to evict|
|içmek||to drink/smoke||içirmek||to cause to drink|
|kaçmak||to escape||kaçırmak||to miss/let escape|
|pişmek||to cook (by itself)||pişirmek||to cook something|
|şaşmak||to be surprised||şaşırmak||to surpise s.o.|
|şişmek||to swell||şişirmek||to cause to swell|
|taşmak||to overflow||taşırmak||to cause to overflow|
|uçmak||to fly||uçurmak||to cause to fly|
- 3. A few verbs ending in -k take -ıt as their causative sign.
- Active Verb:akmak to flow
Causative Verb: akıtmak to caus e to flow
- Active Verb: sarkmak to hang down
Causative Verb: sarkıtmak to hang s.o. up
- Active Verb: ürkmek to have a scare
Causative Verb: ürkütmek to startle
- 4. There are few verbs which take -ar or -er as their causative sign.
- Active Verb: çıkmak to go out / to exit
Causative Verb: çıkarmak to take out [ENG: to extract]
- Active Verb: gitmek to go
Causative Verb: gidermek to send away / to remove
- Active Verb: kopmak to snap itself
Causative Verb: koparmak to break s.o.off
- Active Verb: onmak to mend
Causative Verb: onarmak to have repaired
- 5. One verb is completely irregular.
- Active Verb: görmek to see
Causative Verb: göstermek to show
All these are common verbs and should be learnt as irregularities
Causative Verb differences in English
In the translation of the Turkish Causative a different verb may be used in English.
It is sometimes it is difficult to select the correct English verb in translation from Turkish.
The causative of bilmek
"to know" in Turkish →
"to make know, to cause to know".
In English this may be "to notify, to publish, etc."
This difference in English verb use must be considered when translating causative verbs from Turkish into English and vice versa.
Practice and observation are necessary to ensure correct understanding and use of this verb form:
Examples of Different Verb Use in English
- In the following a different verb is used in English:
- Active Verb:
anlamak to understand
- Cevabı anladım.
I understood the answer.
- Causative Verb:
anlatmak to explain
[Lit: to cause to understand]
- Cevabı anlattım.
I explained the answer.
In English the causative verb is often a different verb altogether from the active verb
Turkish uses the causative mood form of the active Form.
to die → tokill / to murder
[LIT : cause to die]
to see → to show
[LIT: cause to see]
to halt → to stop
[LIT: cause to halt]
Causing a Third Party to Act In Turkish
This is a doubled causative verb formed by adding -t or sometimes -tir to the regular causative verb.
- I made him paint the car.
- I got him to paint the car.
- I had him paint the car
All the above are translated:
Arabayı ona boyattırdım.
In this case we are causing a third party to act as an agent.
In these type of sentences the agent has the -a or -e [Motion Towards - indirect object] case endings:
[ie. I caused FOR him to paint the car.]
The verb is basically a doubled causative form. boya-t-tir-mak.
Other doubled causatives are formed similarly.
The Turkish Double Causative
The Doubled Causative is used when you get someone else to do the job.
[You cause them to have the job done.]
- I got my car repaired at the garage.
Arabamı garajda tamir ettirdim.
[uses a single causative.]
- I got the garage to repair my car.
Arabamı garaja tamir ettirttim.
[uses a double causative].
to have something explained
- tamir ettirtmek
to have something repaired
to have something done
If two letters -tt- occur together, they are both pronounced individually.
These forms crop up quite regularly, especially in newspaper reports about agencies, governments etc. having something carried out by a third party.