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Here are the questions and answers about Turkish grammar and its language that have puzzled our fellow Turkish learners in their learning curves.
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There are eight vowels in Turkish - A E I İ O Ö U Ü
They are usually divided into the A-Undotted Group - AIOU - and the E-Dotted Group - EİÖÜ - for Vowel Harmony purposes
The letter - C - changes in Turkish - it is pronounced as an English - J
So the English name - John is spelt Con in Turkish and the Turkish word cam - (glass material) is pronounced jam in English. The rule is see a "C" and say a "J" - Listen to: cep, cacık, cimri
Letter C is pronounced as English "J". See - cam - and say - jam - "glass (the material)"
Letter Ş is pronounced as English "SH". See - şef - and say - shef - "chief"
Letter Ç is pronounced as English "CH". See - çek - and say - chek - "pull"
Verb Root Spelling Exceptions:
Only four verbs change their root spelling from -t to -d when adding a vowel :
gitmek - to go - becomes - gidiyorum - I am going etc.
ditmek - to shred - this verb is often used in recipes - becomes - didiyor - he shreds
tatmak - to taste (of) - becomes - tadıyor - it tastes (of..)
etmek - to do/perform - becomes - ediyorum - I am doing etc.
This verb - etmek - includes all verbs containing - etmek - such as - kaybetmek - to lose - and - affetmek - to pardon, to excuse which soften the -etmek part of the verb - kaybediyorum - I am losing/I lose and affediyorum - I am pardoning/I pardon
All other verbs retain their original spelling, for instance:
bitmek - to end - bitiyor - it is finishing - NOT bidiyor
batmak - to sink - batıyor - it is sinking - NOT badıyor
We know that the present tense sign is -iyor, we also know that if a verb stem ends in a vowel it loses this vowel (Turkish abhors two vowels together as there are no native diphthongs) when the present tense sign is added.
So - demek - must also lose this final vowel leaving a bare verb stem as the letter d- only - hence demek becomes d-iyorum, d-iyorsun. The same applies to all other two letter verb stems - yemek - becomes yiyorum.
The Future Tense also changes demek - diyeceğim, yemek - yiyeceksin
(here we are adding -ecek to the verb root of ye-mek, thus producing ye-ecek and to keep the vowels apart we use buffer letter -y- producing ye-y-ecek which has historically abraded to become yiyecek).
The Subject Participle demek becomes diyen, diyenler - who says, yemek becomes yiyen, yiyenler - who eats.
However there are even exceptions to this group as we say and write: deyince - on saying, deyip - also saying and yeyince - on eating and yeyip - also eating.
See Future Tense
The Infinitive is the name of a verb - such as - swim (verb) - its name is "to swim" - but in English we often substitute a verbal noun - (the) swimming.
He is going for a swim
We are going swimming
She went to swim in the sea
In all these cases anything with "swim" in it is a noun. But note there are different tenses supplied by the verb in the sentence.
If you have a noun in Turkish then you can suffix it with -de -den etc. and also make it an object with the objective suffix -i. You can also add the possessive suffixes -im -in -i.. etc - my, your his, etc.
My swimming is good
Mother is taking Mehmet for a swim
I want you to swim every day - Can you see these are all nouns....?
The -k of -mek/-mak is dropped to make the Verbal Noun - yüzme - swim, swimming, to swim, Now let us put a possessive on it:
yüzmem my swimming
yüzmen- your swimming
yüzmesi - his swimming
yüzmeniz- your swimming - (plural)
yüzmeleri - their swimming
Now add some suffixes:
yüzmemden - from my swimming my swimming
yüzmende - in your swimming
yüzmesini - his swimming - (suffixed as an object)
Yüzmem iyidir - My swimming is good
Geçen yıl yüzmem iyiydi - My swimming was good last year. - Past tense
Yarın yüzmeleri iyi olacak - Tomorrow, their swimming will be good - Future Tense
Ali'nin yüzmesi, Mehmet'in yüzmesinden daha iyidir. - Ali's swimming is better than Mehmet's swimming..
You can of course use extended and negatives to modify the meaning..
Ahmet'in gelmemesini istedim - I wanted Ahmet NOT to come [lit: Ahmet's-his-not-coming wanted-I]
gelme-me-sİ-nİ, is in the Accusative Case as the negative verbal noun is the object of - "I wanted.."
Ahmet'in gelebilmesini istedim - I wanted Ahmet to be able to come....
Ahmet'in gelebilmesini istemedim - I did not want Ahmet to be able to come....
Ahmet'in gelmeyebilmesini istemedim - I did not want Ahmet NOT to be able to come....
This Participle is subject to both Vowel Harmony and Consonant Mutation Rules.
So you can find -tik, -tuk, -tık, -tük.
If a further suffix with a vowel is added the the final -k is also subject to Consonant Mutation: -diği, -duğu, -dığı, -düğü or -tiği, -tuğu, -tığı, -tüğü
geldiğim zaman - When I came.., When I come.. - (gel + -diğ + -im)
uçtuğun halde - Although you fly.., Although you flew.. - (uç + -tuğ + -un)
yürüdüğü yol - The road that he walks.., The road that he walked.. - (yürü + -düğ + -ü)
bakmadığımız zaman - When we didn't/don't look.., - (bak + -ma + -dığ + -ımız)
içtiğiniz için - because you (plural polite) drink/drank.. - (iç + -tiğ + -iniz)
öpüştükleri zaman - When they kiss/kissed - (öpüş + -tük + -leri)
The -dik Participle is used both in the Present or Past tenses according to the sentence main verb context. Examples of Tense influenced by the Main Verb
Ali'nin geldiği zaman, çarşıya gidiyoruz - When Ali comes we are going to the shops.
Ali'nin geldiği zaman, çarşıya gittik - When Ali came we went to the shops.
Thus it becomes that both ideas - "Ali" and his "coming" both become a compound participle (verbal adjective) to describe - zaman (time). This is more suitable to the Turkish point of view than the relative when.. construction which English uses.
Position in sentences
We must realize that a participle is actually and adjective made from a verb form. As an adjective in Turkish it must precede the noun which it qualifies. This then is how to recognize that it is a an adjective - by its position in the sentence. It looks like a verb, but it is not a verb. The verb always comes last in a sentence, and hence is easy to recognize as a verb. If it is not last in the sentence then generally speaking it will be an adjective (or sometimes an objective pronoun).
This participle, which is used for present as well as past time, is identical with the first person plural of the past definite tense, but a possessive suffix (for person) is added to make it equivalent to a relative pronoun. The final -k changes to -ğ before the possessive suffix, except in the plural.
We already know that adjectives can stand in place of nouns in Turkish, so if we take a further example, showing how this happens:
Mehmet, söylediğim cevabı beğenmemiş - Mehmet seemed not to like the answer that I spoke. - here the participle - söylediğim - that which I spoke - is used as an adjective to describe - cevap - answer (which is in the objective case - cevabı, as an object of the final verb - beğenmemiş - not to like (apparently)
However we can make the relative adjective into a noun (a relative pronoun) and put this replacing noun into the objective case: Mehmet, söylediğimi beğenmemiş - Mehmet seemed not to like what I said.
All these relative pronouns are in the objective case as a direct object of the verb - beğenmemiş:
We have to realize that in English we make both the Subject and Object of a sentence substantive by the use of the same Definite Article - "the.." - as an example: The man closed the door. We have learnt elsewhere that the Subject is already understood as substantive in Turkish - so it does not need a Definite Article. In fact the Subject Definite Article - "The" - does not exist in Turkish - there is no "The man.." as it is already understood in context.
However there is an Object Definite Article - "the" in Turkish which appears as the suffix:
-(y)i - (buffer letter -y is used when added to a bare noun stem ending in a vowel) - or:
-(n)i - (buffer letter -n is used when added to an already extended [suffixed] noun) - all according to Vowel harmony Rules.
Adam kapıyı (kapı-yı) kapattı - The man closed the door
(The -yi suffix makes the bare noun - the door - substantive as a Direct Object
Adam kapısını (kapı-sı-nı) kapattı - The man closed his door
(The -ni suffix makes the extended [already suffixed] noun- his door [the door of him] - substantive as a Direct Object.
Here follow some examples of Object Pointers
This Direct Object Suffix which makes the Object substantive is one of the most difficult hurdles for English Speakers to surmount when speaking, reading and understanding The Turkish Language.See Discussion on Direct Object
Finally there is a third person form of verbs which is in wide use - especially in "formula speak". This is formed by adding -sin (singular) or -sinler (plural) directly to the basic verb stem:
Positive Verb Stem
olmak - to become, to happen
olsun - let it be
Negative Verb Stem
olmamak - not to become, not to happen
olmasın - let it not be
koşmak - to run - Singular Forms
koşsun - let him run
koşmasın - let him not run
koşmak - to run - Plural Forms
koşsunlar - let them run
koşmasınlar - let them not run
While in the Hamam - (Turkish Bath) you might say - Keseci gelsin - Lit: Let the masseur come - I am ready for the masseur.
Don't get mixed up.!
The Third Person Imperative ending is added directly to the verb stem - yazsın - Let him write - but if it is added to a tense sign as in - yazıyorsun - then it is the Second Person tense sign - You are writing
So be careful with this one..!
I hope this explains it - the whole point to understand is that if there is NO TENSE SIGN before the -sin or -sinlar then it should be translated as "Let him. (not)" or "Let them (not)"
Daima - (adverb) means - always, every time, forever, evermore, ever, forever and ever, forevermore - and it usually is placed first in the sentence; daima seni seviyorum - I will love you forever.
Turkish uses the Present Continuous - seviyorum - as it is more vivid than the Simple Present that we use in English = I love you - severim
kez - (noun) - means - particular (single) occasion(s).
defa (noun) means - occasion - so - her defasinda = each time
sefer (noun) means - journey - but - her seferinde = every time (used as an idiom)
Zaman - (Noun) - seems to mean - time - [the basic original meaning is - whilst.. - I believe] as follows:
1 - Constancy during a certain period, or regularly at stated intervals, invariably, uniformly, (opposed to sometimes or occasionally. at all times), all the time and on every occasion, - I will always be there to help you, He always arrives on time, ever busy..
2 - Forever, throughout all time - We will always be friends, I shall treasure it always, I will always love you.
3 - At any time or in any event - You can always resign if you don't like it, You could always take a day off.
4 - Seemingly, without interruption, often and repeatedly - Always looking for faults, It is always raining, He is forever cracking jokes, They are forever arguing.
There are other words in general use in Turkish which mean - time(s) or occasion(s).
For instance - vakit - (Noun) - the right time, the time (for doing something) - is used:
Boş vaktim yok. - I haven't got time to spare, Vaktin varsa?; - If you have time?
and kere - (noun) - time, times, occasion, instance:
1 - bir kere - once..
2 - iki kere - twice.
3 - times: - İki kere iki dört eder. - Two times two makes four.
However, "her kez" and "her kere" are never used to mean "every time"See - About Time
The word for - with, and, also - in Turkish is - ile.
This is one word which can stand on its own after the word it modifies, in which case it does not follow Vowel Harmony Rules but is always written and spoken - ile.
Mehmet ile - with Mehmet
domuz ile - with the pig
arkadaşın ile - with your friend
However it can also be suffixed to the word in which case it does follow vowel harmony rules and becomes -le or -la or -yle -yla after vowels.
Mehmet'le - with Mehmet
arkadaşınla - with your friend
paltosuyla - with his overcoat
bir arabayla - with a car
When -le or -la is suffixed to a root word ending in a vowel then the buffer letter is always -y-
kediyle, kedi ile - with the cat
kedisiyle, kedisi ile - with his cat
iskemleyle, iskemle ile - with the chair
eli ile, eliyle - with his hand
paltosuyla, paltosu ile - with his overcoat
babayla, baba ile - with father
babasıyla, babası ile - with his father
Whether to use - ile - as stand alone or as a suffix is a free choice of the speaker or writer, there is no hard and fast rule.
The verb istemek - to want - is a special case as it causes no modification of the verb it governs:
yazmak istiyorum - I want to write
içmek isterler - they want to drink
kalmak istemedin - you didn't want to stay
çalışmak istemeyecekler - they will not want to work.
Note that this also applies in English - we also cannot say - I want writing - or - they want drinking.. The object pointer is not required by istemek - to want as the concept of "wanting.." does not affect the verb being governed in any way.
However if istemek governs anything other that a verb then the objective case must be used. We can see from the examples below that istemek is not governing the verb kalmak directly, but it governs a person. Hence the direct object pointer is required.
Kalmamanızı istiyoruz - We want you not to stay - [Kalmama-nız-ı]
Kalmanızı istemiyoruz - We do not want you to stay - [Kalma-nız-ı]
Kalmasını istemiyorlar - They don't want him to stay - [Kalma-sı-n-ı]
Kalmamalarını istemiyorum - I don't want them not to stay - [Kalmama-ları-n-ı]
Note that - İstemek - to want - has its verb object in the Subject Case - ie: Ending in -mak or -mek.
This is exactly the same in English:
It seems that Mehmet wants TO run as well. - Mehmet de koşMAK istiyormuş
I want TO read. - okuMAK istiyorum
This a common difficulty for the student of Turkish. The dictionary equivalent is - fazla - in excess or simply - çok fazla - very excess or gereğinden fazla more than is required. Old-fashioned style Turkish will say lüzumdan fazla - in excess of its necessity.
(1) Too .. meaning - "very"
In daily conversational Turkish - çok - very - is used to convey the meaning too much.., too many.... In such a sentence as - I didn't buy it, it was too expensive. - the - "too" - should simply be translated by çok - very. Onu almadım, çok pahalıydı - I didn't buy it, it was too expensive.
(2) Too meaning - "overly, excessively"
fazla - in excess - should be used where the context does not make sense by using çok - very. Baban, seninle fazla sabırlıdır - Your father is too patient with you.
Well, this is a famous Turkish Language ambiguity. What you say is correct.
The answer is it must be translated by the context that it is in. (Nothing is ever what it seems to be..)
Usually if it is genitive then it it will possess something else evin penceresi - the window of the house - and the "something else" will have the "possessed" specifier suffixed. ev-in duvar-ı - the wall of the house - evin duvarı. So the genitive ıs easy to see.
And look - The wall of your house - thus becomes - evinin duvarı ( ev-in-in duvar-ı)
If there is a problem with it being personalized - evin - your house - the you can add the Personal Pronoun as well - senin evin - your house. You might say - Senin evin temiz or Evin temiz - both mean - Your house is clean.
If the word - your house - needs to be further suffixed - (ie.) - from your house - evinden - then the original form is correct - (senin is not required)
This orthographic change is due to Consonant Mutation (change) Rule No 1.
1. If the word ends in any of these Unvoiced Consonants
[p, ç, t, k]:
When adding a suffix beginning with a vowel - this last letter of the root word changes to its voiced [p > b, ç > c, t > d, k > ğ] form:
kitap - book becomes kitabı - his book
kazanç - profit becomes kazancı - his profit
kilit - lock becomes kilidi - his lock
köpek - dog becomes köpeğiniz - Your dog
2. If the word ends in an Unvoiced Consonant
[p, ç, t, k , f, h , s, ş]:
When adding a suffix beginning with a consonant - then the suffix consonant changes to its unvoiced Form [d → t]:
kilit - lock becomes kilitte - in the lock
köpek - dog becomes köpekten - from the dog
sabah - morning becomes sabahtan - from the morning
giriş - exit becomes girişte - at the exit
These are the Complete Rules of Consonant Mutation
See all about Consonant Mutation
bilmek - to know how to..
yüzme biliyorum - I know how to swim
tanımak - to know somebody
Ali, beni tanıyor - Ali knows me
There can be some differing ways to say the same thing in Turkish - for instance:
Do you know how to play football?
To ask - Exactly? - Futbol oyamasını biliyor musun? - Do you play football?
Or to ask - Particular? - Futbol oynamayı biliyor musun? - Do you know how to play football?
Or to ask - Generally speaking? - Futbol oynama biliyor musun? - Do you know about football playing?
"cannot"mood verb sign as a SUBJECT PARTICIPLE.
This mood is easily formed in all tenses just by inserting an -e- or -a- before the negative suffix of any negative verb whether it be active, passive, reflexive, reciprocal,or causative - (in effect we form a completely new verb - with its own infinitive)
The Positive Potential
çalışmak = to work. çalışabilmek = to be able to work Hence: çalışabilen = who is able to work/who can work
The Negative Potential
çalışmamak = not to work. çalışamamak = not to be able to work. Hence: çalışamayan - who is unable to work/who can not work. Just the -ama- makes a Negative Potential.
It is called a Subject Participle because it DESCRIBES the Subject and as a Participle it is a VERBAL ADJECTIVE (same thing), consequently it PRECEDES or REPLACES the noun which it DESCRIBES. All Participles are actually Adjectives so must always have a noun following to describe, then, by position (in sentence) you cannot mix them with a verb which must always come at the end of a sentence as the last word in that sentence.
As an Example (we may be talking about a disabled or handicapped person):
As a SUBJECT DESCRIBING ADJECTIVE bir çalışamayan adam = A man who is unable to work or simply as a NOUN REPLACEMENT - bir çalışamayan = one who is unable to work.
The suffix for his is
-(s)i so dünyası (dünya-sı) - his world becomes in the plural dünyaları (dünya-lar-ı) - his worlds
The suffix for their is
-leri but dünyaları (dünya-ları) becomes both sıngular or plural their world OR their worlds as
dünyalarları is wrong because the -lar suffix cannot be re-duplicated.
Of course it seems that "their worlds" should be -
dünyalar-ları - but suffixes ending in
-lar are never doubled, therefore the context should make the singularity or plurality of the noun in question clear.
However if it is necessary to be explicit in the meaning, then the Personal Pronouns are used:
dünyası becomes onun dünyası - his world for singular and dünyaları becomes onun dünyaları - his worlds for plural
dünyaları - their world/their worlds becomes onların dünyası - their world for singular and onların dünyaları - their worlds for plural.
So the question example can be made explicit:
Dünyalarından = onların dünyasından - from their world AND onların dünyalarından - from their worlds OR onun dünyalarından - from his worlds
Flummoxed? So am I, but the Turks do it naturally.