Turkish Present Continuous Tense -ing

The tense takes the form of be doing, be saying, be going

The Tense sign of the Present Continuous Tense is:
‑iyor‑ ‑ıyor‑ ‑üyor‑ ‑uyor‑
which is added to the verb root.

The tense endings are completed by adding the personal suffixes.

The Tense Sign ‑iyor‑ can be likened to the English Tense sign ‑ing.

The initial ‑i‑ of ‑iyor‑ is subject to vowel harmony with the verb stem's final vowel.

Turkish Present Continuous Positive Conjugation

TurkishEnglish
geliyorum
[gel-iyor-um]
I am coming
bakıyorsun
[bak-ıyor-sun]
you are looking
gidiyor
[gid-iyor]
he is going
yürüyoruz
[yür-üyor-uz]
we are walking
buluyorsunuz
[bul-uyor-sunuz]
you are finding
yazıyorlar
[yaz-ıyor-lar]
they are writing

Turkish Present Continuous Negative

Negative verb stems are formed by adding the negating suffix -ma- -me- to the verb stem.

  • gelmek to come
    gelmemek to not come.
  • bakmak to look
    bakmamak to not look.

All Negative Verbs gelmemek drop the first letter of suffix -(i)yor to keep vowels apart:

[gelmeiyorum is incorrect.]

Turkish Present Continuous Negative Conjugation

TurkishEnglish
gelmiyorum
[gelm-iyorum]
I am not coming
bakmıyorsun
[bakm-ıyorsun]
you are not looking
almıyor
[alm-ıyor]
he is not taking
çıkmıyoruz
[çıkm-ıyor-uz]
we are not going out
bulmuyorsunuz
[bulm-uyor-sunuz]
you are not finding
gülmüyorlar
[gülm-üyor-lar]
they are not laughing

Turkish Verb Roots ending in a Vowel - Present Continuous

The final vowel of verb stem is dropped along with -mek/-mak.

[vowels should not occur together]

The root of beklemek is bekle-

Adding tense sign-iyor- the final vowel -e of the verb stem is dropped.

[bekleiyorum is incorrect]

Turkish Verb Roots ending in a Vowel

Positive VerbNegative Verb
beklemek to wait, expectbeklememekto not wait, expect
bekliyorumI am waitingbeklemiyorumI am not waiting
bekliyorsunyou are waitingbeklemiyorsunyou are not waiting
bekliyorhe/she/it is waitingbeklemiyorhe/she/it is not waiting
bekliyoruzwe are waitingbeklemiyoruzwe are not waiting
bekliyorsunuzyou are waitingbeklemiyorsunuzyou are not waiting
bekliyorlarthey are waitingbeklemiyorlarthey are not waiting

Forming Positive Questions

The question particle mu? is used after -iyor

It is written separately.

The personal ending is added to make a question tag.

The Question Particle mı? mi? mu? mü? is placed after the item that you are questioning:

It is NOT always the VERB that is in question.

This is the same for English.

  • Question on the verb:
    Mehmet, şimdi eve gidiyor mu?
    Is Mehmet going home now?
  • Question on the Object:
    Mehmet, eve mi gidiyor?
    Is it home that Mehmet is going to?
  • Question on the Subject:
    Mehmet mi, eve gidiyor?
    Is it Mehmet who is going home?
  • Question on the Position of the Bicycle:
    Bisiklet, ters mi duruyor?Is the bicycle upside down?
  • Question on the Playing of the Violin:
    Mehmet, kemen mi çalıyor?
    Is Mehmet playing the violin?

Turkish Question Tags

PositiveNegative
gelmekto comegelmemekto not come
geliyor muyum?am I coming?gelmiyor muyum?aren't I coming?
geliyor musun?are you coming?gelmiyor musun?aren't you coming?
geliyor mu?is he coming?gelmiyor mu?isn't he coming?
geliyor muyuz?are we coming?gelmiyor musunuz?aren't you coming?
geliyor musunuz?are you coming?gelmiyor muyuz?aren't we coming?
geliyorlar mı?are they coming?gelmiyorlar mı?aren't they coming?
Turkish Question Tags Examples

The question tags muyum?, musun? etc are written separately from the verb itself.

The tags follow vowel harmony rules.

The negative questions are formed in the same manner using the negative verb stem.

  • Yarın şehre gidiyorum.
    Tomorrow I am going to town.
  • Yarın şehre gitmiyorum.
    Tomorrow I am not going to town.
  • Benimle gelmiyor musunuz?
    Aren't you coming with me?
  • Küçük odada uyumuyorlar mı?
    Aren't they sleeping in the small room?
  • Evi boyuyor
    He is painting the house.
  • Mehmet kendi evini boyamıyor.
    Mehmet is not painting his own house.

Turkish uses the Present Continuous Tense as a Future Tense of Intention.

English is the same: "We are going to Turkey next month."

Spelling Exceptions Turkish Basic Verb Stems

Only four verbs change their root spelling from -t to -d when adding a vowel :

  • gitmek to gogidiyorum I am going
  • ditmek to shreddidiyor he shreds
    [often used in recipes]
  • tatmak to taste (of)tadıyor it tastes of
  • etmek to do/perform ediyorum I am doing etc.

The verb etmek includes all verbs containing etmek

  • Examples with etmek
  • zannetmek to suppose
  • zannedersem if I suppose
  • Also used separated: zan edersem
  • affetmek to pardon, to excuse
  • affederim I apologize
    Also used separated: af ederim
  • All other verbs retain their original spelling:
  • bitmek to endbitiyor it is finishing
    [NOT bidiyor]
  • batmak to sinkbatıyor it is sinking
    [NOT badıyor]

Turkish Present Progressive Tense

This tense is especially used in newspapers, but is also being used in conversation.

Its base is formed by adding the locative suffix -de / -da to the infinitive.

The personal endings of the verb "to be" are then added.

It means: "I am presently doing something and I am still doing it at the moment."

It is best translated into English as "I have been doing" [and am still doing]

Example: beklemek to wait

  • Beklemekteyim! I have been waiting!
    [beklemek-te-yim]
  • Saat beşten beri bankada seni beklemekteyim.
    I have been waiting for you in the bank since five o'clock
    [and I am still waiting.]
  • Futbol takımımız İtalya'da oynamaktadır.
    Our football team are presently playing in Italy.
  • Bu ülkeler arasında, Amerika, Fransa, Danimarka başlıca rol oynamaktadırlar.
    Among these countries, America, France, and Denmark are presently playing a major role.
    [have been playing]

Turkish Past Progressive Tense

The past tense endings can also be added to change the tense:

  • Mehmet evde beni beklemekteydi.
    Mehmet had waited for me at home.
    [had been waiting]
  • Yaz aylarında, bu bögleye sadece türk değil yabancı turistler de gelmektedi.
    In the summer months, not only Turks but also foreign tourists have come to this district.
    [have been coming]