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Turkish Present Continuous Tense -ing

Turkish Present Continuous Positive

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
geliyorum [gel-iyorum] I am coming
bakıyorsun [bak-ıyorsun] you are looking
gidiyor [gid-iyor] he is gonig
yürüyoruz [yür-üyoruz]we are walking
buluyorsunuz [bul-uyorsunuz]you are finding
yazıyorlar [yaz-ıyorlar]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 becomes gelmemek to not come.
bakmak to look becomes bakmamak to not look.

All Negative Verb roots that end in a vowel as in: gelmemek [gelme-mek] not to come also drop this final vowel from the vowel stem so that when the tense sign -iyor- is added two vowels do not occur together. [gelmeiyorum is incorrect.]

Turkish Present Continuous Negative Conjugation
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.
The root of this example is bekle- but we must also drop this final vowel -e before adding the tense sign-iyor- in order that two vowels do not occur together. [bekleiyorum would be incorrect].

Verb Roots ending in a Vowel
Psitive 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 and the personal ending is added making 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.
  • Mehmet, şimdi eve gidiyor mu? [Question on the verb: gitmek to go]
  • Is Mehmet going home now?
  • Mehmet, eve mi gidiyor? [Question on the object: ev home]
  • Is it home that Mehmet is going to?
  • Mehmet mi, eve gidiyor? [Question on The subject: Mehmet]
  • Is it Mehmet who is going home?
  • Bisiklet, ters mi duruyor? [The position of the bicycle is in question]
  • Is the bicycle upside down?
  • Mehmet, kemen mi çalıyor? [The violin being played is in question.]
  • Is Mehmet playing the violin?

Turkish Question Tags

Turkish Question Tags
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?

The question tags muyum?, musun? etc are always written separately from the verb itself. The tags do however follow vowel harmony rules even that they are not directly suffixed to the verb stem itself. 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 boyuyo.r 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: ie. "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 go becomes gidiyorum I am going
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.
The verb etmek includes all verbs containing etmek such as kaybetmek to lose and affetmek to pardon, to excuse

All other verbs retain their original spelling:
bitmek to end bitiyor it is finishing [NOT bidiyor]
batmak to sink batıyor 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 to the infinitive, to which 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![beklemek-te-yim] I have been waiting! (and am still waiting…)
Saat beşten beri bankada seni beklemekteyim.- I have been waiting for you in the bank since five o'clock (and I am still waiting)

Newspaper Reports often use Progressive Continuous Tense
Futbol takımımız İtalya'da oynamaktadır. Our football team are presently (have been) playing in Italy (and are still there).
Bu ülkeler arasında, Amerika, Fransa, Danimarka başlıca rol oynamaktadırlar. Among these countries, America, France, and Denmark are presently (have been) playing a major role.

Turkish Past Progressive Tense

The past tense endings can also be added to change the tense:
Mehmet evde beni beklemekteydi. Mehmet had waited (had been waiting) for me at home..
Yaz aylarında, bu bögleye sadece türk değil yabancı turistler de gelmektedi. In the summer months, not only Turks but also foreign tourists had come (had been coming) to this district.