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Turkish Subject Participles

Turkish Relative Participles -(y)an/-(y)en who is doing..

Participles are verbal adjectives and verbal nouns formed from verbs.
The most important function of participles is to form modifying phrases or adjectives equivalent to the relative clauses found in most European languages.

The use of participles in Turkish is rather different than in English and at first sight is difficult to understand. This is mainly due to the fact that the Relative Pronouns who, what, which, where are not used in Turkish as in English. Instead, Turkish uses participles of its verbs as adjectives or nouns.

Replace the infinitive marker -mek/-mak with the present participle marker -(y)en/-(y)an to the verb stem.
The buffer -y- is inserted if the verb stem ends in a vowel to avoid the occurrence of two consecutive vowels.
Passive, potential and causative verb stems can be formed as present participles in a similar fashion.

Turkish Relative Participles in the Potential Mood:
The suffix -(y)an/-(y)en is added to the verb stem:
yürüyebilmek to be able to walk produces: yürüyebilen who can walk
yürüyememek not to be able to walk produces: yürüyemeyen who can't walk

Turkish Present Participle Construction
gelmek -engelencoming, who [whom, that, which] is coming, who comes, the comer
sarılmak-ansarılan hugging, who is hugging
anlamak-yananlayan understanding, who is understanding
beklemek-yenbekleyenwaiting, who [whom, that, which] is waiting
Turkish Negative Present Participle Construction
gelmemek-yengelmeyennot coming, who [whom, that, which] is not coming
sarılmamak-yansarılmayannot hugging, who is not hugging)
anlamamak-yananlamayannot understanding, who is not understanding
beklememek -yenbeklemeyennot waiting, who is not waiting)
Verb stem in various moods
gelebilmek-engelebilen who is able to come [pos. potential]
sarılamamak-yansarılamayanwho can not not hugging [neg. potential
anlatmak-ananlatanwho is explaining [causative]
beklenmak -enbeklenenwhich is awaited [passive]


The Relative Participle can be a verbal adjective as below: gelen adam
Öğle yemeğe gelen adamı tanırım. I know the man who is coming to lunch.
The Relative Participle can be a verbal noun as below: Geleni tanır mısınız?
Akşam yemeğe geleni tanır mısınız? Do you know who is coming to dinner?
Gelenlerden biri tanıyorum. I know one of those who are coming.
Bekleyenlere her şey gelir. Everything comes to those who wait.
Zengin olanlar çok şanslı. Those who are rich are very lucky.

Turkish Participles in Future, Timeless and Past Tenses

  1. Present/Past Relative Participle with the suffix -(y)en/-(y)an - on this page
  2. Future Relative Participle with the suffix-(y)ecek/-(y)acak - see Object part. page
  3. Past Direct Participle with the suffix -dik/-tik/-dık/-tık/-duk/-tuk/-dük/-tük - see Object part. page
  4. Past Indirect (Inferential) Participle with the suffix mış/-miş/-muş/-müş - on this page
  5. Simple Present Positive Participle (timeless tense) with the suffix -r/-er/-ar/-ir/-ır/-ur/-ür. - see Simple part. page
  6. Simple Present Negative Participle (timeless tense) with the suffix -mez/-maz. - see Simple part. page

These forms can function as either adjectives: oynamayan çocuklar children who do not play or as nouns: oynamayanlar they/those who do not play. The most important function of participles is to form modifying phrases or adjectives equivalent to the relative clauses found in most European languages.

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Relative Participle an actual example of a shop window advertisement.
Computer(s) who knows (about) [bilen] lady worker is being sought

Looking for an experienced lady who knows English

A shop window sign in downtown Izmir
"Experienced lady worker who knows [bilen] English is being sought."

Relative Participles Explained

In the sentence:
I know the man who is sitting in the chair. or I know the man sitting in the chair.
who is a Relative Pronoun referring to the man, which may be omitted in English.
sitting is a present participle [verbal adjective] which describes the state of the man.
The sentence above can be broken down to:
(1) The man is sitting in the chair. (2) I know him.

I can see the bird that is flying in the sky, I pulled the rope which was hanging down.
In these cases which and that are relative pronouns whilst flying and hanging down are present participles used as adjectives.
However, in Turkish the present participle does the job of both the relative pronoun and the adjective.

Transposing the examples above to the form that Turkish exhibits, then they would convert as follows:
Sandalyede oturan adamı tanıyorum. Chair-in sitting-who-is man-the know-I.
Gökte uçan kuşu görebilirim. Sky-in flying-which-is bird-the see-can-I.
Sarkan ipi çektim. Hanging down-which-was rope pulled-I.

This last example is in the past tense, which is taken from the final verb of the sentence. The present participle sitting/flying/hanging translates the relative pronoun who, that, which by implication as who is sitting, that is flying, which is hanging. The Turkish present participle is used as a relative pronominal adjective. This point is important to understand and in translation to English it is always best to add who is, which is, that is, until facility in understanding the Turkish point of view has been reached.

Arka bahçeye bakan pencere kırıldı. The window facing the back garden is broken.
[LIT: Back garden-to looking-at-which-is (facing) broken-is.]
Mektup yazan adam çok yaşlıdır. The man writing the letter is very old.
[LIT: Letter-the writing-who-is man-the old-is.]

Extending Turkish Verbal Nouns

Suffixes can be added to participles with all Turkish nouns.

Noun as Direct Object
oturmak to sit (or to live at)
oturan who is sitting (adj.)
oturanı [oturan-ı] who sits/the sitter (obj.)

Noun in Movement Toward Condition (Dative) Singular
uçmak to fly
uçan which is flying (adj.)
uçana [uçan-a] to that flying/to the flier

Noun in Movement Toward Condition (Dative) Plural
yemek to eat
yiyen who is eating (adj.)
yiyenlere [yiyen -ler-e] to those eating

Noun in Movement Away Condition (Ablative)
sarkmak to hang down
sarkan which is hanging down (adj.)
sarkandan [sarkan-dan] from that which is hanging

Noun in Ownership condition (Genitive)
güldürmek to cause to laugh
güldüren which makes one laugh (adj.)
güldürenin [güldür-en-in] of that which makes one laugh

Noun in Movement Away Condition (Ablative) Plural
kesilmek to be cut
kesilen which is being cut (adj.)
kesilenlerinden [kesilen-leri-nden] from those that are being cut

Elmasın elle kesilenleri makineyle kesilenlerinden daha değerlidir.
Diamonds' which have been hand cut are more valuable than those which have been cut by machine.

The Turkish participle as an adjective for singular or plural nouns. oturan is an adjective describing the man/the men.
Masaya oturan adamı tanırım. I know the man who is sitting at the table.
[LIT: Table-to (at) sitting man-the know-I.]

Masaya oturan adamları tanırım. I know the men who are sitting at the table.
[LIT: Table-to sitting men-the know-I.]

Oğluma, hediye veren adam onun amcasıydı. The man who gave the present to my son was his uncle.
[LIT: Son-my-to, present gave-who man-the his uncle-was.]

Ankara'ya giden otobüslerin hepsi doludur. All the buses which are going to Ankara are full up.
[LIT: Ankara-to going-which-are buses all full-are.]

Sokağımızda çalışamayan bir engelli oturuyor. A disabled man who is unable to work is living in our street.
The adjectival participle [çalış-a-ma-y-an] who is unable to work describes bir engelli a disabled one

The Turkish participle as a singular noun using oturanı is a singular direct object.
Masaya oturanı tanıyorum. I know (he) who is sitting at this table.
[LIT: Table-to sitting-he-who-is know-I.]

And in the plural, using oturanları as a plural direct object.:
Masaya oturanları tanırdım. I knew those who were sitting at the table. The past tense of this sentence is taken from the final verb.
[LIT: Table-to sitting-they-who-were knew-I.]

Ankara'ya gidenlerin hepsi erkek.
All the those who are going to Ankara are male.
[LIT: Ankara-to going-those-who-are all male-are.]
The participle [giden-ler-in] of those going is a plural noun + ownwership suffix used as an adjective to describe hepsi all

Yüzebilenlere bir madalya verelim. Let us give a medal to those who can swim.
The participle [yüz-ebil-en-ler-e] is used as a plural noun + motion toward suffix.

Süremeyenlerden arabaları geri alınız. Take away the cars from those who can't drive.
The participle [sür-e-me-y-en-ler-den] from those who can not drive is plural noun + motion away suffix.

A sign at Ladies Beach in Kuşadası for restricted entry into the Güneş (Sun) Site of Apartments.
No parking unless you are concerned with the Güneş Site

Turkish grammatical construction is alien to speakers of English and this sign shows how difficult Turkish can be to understand at first sight.
Güneş sitesine (In) to the Güneş Site
ait olmayan who is not concerned
araçların park etmesi their car's its-parking
yasaktır. is prohibited.

Turkish Participles Potential Mood Passive
Example of Turkish turning everything into an adjectival description wherever possible.
yapılabilmek to be able to be done becomes yapılabilen which can be done
yapılabilenler [yapılabil-en-ler-i] those which can be done (obj.)
Yapılabilenleri bitirelim. Let's finish those that can be done.
Here the participle [yapılabil-en-ler-i] those that can be done is used as a plural direct object noun.

sürülememek not to be able to be driven becomes sürülemeyen which can not be driven
sürülemeyenler [sürül-e-me-y-en-ler-i] those which can not be driven (obj.)
Sürülemeyenleri çıkarınız Take away those which can not be driven.
Sürülemeyen arabaları çıkarınız. Take away the cars which can not be driven. {adj.)
Here the participle [sürül-e-me-yen] is an adjective describing the plural noun cars.

The verb olmak to be, become

The present participle of the verb olmak is olan meaning which, is being or if used in its Pronominal Form means that, Who, Which, What is
This is used with the Infinitive in the Locative Case to form a Present Continuous Participle:
Yüzmekte olanlar those who are presently swimming.
Denizde yüzmekte olanları tanırım. I know those who are presently swimming in the sea.
Kalmakta olanlardan from those who are presently staying.
Hırsızlar, otelde kalmakta olanlardan para çaldılar. The thieves stole money from those who are staying at the hotel.
Beklemekte olana to he who is waiting and still is waiting.
Bu koliyi, beklemekte olana verin. Give this parcel to the man (he who is) waiting.

Turkish Participle olan being, which is

Another use of olan is with normal adjectives to describe people and events. In these cases olan can sometimes be translated as being, as a…
Satılık olan bir ev arıyorum. I am looking for a house which is for sale.
[LI: For sale being a house look for-I]

Çok pahalı olan bir fotoğraf makinesini aldım. I have bought a camera which was very expensive.
[LIT: Very dear being a camera bought-I]

Babası kasap olan bir arkadaşım var. I have got a friend whose father is a butcher.
[LIT: Father-his butcher being a friend-mine there-is]

olanı One [the one that…] [lit: that which is… as an item].
olanları Ones [the ones that…] [lit: those which are… as items.]
Hangi tişörtü istiyorsunuz? Which tee-shirt do you want?
Mavi olanı(nı) lütfen. The blue one, please.
Hangi ayakkabıları istiyorsunuz? Which shoes do you want?
Siyah olanları(nı) lütfen. The black ones, please.
The -ni as an accusative direct object ending is grammatically correct in the answers as the the verb istemek to want is understood. But as with all languages sometimes the easy way is used and the direct object suffix is discarded though constant daily conversational usage.

The passive verb bulunmak to be found

The passive verb bulunmak to be found as a participle become bulunan which is to be found
It is used very much as in English one might say to a friend you are meeting later on: When you get to to the hotel tonight I'll be found in the bar/I'll be in the bar.

This construction is heavily used in Turkish and is often translated more easily by the verb to be
Meksika'da deniz bulunan inanılmaz deniz yaratık. In Mexico there is an unbelievable sea creature. [which is to be found]
İspanya'da bulunan deniz kızı herkesi şok etti! A mermaid which was found in Spain shocked everybody!

The use of bulunan with adjectives:
Similarly another use of bulunan is with other adjectives to describe people and events. The heavily used bulunan can sometimes be translated as having a, containing a…
İçinde beş kitap bulunan kutuyu getirin. Bring along the box containing the five books.
[Lit: Inside five books-the found-which-are-to-be (containing) bring along.]

Bahçemizde bulunan güzel çiçekleri sana göstereyim. Let me show you the beautiful flowers (which are) in our garden.
[Lit: Garden-ours-in found-which-are-to-be beautiful flowers you-to show-let-me.]

Turkish Past Tense Subject Participles

The Subject Past Participle in Turkish formed by suffixing -miş -mış -müş -muş to the verb stem.
This Past Subject Participle is used when the action is definitely completed. The -miş suffix does not take on an iferential sense when used as a participle. As with the present Continuous Participle [i.e. vermakte olan - who is presently giving] the relation is completed by using the relative participle olan that, who, which, is.

vermiş olan given , which is given
verilmiş olan given, which has been given
vermemiş olan not given , which has not given
verilmemiş olan not been given, which has not been given
boyamış olan painted, which is painted
boyanmış olan painted, that has been painted
seçmiş olan chosen, which is chosen
seçilmiş olan chosen , that has been chosen
Seçilmiş olan şapkayı beğenirim I like the hat that has been chosen
Seçmiş olanı beğenirim I like the one who has chosen
Henüz gelmiş olan adamı tanırım I know the man who has just come

Turkish Past Participle Official/Public Use

The -miştir Past Participle is a happening which is definite in the past kırılmıştır which has been broken although we usually say in English which is broken
Arka kapı kırılmıştır. The back door is broken.
[LIT: which has been broken - passive mood]

The -miş Past Participle is also used with suffix -tir to make an official definite statement.
Türkiye'de yapılmıştır. Made in Turkey.
[LIT: Turkey-in made-which-has-been-is.]
Paslanmaz çelikten yapılmıştır. Made from stainless steel.
[Lit: Stainless steel-from made-which-has-been-is.]
İzmir' de üretilmiştir. Produced in Izmir.
[LIT: Izmir-in produced-which-has-been-is.]

Turkish Subject Participle Examples

  • Batan gemiden ayrılan son adam kaptandı.
  • The captain was the last man who left the sinking ship.
  • Bisikleti olan çocuk geç kalmadı.
  • The boy who had a bicycle was not late.
  • Fabrikanın etrafında hızlı bir şekilde yayılan yangın altı saat sürdü.
  • The fire which (that) spread quickly round the factory lasted for six hours.
  • Dün bitirilen iş çok zor idi.
  • The work which (that) was finished yesterday was very hard.
  • İnsan kalabalığı tarafından sarılmış olan polis çok kızdı
  • The policeman who was surrounded by a crowd of people became very angry.
  • Ayakları kırılmış olan sandalye atılmalıdır.
  • The chair whose legs are broken must be thrown away.
  • Dışarıda oturan kız iş arıyor.
  • The girl who is sitting outside is looking for a job.