The Turkish Verb "to be" Positive
The verb to be is used in sentences to describe a
state of being
- The house is blue.
- It will be a quick journey.
- If it is a big house.
- If it had not been out of sight.
Origin of Turkish Verb "to be"
"to be"is a defective verb
imekwhose stem was i-.
It is found in four forms of vowel harmony i ı u ü
It also mutates to -y in the past and other forms when being suffixed to a word.
This is no longer important in learning Turkish.
It gives the reason for many of the suffixes in modern use for the verb
Turkish Verb to be: Positive I am, you are etc.
The Verb "to be" takes the form of a suffix in Turkish.
It is subject to Vowel Harmony.
3rd person suffixes d ↔ t when suffixed to words ending in:
[ç f h k p s ş t]
The buffer letter -y- is used when this suffix to a word which terminates in a vowel.
Turkish 'to be' Present Tense Suffixes
- I am ‑(y)im ‑(y)ım ‑(y)üm ‑(y)um
- you are ‑sin ‑sın ‑sün ‑sun
- he/she/it is ‑dir / ‑tir ‑dır /‑tır ‑dür / ‑tür ‑dur /‑tur
- we are ‑(y)iz ‑(y)ız ‑(y)üz ‑(y)uz
- you are ‑siniz ‑sınız ‑sünüz ‑sunuz
- they are ‑dirler /‑tirler ‑dırlar / ‑tırlar ‑dürler‑ / ‑türler ‑durlar / ‑turlar
Turkish "to be" Present Tense Examples
[hasta yım]I am ill.
- Hastayız. We are ill.
- Mutlusun. You are happy.
- Mutlu bir kadınsın. You are a happy lady.
[yorgun-durlar]They are tired.
[yorgun-uz]We are tired.
- Evim kırmızıdır. My house is red.
- Kırmızı bir evdir. It is a red house.
- Paltom uzundur. My overcoat is long.
- Uzun bir paltodur. It is a long overcoat.
- Köpeğim küçüktür. My dog is small.
- Küçük bir köpektir. It is a small dog.
- Cadde geniştir. The road is wide.
- Geniş bir caddedir. It is a wide road.
- Kedim mutludur. My cat is happy.
- Kediniz kahverengi renkliydir. Your cat is brown coloured.
- Odam boştur.
[boş-tur]My room is full.
- Odam doludur.
[dolu-dur]My room is big.
- Mor renkli bir evdir. It is a purple coloured house.
- Ev mor renkliydir. The house is coloured.
Third Person Plural is very often omitted in conversation.
It only for emphasis and for public advice and warnings or stating fact:
A Turkish Public Notice showing the use of -dir/-tir
It is the fire-station exit
Turkish "to be" Past Tense I was, you were
Past tense idim, idim… → -ydim, ydin… when suffixed to a vowel.
Initial -d becomes -t when suffixed to
[p ç t k f h s ş]
Often the -ler/-lar plurals are omitted in conversation.
Turkish "to be" Past tense Suffixes
- ‑(y)dim ‑(y)dım ‑(y)düm ‑(y)dum I was
- ‑(y)din ‑(y)dın ‑(y)dün ‑(y)dun you were
- ‑(y)di ‑(y)dı ‑(y)dü ‑(y)du he / she / it was
- ‑(y)dik ‑(y)dık ‑(y)dük ‑(y)duk we were
- ‑(y)diniz ‑(y)dınız ‑(y)dünüz ‑(y)dunuz you were
- ‑(y)diler ‑(y)dılar ‑(y)düler ‑(y)dular they were
Turkish "to be" Past Tense Examples
- kadındı She was a woman.
- lâzımdılar They were necessary.
- müdürdüm I was a director.
- hastaydım I was ill.
- mutluydunuzYou were happy.
- iyiydinizYou were good.
- mektuptuIt was a book.
- sabahIt was morning.
- çabuktularThey were swift.
- köprüydü It was bridge.
Turkish Vowel Harmony Verb "to be"
Both the present and past obey the rules of vowel harmony, which are summed up as follows:
- Final vowel -a -ı
- yaşlıyız we are old
yaşlıydık we were old
- hastayım I am ill
hastaydım I was ill
- Final vowel -o -u
- bir vazodur it is a vase.
bir vazoydu it was a vase.
- yorgunsun you are tired.
yorgundun you were tired.
- Final vowel -e -i
- bir deredir it is a stream
bir dereydi it was stream
- zenginsin you are rich
zengindin you were rich
- Final vowel -ö -ü
- bir gözdür it is an eye.
bir gözdü it was an eye.
- Türk'türler they are Turkish.
Türk'tüler they were Turkish.
Turkish Consonant Mutation Verb "to be"
- -dir ⇔ -tir when suffixed to hard consonants ç p h k s t
- büyüktür it is large
büyüktü it was large
- gençtirler they are young
gençtik we were young
- yavaştın you were slow
çabuktunuz you were quick
- sabahtır it is morning
sabahtı it was morning
- bir mektuptur it is a letter
bir mektuptu it was a letter
- bir sepettir it is a basket
bir sepetti it was a basket
- bir virüstür it is a virus
bir virüstü it was a virus
- felakettir it is a disaster
felaketti it was a disaster
- bir polistir it is a policeman
bir polisti it was a policeman
- Mehmet' tir It is Mehmet
Mehmet' ti It was Mehmet
Suffixes are not fixed directly to Proper Names.
A comma is used to separate the suffix from a name or title:
İstanbul' dayım I am in Istanbul
Turkish Verb "to be" Present and Past Tense Examples with Vowel Harmony and Consonant Changes.
- zenginim I am rich
zengindim I was rich
- yorgunsum you are tired
yorgundun you were tired
- pahalıdır it is dear
pahalıydı it was dear
- küçüktür it is small
küçüktü it was small
- hastayız we are ill
hastaydık we were ill
- yaşlısınız you are old
yaşlıydınız you were old
- yoksuldurlar they are poor
yoksuldular they were poor
- gençtirler they are young
gençtiler hey were young
Turkish "to be" Positive Interrogative Am I?, Are you?
The interrogative particle -mi? is suffixed with the Personal Pronouns.
It is placed after the word it affects.
- Turkish 'to be' Questions - Present Positive
- mıyım? miyim? muyum? müyüm? am I?
- mısın? misin? musun? müsün? are you?
- mı? mi? mu? mü? is he / she / it?
- mıdır? midir? mudur? müdür? is he / she / it?
- mıyız? miyiz? muyuz? müyüz? are we?
- mısınız? misiniz? musunuz? müsünüz? are you?
- -lar mı? -ler mi? -lar mu? -ler mü? are they?
- mıdırlar? midirler? mudurlar? müdürler? are they?
Except for the 3rd person form -lar mi?it is written separately from the word it affects.
The longer forms which end in -dir are formal.
They are used in instructions and public notices.
Not used in general conversation.
Turkish Present "to be" Positive Question Examples
- zengin miyim? am I rich?
- yorgun musun? are you tired?
- pahalı mı? is it dear?
- büyük mü? is it big?
- hasta mıyız? are we ill?
- yaşlı mısınız? are you old?
- gençler mi? are they young?
- yoksullar mı? are they poor?
Turkish Past "to be" Interrogative "Was I?, Were you?"
The Past tense personal endings are added to the question particle -mi
It obeys Vowel harmony but is written separately.
- Turkish 'to be' Question Past Positive"
- mıydım? miydim? muydum? müydüm? was I?
- mıydın? miydin? muydun? müydün? were you?
- mıydı? miydi? muydu? müydü? is he/she/it?
- mıydık? miydik, muyduk? müydük? were we?
- mıydınız? miydiniz? muydunuz? müydünüz? were you?
- mıydılar? miydiler? muydular? müydüler? are they?
Turkish Past Tense Positive Question Examples
- acı mıydı? was it bitter?
- sıcak mıydı? was it hot?
- hava soğuk muydu? was the weather cold?
- mutlu muyduk? were we happy?
- yorgun muydular? were they tired?
- hasta mıydınız? were you ill?
ENG: have you been ill?
- güzel miydi? was she beautiful?
- ev büyük müydü? was it a large house?
The Turkish Future "will be"
The Future of the verb "to be" is lacking in Turkish.
- It place is taken by the Future Tense of the Verb olmak to be, to become.
- Yarın hazır olacağım.
I will be ready tomorrow.
- Er geç zengin olacaksın.
You will become rich sooner or later.
- Bu gece parti çok güzel olacak.
It will be a great party tonight.
The Future Tense is discussed in detail in "Future Tense" web Page.