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"

The verb "to be" is a defective verb imek whose 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 "to be".

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.

Consonant Mutation:
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
  • Hastayım. [hasta yım] I am ill.
  • Hastayız. We are ill.
  • Mutlusun. You are happy.
  • Mutlu bir kadınsın. You are a happy lady.
  • Yorgundurlar. [yorgun-durlar] They are tired.
  • Yorgunuz. [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

A Turkish Public Notice showing the use of -dir
A Turkish Public Notice showing the use of -dir

İtifaye çikişidır
[çikiş i-dir]
park etmek yasaktır

It is the fire-station exit
parking is forbidden

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. [kadın-dı]
  • lâzımdılar They were necessary. [lâzım-dılar]
  • müdürdüm I was a director. [müdür-düm]
  • hastaydim I was ill. [hasta-y-dim]
  • mutluydunuzYou were happy. [mutlu-y-dunuz]
  • iyiydinizYou were good. [iyi-ydiniz]
  • mektuptuIt was a book. [mektup-tu]
  • sabahIt was morning. [sabah-tı]
  • çabuktularThey were swift. [çabuk-tular]
  • köprüydü It was bridge. [köprü-ydü]

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 [yaşlı-yız]
    yaşlıydık we were old [yaşlı-ydık]
  • hastayım I am ill [hasta-yım]
    hastaydım I was ill [hasta-ydım]
  • Final vowel -o -u
  • bir vazodur it is a vase. [vazo-dur]
    bir vazoydu it was a vase. [vazo-ydu]
  • yorgunsun you are tired. [yorgun-sun]
    yorgundun you were tired. [yorgun-dun]
  • Final vowel -e -i
  • bir deredir it is a stream [dere-dir]
    bir dereydi it was stream [dere-ydi]
  • zenginsin you are rich [zengin-sin]
    zengindin you were rich [zengin-din]
  • Final vowel -ö -ü
  • bir gözdür it is an eye. [göz-dür]
    bir gözdü it was an eye. [göz-dü]
  • Türk'türler they are Turkish. [Türk'-türler]
    Türk'tüler they were Turkish. [Türk'-tüler]

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.