verbs > Verb "to be" Positive

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.

  • 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
The use of -tir in a Public Notice.

İtifaye çikişidır
[çikiş i-dir]
park etmek yasaktır
[yasak-tır]

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
    [kadın-dı]
    She was a woman.
  • lâzımdılar
    [lâzım-dılar]
    They were necessary.
  • müdürdüm
    [müdür-düm]
    I was a director.
  • hastaydim
    [hasta-y-dim]
    I was ill.
  • mutluydunuz
    [mutlu-y-dunuz]
    You were happy.
  • iyiydiniz
    [iyi-ydiniz]
    You were good.
  • mektuptu
    [mektup-tu]
    It was a book.
  • sabah
    [sabah-tı]
    It was morning.
  • çabuktular
    [çabuk-tular]
    They were swift.
  • köprüydü
    [köprü-ydü]
    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
  • [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"

  • 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
  • İstanbul' dayım I am in Istanbul

Suffixes are not fixed directly to Proper Names.

A comma is used to separate the suffix from a name or title:

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.