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Manisa Turkish Icon - The Turkish language Explained for English Speakersadjectives > var and yok
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var there is/are and yok there isn't/aren't

A hotel in Kuşadası at the far end of Ladies' Beach
A hotel sign in Kuşadası

This sign says it all! Is there a room empty or not, we wonder?

Boş oda var. There are vacant rooms.
Boş oda yok. There are not vacant rooms.

Turkish Present Tense Form - var, yok

Note that both var and yok are used for either the singular there is, there isn't or the plural there are, there aren't
Basically var means Is existent, It exists, There is, There are.
Tepede bir lokanta var. There is a cafe on the hill.
Bu ağaçta çok meyve var. There is a lot of fruit on this tree.

yok means Is non existent, It does not exist, There isn't, There aren't
Bahçede kızlar yok. There are no girls in the garden.
Garajda hiç araba yok. There is/are not any car(s) in the garage at all.
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yok. There is/are no match(es) in the green box.
Do not forget that "People are" and "Things is" in Turkish. This is why the last two examples can be singular or plural in meaning.

Turkish Present Tense Question Form - var mı? yok mu?

This is formed by adding the Question Particle mi?/mu? according to Vowel Harmony Rules. The Question Particle is written separately:
Var mı? means Does it exist? Is there? Are there?
Yok mu? means Doesn't it exist? Isn't there? Aren't there?
Tepede bir lokanta var mı? Is there a cafe on the hill?
Ağaçta meyve var mı? Is there any fruit on the tree?
Yok mu? means Doesn't it exist?, Isn't there?, Aren't there?
Garajda hiç araba yok mu? Isn't there a/any car(s) in the garage?
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yok mu? Are there not any matches in the green box?
In all cases the Question Particle is written separately.

Turkish Definite Past Form - vardı, yoktu

This form is also used for the Past by using the past tense suffix -di according to Vowel Harmony and Consonant Mutation Rules:
Thus var There is, There are becomes vardı There was, There were
Tepede bir lokanta vardı. There was a cafe on the hill.
Bu ağaçta çok meyve vardı. There was a lot of fruit on this tree.
Similarly yok There is not, There are not becomes yoktu There was not, There were not
Garajda hiç araba yoktu. There wasn't a (single) car in the garage.
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yoktu. There were no matches in the green box.

Turkish Past Definite Question - var mıydı? yok muydu?

This is formed by adding the Past Tense Question Particle miydi?/muydu? according to Vowel Harmony Rules
The Past Tense Question Particle is written separately:
Var mıydı? means Did it exist? Was there? Were there?
Tepede bir lokanta var mıydı? Was there is a cafe on the hill?
Ağaçta meyve var mıydı? Was there is any fruit on the tree?
Yok muydu? means Didn't it exist? Wasn't there? Weren't there?
Garajda hiç araba yok muydu? Wasn't there a car(s) in the garage?
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yok muydu? Weren't there (any) matches in the green box?
The Past Tense Question Particle is written separately.

Here is a sign along the old Lycian Road near Kaş in the South Aegean.
Beware of the Dog! - Turkish road sign

It clearly shows that var/yok always come at the end of sentences.

Care! Dog there is! mirrors the Turkish word order.

Turkish Formal Form vardır, yoktur

vardır definitely, surely
The formal form acts a statement of fact and is suffixed with the verb to be -dir
vardır There definitely is, There definitely are. is definitely existent and it meaning is specific.
The formal vardır/yoktur are used in Public Notices and Advices.

Traffic Propaganda in Manisa, Turkey
Trafik Propaganda  - Every Law has a Reason

Unutma! Her trafik kuralının bir nedeni vardır.
Don't forget, every traffic law has a reason!
Thus showing vardır as definitely, surely.

Tepede bir lokanta vardır. There is a cafe on the hill. [definitely]
Bir kiloda bin gram vardır. There are 1000 grams in a Kilogram. [Statement of Fact]
Garajda hiç araba yoktur. There is (surely) not a (single) car in the garage. [Statement of Fact]
Yeşil kutuda hiç kibrit yoktur. There is not a (single) match in the green box. [Definite Statement]

Turkish Present Conditional Form varsa, yoksa

The Conditional If there is, If there are is formed by adding the Conditional Suffix -sa if
varsa If there is, If there are.
yoksa If there is not, If there are not.

Tepede bir lokanta varsa, orada yiyelim. If there is a cafe on the hill, let us eat there.
Ağaçta meyve varsa, onu koparırım. If there is any fruit on the tree, I will pick it.
Garajda hiç araba yoksa, o zaman bir taksi tutun. If there isn't a car in the garage, then take a taxi
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yoksa, çakmağını kullan. [familiar method] If there are no matches in the green box, use your lighter.
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yoksa, çakmağınızı kullanın. [polite method] If there are no matches in the green box, use your lighter.

Turkish Past Conditional Form varsaydı, yoksaydı

The Conditional Past the forms with var varsaydı/yok yoksaydı If there was, If there was not are not widely used. The verb olmak to be/to become and olmamak not to be/not to become is normally used for th Past Conditional.
Olsaydı. If there was, If there were.
Olmasaydı. If there was not, If there were not.

Tepede bir lokanta olsaydı, orada yerdik. If there had been a cafe on the hill, we would have eaten there.
Tepede bir lokanta olmuş olsaydı, orada yerdik. If there had been a cafe on the hill, we would have eaten there. [olmuş been makes this a formal statement.]
Ağaçta meyve olsaydı, onu koparırdım. If there had been any fruit on the tree, I would have picked it.
Garajda hiç araba olmasaydı, taksi tutacaktım. If there had not been a car in the garage, I would have taken a taxi.
Garajda hiç araba olmamış olsaydı, taksi tutacaktım. If there had not been a car in the garage, I would have taken a taxi. [olmamış not been makes this a formal statement.]

Yeşil kutuda hiç kibrit olmasaydı, çakmağımı kullanırdım. If there weren't any matches in the green box, I would have used my lighter.
Yeşil kutuda hiç kibrit olmamış olsaydı, çakmağımı kullanırdım. If there weren't any matches in the green box, I would have used my lighter

Kırmızıda geçmemiş olsaydım, kadın yaşayacaktı.
Kırmızıda geçmiş olmasaydım, kadın yaşayacaktı.
Kırmızıda geçmeseydim, kadın yaşayacaktı. are all different ways of saying If I hadn't passed on the red light, the lady would have still lived.

Turkish Inferential (Indefinite) Form varmış, yokmuş

The Inferential It seems that there is/was is used when the subject has no eyewitness knowledge, it is used for reporting and inference. The Inferential is simply formed by adding the Inferential Suffix -miş as the following examples show. The Inferential Suffix -miş is used for both the Present Tense and the Past tense:
Varmış. It seems that there is/was, It seems that there are/were.
Yokmuş. It seems that there is/was not, It seems that there are/were not.

The indefinite question forms are: var mıymiş? and yok muymuş?

Deniyor ki/Diyorlar ki tepede bir lokanta varmış, öyleyse orada yiyelim. It is said there is a cafe on the hill, if so let us eat there.
Ağaçta çok meyve varmış. It seems there is a lot fruit on the tree.
Garajda araba yokmuş. (I think that) there is not a car in the garage.
Yeşil kutuda kibrit yokmuş. Mavi olanına bakın. [mavi olan-ı-n-a - to the one which is blue] (I think that) there are no matches in the green box. Have a look in the blue one.
In fairy tales Turkish usually says bir varmış, bir yokmuş translated as Once upon a time

Turkish varken, yokken suffixed with -ken while

var + iken while produces varken while/as there is
yok + iken produces yokken while/as there isn't

Tepede bir lokanta varken, başkasını açmıyorlar. While there is a cafe on the hill, they will not open another one.
Ağaçta çok meyve varken, onu koparalım. While there is a lot fruit on the tree, let us pick it.
Hazır garajda araba yokken haydi içine/oraya bisikletimizi bırakalım/koyalım. As there is not a car in the garage then let us leave/put our bicycles in it (to there).
Bu kutuda kibrit yokken, ateşi yakamam. As there are no matches in this box, I cannot light the fire.

Turkish - Enumerating with var and yok

When enumerating lists of things var or yok must be used after each item.
The English greengrocer says We have apples, tomatoes, onions, cherries, etc.
The Türk manav wıll say elma var, domates var, soğan var, kiraz var, etc.

Turkish - Answering questions with Var and Yok.

If a question is asked that contains a var mı? or a yok mu? the the answer must always be var or yok. English tends to use Yes or No as an answer. Turkish will not usually use the words hayır or evet in answer to a question that contains a var or a yok.

Dolapta bir bardak yok mu? Isn't there a tumbler in the cupboard?
Answer: var/evet var or yok/hayır yok accordingly.
Kilitte anahtar var mı? Is the key in the lock?.
Answer: var or yok accordingly.
The English answers can be Yes [it is]. or No [it isn't]. However the Turkish answers must simply be var there is or yok there isn't

Ownership in Turkish - "I have/haven't got"

Explanation of Usage: There is no verb to have or to have got in Turkish for "to have something" as in I have a new car. or Have you got a new car? or Do you have any anything cheaper? All these kinds of sentences use var or vardır for to have (got) and in the negative sense yok or yoktur for not to have (got).

The addition of -dır or its vowel harmonic equivalents does not alter the meaning, its use is optional, but it does show that the statement is a fact and it is often used as vardır there (definitely) is or yoktur there (definitely) is not in Public Notices and Advices.

The simple form is mostly used as it is widespread. To say I have a cat./I have got a cat attach the Possessive Adjective Suffix my, your, his, our etc. to the item which is possessed. kedim var I have (got) a cat. or kedim yok I have not got a cat.

Positive Ownership with var
Personalised Positive to have/to own
kedim var [kedi-m var]I have a cat, I have got a cat
köpeğin var [köpeğ-in var]You have a dog, You've got a dog
arabası var [araba-s-ı var]He/she has a car, He's got a cat
evimiz var [ev-imiz var]We have a house, We have got a house
bahçeniz var [bahçe-niz var]You have a garden, You have got a garden
şişeleri var [şişe-leri var]They have a bottle, They have got a bottle
Negative Ownership with yok
Peronalised Negative to not have/own
kedim yok [kedi-m yok]I do not have a cat, I have not got a cat.
köpeğin yok [köpeğ-in yok]You do not have a dog, You have not got a dog.
arabası yok [araba-s-ı yok]He/she doesn't have a car, He has not got a cat.
evimiz yok [ev-imiz yok]We do not have a house, We have not got a house.
bahçeniz yok [bahçe-niz yok]You do not have a garden, You have not got a garden.
şişeleri yok [şişe-leri var]They do not have a bottle, They have not got a bottle.

Explanation of Difference in Turkish - English for to have, to have got.

Kedim var. I have a cat, I have got a cat [Lit: There is a my cat]
In the sentence above the first person singular Possessive Adjective suffix -im tells us "whose cat it is" and in this case it tells us that I have a cat by using var.
Kedin yok You haven't got a cat. [Lit: There isn't a your cat]. The Second Person Possessive Adjective suffix -in tells us that You haven't got a cat by using yok. It is the Possessive Suffix which tells us who owns the object.

Turkish Ownership Positive Questions: "Have you got a…? using var mi?

Using the positive question var mı? "Is there? Are there?"
(1) Evin var mı? Have you got a house? [Lit: Is there a your house?]
In the first example above the literal translation is Is there a your house? but in English we must say "Have you got a house?".
(2) Kedisi var mı? Has he/she got a cat? [Lit: Is there a his cat? Is there a her cat?]. Here the Third Person Singular Possessive Adjective Suffix -(s)i tells us whose cat it is, and in this case it asks us if Has he/she got a cat?
(3) Evleri var mı? [Ev-leri = their house] Have they got a house? [Lit: Is there a their house?]

Turkish Ownership Negative Questions: "Haven't you got a…?" using yok mu?

Using the negative question yok mu? "Isn't there?, Aren't there?"
(1) Evimiz yok mu? Haven't we got a house? [Lit: Isn't there an our house?]
In the sentence above the First Person Plural Possessive Adjective suffix -imiz asks us whose house it is , and in this case it asks "Haven't we got a house?"
(2) Eviniz yok mu? Haven't you got a house? [Lit: Isn't there a your house?]. Similarly in the last sentence the Second Person Possessive Adjective suffix -iniz asks us "Haven't you got a house?"
(3) Evleri yok mu? [Ev-leri = their house] Haven't they got a house? [Lit: Isn't there a their house?]. Finally you can see that we have turned all the above sentences into question form simply by adding the question tag -mi? according to Vowel Harmony Rules.

Positive Questions to have/own
Positive Examples var mı? is there?
kedim var mı? [kedi-m var mı?]Do I have a cat?, Have I got a cat?
köpeğin var mı? [köpeğ-in var mı?]Have you a dog?, Have you got a dog?/Do you have a dog?
arabası var mı? [araba-s-ı var mı?]Has he/she a car?, Has he/she got a car?
evimiz var mı? [ev-imiz var mı?]Have we a house?, Have we got a house?
bahçeniz var mı? [bahçe-niz var mı?]Have you a garden?, Have you got a garden?
şişeleri var mı? [şişe-leri var mı?]Have they a bottle?, Have they got a bottle?
Negative Questions not to have/own
Negative Examples yok mu? isn't there?
kedim yok mu? [kedi-m yok mu?]Have I not got a cat?, Do I not have a cat?
köpeğin yok mu? [köpeğ-in yok mu?]Do you not have a dog?, Have you not got a dog?
arabası yok mu? [araba-s-ı yok mu?]Doesn't he/she have a car?, Has he/she not got a car?
evimiz yok mu? [ev-imiz yok mu?]Have we not a house?, Have we not got a house?
bahçeniz yok mu? [bahçe-niz yok mu?]Do you not have a garden?, Have you not got a garden?
şişeleri yok mu? [şişe-leri yok mu?]Do they not have a bottle?, Have they not got a bottle?

Examples of Possession in Turkish

The Conditional and Inferential senses of var: varsa, varmış etc. and of yok: yoksa, yokmuş, etc. can be used with the Possessive Forms.
Yeni bir arabanız var mı? Have you got a new car?
Yeni bir arabamız olsaydı, beraber/birlikte kasabaya gidebilecektik? If we had a new car, we could have gone to town together?
Orhan'ın yeni arabası varmış. (It seems that) Orhan has/had a new car.
Şekeriniz var mı, lütfen? Do you have any sugar, please?
Şekeriniz yoksa, sade içeyim. If you do not have sugar, I'll drink it without.
Boş vaktimiz var mı? Have we got time to spare?
Boş vakitleri/zamanları olsaydı, bize gelirdiler/gelirlerdi. If they had had time, they would have come to us.

Cevabı yok. He/She hasn't got the answer.
Cevabı yoksa. If He/She hasn't got the answer.
Elmaları yok They haven't got any apples.
Elmaları yokmuş. (It seems that) they haven't got any apples.
Elmaları yok mu? Haven't they got any apples?
Mehmet'in kedisi var. Mehmet has got a cat.
Mehmet'in kedisi varken, köpeğimi onunla bırakamam. While Mehmet has got a cat, I cannot leave my dog with him.
Sadece az param var. I've only a little money.
Ali 'nin parası var mı? Has Ali got any money?
Yeterli param varsa, yeni araba alırım. Ama o kadar yokmuş gibi geliyor. If I have enough money, I'll buy a new car. But it seems that (like) I have not got that much (money)

Var and Yok Personalised

Var and yok can also take the personal endings endings of the verb to be "I am, you are, etc"

The Personalised Var and Yok with to be suffixes added
varımI am there/I'll be thereyokumI am not there/I'll not be there
varsınYou are there/You will be thereyoksunYou are not there/You will not be there
o varHe/She/It is there He/She/It will be thereo yokHe/She/It is not there He/She/It will not be there
varızWe are there/We will be thereyokuzWe are not there/We will not be there
varsınızYou are there/You will be thereyoksunuzYou are not there/You will not be there
varlarThey are there/They will not be thereyoklarThey are not there/They will not be there

When stating the future olmak to become can also be used var olacağım I will be there. But in practice the shorter way as in the table above is used in conversation.

The words here used like varım,varsın,var,varız can also have the meaning I am in/part of it!, when talking about interference into an issue:
Question: Bugün balık avı var mısın? Are you in for (going) fishıng today? Answers: Evet, ben varım. Yes, I am! or Hayır, ben yokum. No, I am not!

The Turkish TV show where the contestant has to decide between a cash offer or to "Open the Box" is called Var mısın? Yok musun? Are you In or Out!

Turkish Present Conditional Personalsed - varsa, yoksa

Varsa and Yoksa If I'm there/If I'm not there
varsamIf I am there/I'll be thereyoksamI am not there/If I'll not be there
varsan If you are there/If you'll be thereyoksanIf you are not there/If you will not be there
varsaIf he is there am there/If he'll be be thereyoksaIf he is not there/If he will not be there
varsakIf we are there/If we'll be thereyoksakIf we are not there/If we will not be there
varsanız If you are there/If you'll be thereyoksanızIf you are not there/If you will not be there
varsalarIf they are there/If they will be thereyoksalarIf they are not there/If they will not be there

Turkish Past Conditional Personalised: olsaydı, olmasaydı

Turkish past conditions with var and yok are replaced by the verb olmak to be/become

Olsaydı and Olmasaydı If I had/had not been there
olsaydımIf I'd been thereolmasaydımIf I'd not been there
olsaydınIf you had been thereolmasaydınIf you not been there
olsaydıIf he had been thereolmasaydıIf he had not been there
olsaydıkIf we had been thereolmasaydıkIf we had not been there
olsaydınızIf you had been thereolmasaydınızIf you had not been there
olsaydılarIf they had been thereolmasaydılarIf they had not been there

Turkish Inferential (indefinite) Personalised miş forms - varmış, yokmuş

Varmış and Yokmuş the Indefinite miş form.
varmışımpossibly I am/was there/I'll be thereyokmuşumpossibly I am/was not there/I'll not be there
varmışsınpossibly you are/were there/you'll be thereyokmuşsunpossibly you are/were not there/you'll not be there
varmışpossibly he is/was there/he'll be thereyokmuşpossibly he is/was not there/he'll not be there
varmışızpossibly we are/were there/we'll be thereyokmuşuzpossibly we are/were not there/we'll not be there
varmışsınızpossibly you are/were not there/you'll not be thereyokmuşsunuzpossibly you are/were not there/you'll not be there
varmışlarpossibly they are/were there/they'll be thereyokmuşlarpossibly they are/were not there/they'll not be there

This form, which is in constant use, actually means something like I am there, I'll be there, I'll not be there, etc.

Var and Yok examples Personalised

Yarın ofiste yokum. I will not be at the office tomorrow.
Evde var mısın? Are you at home?
Kimse var mı? Is anybody there?
Kimse yok. There is nobody (here).
Yalnız mıyız? Are we alone?, Hayır. Onlar da var. No, there's them as well..
Gelecek toplantıda ben de varım. I'll be at the next meeting as well.

Idiomatic Use

Neyimiz var neyimiz yok depremde kaybettik.. We lost everything what we had/have in the earthquake.
Could also be stated thus:
Varımızı yoğumuzu depremde kaybettik. We lost everything what we had/have in the earthquake.
Note that yok softens its final -k to when adding a suffix which begins with a vowel [yoğ-umuz-u = our nothings (obj.)]
Vaktin varsa, sonra görüşelim. If you have time, let's meet later on
Saat onda ofiste yokmuşsun. It seems you were not at the office at 10 o'clock.

Finally, the Yok Yok Shop

What's in a name?
The yok yok bazaar

Does this shop really belie its name? the shop with no stock?
You would be wrong in that assumption!
The yok yok notion means yok doesn't exist, hence it means that everything exists!
Bugün pazara gittim, pazarda yok yoktu.
I went to market today, there wasn't anything NOT available.