Four simple tenses which use “to be"

Reference: Automatic verb declinations for all Turkish verbs: click here

 

The suffixes for the following four tenses are followed by the suffix for “to be” described in the previous section To be.

 

Stress:

  • In positive forms, the (last syllable of the) suffix is stressed.
  • In negative forms, the syllable just before the suffix –m(e) (not) is stressed,
    • except: with tense of “always", the suffix –m(e) (not) itself is stressed.

 

Notes:

  • The tense of “past” does not use “to be” and is explained in the following section Past tense with -di.
  • The tenses here are non-composite tenses. The composite tenses (eg future continuous) will be explained in another section below.
  • English has two types of “simple” past tenses: simple past tense (started and completed in the past) and present perfect tense (started in the past and still ongoing). Turkish does not have this distinction and has a single past tense to express both meaning. In other words, the Turkish past tense expresses that the action started in the past, but does not make it clear whether it has ended or is ongoing.

 

 

now

always

future

past tense with -miş

(told/heard/indirect past)

turkish name

şimdiki zaman

geniş zaman

gelecek zaman

miş'li geçmiş zaman

equivalent tense in English

present continuous

present

future

no equivalent but gives the meaning of “apparently”

(there are equivalents in Dutch and German)

example in English

He is eating.

He eats.

He will be eating.

He is going to eat.

Apparently I ate, or apparently I have eaten. Dutch: Ik zou hebben gegeten.

German: Ich häbe gegessen. (?)

meaning

Something is happening now.

 

See important note 1 below.

Something happens always.

 

See important note 1 below.

Something is going to happen in the future.

One is telling that I have eaten.

It is not a fact I directly know.

I have heard it.

I have been told so.

I know it indirectly.

It seems that...

suffixes

-(i)yor, -(ı)yor

 

(-yor if after a vowel)

-er (2) and -ir (4) (these after a consonant)

 

-r (after a vowel)

 

See important note 2 below.

-ecek (2)

-miş (4)

examples

examples with all personal pronouns:

(gel = come, oku = read)

 

(Ben) geliyorum

(Sen) geliyorsun

(O) geliyor

(Biz) geliyoruz

(Siz) geliyorsunuz

(Onlar) geliyor(lar)

 

(Ben) okuyorum

examples only with “ben” (I):

 

yaparım (yap = do)

çekerim (çek = pull)

gelirim (gel = come)

sırıtırım (sırıt = grin)

görürüm (gör = see)

okurum (oku = read)

examples with all personal pronouns:

(gör = see)

 

göreceğim

göreceksin

görecek

göreceğiz

göreceksiniz

görecek(ler)

examples with all personal pronouns:

(uç = fly)

 

uçmuşum

uçmuşsun

uçmuş

uçmuşuz

uçmuşsunuz

uçmuş(lar)

 

Important note 1:

  • As an exception in English: verbs describing a mental action are usually used with present tense instead of present continuous tense, even though the time is “now” and not “always". Example: know/think/see/love. Turkish has no such exception: if you know/think/see/love “now", then you use the tense of “now".
    Example:
    • I know = Biliyorum.
    • I think therefore I am = Düşünüyorum, öyleyse varım. (düşün = think)
    • I see (what you mean) = ... görüyorum. (gör = see)
    • I love you (now) = Seni seviyorum. (sev = love)
    • I love (or like) chocolate (in general) = Çukulata severim.

 

Important note 2:

  • With the tense of “always", when after a consonant, the form of the suffix depends on each specific verb, as described below. This is the only case in Turkish where you will have to memorise which form (one of the two) of the suffix is to be used. After a vowel, the suffix drops its vowel and becomes an “-r". (Note that rows 1 and 2 below are symmetrical according to the 1st rule of vowel harmony, and so are rows 3 and 4.

 

when the last syllable of the verb contains

one of the following is used (depending on the verb)

 

(Note: always the 2nd one is used after “make do” suffixes (see Section: Suffixes of “make do"))

examples

a, ı

-ar, -ır

yan-ar (burns)

kal-ır (stays)

 

yırt-ar (tears)

tanıt-ır (makes known, introduces)

e, i

-er, -ir

çek-er (pulls)

gel-ir (comes)

 

gir-er (enter)

işit-ir (hears)

o, u

-ar, -ur

sor-ar (asks)

ol-ur : (becomes)

 

tut-ar (holds)

unut-ur (forgets)

ö, ü

-er, -ür

dön-er (turns)

gör-ür (sees)

 

yüz-er (swims)

yürüt-ür (makes walk)

 

Note:

  • Because the suffix of tense already provides the same information (who), the personal pronoun is redundant and is usually dropped (except for extra stress), just like in Italian and Serbo-Croat for instance.
  • When the subject of the sentence (personal pronoun or anything else) is present in the sentence and it is clearly plural, then the suffix “-ler” is redundant, it can be, and usually is, dropped.
  • Besides their standard meaning, the following tenses can also be used to express other tenses, like in most other languages. Often, another expression in the sentence (e.g.: “tomorrow") or the context makes it clear which tense (which time) is actually being expressed. Examples:

grammatical tense

expressed (meant) tense

example (english)

now

future

i'm coming tomorrow
yarın geliyorum

always

future

i come tomorrow

yarın gelirim

now

always

sık sık yazıyorum
i am often writing

 

1. Positive/negative/affirmative/question - tense of now:

(read the first line “ben” only, and try to guess the other lines as exercise)

 

 

positive affirmative

positive question

negative affirmative

negative question

ben

okuyorum = i'm reading

okuyor muyum

okumuyorum

okumuyor muyum

sen

okuyorsun

okuyor musun

okumuyorsun

okumuyor musun

o

okuyor

okuyor mu

okumuyor

okumuyor mu

biz

okuyoruz

okuyor muyuz

okumuyoruz

okumuyor muyuz

siz

okuyorsunuz

okuyor musunuz

okumuyorsunuz

okumuyor musunuz

onlar (*)

okuyor(lar)

okuyorlar mı, okuyor mu

okumuyorlar

okumuyorlar mı, okumuyor mu

 

(*) Note: When it is already clear from the rest of the sentence that the person is plural (ie they), then “lar” is redundant and is usually dropped.

 

2. Positive/negative/affirmative/question - tense of always:

 

 

positive affirmative

positive question

negative affirmative

negative question

ben

okurum = i am reading

okur muyum

okumam

okumaz mıyım

sen

okursun

okur musun

okumazsın

okumaz mısın

o

okur

okur mu

okumaz

okumaz mı

biz

okuruz

okur muyuz

okumayız

okumaz mıyız

siz

okursunuz

okur musunuz

okumazsınız

okumaz mısınız

onlar (*)

okur(lar)

okurlar mı, okur mu

okumaz(lar)

okumazlar mı, okumaz mı

 

3. Positive/negative/affirmative/question - tense of future:

 

 

positive affirmative

positive question

negative affirmative

negative question

ben

okuyacağım = i will read

okuyacak mıyım

okumayacağım

okumayacak mıyım

sen

okuyacaksın

okuyacak mısın

okumayacaksın

okumayacak mısın

o

okuyacak

okuyacak

okumayacak

okumayacak mı

biz

okuyacağız

okuyacak mıyız

okumayacağız

okumayacak mıyız

siz

okuyacaksınız

okuyacak mısınız

okumayacaksınız

okumayacak mısınız

onlar (*)

okuyacak(lar)

okuyacak(lar) mı

okumayacak(lar)

okumayacak(lar) mı

 

4. Positive/negative/affirmative/question - tense of told/heard/indirect past:

 

 

positive affirmative

positive question

negative affirmative

negative question

ben

okumuşum = they tell that i've read

okumuş muyum

okumamışım

okumamış mıyım

sen

okumuşsun

okumuş musun

okumamışsın

okumamış mısın

o

okumuş

okumuş mu

okumamış

okumamış mı

biz

okumuşuz

okumuş muyuz

okumamışız

okumamış mıyız

siz

okumuşsunuz

okumuş musunuz

okumamışsınız

okumamış mısınız

onlar (*)

okumuş(lar)

okumuşlar mı, okumuş mu

okumamışlar

okumamış(lar) mı

 

Note:

  • verb + tense + i am = adjective + i am
    These four tenses with “to be” are used in this way: verb + tense + i am. The part “verb + tense” actually is equivalent to an adjective. You can look at the construction also as: adjective + tense.

    These 4 forms can be equally used as adjectives to different extents
    Example:
    geliyor + um = i am coming, adjective use: geliyor olan (olan = the one which is)
    gelir + im = i come, adjective use: none
    gelecek + im (geleceğim) = gelecek günler = days which will be coming (=coming days)
    geçmiş + im = i (have) passed, geçmiş zaman = time which is “passed” (=passed time, past time)

 

Note that in many languages an adjective can be used as a noun (sometimes with a somewhat altered meaning). Examples: güzel = beautiful, a beatiful person. Specific examples here: gelecek (noun) = the future, geçmiş = the past.

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