More on past tenses: -miş, -di


  • Neither -di or -miş provides the distinction between the two English past tenses “simple past tense” (i went) and “present perfect tense” (i have gone). The Turkish past tenses simply tell that the action (has) happened in the past, they don't tell whether it has been completed/reversed/undone at present time or not.


More examples:

  • “Ankara'ya gitmiş” may mean:
    • (I've heard that) he/she/it went to Ankara (he may not be in Ankara anymore).
    • or: (I've heard that) he/she/it has gone to Ankara (he is still in Ankara).
  • “Ankara'ya gitti” may mean:
    • He went to Ankara (I know it as a fact). (He may not be in Ankara anymore)
    • He has gone to Ankara (I know it as a fact). (He is still in Ankara).
  • Kuş kaçmış = the bird (has) escaped (i didn't see it escaping, i've just discovered the empty cage).
  • Kuş kaçtı = the bird (has) escaped (i know it or i saw it myself).
  • Elim kesilmiş  = my hand is cut (i didn't see or notice it until now).
  • Aaa, un bitmiş = (it seems) we are out of flour (i 've just noticed it). Literally: the flour finished.

Black Sea region, northern Turkey