Turkish/Asking Questions

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Don't worry about the length of the lesson this time. Unlike last lesson, this will just be a short, basic grammar lesson teaching you how to form questions in Turkish.

Question words[edit]

Before we can start asking questions, let's learn some question words:

  • Ne? - What?
  • Nerede? - Where?
    • Nereden? - From where?
    • Nereye? - To where?
  • Ne zaman? - When?
  • Neden? - Why?
  • Hangi? - Which?
  • Kim? - Who?
    • Kimin? - Whose (is it)?
    • Kime? - To whom?
  • Nasıl? - How?
    • Ne kadar? - How much?
    • Ne kadar zaman kaldı? - How long left?

Incorporation[edit]

Let's try and incorporate these words into sentences.

  • Senin adın ne? - What is your name?
  • Kumanda nerede? - Where's the remote?
    • Nereden geldin? - Where did you come from?
    • Nereye gidiyorsun? - Where are you going (to)?
  • O evden ne zaman çıktı? - When did he leave the house?
  • Sen neden kurabiyeyi kurabiye kavanozundan çaldın? - Why did you steal the cookie from the cookie jar?
  • Bugün hangi elbiseyi giyineceğim? - Which dress am I going to wear today?
  • O kim? - Who is that?
    • O kimin? - Whose is that?
    • O hediyeyi kime gönderiyorsun? - Who are you sending that present to?
  • Onu nasıl göndereceksin? - How are you going to send it?
    • O ne kadardı? - How much was it?
    • Evden çıktığına kadar ne kadar zaman kaldı? - How long left until you leave the house?

Some of these examples are of the perfect (past) tense. We'll touch on those later.

Conditional questions[edit]

In other words, a question which could be answered either with a positive or a negative response (e.g. Did you go shopping yesterday?).

In Turkish, it's a little different.

Let's use the verb gitmek-to go as an example for this demonstration.

Sen gidiyorsun is you're going.

All you do to make it are you going? is this:

You add a -mı-, a -mi- or a -mu- in between the -yor- and the suffix (-yum, -sun, etc.), depending on the vowel harmony, as so:

Sen gidiyor musun? - Are you going?

However, it's different with some other people. Let's conjugate it fully:

to go Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Turkey.svg gitmek
Am I going? (Ben) gidiyor muyum?
Are you going? (Sen) gidiyor musun?
Is he/she going? (O) gidiyor mu?
Are we going? (Biz) gidiyor muyuz?
Are you (pl.) going? (Siz) gidiyor musunuz?
Are they going? (Onlar) gidiyor mu?, (Onlar) gidiyorlar ?

As you can see, the pattern applies to almost all cases, except for he/she, because it doesn't have a suffix. Therefore, all we do is add a , mi or mu afterwards, but as a separate word.

Now that we've covered all of this, let's continue on to the next lesson. We'll learn more about questions later on.

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