Turkish/Past Tense 2

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There are two past tenses in Turkish. The first one is used when you saw the action and is called the "seen" past tense, second one is used when you transfer some information, and called the "heard" past tense.

Heard Past Tense
The suffixes -mış,-miş,-muş,-müş and the personal ending are added to the verb stem:

gelmek (to come):
gel-miş-im
gel-miş-sin
gel-miş
gel-miş-iz
gel-miş-siniz
gel-miş-ler


anlamak (to understand), anlamışım, anlamışsın ,anlamış, anlamışız, anlamışsınız,anlamışlar
bulmak (to find): bulmuşum , bulmuşsun ,bulmuş, bulmuşuz, etc.
vermek (to give): vermişim, vermişsin, etc.
gitmek (to go): gitmişim, gitmişsin, etc.
göndermek (to send): göndermişim, göndermişsin, etc.
söz vermek (to promise): söz vermişim, söz vermişsin, etc.


To make a clear distinction between the "seen" and "heard" past tenses, think about this situation: Suppose that TV reports indicate that a person named Ahmet has died. On TV, they should say "Ahmet Bey öldü." (Bey is like Mr. but in Turkish used after names not before surnames.) But if you only heard about it and are telling somebody else, then you should say "Ahmet Bey ölmüş." because you did not witness the event -- you only saw pictures on TV, or heard reports, but you were not actually there when Ahmet died.


Gelmişim or gelmişiz may sound a little weird as you could not hear what you did from somebody else because you know what you do if you are conscious. So we use them if we dont remember or dont know what we did and somebody else have told it to you. If you remember what you did after somebody reminds it to you you should use seen past tense. The second usage of '-mişim' or '-mişiz' is if you are talking about something that you are said to have done, but you know that it's not true, you should use heard past tense.


For example: Onu incitmişim (incitmek: to hurt)


Meaning: (It's said that) I hurt him/her (I know I didn't do that, it's a rumor or somebody told me that I hurt him/her)

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