Turkish/Aorist

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The aorist, or geniş zaman (broad tense) in Turkish, very roughly corresponds to the English present simple. Its formation is quite irregular, and its usage is also quite difficult to grasp, making this tense quite a challenge for new learners.

Formation[edit | edit source]

Affirmative[edit | edit source]

Verbs ending in vowels[edit | edit source]

The easiest case is when the verb stem ends in a vowel, where the suffix simply becomes -r, followed by the usual personal endings.

Verb stem + r + personal ending
solumak
ben solurum I inhale
sen solursun you inhale
o solur he/she inhales
biz soluruz we inhale
siz solursunuz you inhale
onlar solur(lar) they inhale

Multi-syllable verbs ending in consonants[edit | edit source]

In all multi-syllable verbs ending in consonants, the suffix -ır/ir/ur/ür is used, obeying 4-way vowel harmony, followed by the usual personal endings.

Verb stem + appropriate form of ır + personal ending
eritmek
ben eritirim I melt
sen eritirsin you melt
o eritir he/she melt
biz eritiriz we melt
siz eritirsiniz you melt
onlar eritir(ler) they melt
yorulmak
ben yorulurum I get tired
sen yorulursun you get tired
o yorulur he/she gets tired
biz yoruluruz we get tired
siz yorulursunuz you get tired
onlar yorulur(lar) they get tired

Single-syllable verbs ending in consonants[edit | edit source]

Most single-syllable verbs take the ending -ar/er in the aortist, but there are 16 irregular verbs that take -ır/ir/ur/ür instead, a list of which is found below. The two verbs etmek and gitmek undergo consonant voicing, as in the present tense.

Verb stem + appropriate form of ar + personal ending
bakmak
ben bakarım I look
sen bakarsın you look
o bakar he/she looks
biz bakarız we look
siz bakarsınız you look
onlar bakar(lar) they look
düşmek
ben düşerim I fall
sen düşersin you fall
o düşer he/she fall
biz düşeriz we fall
siz düşersiniz you fall
onlar düşer(ler) they fall
ederim I do
giderim I go
The Exceptions[edit | edit source]
almak to buy
bilmek to know
bulmak to find
denmek to say (passive)
durmak to stop
gelmek to come
görmek to see
kalmak to stay
olmak to be
ölmek to die
sanmak to think/beleive
varmak to arrive
vermek to give
vurmak to hit
yenmek to eat (passive)
yunmak to bath (very archaic/dialectical, very few people use in standard speech)

Negative[edit | edit source]

The negative form of the aorist is -ma(z)/me(z), very different from the affirmative form. -mez version of the suffix is most often pronounced /mæz/ rather than /mez/, the e being pronounced similar to the a in trap.

Verb stem + appropriate form of ma(z) + personal ending
gitmek
ben gitmem I don't go
sen gitmezsin you don't go
o gitmez he/she doesn't go
biz gitmeyiz we don't go
siz gitmezsiniz you don't go
onlar gitmezler they don't go

Interrogative[edit | edit source]

The question particle comes between the suffix and the personal ending like usual, regularizing the negative version in 1. person singular and plural.

döner miyiz Do we return?
kalkmaz yız Don't we leave?

Usage[edit | edit source]

Future[edit | edit source]

Further information: Turkish/Future Tense

Requests[edit | edit source]

Further information: Turkish/Imperative and Optitative

Present[edit | edit source]

While the present tense -yor is used for habitual events directly witnessed or observed by the speaker, the Aorist is used to express general rules and principles instead.

  • Tavşanlar otla beslenir. Rabbits eat plants.
  • İman mutluluk getirir. Faith brings happiness.
  • Burada sigara içilmez. Smoking isn't allowed here.
  • Ali çok konuşmaz. Ali doesn't speak that much.

Turning these into the Present would turn them into general observations, rather than definitive rules.

  • Tavşanlar otla besleniyor.
  • İman mutluluk getiriyor.
  • Burada sigara içilmiyor.
  • Ali çok konuşmuyor.
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