The all-purpose present tense suffix in Turkish is -(i)yor. This suffix used to be a full verb yormak, but has turned into a suffix in modern Turkish. Because of this, the o in the suffix is invariable, and does not harmonize with the stem. Instead, an ı, i, u or ü is added before the suffix, making the full form of the suffix -ıyor/-iyor/-uyor/-üyor.
Formation[edit | edit source]
In verbs ending with consonants[edit | edit source]
When the verb stem ends in a consonant, the ending -iyor is added to the stem, with respect to 4-way vowel harmony. The personal ending harmonizes with the o in the suffix.
An important special case arises with the verbs etmek and gitmek, where the t in the stem softens to d when the suffix is added.
|I am doing
|I am coming
In verbs ending with vowels[edit | edit source]
When the stem ends with a or e, the last vowel is dropped, and is replaced with ı, i, u or ü depending on the previous vowel. If the stem already ends with ı, i, u or ü; the suffix -yor is simply added without changing the stem, followed by the personal ending.
An important special case to note is the verbs demek and yemek, which do not have a second-to-last vowel to harmonize with.
|I am saying
|I am eating
Negative form[edit | edit source]
Since the usual negative suffix -ma/-me ends in a vowel, it turns into -mı/-mi/-mu/-mü when used with the present tense.
|I am not looking
|I am not seeing
Interrogative/Question form[edit | edit source]
The question partice mu comes after the suffix, but before the personal ending. It is spelled separately from the stem. A y is appended before the personal ending in the first singular and plural person.
|Are we returning?
|Is it burning?
Negative questions are also possible.
|Aren't we leaving (Literally: Aren't we getting up)
Pronunciation[edit | edit source]
Stress[edit | edit source]
In the affirmative form, the ı/i/u/ü part of the suffix is usually stressed. In the interrogative form, the stress shifts to the yor part of the suffix. In the negative and negative interrogative form, the stress is on the last syllable of the verb stem.
- Geliyor musun?
Dropping of the r in informal speech[edit | edit source]
The r in the suffix is often dropped in spoken language, so it is declined like this:
|I am drinking
|you are drinking
|he/she is drinking
|we are drinking
|you are drinking
|they are drinking
In very informal contexts, such as texting/online chatting, the suffix is often spelled without the y, like bakıom (bakıyorum).
Usage[edit | edit source]
-yor is one of the most common suffixes in Turkish, because it can be used on a wide array of situations.
Progressive[edit | edit source]
For events happening in the present, we use the present progressive. This largely corresponds to the English present continuous tense.
- Ne yapıyorsunuz? What are you doing?
- Sofrayı hazırlıyorum. I'm preparing the table.
- Niçin böyle düşünüyorsun? Why are you thinking like this?
-makta/-mekte[edit | edit source]
In very formal speech, the suffix -makta/mekte may be used as the present continuous as well. This may also be used to stress the continuity of the action in informal speech as well.
- Meclis, yeni bir kanun tasarısını tartışmakta. The Parliament is currently debating a new bill.
Habitual[edit | edit source]
The present tense covers many cases of the English simple present as well. -yor may be used habitually, as well as narratively.
- Sabahları okula metroyla gidiyorum. Every morning, I go to school with the subway.
- Genelde bu işlere zamanım yetmiyor. I don't usually have time for stuff like this.
- Türkçe öğrenmek çok emek istiyor. Learning Turkish requires a lot of effort.
However, -yor contrasts with the Aorist -ar in this usage, so these distinctions will be further examined in that article.