In Turkish there are THREE possibilities to express the need or due to do something.

10.1.1 “-meli/-malı”

-meli/-malı is determined by the Little Vowel Harmony.

gitmeliyim = I have to go 
gitmelisin = you have to go 
 = he/she/it has to go 
gitmeliyiz = we have to go 
gitmelisiniz = you (plural) have to go 
gitmeliler = they have to go

Also you can put this form of expressing need into the two known past tenses (above samples are in present tense). Notice that an y is inserted: 

di-past / miş-past
gitmeliydim = I had to go / gitmeliymişim = I was supposed to have to go 
gitmeliydin / gitmeliymişsin 
gitmeliydi / gitmeliymiş 
gitmeliydik / gitmeliymişiz 
gitmeliydiniz / gitmeliymişsiniz 
gitmeliydiler / gitmeliymişler

10.1.2 Negation of “-meli/-malı”

For negation you have to insert -me/-ma (Little Vowel Harmony).

gitmemeliyim = I don’t have to go 
 = you don’t have to go 
 = he/she/it doesn’t have to go 
 = we don’t have to go 
 = you (plural) don’t have to go 
 = they don’t have to go

You can use the negation form  -memeli/-mamalı also to say something in the sense of “should not”.

Bugün eve kalmamalısın. = You shouldn’t stay at home today.
Yarın çalışmamalıyım. = I shouldn’t work tomorrow.

10.1.3 “Lazım”

lazım actually means “necessary” and is an unchangeable word in a combination which expresses the need of doing something. As part of this combination you add the suffix -me/ma (Little Vowel Harmony) and a possessive suffix to the verb. You already know -me/ma as a negation particle but here it fulfills another function.

Gitmem lazım. = I have to go. – literally: My going is necessary. 
Gitmen lazım.
 = You have to go. 
Gitmesi lazım.
 = He/she/it has to go. 
Gitmemiz lazım.
 = We have to go. 
Gitmeniz lazım.
 = You (plural) have to go. 
Gitmeleri lazım.
 = They have to go.

Another example: 
Bunu yapmam lazım. = I have to do this. 
Bunu yapman lazım.
 = You have to do this.
Bunu yapması lazım.
 = He/she/it has to do this.
Bunu yapmamız lazım. = We have to do this.
Bunu yapmanız lazım. = You (plural) have to do this.
Bunu yapmaları lazım. = They have to do this.

10.1.4 Negation of “lazım”

The negation is very simple. As lazım is unchangeable you need another word for negating it: değil. 
Gitmem lazım değil.
 = I don’t have to go. 
Bunu yapmam lazım değil. = I don’t have to do this.

10.1.5 “Gerekmek”

The third option to express need to do something is offered with the verb gerekmek which directly could be translated “must”. Also like in combination with lazım you add -me/-ma and a possessive suffix to the verb.

Gitmem gerekiyor.
 = I have to go. 
Gitmen gerekiyor.
 = You have to go. 
Gitmesi gerekiyor.
 = He/she/it has to go.  
Gitmemiz gerekiyor.
 = We have to go. 
Gitmeniz gerekiyor.
 = You (plural) have to go. 
Gitmeleri gerekiyor.
 = They have to go. 

In this example we used gerekmek in (i)yor-present tense. gerekmek always is put into the 3rd person singular, as it refers to the “doing” itself, not to the person who acts. You can combine also in the other so far known tenses.

PAST: Dün akşam eve gitmem gerekti. = Yesterday evening I had to go home..

FUTURE: Yarın havalimanına gitmem gerekecek. = Tomorrow I’m going to have to go to the airport..

İR-PRESENT: Her gün okula gitmem gerek. = Everyday I have to go to school.

Maybe you ask now “where is the ir-suffix?”. It’s not necessary as in this present tense the verb stem of gerekmek is sufficient to express the need.

Actually you could also blank out the other tense suffixes as the words dün and yarın already indicate when the actions take place.

10.1.6 Negation of “gerekmek”

For negating gerekmek you need the additional suffix -m(e), in infinitive form:gerekmemek.

Gitmesi gerekmiyor. = He/she/it hasn’t to go. 
Dün eve gitmem gerekmedi. = Yesterday I hadn’t to go home. 
Yarın havalimanına gitmen gerekmeyecek. = Tomorrow you’re not going to have to go to the airport.


If you like to propose a certain action, Turkish offers the optative. It sounds like a additional case but it isn’t. For using the optative you need the suffix -e)yim/-(e)lim. It is only used for each 1st person (singular and plural) and follows the Little Vowel Harmony:

1st person singular: 
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an a, ı, o or u the suffix is -(a)yım.
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an e, i, ö oder ü the suffix is -(e)yim.

2nd person plural: 
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an a, ı, o oder u the suffix is -(a)lım
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an e, i, ö oder ü the suffix is -(e)lim.

e/a in bracks is only added if the verb stem ends on a consonante.

Ona sorayım. = Let me ask him/her. 
Or as a question with particle mi
Ona sorayım mı? = Shall I ask him/her?

Hadi, gidelim. = Come on, let’s go.  
Gidelim mi?
 = Shall we go? 

= the office; değil = (be) not; dinlemek = to listen; dün = yesterday; gerekmek = to must; havalimanı (or havaalanı) = the airport; İspanya = Spain; lazım = necessary; liman = the (sea) port; sormak = to ask; tamirhane = the garage (repair shop); tamir etmek = to reopair; yarın = tomorrow