“TO BE” OR “NOT TO BE” – AND “TO HAVE” OR “NOT TO HAVE”
5.1 “TO BE”
In order to be something in Turkish you need following suffixes:
1st person singular (I am): -(y)im / -(y)ım / -(y)um / -(y)ün
2nd person singular (you are): -sin / -sın / -sun / -sün
3rd person singular (he/she/it is): -dir / -dır / -dur / -dür
1st person plural (we are): -(y)iz / (y)ız / -(y)uz / -(y)üz
2nd person plural (you are): -siniz / -sınız / -sunuz / -sünüz
3rd person plural (they are): -dirler / -dırlar / -durlar / -dürler
These suffixes follow the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY.
The letter y is put in bracks as it is only used if the word ends on a vowel.
Ususally the suffix is not used in 3rd person. For reasons of completeness we mentioned it anyway. Some example sentences:
İyiyim. = I’m good. (which has two meanings, “to be good” in the meaning of “good and evil” or “to be good, fine” as response to “how are you?”)
İyisin. = Your’re good.
İyi(dir). = He/she/it is fine.
İyiyiz. = We’re good.
İyisiniz. = You’re (plural or polite form) good.
İyi(dirler). = They’re good.
Kötüsün. = You’re bad.
Hastayım. = I’m ill.
As usual proper nouns are separated with an apostrophe:
İstanbul’dur. = This is Istanbul.
Mehmet’im. = I’m Mehmet.
Examples in combination with the locative:
Evdeyim. = I’m at home.
Türkiye’deyiz. = We’re in Turkey.
Lokantada(dır). = He/she/it is in the cookshop.
The suffix for “to be” is a verb. Remember that verbs should always be put a the sentence’s end? Here the sentences consist only of one word but still the verb (suffix) remains at the end.
Also you can combine with the known interrogative words:
Nasılsın? = How are you?
Kimsiniz? = Who are you (plural or polite form)?
Nerdeyiz? = Where are we?
5.2 THE NEGATION OF “TO BE”
To express “not to be” you need an additional word: değil.
This is placed before the “to be” suffix. If you use for instance an adjective like iyior hasta, this remains unchanged and you put değil after it, extended by the accordig “to be” suffix.
İyi değil(ler). = They’re not good.
Kötü değilsin. = You’re not bad.
Hasta değilim. = I’m not ill.
Evde değilim. = I’m not at home.
Türkiye’de değiliz. = We’re not in Turkey.
Lokantada değil(dir). = He/she/it isn’t in the cookshop.
5.3 “TO HAVE” AND “NOT TO HAVE”
Turkish doesn’t offer an explicit verb for “to have”. Instead it is a combination of possessive suffixes and var/yok. As you already know both components, you therefore know how “to have something” in Turkish: :
Bisikletim var. = I have a bicycle. – literally: My bicycele is existent.
Cep telefonu yok. = He/she has a mobile. – literally: His/her mobile is not existent.
Also you already know this construction possessive + var/yok related to the interrogative particle mi (examples in lesson 3.6.1):
Sigaran var mı? = Do you have a cigarette?
Kaleminiz var mı? = Do you (plural or polite form) have a pen?
bu = this; büyük = big; cep = the pocket; cep telefonu = the mobile, cell phone; çanta = the bag; hasta = ill; iyi = good; kötü = bad, evil; küçük = small; poşet = the shopping bag; şu = this