Lessons

LESSON 06

THE PRESENT

6.1 CONTINUOUS PRESENT 

Definition: An action which is taking place just in this moment. This form is equal to the English present continuous (-ing form).

Formed with the suffix -(i)yor.

This suffix follows the  GREAT VOWEL HARMONY:
If the last vowel in verb stem is an a or ı, you change -iyor to -ıyor
If the last vowel in verb stem is an e or i-iyor remains unchanged. 
If the last vowel in verb stem is an o or u, you change -iyor to -uyor. 
If the last vowel in verb stem is anö or ü, you change -iyor to -üyor.

The vowels i, ı, u und ü are put in bracks because they only occur if the verb stem ends on a consonante. 

Additionally to the suffix for –(i)yor-present you have to add the personal pronoun suffix. It is similar to the forms you learned in lesson 5.1 “to be” – with two exceptions in each 3rd person:

-(i)yorum = 1st person singular I 
-(i)yorsun = 2nd person singular you 
-(i)yor = ATTENTION! Here there is no personal pronoun suffix as the basic (i)yor-form is already 3rd person singular he/she/it 
-(i)yoruz = 1st person plural we 
-(i)yorsunuz = 2nd person plural you (or polite form) 
-(i)yorlar = 3rd person plural they

Examples:
yapmak = to do (=> verb stem  yap-): 
yapıyorum = I’m doing 
yapıyorsun = you’re doing
yapıyor = he/she/it is doing
yapıyoruz = we’re doing
yapıyorsunuz = you’re (plural or polite form) doing
yapıyorlar = they’re doing

The personal pronuns (ben, sen, o, etc.) usually are just used for emphasizing:  
ben yapıyorum = ICH mache gerade!

Another example: 
düşünmek = to think (=> verb stem  düşün-): 
düşünüyorum = I’m thinking 
düşünüyorsun = you’re thinking 
düşünüyor = he/she/it is thinking 
düşünüyoruz = we’re thinking 
düşünüyorsunuz = you’re (plural or polite form) thinking 
düşünüyorlar = they’re thinking 

Another verb which is often used makes an exception when using the (i)yor-present:
demek = to say (=> verb stem de- but): 
diyorum = I’m saying 
diyorsun = you’re saying 
diyor = he/she/it is saying 
diyoruz = we’re saying 
diyorsunuz = you’re (plural or polite form) saying 
diyorlar = they’re saying 

The e of the verb stem is getting transfered into an i. This way the word can be speaken more easily, instead of “deyorum”. The same happens with the verb yemek = to eat: 
yiyorum, yiyorsun, …

6.2. NEGATION OF CONTINUOUS PRESENT

In Lesson 2 you learned that all turkish verbs end with -mak or -mek. For negating the infinitive you have to add -ma/-me directly in front of -mak/-mek:
yapmak = to do ==> yapmamak = not to do 
vermek = to give ==> vermemek = not to give

Now, to negate the turkish continuous present we just need a single letter: -m. This is to be added prior to the suffix -(i)yor and it looks then like this: -miyor. Simple, isn’t it? A single letter just changes the meaning of a sentence… 

Examples: 
yapmıyorum = I’m not doing 
yapmıyorsun = you’re not doing 
yapmıyor = he/she/it is not doing 
yapmıyoruz = we’re not doing
yapmıyorsunuz = you’re (plural or polite form) not doing 
yapmıyorlar = they’re not doing 

düşünmüyorum = I’m not thinking 
düşünmüyorsun = you’re not thinking 
düşünmüyor = he/she/it is not thinking 
düşünmüyoruz = we’re not thinking 
düşünmüyorsunuz = you’re (plural or polite form) not thinking 
düşünmüyorlar = they’re not thinking 

6.3 SIMPLE PRESENT (“AORIST”)

In Turkish simple present is used to express something which takes place regularly or which is basically true. For example: every day you go to work, to school, to university, etc. 

This present is formed with the suffix -(i)r.

The suffix is determined by GREAT VOWEL HARMONY:
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an a or ı, -ir changes to -ır.
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an e or i,  -ir remains unchanged.
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an o or u, -ir changes to -ur.
If the last vowel of the verb stem is an ö or ü, -ir changes to -ür.

The suffixes for personal pronouns now change, too – still following the GREAT VOWEL HARMONY: :
1st person singular: -ırım / -irim / -urum / -ürüm 
2nd person singular: -ırsın / -irsin / -ursun / -ürsün 
3rd person singular: -ır / -ir / -ur / -ür (no additional suffix as basic -ir is already the 3rd person singular) 
1st person plural : -ırız / -iriz / -uruz / -ürüz 
2nd person plural: -ırsınız / -irsiniz / -ursunuz / -ürsünüz 
3rd person plural: -ırlar / -irler / -urlar / -ürler

Examples: 
düşünmek = to think (=> verb stem düşün-
düşünürüm = I think 
düşünürsün = you think
düşünür = he/she/it thinks 
düşünürüz = we think
düşünürsünüz = you (plural or polite form) think
düşünürler = they think

konuşmak = to talk (=> verb stem konuş-) 
konuşurum = I talk
konuşursun = you talk 
konuşur = he/she/it talk 
konuşuruz = we talk 
konuşursunuz = you (plural or polite form) talk
konuşurlar = they talk 

ATTENTION, exceptions! They are some verb stems which carry only one syllable. This leads to a transformation of suffix -ir to -er or -ar (Little Vowel Harmoy)
Beispiele: 
yapmak = to do (=> verb stem  yap-
yaparım = I do 
yaparsın = you do 
yapar = he/she/it do 
yaparız = we do 
yaparsınız = you (plural or polite form) do 
yaparlar = they do 

Or: 
dövmek = to beat up (=> verb stem döv-
döverim = I beat up 
döversin = you beat up 
döver = he/she/it beat up 
döveriz = we beat up 
döversiniz = you (plural or polite form) beat up
döverler = they beat up

BUT: Also the monosyllabic verb stems have exceptions, which means that the suffix for these verbs has NOT to be changed from -ir into -er/-ar:
almak = to take (alırım, alırsın, alır, …) 
bilmek = to know (bilirim, bilirsin, bilir, …) 
bulmak = to find (bulurum, bulursun, bulur, …) 
durmak = to stop (dururum, durursun,…)
gelmek = to come (gelirim, gelirsin,…)
görmek = to see (görürüm, görürsün,…)
kalmak = to stay (kalırım, kalırsın,…)
olmak = to become (olurum, olursun,…)
ölmek = to die (ölürüm, ölürsün,…)
sanmak = to believe, to suppose (sanırım, sanırsın,…)
varmak = to arrive (varırım, varırsın,…)
vermek = to give (veririm, verirsin,…)
vurmak = to beat (vururum, vurursun,…)

You therefore have to keep 13 monosyllabic verb stems in mind as they make the exception of the exception – and therefore are regular again. We summarize: 
1) One-syllable verb stems cause change of suffix -ir into -er/-ar
2) Except for the 13 above mentioned verbs. 

At least we present you now a real exception:
gitmek = to go (=> verb stem  git-
giderim = I go 
gidersin = you go 
gider = he/she/it go 
gideriz = we go 
gidersiniz = you (plural or polite form) go 
giderler = they go 

-ir is changed to -er because it’s a monosyllabic word and  t is softened to d. You could say now this is because t is a hard consonante. But:
atmak = to throw (=> verb stem at-
atarım = I throw 
atarsın = you throw
atar = he/she/it throw 
atarız = we throw
atarsınız = you (plural or polite form) throw
atarlar = they throw

Here again a monosyllabic verb stem with an ending on a hard consonante. But this time there is no softening. Therefore  gitmek is a real irregular verb. But no language without irregulations. Anyway it is also more easy to say gidersininstead of “gitersin”, isn’t it? 
There is another verb where you soften t to d:
etmek = functional verb for “to do something”
Example: telefon etmek = to call on the phone – literally: to use the phone (telefon ederim = I call on the phone respectively I use the phone)

By the way, also in the Continuous Present you soften  t in gitmek and etmek to d, which makes  gidiyorum,… respectively ediyorum,…

In general in Turkish this present tense is also called “Aorist”, though in other languages this expression is used for past tenses. But actually you don’t have to focus on that. More important is to know how and when you use this tense. 

6.4. NEGATION OF SIMPLE PRESENT 

Of course there is also a negation for the present tense. Instead of the suffix -iryou now use the suffix -ma(z)/me(z) (Little Vowel Harmony) extended again by the according peronal pronoun suffix. The “z” is put into bracks as it is not used in each 1st person. 

Examples: 
yapmam = I don’t do 
yapmazsın = you don’t do
yapmaz = he/she/it doesn’t do 
yapmayız = we don’t do 
yapmazsınız = you (plural or polite form) don’t do
yapmazlar = they don’t do

düşünmem = I don’t think 
düşünmezsin = you don’t think 
düşünmez = he/she/it don’t think 
düşünmeyiz = we don’t think 
düşünmezsiniz = you (plural or polite form) don’t think
düşünmezler = they don’t think 

Vocabulary: 
atmak 
= to throw; bulmak = to find; demek = to say; dövmek = to beat up; durmak = to stop; etmek functional verb to use; gelmek = to come; görmek = to see; kalmak = to stay; konmak = to land; olmak = to become; sanmak = to believe, to suppose; varmak = to achieve, to arrive; yemek = to eat – or: the meal; yenmek = to win over