Past tense in Turkish (geçmiş zaman)
The past tense shows completed events in the past. The past tense is called 'geçmiş zaman' in Turkish. There are two suffixes that are used in the past tense in Turkish:
- '-di' (definite past tense)
- '-miş' (indefinite past tense).
The difference between those suffixes is depending on whether the speaker witnessed the event or not.
Definite past tense (-di'li geçmiş zaman)
The definite past tense is used when you have personal knowledge or directly experienced something. This tense shows events that are witnessed by the speaker. The suffix '-di' is used and can be formed as ''-dı -du, -dü, -ti, -tı -tu, -tü'' according to the vowel harmony rules.
How to form the definite past tense
The 3 forms of the definite past tense are:
- Positive form
- Negative form
- Question form
According to the verb's last vowel, one of the following suffixes "-dı, -di, -du, -dü" are added to the verb root and then the personal suffix is added.
Verb root + -di (dı/du/dü) + personal suffix
|Last vowel of the verb root ->||a/ı||e/i||o/ö||u/ü|
|Add this suffix ->||-dı||-di||-du||-dü|
- Al (buy) -> İki ekmek aldı. (She bought two breads.)
- İzle (watch) -> Biz film izledik. (We watched a movie.)
- Sor (ask) -> Bana soru sordular. (They asked me a question.)
- Gül (smile) -> Sen bana güldün. (You smiled at me.)
If the last letter of the verb root is one of "ç, f, h, k, s, ş, t, p", the letter "d" is replaced with a "t". Then the suffixes become "-tı, -ti, -tu, -tü".
|Seçmek (to choose)|
|Ben seçtim.||I chose.|
|Sen seçtin.||You chose.|
|O seçti.||He/she/it chose.|
|Biz seçtik.||We chose.|
|Siz seçtiniz.||You chose.|
|Onlar seçtiler.||They chose.|
The negative suffix '-madı' or '-medi' is added to the verb root according to the vowel harmony rules and then the personal suffix is added.
Verb root + (-medi/-madı) + personal suffix
|Last vowel of the verb root ->||a, ı, o, u||e, i, ö, ü|
|Add this suffix->||-madı||-medi|
- Oku (read) -> Biz kitabı okumadık. (We didn't read the book.)
- Konuş (speak) -> Onlar dün konuşmadılar. (They didn't talk yesterday.)
- Git (go) -> Biz işe gitmedik. (We didn't go to work.)
- Öğren (learn) -> Bir şey öğrenmedim. (I didn't learn anything.)
According to the verb's last vowel, one of the "-mı, -mi, -mu, -mü" are added after the verb and they are always written as a seperate word.
Verb root + -di (dı/du/dü)+ personal suffix + mi (mı/mu/mü)
- Arkadaşın geldi mi? (Did your friend come?)
- Seni geri aradı mı? (Did she call you back?)
- Kek yapıyor mu? (Did she make a cake?)
- Kuşu gördün mü? (Did you see the bird?)
Indefinite past tense
The indefinite past tense is used for reporting an event that somebody did not witness in person. The suffix '-miş' is used and can be formed as ''-muş, -mış, -müş'' according to the vowel harmony rules.
How to form the indefinite past tense
The 3 forms of the indefinite past tense are:
- Positive form
- Negative form
- Question form
According to the verb's last vowel, one of the following suffixes "-mış, -miş, -muş, -müş" is added to the verb root and then the personal suffx is added.
Verb root + -miş (mış/muş/müş) + personal suffix
|Last vowel of the verb root ->||a/ı||e/i||o/u||ö/ü|
|Add this suffix ->||-mış||-miş||-muş||-müş|
- Al (buy) -> İki ekmek almış. (She bought two breads.)
- İzle (watch) -> Siz film izlemişsiniz. (You watched a film.)
- Sor (ask) -> Bana soru sormuşlar. (They asked me a questions.)
- Gül (smile) -> Sen bana gülmüşsün. (You smiled at me.)
The negative suffix '-mamış' or '-memiş' is added to the verb root according to the vowel harmony rules and then the personal suffix is added.
Verb root + -memiş/-mamış + personal suffix
|Last vowel of the verb root ->||a, ı, o, u||e, i, ö, ü|
|Add this suffix ->||-mamış||-memiş|
- Oku (read) -> Biz kitabı okumamışız. (We didn't read the book.)
- Konuş (speak) -> Onlar dün konuşmamışlar. (They didn't talk yesterday.)
- Git (go) -> Biz işe gitmemişiz. (We didn't go work.)
- Öğren (learn) -> Bir şey öğrenmemişim. (I didn't learn anything.)
According to the verb's last vowel, one of the "-mış mı-/ -miş mi/ -muş mu/ -müş mü" is added after the verb.
Verb root + -miş mi (muş mu...) + personal suffix
- Arkadaşın gelmiş mi? (Did your friend come?)
- Seni geri aramış mı? (Did she call you back?)
- Kek yapmış mı? (Did she make a cake?)
- Kuşu görmüş mü? (Did you see the bird?)
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