Language Canvas Course Home   Beginning Turkish: Grammar 9


GR 9. PARTICLES
9.l. Particles constitute a category of grammatical [morphological or
syntactic] elements used to modify individual words, word groups,
phrases, or entire sentences.
9.1.1. The interrogative particle -mi
A four-way particle (mı/mi/mu/mü) to form yes-or-no questions. It is
written separately from the word it follows. However, its vowel
changes in accordance with the rules of vowel harmony. Personal
endings are added to the interrogative particle. When the personal
ending starts with a vowel, an euphonic /y/ is inserted between the
interrogative particle and the personal ending.
9.1.1.1. The Position of the particle -mi.
In forming the interrogative forms of the definite past, the conditional,
and the subjunctive, the interrogative particle always comes at the end.
(a) The interrogative of the definite past:
geldim mi 'did I come?'
geldin mi 'did you come?'
geldi mi 'did he come?'
geldik mi 'did we come'
geldiniz mi 'did you come?'
geldiler mi 'did they come?'
E.g.,
Hademe geldi mi? 'Did the janitor come?'
Erol döndü mü? 'Did Erol return?'
Öğrenci çalıştı mı? 'Did the student work?'
Bu mektup mu? 'Is this a letter?'

(b) The interrogative of the present conditional:
gelsem mi 'what if I come?'
gelsen mi 'what if you come?'
gelse mi 'what if he comes?'
gelsek mi 'what if we come'
gelseniz mi 'what if you come?'
gelseler mi 'what if they come?'

(c) The interrogative of the optative mood:
geleyim mi 'should I come?'
gelesin mi 'should you come?'
gele mi 'should he come?
gelelim mi 'should we come?
gelesiniz mi 'should you come?'
geleler mi 'should they come?'
9.1.1.1. Paradigm of yes-or-no questions:
The suffix -mi is written separately and is followed by the appropriate personal
ending.

ev 'house'
ben evde miyim 'Am I in the house?'
sen evde misin 'Are you in the house?'
o evde mi 'Is he in the house?'

biz evde miyiz 'Are we in the house?'
siz evde misiniz 'Are you in the house?'
onlar evede miler 'Are they in the house?'
evdeler mi 'Are they in the house?'

müdür 'director'
ben müdür müyüm 'Am I a director?'
sen müdür müsün 'Are you a director?'
o müdür mü 'Is he a director?'

biz müdür müyüz 'Are we directors?'
siz müdür müsünüz 'Are you directors?'
onlar müdür müler 'Are they directors?'
müdürler mi 'Are they directors?

hasta 'sick'
ben hasta mıyım 'Am I sick?'
sen hasta mısın 'Are you sick?'
o hasta mı 'Is he sick?'

biz hasta mıyız 'Are we sick?'
siz hasta mısınız 'Are you sick?'
onlar hasta mılar 'Are they sick?'
hastalar mı 'Are they sick?

geliyor 'coming'
ben geliyor muyum 'Am I coming?'
sen geliyor musun 'Are you coming?'
o geliyor mu 'Is he coming?'

biz geliyor muyuz 'Are we coming?'
siz geliyor musunuz 'Are you coming?'
onlar geliyor mular 'Are they coming?'
geliyorlar mı 'Are they coming?'
9.1.1.2. Answers to yes-or-no questions:
You answer to a yes-or-no question with the main verb. E.g.,
Çay içer misiniz? 'Would you like some tea?'
İçeriz. 'Yes [we would].'
9.1.1.3. Emphatic use of mi
In emphatic use the paticle mi follows the word that needs
emphasis. E.g.,
Bu mektubu sen mi gönderdiniz? 'Did you send this letter?'
9.1.2. Affirmative particle
evet 'yes'
For an affirmative answer the particle evet is used. E.g.,
Esergül güzel midir. 'Is Esergül beautiful?'
Evet, efendim, Esergül güzeldir. 'Yes, Sir! Esergül is beautiful.'
9.1.3. Negative particles
-ma 'not'
The negative particle -ma is used to form negative verbal stems.
It never carries the stress. E.g.,
gel 'come!'
gelme 'do not come!'
geldim 'I came'
gelmedim 'I did not come'

değil 'not'
This is used for the negation of nominal predicates [nouns or adjectives].
E.g.,
Erol öğrenci değil. 'Erol is not a student.'
Bu ev güzel değil. 'This house is not beautiful.'

Note: The particle değil can take personal suffixes. E.g.,
Gül ağacı değilim. 'I am not a tree of roses.'
Biz öğretmen değiliz. 'We are not teachers.'

hayır 'no'
The particle hayır is used for negative answers to questions. It can
stand alone or can be followed by the negative sentence. E.g.,
Annen geldi mi? 'Has your mother come home?'
Hayır. 'No.'
Hayır, gelmedi. 'No, she has not.'
9.1.4. Existential particles
The words var 'existent' and yok 'nonexistent' are predicative particles used mostly with a third person subject.
9.1.4.1. To express location:
When used with nouns or pronouns in the locative case, existential particles express the
location of the subject. E.g.,
Damda deli var. 'There is a fool on the roof.'
Burada masa yok. 'There is no table here.'
Eczane önünde arabalar var. 'There are cars in front of the drugstore.'
Note: The subject must immdiately precede var or yok.
9.1.4.2. To express possession or nonpossession [The verb 'to have']
When used with nouns with a possessive suffix, var and yok express that
someone owns the object which carries the possessive suffix. Since there is no verb 'to have' in Turkish this use of var and yok replaces it. E.g.,
Kitabım var 'I have a book'
Kitabın var 'You have a book'
Kitabı var 'He has a book'

Anahtarımız yok 'We do not have a key'
Anahtarınız yok 'You do not have a key'
Anahtarları yok 'They do not have a key'
9.1.5. Predicative particles
The predicative particles gerek and lâzım 'is necessary,' need to be used with
verbal nouns in -e/-a supplied with possessive suffixes to
express the need for the subject to carry out an action.
E.g.,
Eve dönmem gerek. 'I must return home.'
9.1.6. Adverbial particle -dir
Added to numerical expression, it is used to express a time span:
Üç gündür okula gitmedi. 'For three days he did not go to school.'
9.1.7. Emphatic particle ise
The particle ise 'as for, in turn' follows the word it emphasizes.
E.g.,
Siz gidin, sen ise burada kal. 'You go; you, in turn, stay here.'
9.1.8. Locative paticle ki
Added to the locative case of nouns or pronouns -ki forms an adjective
that indicates the place where the object is. E.g.,
Evdeki çocuklar. '[The] children [are] in the house.'
9.1.9. Particle of precision tam
Modifying an adverbial of place or time, tam is used to make the
expression more precise:
tam ortasında 'exactly in the middle'
9.2. Sentence modifiers
A few particles serve to modify the entire sentence.
elbette 'surely'
Elbette gelin! 'You must surely come!'


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