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This page pertains to UD version 2.

Tense: tense

Turkish has a complex tense/aspect/modality system.

Turkish verbs can indicate actions in the present, past or future. Complex tenses for actions that happened before, during, or after a past event can also be specified by suffixation. The actions that happen before, during, or after a future event are expressed using an auxiliary.

The verbs expressing actions that happened before a reference in the past are marked with value Pqp. For events that happen during the past reference, we use Tense=Past with proper progressive (Prog) or habitual (Hab) Aspect.

Past: past tense

Turkish past tense is realized with -DI or -mIş suffixes on verbal predicates, and with -(y)DI and -(y)mIş suffixes on nominal predicates. The difference between the -DI and -mIş forms are related to evidentiality (Evident) rather than Tense. Both morphemes refer to a (completed) past event.

These suffixes also combine with others to refer to time relative to a past event, which will be discussed below.


Fut: future tense

Turkish future tense is expressed with suffix -(y)AcAk. Copular predicates cannot directly take future Tense morphemes. Future tense in nominal phrases are expressed using auxiliary ol-.


Pres: present tense

The present tense in Turkish is realized by lack of past or future morphemes.


The differences between these forms are Aspect and Mood differences.

Pqp: pluperfect

This denotes an action that happened before a reference time in the past. In Turkish, this is realized by combination of -DI/-mIş and -(y)DI/-(y)mIş (only three combinations exemplified below possible). As in future tense, nominal predicates require the auxiliary ol- for this tense (hasta olmuştu ‘she had been sick’). Hence, we only mark verbal predicates with double past indicators as Pqp.


Tense in other languages: [ab] [abq] [aqz] [arr] [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [cy] [el] [en] [es] [fi] [fr] [ga] [gn] [gub] [ha] [hu] [hy] [it] [jaa] [ka] [ky] [pcm] [qpm] [ru] [sah] [say] [sl] [sv] [tr] [tt] [u] [uk] [urb] [urj]