Saturday, May 21, 2011

Subjunctive mood in Turkish

This last week I've been drilling the past conditional tense into my head. I've been doing this by going on fairly long walks and trying to combine different sentences together, improvising with the vocabulary that I already have. This has worked out pretty well. Most Turkish verbs are quite regular in their conjugations, so once I learned the endings for -mak and -mek verbs, it's been a consistent exercise. This week I'm going to concentrate on the past subjunctive.

Take the verbs yapmak (to do/make) and beklemek (to wait).

Yapmak is a really useful word to know. It's used in all sorts of things in which we wouldn't normally use it in English, such as shopping. Instead of saying "I should have gone shopping", in Turkish it would be "I should have done/made shopping". In Turkish - "Alişveriş yapaydım". Since Turkish is so regular in its verb conjugations, I can carry that over to all the different persons - "yapaydın", "yapaydı", yapaydık", "yapaydınız" "yapaydılar" ("you should have done", "he/she should have done", "we should have done", "you pl. should have done", "they should have done").

The same process happens with beklemek. "I should have waited" would be "Bekleyeydim".

The difference between the past conditional and the past subjunctive is subtle, and in many cases can be used interchangeably, but not always.

So that's my task for this week. I need to solidify the past subjunctive.

I think I'll go for a walk.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rick,

    The examples you listed are not incorrect however they are extremely colloquial. Also it will be right to say they reflect a more rural background of the speaker.

    But remember they not wrong.
    For example
    yapaydım should be used as yapsaydım. (should have done it would be...yapmış olsaydım which is a compound structure)

    Keşke orada olsaydın, çok güzel zaman geçirdik.
    I wish you were there, we had very good time.

    in the present form this would be
    Kahveni içSENE, soğumasın.
    Drink your coffee (suggestion not an order) , do not let it get cold.

    I hope these will help.