The Causative Verbs in Turkish

Causative verbs mean “get something done by somebody or something”. When speaking English, we generally use the phrases “to get something done (by …)” or “to have done by …”, in Turkish, we use the Causative suffixes.

There are different causative suffixes that you need to add depending on the verb root.

 

Let’s first see the full list of causative suffixes:

Causative SuffixWhere It’s Used
-dir/-dır/-dür/-dur/-tir/-tır/-tür/-turThe most used causative suffix. Used by regular verbs.
-tUsed with polysyllabic verb roots ending in a vowel or -r
-it/-ıt/-üt/-utUsed with monosyllabic verb roots ending in -k
-ır/-ir/-ur/-ürUsed with monosyllabic verb roots
-er/-arUsed with only some verbs.

 

The “-dır” suffix

The first and the most commonly used causative suffix is the “-dır” causative suffix. We add this suffix to the verb root, just like all the causative suffixes you’ll see later. When selecting the proper “-dır” suffix from the chart, be sure to follow the Vowel Harmony and see whether there is Consonant Mutation. Most verbs that use the “-dır” suffix are regular verbs.

Here is a comparison chart:

Active VerbCausative Verb
AçmakTo opentırmakTo have/get someone open
DikmekTo plantDiktirmekTo have/get someone plant
SusmakTo be quietSusturmakTo make something/somebody quiet
ÖtmekTo sing (bird)ÖttürmekTo have a bird to sing
ÖlmekTo dieÖldürmekTo kill (somebody/something)
DurmakTo stopDurdurmakTo make something/somebody stop
KırmakTo breakKırdırmakTo have/get something broken
BinmekTo get in/onBindirmekTo get somebody to get in/on something

 

Let’s see some examples sentences:

  • Adam kapıyı açtı. (The man opened the door)

Adam kapıyı açtırdı. (The man had the door opened)

 

  • Pizza yaptım. (I made a pizza)

Pizza yaptırdım. (I had a pizza made)

 

  • Ali güldü. (Ali laughed)

Ali herkesi güldürdü (Ali made everybody laugh)

 

The “-t” suffix

Basic verb roots that end in a vowel or a “-r “, are made Causative by adding the “-t” suffix added to the verb root. Here are some sentence examples:

 

  • Annem kitap okudu. (My mom read a book)
  • Annem kitap okuttu. (My mom had someone read a book)

 

  • Tek başına evi temizledi. (She cleaned the home all by himself.)
  • Evi temizlik şirketine temizletti. (She had the cleaning company do the house cleaning.)

 

  • Arkadaşımı 30 dakika bekledim. (I waited 30 minutes for my friend)
  • Arkadaşım beni 30 dakika bekletti. (My friend had me wait 30 minutes for him)

 

Polysyllabic verbs with verb roots ending in “l” and “r” can also take the “-t” suffix:

 

  • Çocuk yılanı görünce bağırdı. (The boy screamed as he saw the snake.)
  • Beni daha fazla bağırtma! (Don’t make me scream more!)

 

  • Makinede yıkanan elbisem küçüldü. (My dress shrank after being washed in the washer.)
  • Makine elbisemi küçülttü. (The washer made my dress smaller.)

 

The “-ıt” suffix

The “-it/-ıt/-üt/-ut” suffixes are added to monosyllabic verb roots that end in “-k”.

Let’s see some example sentences:

 

  • Nehir denize akar. (The river flows into the ocean.)
  • Araba benzin akıttı. (The car leaked gasoline.)

 

  • Yılanı gören çocuk korktu. (The child who saw the snake was scared.)
  • Lütfen beni korkutma. (Please don’t scare me.)

 

  • Etraf çicek koktu. (Everywhere smelled flowers.)
  • Köpek önümde kokuttu. (The dog farted infront of me.)

 

The “-ır” suffix

Some monosyllable verbs use the “-ır/-ir/-ur/-ür” suffixes to make causative verbs:

 

  • Kaynayan süt taştı. (The boiling milk overflew.)

Abim demlikteki çayı taşırttı. (My brother caused the tea in the teapot to overflow.)

 

  • Çok güzel haberler (I heard great news.)

Mutlu haberi herkese duyurdu. (He announced the great news to everyone.)

 

  • Arabadaki tüm malzemeler düştü. (All the supplies on the car fell.)

Bilerek keki düşürdü. (He dropped the cake on purpose.)

 

The “-ar/-er” suffixes

There are some verb roots that also use the “-ar/-er” suffixes to form causatives:

 

  • Ağacın dalı koptu. (The tree’s branch snapped.)

Lütfen ağacın dalını koparma. (Please don’t break the tree’s branch.)

 

  • Sıkılan köpek dışarı çıktı. (The bored dog went outside.)

Köpeği yürüyüşe çıkarır mısın? (Could you take the dog out for a walk?)

 

  • Çok güzel bir çiçek gördüm. (I saw a very pretty flower.)

Ayşe bana çok güzel bir çiçek gösterdi. (Ayşe showed my a very pretty flower.)

 

Double Causatives

We can use double causatives to “get someone else to do a job”. These causatives are made by adding a “-t” or “-tir” to another causative verb. These types of causatives can be seen a lot in newspapers and news agency reports.

 

  • Hükümet yeni anayasayı onaylattır. (The government had the new constitution approved.)
  • Masayı monte ettirtdin mi? (Have you had the table assembled?)
  • Öğrenci, ödevini başkasına yaprt. (The student had his homework done by someone else.)

 

When you see double T’s, be sure to pronounce them individually.

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