Unreal Conditionals in Turkish

Unlike real conditional sentences where the condition is real and not imaginary, unreal conditionals are about imaginary conditions. If an imagined condition is achieved, another imaginary action will happen. When conjugating a verb into the unreal conditional, we add conditional suffix “-se/-sa” right after the verb root and finally end it with the personal suffix. We don’t have a tense suffix for unreal conditionals while the main clause is the present simple with the past simple personal suffix.

Be sure to check out the last vowel in the verb root to select the correct conditional suffix:

For Verb Roots that have the last vowel as “a,ı,o,u”-sa
For Verb Roots that have the last vowel as “e,i,ö,ü”-se

First, let’s look at how some verbs are made into the Unreal Conditional:

EğerBenyapsamIf I did
SengelsenIf you came
ObulsaIf he/she/it found
BizyesekIf we ate
SizüzülsenizIf you became sad
Onlargezseler*If they traveled

Now, let’s see some sentence examples:

  • (Eğer) zengin olsam dünyayı gezerdim.

(If I were rich, I would travel the world.)

  • (Eğer) arkadaşım gelse birlikte havuza giderdik

(If my friend came, we would go to the pool together.)

  • (Eğer) spor yapsan sağlığın için iyi olur(du).

(If you did sports, it would be good for your health.)

In the last example, we can erase the past simple personal suffix in the main clause verb to talk about future imaginary situations.

Negative Unreal Conditionals

To make negative unreal conditionals we add the “-me/-ma” before the conditional suffix.

EğerBenyapmasamIf I didn’t do
SengelmesenIf you didn’t come
ObulmasaIf he/she/it didn’t found
BizyemesekIf we didn’t eat
SizüzülmesenizIf you didn’t become sad
Onlargezmeseler*If they didn’t travel

Now, let’s see some sentence examples:

  • (Eğer) yağmur yağmasa piknik yapardık.

(If it didn’t rain, we would go on a picnic.)

  • (Eğer) bir çıkarım olmasa bunu yapmazdım.

(If I didn’t have an ulterior motive, I wouldn’t do this.)

  • (Eğer) pizzayı yemesek, bozulur.

(If we didn’t eat the pizza, it would rot.)

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