Turkish Conditional Tense (If Clauses) – Lesson 2

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Another way to express an unreal conditional is doing it in the Past Perfect tense. Turkish doesn’t necessarily have the Perfect tense let alone the Past Perfect tense, but it is still possible to make a sentence that talks about an unreal hypothetical past conditional. We use the suffix “-seydi/-saydı” to achieve a Past Unreal Conditional followed by the personal suffix. The main clause is similar to how we in unreal conditional, the verb is conjugated in present simple with the past simple personal suffix.

Be sure to follow the Vowel Harmony when selecting the proper “-seydi/-saydı” suffix:

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

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

BenyapsaydımIf I had done
SengelseydinIf you had came
ObulsaydıIf he/she/it had found
BizyeseydikIf we had eaten
SizüzülseydinizIf you had become sad
OnlargezseydilerIf they had traveled

Now, let’s see some sentence examples:

  • (Eğer) bilseydim ona öyle davranmazdım.
  • If I had known, I wouldn’t have treated him like that.
  • (Eğer) o işe girseydim şu an müdür olabilirdim.
  • If I had entered that job, I could have been a manager now.
  • (Eğer) param olsaydı o elbiseyi alırdım.
  • If I had the money, I would have bought that dress.

We can also add the model verb “can” suffix like in the second sentence example to talk about a past possibility that could have occurred.

Negative Past Unreal Conditional

Negative past unreal conditionals can be made by adding the “-me/-ma” negative suffix before the “- seydi/-saydı” suffix.

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

BenyapmasaydımIf I hadn’t done
SengelmeseydinIf you hadn’t came
ObulmasaydıIf he/she/it hadn’t found
BizyemeseydikIf we hadn’t eaten
SizüzülmeseydinizIf you hadn’t become sad
OnlargezmeseydilerIf they hadn’t traveled

Now, let’s see some sentence examples:

  • (Eğer) geçen hafta Ahmet’i görmeseydim, Ankara’ya döndüğünü bilmezdim.
  • If I hadn’t seen Ahmet last week, I wouldn’t have known he returned to Ankara.
  • (Eğer) o kadar çikolata yemeseydin karnın ağrımazdı.
  • If you hadn’t eaten so many chocolates, your stomach wouldn’t have hurt.
  • (Eğer) cüzdanını düşürmeseydin hırsızlar tüm paranı harcamazdı.
  • If you hadn’t dropped your wallet, the thief wouldn’t have spent all your money.

Other Conditional Types

Below are the charts showing other kinds of conditional sentences you can make in Turkish.

For Real Past Conditionals, we add the “-dıy/diy/-duy/-düy” suffix after the verb root following the conditional suffix “-sa/se”:

BenyaptıysamIf I had done
SengeldiysenIf you had came
ObulduysaIf he/she/it had found
BizyediysekIf we had eaten
SizüzüldüysenizIf you had become sad
OnlargezdiyselerIf they had traveled

For Real Present Continuous Conditionals, we add the “-yor” suffix after the verb root following the conditional suffix “-sa”:

BenyapıyorsamIf I am doing
SengeliyorsanIf you are coming
ObuluyorsaIf he/she/it is finding
BizyiyorsakIf we are eating
SizüzülüyorsanızIf you are becoming sad
OnlargeziyorsalarIf they are traveling

For the negative version of the Real Present Continuous Conditional, we simply add the “-me/-ma” suffix after the verb root following the present continuous suffix and the conditional suffix:

BenyapmıyorsamIf I am not doing
SengelmiyorsanIf you are not coming
ObulmuyorsaIf he/she/it is not finding
BizyemiyorsakIf we are not eating
SizüzülmüyorsanızIf you are not becoming sad
OnlargezmiyorsalarIf they are not traveling

For future real conditionals, we conjugate the verb in the future tense “-ecek/-acak” and later add the conditional suffix in addition to the personal suffix:

BenyapacaksamIf I will do
SengeleceksenIf you will come
ObulacaksaIf he/she/it will find
BizyiyeceksekIf we will eat
SizüzüleceksenizIf you will become sad
OnlargezecekselerIf they will travel

Negative version of the future real conditional is done by adding the negative suffix “-me(y)/-ma(y)” after the verb root before the future suffix:

BenyapmayacaksamIf I will not do
SengelmeyeceksenIf you will not come
ObulmayacaksaIf he/she/it will not find
BizyemeyeceksekIf we will not eat
SizüzülmeyeceksenizIf you will not become sad
OnlargezmeyecekselerIf they will not travel

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