Turkish Gerunds (Verbal Nouns) – Lesson 1

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Turkish Gerunds (Verbal Nouns)

Gerunds are words that are made in verbs but used as nouns in a sentence. Unlike in English where gerunds are usually nouns that have an ‘–ing’ ending, in Turkish we have many more derivatives, we add different derivational suffixes to the verb root to make gerunds. The Turkish language uses gerunds as nouns, adjectives and adverbs in a sentence.

Here is a list of gerunds we will learn in this lecture:

  1. Linking Gerunds
  2. Gerunds of State
  3. Time Expressing Gerunds
  4. Reason Expressing Gerunds
  5. Comparison Gerunds
  6. Contrasting Gerunds

Linking Gerunds

Linking Gerunds are used to connect two elements inside a sentence. Most of the time they are used to connect two actions that happen one after the other. We use the ‘-ip/-ıp/-up/-üp’ suffix after the verb root to make a linking gerund. When translated into English, the conjugation ‘and’ is used.

Let’s see some examples:

  • Araba çocuğa vurup kaçtı.
  • The car hit the child and escaped.
  • Ödevimi teslim edip eve döndüm.
  • I turned in my homework and returned home.
  • Sadece bir arkadaşa bakıp çıkacağım.
  • I’m just going to look for a friend and exit.

Gerunds of State

If there are two actions done at the same time, you can use the Gerund of State to portray it. We actually use this gerund a lot when making sentences in Present Cont. and Past Cont. Tense. The suffix used for the gerund of state is ‘-(y)arak/-(y)erek’ suffix meaning ‘by’ (doing something) in English.

Here are some sentence examples:

  • Ahmet eve koşarak gitti.
  • Ahmet went home (by) running
  • Müzik dinleyerek ders çalışamazsın.
  • You can’t study (by) listening to music
  • Aşağı bakarak yürürsen düşersin.
  • If you walk (by) looking down, you will fall

Another way to use the Gerunds of State is by adding writing the verb two times and adding the ‘-a/(y)e’ suffix at the end of both verbs.

  • Yemek yiye yiye spor yaptı.
  • He did sports (by) eating food.
  • Kadın oynaya oynaya sahneye çıktı.
  • The woman entered the stage (by) dancing.

Time Expressing Gerunds

There are various sub-types of gerunds that express time but all of them indicate the ‘time’ of an action. We can use the suffix ‘-alı/e-li’ at the end of the verb root to say ‘since’ an action has occurred:

  • Sen İstanbul’a gideli 4 yıl oldu.
  • It has been 4 years since you went to Istanbul.
  • Ahmet evleneli bizimle hiç takılmıyor.
  • Ahmet doesn’t hang out with us since he got married.
  • Biz yola çıkalı kaç saat oldu?
  • How many hours has it been since we departed?

Time-Related Gerunds Suffixes

Let’ see some other time related gerund suffixes.

For ‘-ince/-ınca’ as ‘when’

  • Eve dönünce lütfen bana mesaj at.
  • Please message me when you come home.
  • İşin bitince birlikte bir kafeye gidelim mi?
  • Shall we go to a café together when you finish your work?

For ‘-ir ..-mez’ as ‘as soon as’

  • Ahmet, ofise girer girmez işe başladı.
  • Ahmet started working as soon as he entered the office.
  • Kardeşini görür görmez sarıldı.
  • She hugged her brother as soon as she saw him.

For ‘-diği/-dığı/… zaman’ as ‘when’

  • Yemeğini yediğin zaman lütfen tabağını bulaşık makinesine koy.
  • Please put your plate on the dish washer when you finish eating.
  • Kitabı okumayı bitirdiğin zaman bana söyle.
  • Tell me when you finished reading the book.

For ‘-diği/-dığı/… sırada‘ as ‘at the time when’

  • İçeri girdiği sırada annesi yemek hazırlıyordu.
  • Her mother was preparing dinner at the time when he was entering the house.
  • Kapı çaldığı sırada televizyon izliyordum.
  • I was watching TV at the time when the doorbell rang.

For ‘-dığında/-diğinde/…’ as ‘when’

  • Doktor geldiğinde hasta çoktan ölmüştü.
  • The patient had already died when the doctor came.
  • Polis fark ettiğinde hırsızlar soygun yapıyorlardı.
  • The thief were doing robbery when the police realized.

For ‘-madan/-meden önce’ to say ‘before’ the action occurs

  • Eve dönmeden önce süpermarkete uğrayalım.
  • Let’s visit the supermarket before we return home.
  • Bu soruya başlamadan önce bu formülü ezberlemen lazım.
  • I need to memorize this formula before I start this question.

For ‘-dikten/-dıktan sonra’ to say ‘after’ the action occurs

  • Sadece parası bittikten sonra ailesini arar.
  • He only calls his parents after he is out of money.
  • Yemeği pişirdikten sonra ocağı kapamayı unutma.
  • Don’t forget to close the oven after you finish cooking.

For ‘-ana kadar’ and ‘-ıncaya kadar’, to say ‘until’ the action occurs

  • Sabrı tükenene kadar onu bekledi.
  • She waited for him until she ran out of patience.
  • Bacakları ağrıyıncaya kadar koştu.
  • He ran until his legs hurt.

For ‘-dıkça’ to say ‘as’ and ‘-dığı sürüce’ for ‘as long as’

  • Sıkıldıkça müzik dinledim.
  • I listened to music as I got bored.
  • Sıkı çalıştığın sürece Türkçe’de başarılı olursun.
  • You’ll be successful as long as you study hard.

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