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Continuous in the Very Past
1.       Abla
3647 posts
 04 Feb 2012 Sat 10:58 am

If I wanted to say in Turkish ´The woman had been speaking to her husband half an hour before she noticed that he was dead´ in my opinion there should be three tense markers in the predicate:

 

         -yor because the action is continuous

         -di because the reference point is in the past

         -miş because the action is further in the past than the reference point (pluperfect).

 

Where shall we hang all of them? Or can we take some and leave some?

 

2.       scalpel
1472 posts
 04 Feb 2012 Sat 02:05 pm

The woman had been speaking to her husband half an hour before she noticed that he was dead

 

Luckily we have no particular tense to describe an action which took place in the past before another past action.. but the combination -mişti (past+past) used for "past before another past":

 

Ben gittiğimde zaten çıkmıştı - When I arrived, she already had left

-di in -dik may behave as -di part of -mişti: 

Ona, bu filmi önceden görmüş olduğumu söyledim - I told him that I had seen the movie previously

Parayı çalmış olanın Sinan olduğunu düşündüm - I thought it was Sinan who had stolen the money

But -an participle (-anın instead of -mış olanın ) makes it easier to say and more clear to understand:

Parayı çalanın Sinan olduğunu düşündüm.

So we don´t have to use -mişti at all times..

As for your example..

I would translate it in Turkish as

 

Kadın, kocasının öldüğünü  farketmesinden  yarım saat önce ona birşeyler konuşuyordu/anlatıyordu.

 

The woman were speaking/talking something to her husband half an hour before her noticing that he was dead

3.       Abla
3647 posts
 04 Feb 2012 Sat 05:15 pm

scalpel, many thanks. You changed part of it into a noun. The postposition önce gave you a chance to do it without changing the meaning. It takes some guts from a learner to make changes like this.


But. If we remove the önce option and change the sentence a little bit: ‘The woman had been talking to her husband for half an hour when she noticed he was dead.’ You will probably start it with a gerund (‘when she noticed…’ ) but after that you would still have –yor, -miş and –di in your hands. How would you arrange them?

4.       scalpel
1472 posts
 04 Feb 2012 Sat 07:57 pm

 

Quoting Abla

But. If we remove the önce option and change the sentence a little bit: ‘The woman had been talking to her husband for half an hour when she noticed he was dead.’ You will probably start it with a gerund (‘when she noticed…’ ) but after that you would still have –yor, -miş and –di in your hands. How would you arrange them?

 

I would drop -miş into dustbin and add -di to -yor

Kadın, kocasının öldüğünü farkettiğinde yarım saattir ona birşeyler konuşuyordu/anlatıyordu.

When she noticed her husband was dead, she were talking to him for half an hour.

 

5.       Abla
3647 posts
 04 Feb 2012 Sat 08:37 pm

See, if I were to decide I would have dropped -yor. It seems that -di is much more powerful and wider in meaning than I thought.

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