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Story Past Tense

Tenses

There are 5 fundamental tenses in Turkish. These are:

  1. Present simple tense (Geniş zaman)

  2. Present continuous tense (Şimdiki zaman)

  3. Future tense (Gelecek zaman)

  4. Past tense with -di (-di'li geçmiş zaman) --> Regular past tense

  5. Past tense with -miş (-miş'li geçmiş zaman) --> Also called the story past tense

Past tense with -miş (-miş'li geçmiş zaman) ==> Also called the story past tense

To obtain the story past tense of a verb, we append the suffix -m to the verb. Be careful about the harmony rules. Past tense with -miş is used:

  • To talk about something you learned from somebody else or some other resource, there is some uncertainty in the statement. If you use the story past tense when talking about something, it implies that you are not the source of the information and you shouldn't be responsible for the mistakes.

    • I talked to his mother. He went to school. --> Annesiyle konuştum. Okula gitmiş. (The part about talking to the mother is your direct experience, so you tell it using regular past tense. However, the part about he going to school is information you got from the mother, so you tell it using story past tense.)

  • To talk about something you just learned or understood

    • Is this your daughter? She is very beautiful. --> Bu senin kızın mı? Çok güzelmiş. (You just noticed that she is beautiful, and you express this using story past tense)

  • Simple stories are written and told in using this tense.

 

Story past tense of a word is constructed this way:

word root + (negative) + m + present tense to be

 

The same way story past tense is applied to verbs, it can also be applied to nouns and adjectives.

I talked to Kemal about her. She is sick. --> Kemal'le onun hakkında konuştum. Hastaymış. (You learned that she is sick from Kemal)

Prime minister was in France yesterday. --> Başbakan dün Fransadaymış. (You use story past tense because you learned this from somebody else or from the news)

Prime minister was not in France yesterday. --> Başbakan dün Fransada değilmiş. (Remember that negatives of non-verbs are made with değil)

 

Let's see the use of story past tense on some example verbs.

gel-miş --> gelmiş --> he came

git-miş-siniz--> gitmişsiniz --> you went (plural you)

oku-miş-sin--> okumuşsun --> you read

kapat-miş-ler--> kapatmışlar --> they closed

koş-me-miş--> koşmamış --> he did not run

ara-me-miş-sin--> aramamışsın --> you did not call

konuş-me-miş-ler--> konuşmamışlar --> they did not talk

ver-miş-iz--> vermişiz --> we gave

 

Finally, let's see how a verb is used in the story past tense with different personal pronouns.

English Turkish
to wait --> beklemek
i waited (ben) beklemiş-im --> beklemişim
you waited (sen) beklemiş-sin --> beklemişsin
he  \

she  |  waited

it    /

(o) beklem
we waited (biz) beklemiş-iz --> beklemişiz
you waited

(siz) beklemiş-siniz --> beklemişsiniz

they waited (onlar) beklemiş-ler --> beklemler

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