Turkish Causative Mood

Turkish Causative Mood

Turkish Causative Mood

The active form of the verb gives the sense of: "doing something" and the passive form "something is being done".

The Causative sense is "to have something done by somebody, to get something done by something."

In the case where English uses "get done by" or "to have done by" Turkish uses the Causative form of the verb.

  • The Active Verb
    I'm going to clean the car
    [to clean it myself]

  • The Causative Form
    I'll get John to clean the car
    [to get, to cause John to clean it.]

Tukish Causative Uses

One of the duties of the Causative is to make a Transitive Verb (which takes an Object) out of an Intransitive Verb (which has no Object).

  • Active Verb
    to cook (by itself)

  • [intransitive - no object]
    [i.e. The eggs are cooking in the pan.]

  • Cuasative Verb
    to cook something

  • [transitive - with object]

  • "to cook" is transitive:
    Ali [the subject] is cooking the eggs [the object]

In these examples some of the active forms are intransitive whilst their causative form is the transitive Verb.

This is the reason that the Turkish verb for to eat is yemek yemek

The first yemek means food and the second yemek means to eat

  • Yemek to eat is a transitive verb in Turkish so it needs an object.

  • Ali, lokantada yemek yiyor.
    Ali is eating food in the cafe.

  • Turkish must supply an object yemekfood for the verb yemekto eat
    The English verb to eat can be transitive or intransitive.

  • Intansitive:
    Ali is eating in the cafe.

  • Transitive:
    Ali is eating breakfast (obj.) in the cafe.

  • The Intransitive verb:
    to halt (by itself) is such a word.

  • Araba caddede durdu.
    The car stopped in the street.
    There is no object in the sentence.
    It is intransitive.

  • The Transitive verb:
    to stop sb. is such a word:

  • Mehmet, arabayı caddede durdurdu
    Mehmet stopped the car in the street.
    The object in this sentence is arabyıthe car.
    It is transitive.

Turkish Causative Verb Formation

The causative verb stem is usually formed by adding:
‑dir‑ / ‑tir‑ ‑dır‑ / ‑tır‑ ‑dur‑ / ‑tur‑ ‑dür ‑/ ‑tür‑

The suffix follows vowel Harmony Rules and is subject to consonant mutation.

The resulting causative new verb stem can have all mood and tense endings added as required.

Most verbs are regular in their causative formation:

  • Active Verb:bakmakto look
    Causative Verb:baktırmakto cause to look
    Bize arkamıza baktırdılar.
    They made us look behind (us)

  • Active Verb: itmekto push
    Causative Verb:ittirmekto cause to push
    Koltuğu geri ittirdim.
    I had the seat pushed backwards.

  • Active Verb:koşmakto run
    Causative Verb:koşturmakto cause to run
    Kamyonete bağladıkları atı kilometrelerce koşturdular.
    They ran the horse tied to the lorry for kilometers.

  • Active Verb:satmakto sell
    Causative Verb:sattırmakto cause to sell
    Ekonomik Bunalımdan fabrika sattırdılar.
    They had the factory sold due to the Economic Depession.

  • Active Verb:gülmekto laugh
    Ona güldüm.
    I laughed at him
    Bana güldü.
    He laughed at me

  • Causative Verb:güldürmekto make laugh
    onu güldürdüm
    I made him laugh
    beni güldürdü
    He made me laugh

  • Active Verb:bilmekto know
    onu biliyorumI know that.

  • Causative Verb:bildirmekto make known
    Mehmed' e haberi bildirdik
    We made the news known to [informed] Mehmet.

  • Active Verb:çalışmakto work
    Bugün çalışıyorumI am working today

  • Causative Verb:çalıştırmak to cause to work
    Bugün, arabamyla Mehmet'i çalıştırıyorum
    Today, I am getting Mehmet to work on my car.

  • Active Verb:unutmakto forget
    Çantamı unuttumI forgot my bag

  • Causative Verb:unutturmakto cause to forget
    Mehmed'e çantasını unutturduk
    We've let Mehmet forget his bag.

Turkish Causative Verbs Extended with Verb Moods

  • Potential Causative Verb Stem
    onu güldürebilirsiniz
    you can make her laugh

  • beni güldüremeyecek
    he will not be able to make me laugh

  • bizi güldüremediler
    they couldn't make us laugh

  • Necessitative Causative Verb Stem
    Mehmet seni güldürmeliydi.
    Mehmet should have made you laugh.

  • onu yaptırmalıyım.
    I should have it done.

Turkish Irregular Causative Forms

The Formation of the Turkish Causative is one area where there is some irregularity in the language.

  • 1. Basic verb Stems ending in a vowel or -r form their causative by the addition of the suffix -t to produce the causative verb stem:

  • Active Verb:oturmakto sit
    Causative Verb:oturtmakto seat somebody

  • Active Verb:anlamakto understand
    Causative Verb:anlatmakto make understand[ENG: to explain]

  • Active Verb:boyamakto paint
    Causative Verb:boyatmakto get / have something painted

2. Single Syllable Verbs - Causative Formation

Some single syllable verbs form their causative by the addition of -ır

i.e The initial -d/-t of the causative verb sign is dropped.

This generally happens when the basic verb stem terminates in  or  but there are other verbs included in this group.

Some verbs which end in  or  take the full -tir suffix.

The problem of these irregularities is not too great as the number of verbs involved is quite small although some of them are fairly common.

These verbs are best learned separately.

Irregular Single Syllable Causative Verb Stems

Basic Verb Causative Verb
artmak to increase artırmak to cause to increase
batmak to sink batırmak to cause to sink
bitmek to finish bitirmek to finish off
doğmak to be born doğurmak to give birth
doymak to be filled doyurmak to fill up s.o.
düşmek to fall düşürmek to cause to fall/to drop s.o
geçmek to pass geçirmek to cause to pass
göçmek to move / migrate göçürmek to evict
içmek to drink/smoke içirmek to cause to drink
kaçmak to escape kaçırmak to miss/let escape
pişmek to cook (by itself) pişirmek to cook something
şaşmak to be surprised şaşırmak to surpise s.o.
şişmek to swell şişirmek to cause to swell
taşmak to overflow taşırmak to cause to overflow
uçmak to fly uçurmak to cause to fly

  • 3. A few verbs ending in -k take -ıt as their causative sign.

  • Active Verb:akmakto flow
    Causative Verb:akıtmakto caus e to flow

  • Active Verb:sarkmakto hang down
    Causative Verb:sarkıtmakto hang s.o. up

  • Active Verb:ürkmekto have a scare
    Causative Verb:ürkütmekto startle

  • 4. There are few verbs which take -ar or -er as their causative sign.

  • Active Verb:çıkmakto go out / to exit
    Causative Verb:çıkarmakto take out[ENG: to extract]

  • Active Verb:gitmekto go
    Causative Verb:gidermekto send away / to remove

  • Active Verb:kopmakto snap itself
    Causative Verb:koparmakto break s.o.off

  • Active Verb:onmakto mend
    Causative Verb:onarmakto have repaired

  • 5. One verb is completely irregular.

  • Active Verb:görmekto see
    Causative Verb:göstermekto show

All these are common verbs and should be learnt as irregularities

Causative Verb differences in English

In the translation of the Turkish Causative a different verb may be used in English.

It is sometimes it is difficult to select the correct English verb in translation from Turkish.

The causative of bilmek "to know" in Turkish →
bildirmek"to make know, to cause to know".

In English this may be "to notify, to publish, etc."

This difference in English verb use must be considered when translating causative verbs from Turkish into English and vice versa.

Practice and observation are necessary to ensure correct understanding and use of this verb form:

Examples of Different Verb Use in English

  • In the following a different verb is used in English:

  • Active Verb:
    anlamakto understand

  • Cevabı anladım.
    I understood the answer.

  • Causative Verb:
    anlatmakto explain
    [Lit: to cause to understand]

  • Cevabı anlattım.
    I explained the answer.

In English the causative verb is often a different verb altogether from the active verb

Turkish uses the causative mood form of the active Form.

to die → tokill / to murder
[LIT : cause to die]

to see → to show 
[LIT: cause to see]

to halt → to stop
[LIT: cause to halt]

Causing a Third Party to Act In Turkish

This is a doubled causative verb formed by adding -t or sometimes -tir to the regular causative verb.

  • I made him paint the car.

  • I got him to paint the car.

  • I had him paint the car

All the above are translated:
Arabayı ona boyattırdım.
[ boya-t-tır-dım]

In this case we are causing a third party to act as an agent.

In these type of sentences the agent has the -a or -e[Motion Towards - indirect object] case endings:
[ie. I caused FOR him to paint the car.]

The verb is basically a doubled causative form. boya-t-tir-mak.

Other doubled causatives are formed similarly.

The Turkish Double Causative

The Doubled Causative is used when you get someone else to do the job.
[You cause them to have the job done.]

  • I got my car repaired at the garage.
    Arabamı garajda tamir ettirdim.
    [uses a single causative.]

  • I got the garage to repair my car.
    Arabamı garaja tamir ettirttim.
    [uses a double causative].

  • anlattırmak
    to have something explained

  • tamir ettirtmek
    [et-tir-t-mek ]
    to have something repaired

  • yaptırtılmak
    to have something done

If two letters -tt- occur together, they are both pronounced individually.

These forms crop up quite regularly, especially in newspaper reports about agencies, governments etc. having something carried out by a third party.

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