Turkish Conditional 'if' Tenses

Turkish Conditional "if" Tenses

Turkish Conditional "if" Tenses

In English the Conditional Tenses are formed with that very important little word "if"

Turkish Conditional if sentences are often introduced with the word eğer if
or less commonly şayet lest, unless

In Turkish these words are pointers alerting the listener that a Condition and Result are following.

They do not have any direct meaning.

They are "alerters"

Explanation of Condition and Result

Here are a few examples of Conditional Sentences in English.

We recognize them and use them with ease in our Mother Tongue.

Conditional Sentences are not so easy to recognize in Turkish.

They appear as a Mood of the verb itself.

It needs practice!

If we leave at noon, we will arrive on time.

If you hit me, I shall tell my mother.

If we had left at noon, we would have arrived on time.

If (ever) you join the club we would welcome you.

Unless you work hard, you will not be successful.

If you do not work hard you may not be successful.

We can not go to the races whenever it rains.

We can not go to the races if it rains.

If it had not rained we could have gone to the races.

If ever you go to London you must visit Bucking ham Palace.

When(ever) you go to London you can visit Bucking ham Palace.
[If ever you go]

Please take whichever one that you want.
[If you want that one then take it.]

If the sweets are not too dear then we will buy them

The word "unless" can be used in place of if not.

The words if ever, whenever, whatever, whichever, however, when , what, which, how can be used in place of if…

English Conditional Examples

The Real Conditional:

Is used to express condition and result based on fact in both the Present and the Future.

  • If the kettle gets too hot then it boils.
    [Present Tense Condition and Result]

  • Whenever the kettle gets too hot it boils.
    [Simple Habitual and Result]

  • It the kettle gets too hot it will boil.
    [Future Result of Present Condition]

  • If you practice hard you will win a prize.
    [Future Result of Present Condition]

  • If you do not practice hard you will not win a prize.
    [Future Result of Present Condition Negative]

The Unreal Conditional:

Is used to express unreal results or wishes and desires in the Present and Future.

  • If I practice hard I might win a prize.
    [Result: Present Desire]

  • If I was richer I would buy a new house.
    [Result: Future Wish]

  • If I were you I would stay in England.
    [Result: Future Habitual]

The Past Conditional

Is used to state Conditions in the Past that did not happen.

Often used to express criticism or regret.

  • If I had practiced harder I would have won a prize.

  • If I had been richer, I would have bought a bigger house.
    [Unrealized due to Condition]

  • If I were you I would not have stayed in England.
    [Criticism of Past Condition]

The changes of tense and mood of the verbs show the meaning in English.

The same is true for Turkish.

The correct tenses and mood of condition and result must be used to adequately communicate the correct meaning of the statement.

English uses its normal tenses and the condition is produced by insertion of that little word if

Turkish has a special conditional tense form suffixed with -se-/-sa-if…

The Turkish Conditional Suffix -se/-sa.

The Turkish conditional is characterized by the suffix -se-/-sa-

A simple example is varthere is, there are →
varsaif there is, if there are when suffixed with the -sa Conditional Suffix.

yokthere isn't, there aren't →
yoksa if there isn't, if there aren't

  • Paranız varsa bana verin.
    If you have [any] money [then] give it to me.

  • Bir taksi yoksa burada kalalım.
    If there isn't a taxi [then] let's stay here.

The Conditional Suffixes of Verbs

Conditional Personal suffix is added after tense and mood signs of the verb

  • If I-sem -sam →
    yaparsamif I do

  • If you-sen -san →
    giriyorsanif you are entering

  • If he-se -sa →
    kesilecekse if it will be cut, if it is to be cut

  • If we-sek -sak →
    anlaşmıyorsakif we are not agreeing

  • If you-seniz -sanız →
    mutlu olmayacaksanız if you will not be happy

  • If they-seler -salar →
    gelebilecekselerif they will be able to come

Turkish Conditional Tense

Simple Present Present Continuous
gelsem If I come geliyorsam If I am coming
yazsan If you write yazmıyorsan If you are not writing
gülse If he laughs gülecekse If he will laugh
içsek If we drink içiyorsak If we are drinking
görebilirseniz If you can see görmüyorsanız If you are not seeing
yapıyorsalar If they are doing yapabilirseler If they can do

Turkish Conditional Positive - Model Conjugations

Simple Actual Conditional
gelsem if I were to come
gelsen if you were to come
gelse if he were to comes
gelsek if we usually come
gelseniz if you were to come
gelseler if they were to come

Turkish Present Continuous Conditional

Present Continuous Conditional
geliyorsam if I am coming
geliyorsan if you are coming
geliyorsa if he is coming
geliyorsak if we coming
geliyorsanız if you are coming
geliyorsalar if they are coming

Turkish Simple Habitual Conditional

Simple Habitual Conditional
gelirsem if I (usually) come
gelirsen if you (usually) come
gelirse if he (usually) comes
gelirsek if we (usually) come
gelirseniz if you (usually) come
gelirseler if they (usually) come

Turkish Future Intentional Conditional

Future Intention Conditional
geleceksem if I (will) come
geleceksen if you (will) come
gelecekse if he (will) come
geleceksek if we (will) come
gelecekseniz if you (will) come
gelecekseler if they (will) come

Turkish Real Past Conditional

Past Reality Conditional
geldiysem if I came
geldiysen if you came
geldiyse if he came
geldiysek if we came
geldiyseniz if you came
geldiyseler if they came

Turkish Unreal Past Conditional

Past Unreality Conditional
gelseydim If only I had come
gelseydin If only had come
gelseydi If only had come
gelseydik If only we had come
gelseydiniz If only you had come
gelseydiler If only they had come

Turkish Simple Negative Conditional

Negative Simple Conditional
gelmesem if I were not to come
gelmesen if you were not to come
gelmese if he were to not comes
gelmesek if we usually do not come
gelmeseniz if you were not to come
gelmeseler if they were not to come

Turkish Continuous Negative Conditional

Negative Present Continuous Conditional
gelmiyorsam if I am not coming
gelmiyorsan if you are not coming
gelmiyorsa if he is not coming
gelmiyorsak if we are not coming
gelmiyorsanız if you are not coming
gelmiyorsalar if they are not coming

Turkish Habitual Negative Conditional

Negative Simple Habitual Conditional
gelmezsem if I (usually) do not come
gelmezsen if you (usually) do not come
gelmezse if he (usually) do not comes
gelmezsek if we (usually) do not come
gelmezseniz if you (usually) do not come
gelmezseler if they (usually) do not come

Turkish Future Negative Conditional

Negative Future Conditional
gelmeyeceksem if I (will) not come
gelmeyeceksen if you (will) not come
gelmeyecekse if he (will) not come
gelmeyeceksek if we (will) not come
gelmeyecekseniz if you (will) not come
gelmeyecekseler if they (will) not come

Turkish Real Past Negative Conditional

Negative Past Real Conditional
gelmediysem if I had not come
gelmediysen if you had not come
gelmediyse if he had not come
gelmediysek if we had not come
gelmediyseniz if you had not come
gelmediyseler if they had not come

Turkish Unreal Past Conditional

Negative Past Unreal Conditional
gelmeseydim If only I had not come
gelmeseydin If only you had not come
gelmeseydi If only he had not come
gelmeseydik If only we had not come
gelmeseydiniz If only you not had come
gelmeseydiler If only they had not come

Turkish Conditional Examples in Various Tenses and Moods.

  • Erken varırsanız, beklemelisiniz.
    If you arrive early, you will have to wait.

  • Erken varırsanız, beklersiniz.
    If you arrive early, you would have to wait.

  • Erken varsaydınız, bekleyecektiniz.
    If you had arrived early, you would have had to wait.

  • Sana yardım edebilirlerse, yardım edecekler.
    They will help you if they can.

  • Sana yardım etseler, yardım ederler.
    They would help you if they could.

  • Sana yardım edebilseydiler, (yardım) ederlerdi.
    They would have helped you if they could have.

  • Fazla içersen sarhoş olursun.
    If you drink too much you get drunk.

  • Çok çalışmazsan, sınavı geçemeyeceksin,
    Unless you work hard you will not be able to pass your test.

  • Sigara içmeyi bırakırsan, daha uzun yaşarsın.
    If you stop smoking you will live longer.

  • Yağmur yağmasaydı dışarı çıkmayacaktık.
    We would not have gone out if it had not stopped raining.

  • Eğer buradan gitseydim sana yazardım.
    If I had gone away, I would have written to you.

Turkish Verbs of Condition

There are some verbs in the Turkish vocabulary that already have a "conditional feeling" within themselves.

They contain -sa-/-se- conditional sign within the verb stem itself.

The meaning of these verbs is best translated to regard as… + verb.

An example of this effect is the verb:
gülümsemekto smile →
gülümsüyorumI am smiling.

The "conditional sign" -s(e)- + üyorum is part of the verb stem.

The verb itself has the meaning "to regard as laughing".

Applying this method to other "conditional of regard verb stems" the Turkish becomes more transparent.

  • If we mean the true conditional of the verb "to smile": →

  • gülümsüyorsam

  • If I smile / am smiling

Turkish "to consider as…" Verb List

  • küçümsemek
    to belittle
    [to consider as small]

  • kötümsemek
    to disparage
    [to consider as bad]

  • benimsemek
    to appropriate
    [to consider as personal]

  • çekimsemek
    to refrain from 
    [to consider as absent]

  • gereksemek
    to consider as necessary

  • hafifsemek
    to take s.o lightly
    [to consider as light]

  • yakınsamak
    to converge
    [to consider as nearing]

  • umursamak
    to care
    [to have consideration]

  • çıkarsamak
    to infer, to deduce
    [to consider as resulting in…]

The resemblance between the conditional structure and the suffix "-semek" in Turkish is quite by chance.

This is not really part of the conditional tense itself.

It is mentioned here as an aid for understanding when reading Turkish.

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