Turkish iken while

Turkish iken while

Turkish iken while





Turkish ikenwhile

There are various ways of describing time relationships in English, consider:

  • When I saw him, I waved at him.

  • When I see him, I shall wave at him.

  • As soon as I see him I shall wave at him.

  • Whenever I see him I wave at him.

  • Every time I see him I wave at him.

  • If I see him, I shall wave at him.


Adverbial Clauses of Time show different values in relation to tense, time and duration.

The Adverbial Clause of Time are best studied by example,

It is difficult to relate the English Constructions to the corresponding Turkish ones.

Turkish uses the Relative Adjectival Participles to describe situstion

Although they are logical constructions they may be difficult to analyze for English speakers.

Reading and study helps in hastening understanding.



Turkish iken, -ken, -yken meaning while, when


iken can stand alone.

OR it can be suffixed as ‑ken or ‑yken afer a vowel.

It is invariable and does not follow the rules of vowel harmony.

It does not take further suffixes.

ikenwhile, when is used when the verb action is continuous at a point in time.

It may also follow an adjective.



Turkish iken with the Present Tenses


-ken is always suffixed to the verb tense sign.

The subject is not always evident, then it is stated:

  • Mehmet kasabaya yürüyorken onu gördüm.
    I saw Mehmet while he was walking to town.

  • Sen kasabaya yürüyorken, seni gördüm.
    I saw you while you were walking to town.

  • Ben kasabaya yürüyorken, seni gördüm.
    I saw you while I was walking to town.

  • Biz kasabaya yürüyorken, onu gördük.
    We saw him while we were walking to town.

  • Biz kasabaya yürürken, onu her gün görürüz.
    Every day we see him when [while] we walk to town.
    [Simple Present Habitual - yürü-r-ken]

  • Siz dans ediyorken, dinleneyim.
    Let me rest while you are dancing.

  • Onlar dans ederken, dinlenelim.
    Let's rest while they dance.


The Stand Alone Personal Subject Pronouns are used to point to the subject.

iken can not be suffixed.



Turkish iken with Adjectives


iken can be used with adjectives, in this case it can stand alone or be suffixed:

  • Ben, hasta iken (hastayken), uyurum.
    I sleep while (when) I am ill.

  • Biz, o hastayken, merak ettik.
    While he was ill, we worried.

  • Onlar, siz uykuda iken, meşgul olacaklar.
    They will be busy while you are asleep.

  • Uykudayken, soyuldular.
    They were robbed while they were asleep.


The 3rd Person Plural comes from the last verb.

It is in the Passive Mood and thus states the subject.



Turkish iken with Verb Tenses


If the action is continuous in the past then iken is tranlated as: As -were -ing

  • As I was going to town I saw him.

  • As we were going to town I saw him.


iken with the Past Definite Tense:

Ben İngiltere'deyken, yağmur yağdı.
While I was in England, it rained.

iken with the Past Continuous Tense:

Biz İngiltere'ye giderken, yağmur yağıyordu.
As we were going to England it was raining.
[LIT: While we we going...]



tam ikenjust as


This construction uses the word tamcomplete to introduce the Adverbial Clause at the point in time:

  • Biz tam evden çıkarken, yağmur yağmağa başladı.
    Just as we were leaving the house it started to rain.

  • Onlar tam kapıyı açarken, anahtar koptu.
    Just as they were opening the door the key broke




Turkish iken with Future Tense


When attached to the Future Tense iken → just as I was about to or instead of

  • İngiltere'ye gidecekken, Türkiye'de kaldık.
    Instead of going to England we stayed in Turkey.


This may seem difficult to understand:

It can be analyzed thus:

ikenas / while is suffixed to the Future Participle gidecek →
that is about to go / which will go

The Turkish aspect becomes apparent:

We, while about to go to England, did something different.
["We stayed in Turkey".]

This sense is best translated into English as: instead of -ing

  • Türkiye'de kalacakken, İngiltere'ye gidelim.
    Instead of staying in Turkey let's go to England.




Turkish iken with Past Participle in -miş



  • This construction produces -mişkenhaving done

  • yapmışken having done

  • Aklıma gelmişken, söyleyeyim.
    Having come to (my) mind, let me tell you.

  • Hazır gelmişken bir kahveni içelim.
    Having already come, let us drink a coffee of yours.

  • The Passive form: yapılmışkenhaving been done

  • Bu iş bitirilmişken, eve gidelim.
    This job having been finished, lets go home.




Turkish iken with Negative Simple Tense


-mezken, -mazken means though not or while it isn't

This is a kind of official language.

You can only hear these sentences in news or commercials.

  • Galatasaray'ın yıldız futbolcularından Necati Ates, kendilerine ödeme yapılamazken, bazı yabancı oyuncuların alacaklarının verildiğini duymanın üzüntü verici olduğunu söyledi.

  • One of the star players of Galatasaray, Necati Ates, has said that it was disappointing to hear that some foreign players' debts had been paid while there can not be a payment for themselves.

  • Konu hakkında henüz herhangi bir bilgiye ulaşılamazken, araştırmaların devam ettiği bildirildi.

  • Here is the "English" English:
    Although as yet no information can be communicated about the subject, it has been stated that investigations are continuing.

  • Here is the "Turkish" English:
    While any information can't be reached yet about the subject, it has been told that the investigations keep on.


We can see some differences of tense and negation in the change from "Turkish" English to "English" English.

This is because of:

(1) Basic grammatical structure differences between the two languages.

(2) The difference in local daily usage of each language.

It underlines the fact that literal translation between the two languages is often difficult.

It is better to arrive a suitable translation in one's own language.

These examples could be translated into English in a different way whilst still retaining the intended meaning in Turkish.

Usually a positive statement follows this negative form.



The Suffix -mazken -mezkenThough not, while it isn't



  • Çalışmazken susuzum.Although I have not worked I am thirsty.

  • Sürmezken yolu bilirim.Although I do not drive I know the road.


iken takes its person from the main verb at the end of each sentence.



The suffix -a / -e rağmenin spite of, despite



  • Çalışmamama rağmen susuzum.
    Despite not working I am thirsty.

  • Ben sürmememe rağmen yolu bilirim.
    Although I do not drive I know the road.

  • Explanation: sür-me-me-m-eto my not driving

  • sürmeme short infinitive negative from sürmemeknot driving

  • Final -m is suffix for 1st sing. Person: sür-me-me-m "my not driving."]

  • And Finally -e is suffix for movement towards [dative case]

  • Bilmememe rağmen.
    Although I don't/I didn't know.

  • Explanation:

  • Bilmememmy not knowing

  • Bilmemeto not know from bilmemek

  • BilmememMy not knowing

  • Bilmememe rağmenDespite my not knowing / Although I don't/didn't know

  • Turkish iken while Turkish iken while Turkish iken while


Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mart 2018, 13:11
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