Turkish Subject (Relative) Participles -(y)an/-(y)en who is doing

Turkish Subject (Relative) Participles -(y)an/-(y)en who is doing...

Turkish Subject (Relative) Participles -(y)an/-(y)en who is doing

Participles are verbal adjectives and verbal nouns formed from verbs.

The most important function of participles is to form modifying phrases or adjectives.

These are equivalent to the relative clauses "who which what that" found in English.

At first sight is difficult to understand.

This is mainly due to the fact that the Relative Pronouns who, what, which, where do not exist in Turkish.

Instead, Turkish uses participles of its verbs as adjectives or nouns.

Tuekish Subject Participle -en -an Formantion

The infinitive marker -mek / -mak is replaced with the present participle marker -(y)en/-(y)an

The buffer -y- is inserted if the verb stem ends in a vowel to avoid the occurrence of two consecutive vowels.

Passive, potential and causative verb stems can be formed as present participles in a similar fashion.

  • Turkish Relative Participles in the Potential Mood:
    The suffix -(y)an/-(y)en is added to the verb stem:

  • yürüyebilmekto be able to walk →
    yürüyebilenwho can walk

  • yürüyememeknot to be able to walk →
    yürüyemeyenwho can't walk

Turkish Present Participle Examples in various moods

  • gelenwho comes,the comer

  • sarılan who hugs, the hugger

  • anlayan who understands, is understanding

  • bekleyenwho waits,is waiting

  • gelmeyenwho is not coming, not coming

  • sarılmayanwho is not hugging, not hugging

  • anlamayanwho is not understanding, doesn't understand

  • beklemeyennot to be able to wait, who can't wait

  • gelebilenwho is able to come, who can't come

  • sarılamayanwho can not not hug, who is unable to hug

  • anlatanwho is explaining, who does not explain

  • beklenenwhich is awaited, which is not awaited

The Relative Participle can be a verbal adjective.

gelen adamLIT: who comes man

Öğle yemeğe gelen adamı tanırım.
I know the man who is coming to lunch

The Relative Participle can be a verbal noun.

gelenithe man coming

Geleni tanır mısınız?
Do you know who is coming?

  • Akşam yemeğe geleni tanır mısınız?
    Do you know who is coming to dinner?

  • Gelenlerden biri tanıyorum.
    I know one of those who are coming.

  • Bekleyenlere her şey gelir.
    Everything comes to those who wait.

  • Zengin olanlar çok şanslı.
    Those who are rich are very lucky.

Turkish Participles in Future, Timeless and Past Tenses

These "timed participles" are described in detail in the following "Participle Web Pages"

  • Present/Past Relative Participle
    with the suffix ‑(y)en / ‑(y)an

  • Future Relative Participle
    ‑(y)ecek / ‑(y)acak

  • Past Direct Participle
    ‑dik / ‑tik, ‑dık / ‑tık, ‑duk / ‑tuk, ‑dük / ‑tük

  • Past Indirect (Inferential) Participle
    ‑mış/‑miş, ‑muş / ‑müş

  • Simple Present Positive Participle
    ‑r / ‑er / ‑ar / ‑ir / ‑ır / ‑ur / ‑ür.

  • Simple Present Negative Participle
    ‑mez / ‑maz.

These forms can function as either adjectives:

oynamayan çocuklar
children who do not play

or as nouns: oynamayanlar
they/those who do not play.

The most important function of participles is to form modifying adjectives.

Equivalent to the relative clauses found in most European languages.

Turkish elative Participle - in a shop window advertisement.




  • 0533 4895103

"Computer(s) who knows about [bilen] lady worker is being sought"

Turkish Relative Participle - A shop window sign in downtown Izmir

Looking for an experienced lady who knows English
"Experienced lady worker who knows[bilen] English is being sought."

Relative Participles Explained

I know the man (who is) sitting in the chair.

The Relative Pronoun: who refers to the man, which may be omitted in English.

The Present Participle; sitting[verb] describes the state of the man.

The sentence above can be broken down to:
(1) The man is sitting in the chair. (2) I know him.

I can see the bird that is flying in the sky
I pulled the rope which was hanging down.

Relative Pronouns:
which and that

Present Participles:
flying and hanging down are verbs.

In Turkish the Present Participle does the job of both the relative pronoun and the verb.

Turkish uses a Relative Vebal Adjectice to describe the state of the objects in these sentences:

Sandalyede oturan adamı tanıyorum.
Chair-in sitting-who-is man-the know-I.

Gökte uçan kuşu görebilirim.
Sky-in flying-which-is bird-the see-can-I.

Sarkan ipi çektim.
Hanging down-which-was rope pulled-I.

This last example is in the past tense, which is taken from the final verb of the sentence.

The present participle sitting / flying / hanging translates the relative pronoun who, that, which by implication as who is sitting, that is flying, which is hanging.

The Turkish present participle is used as a relative pronominal adjective.

This point is important to understand and in translation to English

It is best to add who is, which is, that is, until facility in understanding the Turkish point of view has been reached.

  • Arka bahçeye bakan pencere kırıldı.
    The window facing the back garden is broken.
    [LIT: Back garden-to looking-at-which-is (facing) broken-is.]

  • Mektup yazan adam çok yaşlıdır.
    The man writing the letter is very old.
    [LIT: Letter-the writing-who-is man-the old-is.]

Extending Turkish Verbal Nouns

Suffixes can be added to participles with all Turkish nouns.

Noun as Direct Object
oturmakto sit (or to live at)
oturanwho is sitting (adj.)
oturanı[oturan-ı]who sits/the sitter (obj.)

Noun in Movement Toward Condition (Dative) Singular
uçmakto fly
uçanwhich is flying (adj.)
uçana[uçan-a]to that flying/to the flier

Noun in Movement Toward Condition (Dative) Plural
yemekto eat
yiyenwho is eating (adj.)
yiyenlere[yiyen -ler-e]to those eating

Noun in Movement Away Condition (Ablative)
sarkmakto hang down
sarkanwhich is hanging down (adj.)
sarkandan[sarkan-dan]from that which is hanging

Noun in Ownership condition (Genitive)
güldürmekto cause to laugh
güldürenwhich makes one laugh (adj.)
güldürenin[güldür-en-in]of that which makes one laugh

Noun in Movement Away Condition (Ablative) Plural
kesilmekto be cut
kesilenwhich is being cut (adj.)
kesilenlerinden[kesilen-leri-nden]from those that are being cut

Elmasın elle kesilenleri makineyle kesilenlerinden daha değerlidir.
Diamonds' which have been hand cut are more valuable than those which have been cut by machine.

The Turkish participle as an adjective for singular or plural nouns.

oturan is an adjective describing the man / the men.

Turkish Adjectives are invariable:

They are not suffixed for singular and plural condition.

Masaya oturan adamı tanırım.
I know the man who is sitting at the table.
[LIT: Table-to (at) sitting man-the know-I.]

Masaya oturan adamları tanırım.
I know the men who are sitting at the table.
[LIT: Table-to sitting men-the know-I.]

Oğluma, hediye veren adam onun amcasıydı.
The man who gave the present to my son was his uncle.
[LIT: Son-my-to, present gave-who man-the his uncle-was.]

Ankara'ya giden otobüslerin hepsi doludur.
All the buses which are going to Ankara are full up.
[LIT: Ankara-to going-which-are buses all full-are.]

Sokağımızda çalışamayan bir engelli oturuyor.
A disabled man who is unable to work is living in our street.

The Adjectival Participle:
[çalış-a-ma-y-an]who is unable to work describes →
bir engellia disabled one

Turkish Subject Participle as a Noun

  • The Turkish participle as a singular noun using oturanı is a singular direct object.

  • Masaya oturanı tanıyorum.
    I know (he) who is sitting at this table.
    [LIT: Table-to sitting-he-who-is know-I.]

  • And as the plural: oturanları as a plural direct object.

  • Masaya oturanları tanırdım.
    [LIT: Table-to sitting-they-who-were knew-I.]
    I knew those who were sitting at the table.

  • The past tense of this sentence is taken from the final verb.

  • Ankara'ya gidenlerin hepsi erkek.
    [LIT: Ankara-to going-those-who-are all male-are.]
    All the those who are going to Ankara are male.
    [giden-ler-in]of those going is a plural noun + ownwership suffix used as an adjective to describe hepsiall

  • Yüzebilenlere bir madalya verelim.
    Let us give a medal to those who can swim.
    The Participle is used as a plural noun + motion toward suffix.

  • Süremeyenlerden arabaları geri alınız.
    Take away the cars from those who can't drive.
    The participle is a plural noun + motion away suffix.

Seen at Ladies Beach in Kuşadası

A sign for restricted entry into the "Güneş (Sun) Site of Apartments."





Turkish grammatical construction is alien to speakers of English.

This sign shows how difficult Turkish can be to understand at first sight.

  • Güneş sitesine

  • (In) to the Güneş Site

  • ait olmayan

  • who is not concerned

  • araçların park etmesi

  • their car's its-parking

  • yasaktır.

  • is prohibited.

Turkish Participles Potential Mood Passive

Example of Turkish turning everything into an adjectival description wherever possible.

  • yapılabilmekto be able to be done →
    yapılabilenwhich can be done

  • yapılabilenlerthose which can be done (obj.)

  • Yapılabilenleri bitirelim.Let's finish those that can be done.
    The participle [yapılabil-en-ler-i]those that can be done is used as a plural direct object noun.

  • sürülememeknot to be able to be driven →
    sürülemeyenwhich can not be driven

  • sürülemeyenlerthose which can not be driven (noun obj.)

  • Sürülemeyenleri çıkarınızTake away those which can not be driven.

  • Sürülemeyen arabaları çıkarınız.Take away the cars which can not be driven. (adj.)
    The participle [sürül-e-me-yen] is an adjective describing the plural noun cars.

The verb olmakto be, become

Present Continuous Participle:
The present participle of the verb olmak ←
olanwhich, is being, that, who, which, what is

This is used with the Infinitive in the Locative Case to form a

  • Yüzmekte olanlar
    those who are presently swimming.

  • Denizde yüzmekte olanları tanırım.
    I know those who are presently swimming in the sea.

  • Kalmakta olanlardan
    from those who are presently staying.

  • Hırsızlar, otelde kalmakta olanlardan para çaldılar.
    The thieves stole money from those who are staying at the hotel.

  • Beklemekte olana
    to he who is waiting and still is waiting.

  • Bu koliyi, beklemekte olana verin.
    Give this parcel to the man (he who is) waiting.

Turkish Participle olanbeing, which is

Another use of olan is with normal adjectives to describe people and events.

In these cases olan can sometimes be translated as being, as a…

  • Satılık olan bir ev arıyorum.
    I am looking for a house which is for sale.
    [LIT: For sale being a house look for-I]

  • Çok pahalı olan bir fotoğraf makinesini aldım.
    I have bought a camera which was very expensive.
    [LIT: Very dear being a camera bought-I]

  • Babası kasap olan bir arkadaşım var.
    I have got a friend whose father is a butcher.
    [LIT: Father-his butcher being a friend-mine there-is]

The participle olanwhich, that is as a Noun

  • olanıOne, unit
    [LIT: that which is… as an item.]

  • olanlarıOnes, units
    [LIT: those which are… as items.]

  • Hangi tişörtü istiyorsunuz?
    Which tee-shirt do you want?

  • Mavi olanı(nı) lütfen.
    The blue one, please.

  • Hangi ayakkabıları istiyorsunuz?
    Which shoes do you want?

  • Siyah olanları(nı) lütfen.
    The black ones, please.

The passive verb bulunmakto be found

The passive verb bulunmakto be found as a participle →
which is to be found

It is used as in English: one might say to a friend you are meeting later on:

When you get to to the hotel tonight I'll be found in the bar.[AKA: I'll be in the bar.]

This construction is heavily used in Turkish and is often translated more easily by the verb to be

  • Meksika'da deniz bulunan inanılmaz deniz yaratık.
    In Mexico there is an unbelievable sea creature.
    [which is to be found]

  • İspanya'da bulunan deniz kızı herkesi şok etti!
    A mermaid which was found in Spain shocked everybody!

The use of bulunan with adjectives:

Another use of bulunan is with other adjectives to describe people and events.

The heavily used bulunan means →
having a, containing a…

  • İçinde beş kitap bulunan kutuyu getirin.
    Bring along the box containing the five books.
    [LIT: Inside five books-the found-which-are-to-be (containing) bring along.]

  • Bahçemizde bulunan güzel çiçekleri sana göstereyim.
    Let me show you the beautiful flowers (which are) in our garden.
    [LIT: Garden-ours-in found-which-are-to-be beautiful flowers you-to show-let-me.]

Turkish Past Tense Subject Participles

The Subject Past Participle in Turkish formed by suffixing -miş -mış -müş -muş to the verb stem.

This Past Subject Participle is used when the action is definitely completed.

The -miş suffix does not take on an inferential sense when used as a participle.

As with the present Continuous Participle
[i.e. vermekte olan - who is presently giving]
the relation is completed by using the relative participle
olanthat, who, which, is.

  • vermiş olangiven , which is given

  • verilmiş olangiven, which has been given

  • vermemiş olannot given , which has not given

  • verilmemiş olannot been given, which has not been given

  • boyamış olanpainted, which is painted

  • boyanmış olanis painted, that has been painted

  • seçmiş olanchosen, which is chosen

  • seçilmiş olanis chosen , that has been chosen

  • Seçilmiş olan şapkayı beğenirimI like the hat that has been chosen

  • Seçmiş olanı beğenirimI like the one who has chosen

  • Henüz gelmiş olan adamı tanırımI know the man who has just come

Turkish Past Participle Official/Public Use

The -miştir Past Participle is a happening which is definite in the past.

which has been broken
English SAYS: which is broken

  • Arka kapı kırılmıştır.The back door is broken. 
    [LIT: which has been broken - passive mood]

  • The -miş Past Participle is also used with suffix -tir to make an official definite statement.

  • Türkiye'de yapılmıştır.Made in Turkey.
    [LIT: Turkey-in made-which-has-been-is.]

  • Paslanmaz çelikten yapılmıştır.Made from stainless steel.
    [LIT: Stainless steel-from made-which-has-been-is.]

  • İzmir' de üretilmiştir.Produced in Izmir.
    [LIT: Izmir-in produced-which-has-been-is.]

Turkish Subject Participle Examples

  • Batan gemiden ayrılan son adam kaptandı.
    The captain was the last man who left the sinking ship.

  • Bisikleti olan çocuk geç kalmadı.
    The boy who had a bicycle was not late.

  • Fabrikanın etrafında hızlı bir şekilde yayılan yangın altı saat sürdü.
    The fire which (that) spread quickly round the factory lasted for six hours.

  • Dün bitirilen iş çok zor idi.
    The work which (that) was finished yesterday was very hard.

  • İnsan kalabalığı tarafından sarılmış olan polis çok kızdı
    The policeman who was surrounded by a crowd of people became very angry.

  • Ayakları kırılmış olan sandalye atılmalıdır.
    The chair whose legs are broken must be thrown away.

  • Dışarıda oturan kız iş arıyor.
    The girl who is sitting outside is looking for a job.

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