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173. (N)Either n(or), and both: ya, hem, ne

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Lesson 173: (N)Either n(or), and both: ya, hem, ne

In this lesson, you will learn the equivalents of 'either-or', 'neither-nor' and 'both-and' constructions.

In Turkish, these are also conveyed with two words that are separated. Let's see:

ya ... ya (da) ... Either ... or ...
hem ... hem (de) ... Both ... and ...
ne ... ne (de) ... Neither ... nor ...

As you can see, dE particle is always optional in all three. You can practically put anything you want in between them; verbs, nouns, clauses, adverbs etc. Now let's see some example sentences:

Ya makarna yiyeceğim ya köfte (yiyeceğim). I'm going to eat either pasta or meatballs.
Hem akıllı hem de çalışkan bizim çocuğumuz. Our child is both smart and hardworking.
Ne kitap okuyabildim ne uyuyabildim. I could neither read a book nor go to sleep.

Just like in English, ya ... ya ... and hem ... hem ... are used for positive statements while ne ... ne ... is used for negative sentences. Also like in English, the negation comes from ne ... ne ... itself, so there is no need to negate the verb with the negation marker -mE. In fact, doing that would make statement positive, since two negatives make a positive.

Also, notice how in the first sentence, Turkish can ellipse (from ellipsis, that is, to drop) the second verb, if they are the same verb. You can add it too if you'd like, it does not make a difference in meaning.

Lesson contributors

Yarkın_Ergin
Erik