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170. Subordinating suffixes: -(y)İp

Learn Turkish
Lesson 170: Subordinating suffixes: -(y)İp

In the past, Turkish did not have 've', which means 'and', it was borrowed later from Persian. It's odd to think that a language did not have a word for 'and', right? So you may wonder, how did they talk about things? How did they connect sentences and words? Well, the answer is quite simple.

For connecting nominals, Turkish used 'ile' (with) and for connecting verbs, it used the suffix -(y)İp, which you will learn about in this lesson.

-(y)İp is from one of the classes of suffixes called subordinators. Subordinators create subordinate (or as we call it, embedded) clauses. -(y)İp is used to connect clauses. Let's see with an example:

Turkish English
Markete gidip sigara aldım. I went to the market and bought cigarettes.

Notice the English equilavent of -(y)İp is 'and'. 'And' is not a subordinator, it simply connects two separate sentences. -(y)İp is different in that sense, it creates an embedded clause. So there's only one sentence but two clauses in Turkish, compared to English having two sentences and two clauses.

If you're wondering where the tense/aspect or person markers are in the embedded clause, you're on the right track. -(y)İp creates non-finite verbs (called converbs) which mean that they carry no tense. Generally, we assume that the person and tense/aspect of the converb (the verb that has -(y)İp) is the same with the main clause verb. For instance in the sentence given above, 'aldım' has past tense first person singular, so it is only logically to assume that 'gidip' is also past first person singular. Because what else can it be? Here's another example:

Turkish English
Sabah erken kalkıp deniz kenarına gidelim. Let's get up early in the morning and go to the seaside.

Here, 'gidelim' is first person plural optative. So we interpret 'kalkıp' to be also first person plural optative.

Full version -(y)İp version
Sabah erken kalkalım ve deniz kenarına gidelim. Sabah erken kalkıp deniz kenarına gidelim.

As said above, generally we get the meaning of converb from the main clause verb. However we also get it from contextual cues. For example, when the main clause verb has negation, we sometimes interpret the converb to have a negative meaning, but sometimes now. Compare the following two examples, first:

Turkish English
Tehditleriniz bizi korkutup kaçıramaz. Your threats cannot scare us and make us flee.
Full version -(y)İp version
Tehditleriniz bizi korkutamaz ve kaçıramaz. Tehditleriniz bizi korkutup kaçıramaz.

Second:

Turkish English
Kamil kitabı okuyup anlamamış. (Apparently) Kamil read the book and didn't understand it.
Full version -(y)İp version
Kamil kitabı okumuş ve anlamamış. Kamil kitabı okuyup anlamamış.

As you can see, from the context we understand that in the first sentence, the verb that has -(y)İp is negated like the main clause verb, however in the second sentence the verb that has -(y)İp is not negated. Because it would be illogical to not read and not understand since you need to have read the book in order to be able to not understand it.

All in all, with practice you will get the meaning of -(y)İp verbs with ease.

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