166. Temporal adverbial clauses: -DİğİndE

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Lesson 166: Temporal adverbial clauses: -DİğİndE

A group of suffixes in Turkish turn a verb into an adverbial clause. An adverbial clause is basically an adverb, the difference is that it contains a verb that has been adverbalized. These subclauses modify the verb of the main clause. In this lesson, you will see the rather long suffix -DİğİndE.

The meaning of this suffix is something close to 'when', as in 'when x was happening, y happened'. It can refer to ongoing events as well as sequential events. Let's see some examples.

Kapı çaldığında ben açarım. When the doorbell rings, I will open it.

Notice there is no marker in the 'çaldığında' that conveys tense. We infer it from the context. Another possible translation for this sentence could be: "(In general, usually) When the doorbell rings, I open it." So there is constant ambiguity (like in all other suffixes that don't convey a tense but attach to a verb) but ninety percent of the time you understand the sentence without problem thanks to the context.

Since this suffix help us differentiate time into two points of reference, it is often used together with complex tensed (that is, verbs conjugated with copulae) verbs. Related to copulae you have only seen the used-to sentences so we will see examples of that. But in the next lesson, you will learn how to construct sentences with past continuous.

Kar yağdığında kardan adamlar yapardık. When it snowed we used to make snowmen.

Notice how in the first sentence -DİğİndE referred to a future or habitual event, but in the second sentence it refers to a past event. As said before, context determines which interpretation we get.

According to the subject it refers to, -DİğİndE conjugates as such:

-DİğİndE Singular Plural
First person -DİğİmdE -DİğİmİzdE
Second person -DİğİndE -DİğİnİzdE
Third person -DİğİndE -DİklErİndE

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