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Lesson 6: The infinitive and the stem

A verb is in its infinitive form in English if it starts with to, for example to read and to write. In Turkish, the infinitive form of all verbs ends in mEk. The part that comes before mEk is called the stem of the verb.

Whether the verb ends in mek or mak is determined by the last vowel in the stem, in exactly the same way as the form of the plural suffix is determined by the last vowel which comes before it, according to minor vowel harmony.

Stem (front) Infinitive Stem Infinitive
gel gelmek to come sat satmak to sell
git gitmek to go çalış çalışmak to work
gör görmek to see koy koymak to put
yürü yürümek to walk otur oturmak to sit

Again, the vowels at the left are called front vowels, because they are produced in the front of the mouth, and the vowels at the right are called back vowels, because they are produced in the back of the mouth.

In this lesson you will learn a collection of verbs, and in the next lessons you will learn how to make your first sentences using these verbs.

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