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Lesson 11: The present continuous

The present continuous is used to describe an action that is currently going on. To form the present continuous of a verb, follow the following three steps:

  1. Find the stem by dropping mEk from the end of the verb.
  2. If the last letter of the stem is a vowel, drop it.
  3. Add the ending for the present continuous, depending on the person who is performing the action.
Singular Plural
First person İyorum İyoruz
Second person İyorsun İyorsunuz
Third person İyor İyor(lar)

The lar ending is optional for animate beings and is not used for objects. The lar ending is most often used when the subjects are humans.

The books are falling. Kitaplar düşüyor.
The cats are falling. Kediler düşüyor(lar).
The children are falling. Çocuklar düşüyor(lar).

See the table below for a reminder of how to replace İ according to major vowel harmony.

If the last vowel after step 2 is i or e ı or a u or o ü or ö
replace İ by i ı u ü

Below are some examples for creating the present continuous:

English Infinitive Stem Drop trailing vowel Personal ending
I am walking. yürümek yürü yür Yürüyorum.
You are drinking. içmek İçiyorsun.
She is saying. söylemek söyle söyl Söylüyor.
We are selling. satmak sat sat Satıyoruz.
You are sitting. oturmak otur otur Oturuyorsunuz.
They are reading. okumak oku ok Okuyor(lar).

As you can see, we can make sentences in Turkish without using the personal pronouns ben, sen, etc. If we do use personal pronouns, extra emphasis is added to the person performing the action.

With the verbs demek and yemek, there is no vowel left after taking the stem and dropping the trailing vowel. In this case, we use the vowel i.

English Infinitive Stem Drop trailing vowel Personal ending
I am saying. demek de d Diyorum.
You are eating. yemek ye y Yiyorsun.
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