Simple Past Tense
The past tense in Turkish is used in exactly the same way as the past tense in English, which is to express actions done, such as 'I went' and 'I saw'. The suffix used to create this tense is
To create a sentence in the simple past tense, follow these rules;
1) Take a verb, such as 'kalmak' - 'to stay' or 'gelmek' - 'to come', and remove the 'mek/mak' leaving just the verb base.
Example -' kalmak' - 'to stay', 'kal' - 'stay'
2) After the verb, add the past simple suffix '-di'. This will change according to vowel harmony, becoming either;
-di / -dı / -dü / -du
(If the last letter in the verb is either k/p/ç/t then the 'd' will become 't' eg '-ti'/'-tu' etc due to consonant changes)
ye = eat, yedi = ate
kal = stay, kaldı = stayed
gör = see, gördü = saw
git = go, gitti = went
I came = Gel-di-m
You saw = Gör-dü-n
She looked = Bak-tı
We went = Git-ti-k
You put = Koy-du-nuz
They stayed - Kal-dı-lar
Click here to test your Turkish for 'simple past tense' with questions and answers.
||(no personal ending)
||....niz (or 'nız'/'nüz'/'nuz')
||....ler (or 'lar')
Negative Simple Past Tense
To make the past tense into a negative sentence, eg 'I did not stay', use this formula;
verb + -me/ma + past suffix + personal ending
gel + me + di + m = gelmedim = i did not come
kal + ma + dı + n = kalmadın = you did not stay
gör + me + di = görmedi = he did not see
(If you want to give special emphasis to the fact that you (not someone else) did something, simply add the personal pronoun before the verb, eg 'I stayed here, you didn't stay' = 'Ben burada kaldım, sen kalmadın').
Asking questions in the past tense
To ask a question in the past tense, simply add the question marker '-mi?' after the sentence and change it to either '-mi/mı/mü/mu' depending on vowel harmony.
geldim mi? = did I come?
gördün mü? = did you see?
koymadım mı? = did I not put?
gitmedik mi? = did we not go?