Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Okuduğum kitap çok ilginç

I don’t know why but relative and subordinate clauses in Turkish seem to be like very  steep stairs that I climb and climb but I’m not able to get to the top. Theory, as in Turkish, seems to be simple, logic and easy to remember, yet it’s much worse when it comes to practice. Perhaps it’s only a question of drilling this particular structure – as it works completely the other way round than in Polish or the languages I’ve been learning so far.

Examples of relative sentences are:
  • The woman sitting there is my wife.
  • The book I read is very interesting.

As you can see, they are different. In the first one the woman I am talking about is a subject, and in the second – the book is an object. This is very important because it implies the way in which these types of sentences are built.

The sentences in which you add some information that characterizes a subject require a suffix -an/-en (depending on vowel harmony), giving:
  • Orada oturan kadɪn eşim. – The woman sitting there is my wife.
  • Ingilizce bilen adam. – The man who speaks English.

The important part to remember when building such sentences is that the noun we’re talking about goes after the “description” – that’s why we say “oturan kadɪn” and “bilen adam” not “kadɪn oturan” “adam bilen”.
More examples:
  • Türkçe konuşan kɪz biliyor musun? – Do you know a girl / the girl who speaks Turkish?
  • Buraya giden adam kardeşimiz. – The man coming here is our brother.
  • Koşan çocuğu görüyorum. – I see the child that is running.

 The sentences in which you want to give some more characteristics to the object require a suffix -diği- with appropriate personal ending (vowel harmony applies), giving:
-diğim                   -diğimiz
-diğin                    -diğiniz
-diği                       -dikleri

Examples:
  • Okuduğum kitap çok ilginç. - The book that I read (present) is very interesting. / The book that I am reading (continuous) is very interesting. / The book that I read (past) is very interesting.
  • Okuduğun kitap çok ilginç. – The book that you read is very interesting
  • Okuduğu kitap çok ilginç. – The book he/she reads is very interesting.
  • Okuduğumuz kitap çok ilginç. – The book that we read is very interesting.
  • Okuduğunuz kitap çok ilginç. – The book that you read is very interesting.
  • Okuduklarɪ kitap çok ilginç. – The book that they read is very interesting.

As you can see, the Turkish sentences say nothing about the time – it may be present or past. You need to figure it out from the context.

Easy? So far yes. But you must remember that Turkish uses cases, ugh! That means that if you want to say e.g. ”I like the book that I read” you need to use accusative case with the verb “sevmek”, and so on. Examples:
  • Okuduğum kitabɪ seviyorum. – I like the book that I read.
  • Orada oturan bir kadınla konuşmadım. – I didn’t talk to a woman sitting there.
  • Buraya giden adama bir kitap vermeliyim. – I have to give a book to the man coming here.

This is the easiest part. It gets more difficult if you want to express more complicated things such as: “I didn’t know that the engine of this type of car consumed so much gasoline” or “I didn’t expect her to want so badly to get this job”. This type of sentences will be dealt with in one of the future posts.

This text is available also in Polish
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