Conjunctions

Merriam Webster defines Conjunction as: an uninflected linguistic form that joins together sentences, clauses, phrases, or words. Some common conjunctions are ÔÇťand,ÔÇŁ ÔÇťbut,ÔÇŁ and ÔÇťalthough.ÔÇŁ

Conjunctions are the words used to connect sentences or phrases. Most famous ones are And (tr. Ve), Because (tr. ├ç├╝nk├╝) and But (tr. Ama). Conjunction is translated into Turkish as Ba─čla├ž. The word Ba─čla├ž is derived from the root Ba─člamak which means to link, to tie, to connect. Conjunctions and particles are often confused by Turkish students. Thus, In Turkish sources, one point is overly emphasised: Particles when removed from the sentence cause the meaning change. When removed conjunctions, the meaning may be narrowed but not changed.

 

Here are some Turkish conjunctions: Ama, De, Da, ─░se, ─░le, Ki, Madem, Fakat, Hatta, Ya da, Yahut etc.

De / Da: This conjunction is very popular nowadays because of its mistaken writing. Before its meaning, let’s emphasize its correct spelling:
De / Da has to be written separately, not attached to the word! It is an enclitic conjunction (that always needs to follow another word). If you make a mistake, you could even be warned!

dahi anlamindaki de
dahi anlamindaki de kanabitches.com

Kanabitches.com is a website run by Istanbulian Serra Aybars where you can find hand-made canvases about daily life things. It is quite fun if you are interested.

Most commonly, de/da gives the meaning of too, including, also.

TAKE THE QUIZ – CONJUNCTIONS

Example:

Ben de kazand─▒m
I won too

Meyve de yiyemiyorum
I can not eat fruit either

Burada sigara da i├žemezsin
You can not (do anything) here including smoking.

Çocuk da yaparım, kariyer de
I make a baby also I do a career.

As you will see next, In Turkish, Ve (eng. And) is not used as much as in English. Rather, there are several conjunctions or suffixes covering the same meaning. When De/Da comes between two words, it gives the meaning of and.

Example:

Gitmi┼čler de gelmi┼čler.
They have gone and they have arrived

Dinledim de be─čenmedim
I have listened to it and didn’t like it

When used repeatedly, it gives the meaning of Both, And.

Çantanı da cetvelini de almayı unutma
Do not forget to take your bag and ruler.

Atention: Da / Da follows vowel harmony rules but never becomes Te / Ta.

VE (and)

As mentioned before, Ve is not used as much as it is in English. There are suffixes and conjunctions covering the same meaning such as -ip, ile and de/da. You will now see examples.

Example:

Bu k─▒z ve bu ├žocuk
This girl and this child

Bu k─▒zla bu ├žocuk
This girl and this child

In speech, the latter structure is more popularly used. ─░le usually comes between two nouns.

Eve geldim ve olanlar─▒ g├Ârd├╝m
I arrived home and saw what happened

Eve gelip olanlar─▒ g├Ârd├╝m
I arrived home and saw what happened

-─░p always comes after verb roots. The time is often determined by the second verb.

Eve gelip olanlar─▒ g├Ârecektim
I was going to arrive home and see what happened

├ça─č─▒rm─▒┼č da gelmi┼čler
S/he has called them and they arrived

Bulur da fazlas─▒n─▒ ister
One finds but asks for more

Ama (Ancak, Lakin, Fakat) [but]

All the four words have the same meaning. The most common one is Ama which is an borrowing from Arabic. Further, the last two ones, Lakin and Fakat are also borrowed from Arabic. It is quite interesting though why there are so many borrowed words meaning the same even without a slight difference. Ancak, on the other hand, comes from ancient Turkish.

Example:

Oraya gittim ama sizi g├Âremedim

Oraya gittim fakat sizi g├Âremedim

Oraya gittim ancak sizi g├Âremedim

Oraya gittim lakin sizi g├Âremedim

I went there but I couldn’t see you

Lakin and Fakat are less commonly used in modern Turkish. They are more preferred in literary language. For example, let’s say there is a period drama on TVs from the 19th century. In the script, you would not hear Ama or Ancak but Fakat or Lakin.

The correct spelling of Lakin is with ├ó. (L├ókin) Nevertheless, there is no similar word with which one would confuse their meaning. Because of that, the use of ‘├ó’ is avoided.

When ama is at the end of sentence, it means though.

Example:

Bu kadar─▒ da fazla ama!
This is way too much, though

There is also another expression giving the same meaning of these four words. It is ‘ne var ki’. However, there is an extra in the meaning. See the example:

Oraya gittim ne var ki sizi g├Âremedim
I went there but (surprisingly) I couldn’t see you

Madem, Madem ki (Since)

It is translated as ‘seeing that’. The first a in Madem is pronunciated long. Both uses (madem and madem ki) are popular and do not have a difference in meaning.

Madem ki bilmiyorsun, neden fikir belirtiyorsun.
Seeing that you don’t know, why are you saying a lot.

Ne … ne … ne (Neither nor)

This use may look a little bit strange but it is quite common and very useful. You can use it almost for every verb and noun without undergoing lots of grammatics. So, please give your full attention to learn it.

Example:

Ne sever, ne nefret eder.
S/he neither likes, nor hates.

The number of “ne” is not limited:

Ne sever, ne s├Âver, ne nefret eder.
S/he neither likes, nor damns, nor hates.

If you form a long sentence with this conjunction, the last “ne” usually takes “de/da” (doesn’t have to though).

Ne sever, ne s├Âver, ne de nefret eder.
S/he neither likes, nor damns, nor hates.

Ne ekmek alm─▒┼čs─▒n─▒z ne de su.
(I see that) You bought neither bread nor water.

Ne okumak be─čenirler, ne de kitap.
lit. They neither likes ‘reading’, nor book.

Gerek … Gerek(se)

The pattern of this conjunction is very similar to that of Ne … Ne …. You may also find some sentences where the last Gerek appears as Gerekse (Gerek + ise). The English equivalent of this conjunction doesn’t cover the same meaning yet it is whether … or …. Gerek is derived from the verb “Gerekmek” which means “To require”.

Gerek emekli gerekse ├žal─▒┼čan ki┼čilere i┼č imkan─▒
Job opportunity to the retired or the employee

You would see this type of conjunction mostly in the literary Turkish language. You must learn the meaning, but using in daily speech is not necessarily essential.

Hem … Hem (de)

Hem comes from the Persian language. It gives a very similar meaning of De/Da. Unlike the conjunction of Gerek, this type of conjunctions is very commonly used in both daily speech and literary language. It is translated as both … and …

Bu t├╝r ba─čla├žlar hem g├╝nl├╝k konu┼čmalarda hem de edebi dilde bolca kullan─▒lmaktad─▒r.
This type of conjunctions is very commonly used in both daily speech and literary language.

There are more conjunctions similar to the ones we have learned. We’ll cover the rest shortly since they are very similar.

─░ster … ─░ster(se) (eng. Either … or)

─░ster buraya gelsinler ister eve gitsinler.
They can (either) come here or go home, doesn’t matter.

Ha … ha … (eng. Both … and; Or)

Ha kazanm─▒┼čs─▒n ha kaybetmi┼čsin, sen benim de─čerli k─▒z─▒ms─▒n.
lit. You won or you lost (doesn’t matter) you are my precious daughter.

Ha elma ha armut
Both apple or pear

Ya … Ya (da) … (eng. … or …)

Ya trene bineriz ya da u├ža─ča bineriz.
We travel Either on train or plane.

ise

It’s correct translation is if it is for the most of the time. If used after a noun, it emphasizes the noun. Sometimes, it means whereas (in the third example).

Example:

Sen ise kendini kand─▒r─▒yordun
And you, you were fooling yourself.

Yazmay─▒ ve okumay─▒ severim; okulu ise hi├ž sevmiyorum
I like writing and reading. School, however, I really dislike.

Kedi memeli bir hayvand─▒r, kaplumba─ča ise yumurtal─▒.
Cats are mammals whereas turtles are ovipara.

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Ki

Ki is a very tiny but quite versatile and useful Turkish conjunction. It is borrowed from Persian in the 13th century and make Turkish develop new abilities. Lewis states that the importation of this Persian conjunction opened the door to the Indo-European pattern of a sentence, which is in many respects the reverse of the native Turkish literary pattern. Persian and Arabic grammar structures have been imported during many years of cultural interactions. Due to that, Turkish has gained enormous flexibility, especially in poetry and literary language.

TAKE THE QUIZ – CONJUNCTIONS

Example:

Korkar─▒m ki* telefonunu kaybettim.
I am afraid that I lost your phone.

Elbette ki erken gelecekler.
Of course that they will come early.

Susmal─▒s─▒n ki duyal─▒m. (Duymam─▒z i├žin susman gerekiyor)
You should be quite so we can here.

├çal─▒┼čmal─▒s─▒n ki ba┼čaras─▒n. (Ba┼čarmak i├žin ├žal─▒┼čmal─▒s─▒n)
You should work/study so as to succed.

Odaya bir girdik ki her ┼čey darmada─č─▒n.
We entered the room and (we have found that) everything is all over the place.

├ľyle k├Ât├╝ ki yenmesi imkans─▒z.
It is too unsavoury that it is impossible to eat.

Perhiz yapmal─▒s─▒n ki kilo veresin.
You should diet so that you can lose kilo.

*I am afraid is translated as Korkar─▒m ki into Turkish. However, you don’t often say this phrase in Turkish. You’d rather say San─▒r─▒m or Galiba. Unfortunately, dubbed or subtitled movies cause this kind of ‘weird’ translations. You must be careful when learning a foreign language by watching subtitled movies or series. It is essential to expose yourself the language spoken by the natives.

Even though Ki seems very tiny, consisting of two letters, it cannot be omitted in a sentence. Because most of the cases it changes the meaning dramatically.

Example:

You may omit:

Elbette ki erken gelecekler.
Of course that they will come early.

Elbette, erken gelecekler.
They will come early of course.

You can not omit:

├çal─▒┼čmal─▒s─▒n ki ba┼čaras─▒n.
You should study/work so you can succeed.

├ľyle k├Ât├╝ ki yenmesi imkans─▒z.
It tastes incredibly bad so it is impossible to eat.

‘├çal─▒┼čmal─▒s─▒n, ba┼čaras─▒n’ doesn’t exactly mean what is trying to be meant nor ‘├ľyle k├Ât├╝ yenmesi imkans─▒z’.

Perhiz yapmal─▒s─▒n ki kilo veresin.
You should be on a diet so that you can lose weight

Perhiz yapmak
Be on a diet

Perhiz is a Persian borrowing and often appears in modern Turkish even though Diyet yapmak or Diyete girmek is more popular nowadays.

Ba┼čkan─▒n neresi do─čru ki
Are there anything that the president doing right

E─čer kebap yediysen -ki yedi─čine eminim- ├žok lezzetli oldu─čunu bilirsin.
If you have eaten kebap -well, surely you did- you’d know how delicious it is.

├ç├╝nk├╝ (┼×undan dolay─▒)

Its English equivalent is Because. Its usage is very similar to Because.

Kitab─▒ okumad─▒m ├ž├╝nk├╝ yazar ├žok yanl─▒ yaz─▒yor.
I didn’t read the book because the author writes very non-objectively.

In Turkish diction lessons, this is often emphasised that the correct pronunciation of this word is Çünki. In speech it must be pronunciated as Çünki. But do not confuse, the correct spelling is always Çünkü.

Di─čer taraftan

It means On the other hand. There is also one more alternative: ├ľte yandan. They do not have much difference in meaning.

Di─čer taraftan, halk protesto ediyordu.
On the other hand, the society was protesting.

Bir yanda sen, ├Âte yanda annem.
On one side, you, on other side, my mother.

This conjunction is used to give the meaning of in addition to also.

Bi taraftan okuyorum di─čer taraftan mektubu yaz─▒yorum.
I read, in addition to that, I write the letter.

In these sentences, Di─čer taraftan can be replaced by ├ľte yandan. The meaning doesn’t change at all not even slightly.

Yoksa

Yok+ise(sa) conveys the meanings of if not and Or. There is also Aksi takdirde which is an old saying having the same meaning of Yoksa.

Bunu mu alsam yoksa ┼čunu mu?
Should I buy this, or that?

Yap ┼čunu! Yoksa ben yapaca─č─▒m.
Do it! Or I am doing to do it.

 

Conjunctions – Quiz

Take this quiz to test yourself.

Choose the correct conjunction(s).

Ay┼če _ Fatma da bizimle gelecek mi?
Choose the correct conjunction:

Yemekte bal─▒k ___ varm─▒┼č. Oley!
Write the most appropriate conjunction for the blank. (This question has multiple correct answers):

Bu s─▒nava ├žok haz─▒rland─▒m _____ s─▒nav─▒ ge├žememi┼čim.

This question is for measuring your general comprehension. Please choose the incorrect sentence related to the photo:
__ derslerine ├žal─▒┼č─▒yorsun __ temizlik yap─▒yorsun. Bu halin beni endi┼čelendiriyor.
Elbette _ gitmeden ├Ânce sana bildirece─čim.
Kusura bakma bug├╝n istedi─čin ├žorbay─▒ yapamad─▒m ____ malzemelerinin mevsimi de─čil.
Evet. ____ onu _____ bunu istiyorum.
Emeklemek (en. to crawl)

Bebekler y├╝r├╝meden ├Ânce emekle_____.

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