8 Past Tenses in Turkish (with conjugations)

There is not only one past tense in Turkish, nor in any language. You’ll see different types of past tenses with explanations and examples in this page.

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Let’s begin:

1. Simple Past Tense in Turkish:

you must use simple past tense (-DI) to describe an actions happened in the past. Similar to English, Turkish past simple is used to describe things that happened and finished in the past. The suffix of past simple is -di/dı/ti/tı.

Different from miş-past, di-past is used to describe an action that the speaker has witnessed. Conversely, miş-past defines the actions that the speaker has only heard but not witnessed.

Simple Past Tense in Turkish – Examples:

to like, to love

I liked/loved

We liked/loved

Bu oyunu* çok sevdik
We liked this game a lot

*accusative form


VERB+ dimdindi
tara- taradımtaradıntaradı
kır- kırdımkırdınkırdı
sev- sevdimsevdinsevdi


VERB+ dikdinizdiler
tara- taradıktaradınıztaradılar
kır- kırdıkkırdınızkırdılar
sev- sevdiksevdinizsevdiler

How to make the Simple Past negative?

You need to add the negative suffix -me/ma after the verb root, before the personal pronouns. If the verb root has one of back vowels, you have to add -ma to the verb root. If the verb root has one of front vowels, you have to add -me. After the negative suffix, you add the past tense suffix -DI.

I didn’t like it

I didn’t take it

Ali bizimle gelmek istemedi
Ali didn’t want to come with us

If the action happens in the past over a period of time, you’d rather use Past Continuous Tense.

2. Past Continuous Tense in Turkish:

when describing continuing actions or events in the past (before now), you use past continuous tense. Mainly, to describe an event/action that is interrupted by another event/action, past continuous tense is used (similar to the continuous past of English). To refer to the concept of past continuous in Turkish, you’d call ‘geçmiş zamanda süreklilik’ or ‘sürekli geçmiş zaman’. Let’s look into the word ‘sürekli’.

to drive, lead, continue

period, duration

drove (of cattle)

continuous, perpetual

Bir süre önce
A while ago


VERB+ (i)yordum(i)yordun(i)yordu
tara- tarıyordumtarıyorduntarıyordu
kır- kırıyordumkırıyordunkırıyordu
sev- seviyordumseviyordunseviyordu


VERB+ (i)yorduk(i)yordunuz(i)yordular/(i)yorlardı
tara- tarıyorduktarıyorunuztarıyorlardı/tarıyordular
kır- kırıyordukkırıyordunuzkırıyordular/kırıyorlardı
sev- seviyordukseviyordunuzseviyorlardı/seviyordular

If you wonder something, you can ask it in a polite way with this tense.

Past Continuous Tense in Turkish – Examples:

Araba kazası olduğu zaman ben kütüphanede ders çalışıyordum.
I was studying when the car accident happened.

I was wondering if you could announce the exam results on Tuesday.
Merak ediyordum da sınav sonuçlarını salı günü açıklayabilir misiniz?

Future in the Past in Turkish:

You use this tense to refer the future from the perspective of past. It is translated to ‘was going to‘.

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3. Future in the Past – Examples:

to laugh

I laughed

I was going laugh

Az kalsın gülecektim
I was about to laugh

I was going to come

Aslında partiye gelecektim ama araba kazası yaptım.
I was going to come to the party but I had a car accident


VERB+ ecektimecektinecekti
tara- tarayacaktımtarayacaktıntarayacaktı
kır- kıracaktımkıracaktınkıracaktı
sev- sevecektimsevecektinsevecekti


VERB+ ecektikecektinizecektiler/eceklerdi
tara- tarayacaktıktarayacaktınıztarayacaklardı/tarayacaktılar
kır- kıracaktıkkıracaktınızkıracaklardı/kıracaktılar
sev- sevecektiksevecektinizseveceklerdi/sevecektiler

4. Second form of the future-in-the-past

you can translate into English as ‘would‘. It’s the same concept but you use one of the suffixes of aorist (-ar/-er/-ır/-ir).

I would enter

Fakülteye girerdim
I would enter the faculty

Eğer söyleseydin, fakülteye girerdim
I would enter to faculty if you had told me

Eğer söyleseydin, fakülteye girmezdim
I wouldn’t enter to faculty if you had told me

5. Necessitative Past in Turkish:

the structure of the necessitative past is translated into English as ‘should have‘. In Turkish, necessitative is called as ‘gereklilik kipi‘.


VERB+ meliydimmeliydinmeliydi
tara- taramalıydımtaramalıydıntaramalıydı
kır- kırmalıydımkırmalıydınkırmalıydı
sev- sevmeliydimsevmeliydinsevmeliydi


VERB+ meliydikmeliydinizmeliydiler
tara- taramalıydıktaramalıydınıztaramalıydılar
kır- kırmalıydıkkırmalıydınızkırmalıydılar
sev- sevmeliydiksevmeliydinizsevmeliydiler

S/he should come

I should come

I should have come

Bizimle yürüyüşe gelmeliydin
You should have come to walk with us

Bu soğukta gelmemeliydin
lit. you shouldn’t have come in this cold

6. Turkish Conditional Past Tense in Turkish:

is similar to the ‘If only + past participle‘ of English. You use this structure to express wishes or regrets. As you know -se/-sa suffix is of subjunctive mood (optative), and when used together with -di/-dı/du/dü past tense suffix, it means as followed:

Turkish Conditional Past – Examples:

If only it had happened

If only you knew

Olmasaydı, daha iyi olurdu.
If only it hadn’t happened, it would be better


VERB+ saydımsaydınsaydı
tara- tarasaydımtarasaydıntarasaydı
kır- kırsaydımkırsaydınkırsaydı
sev- sevseydimsevseydinsevseydi


VERB+ seydikseydinizseydiler/selerdi
tara- tarasaydıktarasaydınıztarasaydılar/tarasalardı
kır- kırsaydıkkırsaydınızkırsalardı/kırsaydılar
sev- sevseydiksevseydinizsevselerdi/sevseydiler

7. Turkish Pluperfect:

Google describes pluperfect: ‘denoting an action completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied, formed in English by had and the past participle, as in he had gone by then‘. That’s also valid for Turkish use. Do not get confused with ‘miş‘ before the past tense suffix. It is not of inferential meaning.

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Pluperfect in Turkish- Table


VERB+ mıştımmıştınmıştı
tara- taramıştımtaramıştıntaramıştı
kır- kırmıştımkırmıştınkırmıştı
sev- sevmiştimsevmiştinsevmişti


VERB+ miştikmiştinizmiştiler/mişlerdi
tara- taramıştıktaramıştınıztaramıştılar/taramışlardı
kır- kırmıştıkkırmıştınızkırmıştılar/kırmışlardı
sev- sevmiştiksevmiştinizsevmişlerdi/sevmişdiler

Pluperfect in Turkish – Examples

I had stayed/failed by then

Altı gibi çoktan bitirmiştim
I had already finished by six

8. Reported Past Tense in Turkish (miş-past)

This is my favorite tense! It is used to describe things that you have not witnessed. This tense type does not exist in the majority of the languages so it’s often confused, however, it is very fun and easy. Let’s explain with an example:

Imagine that you saw one of your friends falling down the stairs. (Let’s assume that this friend’s name is Selin.) If you want to mention Selin’s falling to another friend (Emre), you’d say:

Bugün Selin merdivenlerden düştü
Today Selin fell down the stairs

However, if Emre wants to tell anybody about this action, he’d use miş-past because he has not witnessed of Selin’s falling but only heard of it. So, then,

Emre: Bugün Selin merdivenlerden düşmüş.

Reported Past Tense in Turkish (miş-past) – Examples

Evi temizledim
I cleaned the house

Evi temizlemişim
I have forgotten that I have cleaned the house. I realize it now

Evi temizlemişimdir
I must have cleaned the house.

Umarım evi temizlemişimdir.
I hope I have cleaned the house

For further examples, you can check Reported Past Tense page.

Turkish Past Tenses – Quiz

Please fill in the blanks (Write only the suffixes)

(Simple Past Tense, Biz) Dün Ankara'da bütün işlerimizi hal_____.
Please choose the correct answer:

(Simple Past Tense, Negative, Siz) İşleri düzgün yap_____. Eğer yapsaydınız, anlaşılırdı.
Please choose the appropriate suffixes:

(Past Continuous Tense) Aradığında araba kullan_____. Dolayısıyla telefona bakamadım.
Please choose the correct translation of the following sentence:

We should have seized that opportunity.

This question is for measuring your general comprehension. Please choose the incorrect sentence related to the photo:
Choose the correct translation of the following sentence:

"If only it hadn’t happened, it would be better"
Please derive the verb "gitmek" for the blank.

Tarkan son albümünü çıkardığı zaman, ben ilkokula _______.
Please choose the photo most relevant to the following sentence:

Erdem Bey'i gördüğümüzde, Maçka Parkı'nda koşuyordu.
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