Var and Yok (There is / There is not)

The words var and yok are the equivalents of “there is/there are” and “there isn’t/there aren’t” respectively. “Var olmak” means “to exist“. If “var” is used with a subject, this indicates that something exists. Conversely, “Yok olmak” means “disappear“. If used with a subject “Yok” indicates the non-existence of something.

Var” and “Yok” are such useful two words that you would easily use a grammatical change.

Yok: There is not / There are not

“Yok” indicates something’s or someone’s absence.


Kalem burada yok.
There is no pencil here

Kendine g├╝venin yok.
You do not have a self-confidence

Moreover, “Yok” can mean “No”. But please watch out when using this way because this use is a little bit of informal even though it can make you sound like a real Turkish native.

Partiye gelecek misn?
Will you come to the party?


Var: There is / There are

“Var” indicates something’s existence. For example, Burada sadece pastahane var. (eng. there is only patisserie here.)


Annenler evde var m─▒? (lit. Are your mothers at home? The overuse of the plural suffix -ler/-lar somehow makes the sentence more polite. Even, Annenler evde varlar m─▒? or Annenler evdeler mi? )

In Turkish, ” sahip olmak ” or “haiz olmak” (old use) means “to have”. Instead of using these words, Turkish people simply use “var” or “yok” to describe the things they have.


Kedilerin dokuz hayat─▒ var.
Cats have nine lives.

Kalemin var m─▒?
Do you have a pencil?

Nas─▒l yani? Hi├ž paran yok mu?
What? Don’t you have any money?

Benim korkum yok
I have no fear; lit. there is not my fear; there does not exist my fear

The last two translations may look odd in English; however, in Turkish saying “Benim korkum yok.” is easier than saying “Ben korkuya sahip de─čilim.”

[qsm quiz=25]


Paradigm of var/yok

In this part, we will see the change of var and yok with different tenses.

Kedim var.
I have a cat; lit. I have my cat

Kedim yok.
I don’t have a cat; I don’t have my cat, it is lost

Kedim vard─▒.
I had a cat, I had my cat

O y─▒llarda gri bir kedim vard─▒.
Those years I had a gray cat

O y─▒llarda kedim halen vard─▒.
Those years I still had my cat. it was alive

Kedim yoktu.
I didn’t have a cat; I didn’t have my cat

Kedim vard─▒r.
I have a cat when used in a formal way; I surely have a cat

Kedim yoktur.
I don’t have a cat. only one meaning

Kedim varm─▒┼č.
It is said that I have a cat; It is said that I have my cat

Kedim yokmu┼č.
It is said that I don’t have my cat, It is said that I don’t have a cat

Kedim varsa.
If I have my cat; If I have a cat

Kedim yoksa.
If I don’t have my cat, If I don’t have a cat

Kedim varken.
While I have my cat; While I have a cat

Var and Yok is the base form of third-person-singular. For other persons, the personal suffixes can be added. You’d mostly encounter var and yok without personal suffix; However, ‘var─▒m’ or ‘yokum’ can be encountered as well. Yet these uses are ‘frozen’ and mostly used for specific concepts.


Var m─▒s─▒n, Yok musun?
eng. Are you in or out?
fr. Cap ou pas cap?

─░ddiaya var m─▒s─▒n?
Do you dare to bet?

I am not in

Question Form: Var m─▒? / Yok mu?

Question form of var and yok is very simple. It is formed by adding question suffix -m─▒ and -mu at the end of var and yok, respectively.


Kitab─▒n var m─▒?
Do you have a book?

Çayın yok mu?
Don’t you have tea?

Bunu yapmaya iste─čin var m─▒?
Do you have the desire to do it?

Idiomatic Expressions with Var and Yok

When Var and Yok is used together, that defines the quantity of something. “Var yok” can be translated as “a little bit”. Also, there exists another way of saying: “Varla yok aras─▒” (var ile yok aras─▒).

Zaman─▒n var m─▒?
Do you have time?

Varla yok aras─▒
Very little

In this context, “varla yok aras─▒” also implies that “very slight, miniscule”. Do we have pasta at home? Varla yok aras─▒ (very litte, we must buy)