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Do the right Turkish 'thing'...

Whatchamacallit!
The meaning of şey
in Turkish...
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm blu-ray fırsatları için tıklayın !

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First thingy dingy -- the uses of şey in Turkish

The most common example of breaking the Rule of Turkish Word Order -- is when the verb doesn't end the sentence.

As mentioned in the section on the Regularities of Turkish, this can be for good and logical reasons -- such as with the Imperative. In the "spoken" Turkish, an imperative verb frequently begins a sentence (Git buradan! Get out of here!), because someone with urgent instructions (or orders) to issue will naturally put the operative word first.

Likewise with an urgent question...For example, the traffic cop just arriving at the scene of a serious road accident might shout Var mı sakat?! Is there anyone injured?! -- although, at the scene of a simple fender-bender, he might calmly ask Sakat var mı? -- in the standard word order for a question.

Another case can arise if the speaker momentarily forgets a word and "temporarily" substitutes şey; thing -- in its place. [In this instance, şey would equate to our what'cha ma' call it.] In English this might arise as in...
We're going to the whatchamacallit -- the football match.

In Turkish, that same statement would look like...
Biz şeye gidiyoruz -- futbol maçına,
where the verb gidiyoruz is displaced from it's "rightful" place at the end of the sentence -- because of the forgetfulness of the speaker.

Ahh, yes...the little word şey (with its literal meaning of 'thing')... You know, it's such an integral part of daily spoken Turkish that we think it needs some additional "respectful" attention...

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More of a good Turkish 'thing' --
for advanced language lovers (and other hard cases)...

  1. You can carry it to extremes...
    Yak! Şeyin şeyini yedim -- maymunun gözü!
    Yuk! I ate the whatchamcallit of the whatchamacallit -- the eye of the monkey!
  2. It can be used on purpose (not just when you've forgotten a word) -- to be...
    ***pretentious*** or gösterişli !!!
    (some might say, simply emphatic...)

    Sen pervaneli bir ucaktan atladın. Hah! Ben bir şey'den atladım -- bir F-16 jet'ten!
    All you did was sky-dive from a propeller plane. Ha! I did it from an F-16 jet!

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Disguising with "thing"
In case you don't want to come right out and say what you mean in Turkish...

Learn Turkish Language from Turkish Language Jokes

First lady-of-the-evening:
"İnanılmaz bir olay, bugün siftah yapmadım.
Şeyim örümcek bağladı."

(It's an unbelievable occurrence, I haven't had my first customer today.
My thing is covered with cobwebs.)

Second lady-of-the-evening:
"Ekonomik kriz milleti bitirdi, kız."
(Yer right honey, the economic crisis is killing the country.)

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The latest 'thing'

Just when we think the Turks have run out of new ways to use 'thing', they go and one-up themselves...

While travelling the other day along the Aegean Coast near Kuşadası, the corner of one of our eyes was attracted by a bright new construction sign, announcing the start of a fab! new building project -- for a luxury condominium complex.

New building projects are a dime a dozen around here, we know...But, what caused us to do a double-take and a rubber-necker was the proposed name for this new luxury complex... You guessed it, it's going to be the deluxe, the opulent, the sumptuous...

««««»»»»
Şey Konutları
«««««««»»»»»»»

The 'Thing' Condominiums!

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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Related pages:
  • How To Learn Basic Turkish --
    A Practical Philosophy for beginners

    (Found in the 'Introduction to The Whole Earth Catalog of Turkish Movies'.)
  • Why Off-color language is important too...
  • Translating Turkish, the basics
  • Essential Turkish Vocabulary
  • Turkish Verbs
  • Essential Idioms, Index
  • Essential Suffixes, Index
  • Sentence Structure, Standard
  • Turkish Pronunciation
  • Turkish Accenting
  • Turkish Numbers Revealed
  • NewsReaders' Dictionary, Index
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