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Turkish Conjunction Celebration

Introduction

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm parfüm fırsatları için tıklayın !

Gittigidiyor, an ebay affiliate
.
Turkish Conjunctions Exposed!
Another Turkish-language 'part of speech' --
that'll haunt you late at night...
Sometimes Turkish conjunctions can be spotted and translated, easy peasy...

Jennifer Lopez'in gözleri, saçları ve dudakları çok güzeldiler--
ama göğüsleri biraz küçük ve kalçaları biraz geniştiler.

Jennifer Lopez's eyes, hair and lips are very beautiful --
but she's light in the boobs and a little bit hippy.


Non-believers click here,
and learn another Turkish idiom too!

Mini Note: Use of the 'ler' verbal suffix (to signify plurality)
for güzeldiler and geniştiler above
is grammatically correct -- but it's likely to be dropped by 'real' Turkish speakers/writers.
That's because plurality (eyes, hair, lips, etc.) is obvious in the sentence -- long before the verb is spoken/written. So the 'ler' verbal suffix is considered redundant by native-speakers.

But sometimes Turkish conjunctions are not so easy to spot and translate --
because they can be confused with prepositions [postpositions].

Denzel ile Jennifer sinemaya gidiyor.
In this sentence, it's not immediately clear whether 'ile'
is a conjunction meaning 'and',
or a preposition meaning 'with'...
(Remember when we hinted at this problem on our Tips and Tipoffs page?
See 'The wrong and, the right ands'... )


Mini Note: If the original Turkish sentence had
included a 'lar' verbal suffix, so that it read...
Denzel ile Jennifer sinemaya gidiyorlar.
...then we'd know straight away to translate the sentence as:
Denzel and Jennifer are going to the cinema.
But remember from the Mini Note above that
the plural verbal suffix is dropped, more often than not,
by native Turkish speakers/writers --
to avoid redundancy.
And that can cause comprehension problems
which raise alternative translation possibilities...

Translation Possibility 1:
Denzel and Jennifer are going to the movies.
[Implied meaning of the sentence --
Denzel and Jennifer are both going to the movies, all right --
but Denzel may be going to the new Morgan Freeman psycho-thriller while
Jennifer tramps off to see the latest Antonio Banderas potboiler...]

Translation Possibility 2:
Jennifer is going to the movies with Denzel.
[Implied meaning of the sentence --
Denzel and Jennifer are going together to the same movie.]

The difference between the two possible translations
may not seem like much to you, at first...
But, it might raise a few eyebrows
if we replaced 'to the movies' in the sentence
with 'to the WC'...
Eh?




Sometimes, Turkish conjunctions are found
at the front of the sentences (or clauses or words) they connect...
Hem konuşuyor, hem keman çalıyor, hem oynuyor, hem gözleri ile flört ediyor.
She talks, plays the fiddle, dances, and flirts with her eyes - all at the same time.

But, sometimes they're found at the back-end...
İyi günde olsun, kötü günde olsun, sağlık günde olsun, hastalıkta olsun
ben hep senin yanında olacağım.

I'll always stick by you - whether in good days, or in bad days, or in healthy days, or in sickness.





And, sometimes...and sometimes.. and sometimes...
That's right. We could go on pointing out curiosities --
and making observations about how 'weird and wonderful' Turkish conjunctions are,
but we think you get the idea.
So instead, why don't we try to nail them down (once and for all)
in another of LPT's by-now well-known grammar charts --
found a little further below.
But just before we do that, is it possible to explore this topic with out using...

Too Much Terminology?
Part 1

In English, there are three functional categories of 'conjunctions':
  1. 'Coordinators' like:
    and, or and but.
    Example:
    The children play ball inside and outside the house.
    Çocuklar evin içinde ve arkasında top oynuyor.
  2. 'Subordinators' like:
    if, when, because, since.
    Example:
    I was late for the meeting because the traffic was very heavy.
    Toplantıya geç kaldım, çünkü trafik çok yoğundu.

  3. 'Correlators' [that work in so-called pairs] like:
    either...or, both...and, and whether...or.
    Example:
    The workers want both a lot of money,
    and they don't [want to] work [very hard].

    İşçiler hem çok para istiyor, hem çalışmıyor.

And, we should keep those functional categories firmly in mind as we browse the following chart... because they may help us satisfy our minds about what a Turkish conjunction is -- or what it is not.

As you'll see, many of the Turkish conjunctions that we present below are actually Turkish suffixes, which attach to Turkish verbal roots... Due to that pure physical characteristic then, some folks might object to our calling them conjunctions, in the first place. They might argue that a conjunction must be a separate stand-alone word, such as the English subordinating conjunction since. And, they might add that words formed of suffixes affixed to verbal roots can't have a conjunction function -- that they must only function as participles or gerunds, as with the English participle/gerund learning.

But, trying to force Turkish conjunctions into that particular English-language definitional mold is an unnecessary burden -- because the 'proof is found in the pudding'. For example, take the sentence...

Türkçe öğreneli geceleri uyuyanmıyorum.
I can't sleep nights since I started learning Turkish.

Does anyone want to seriously argue that the suffix -eli
is anything other than a subordinating conjunction in that sentence?

Where Turkish is concerned then, we consider 'functionality' first and foremost in determining what we call a conjunction. And whether we include a stand-alone word or a suffix in the chart below...as long as it has a conjunctive purpose, then we'll call it a conjunction. Case closed?

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