"Onlar balık tutmak istiyorlar."

Translation:They want to fish.

October 31, 2015

This discussion is locked.


What is wrong with "They want to catch fish"? Ridiculous .


agreed: "to catch fish" and "to fish" basically are synonymous in English. both should be acceptable translations, especially for our güzel bir baykuş, Duo.

  • 2490

Google gives 66 possible translations for 'tutmak' :-)

(one of which is 'to catch')

Another one is 'to keep'. How would you say "they want to keep fish", as in an aquarium?


Since it has been a while since you posted your question, I'll go ahead and answer this one.

I'm going to give you a short answer up front, but for the sake of sharing knowledge, I wanted to do more than just copy and paste an answer. The short answer is this:

"keep fish" is "balık yetiştirmek"

However, it appears that some sources (e.g., Tatoeba) indicate that "balik tutmak" conveys the same meaning. See my search for "keep fish" here: Tatoeba: "keep fish. The word "yetiştirmek" appears to have a connotation of "grow" or "raise," so despite what is found at Tatoeba, it may be the better word to use. I think if you use "akvaryum" (aquarium) or "balik havuzu" (fish bowl but literally "fish pool"), you will be understood.

So, how do you say, "They want to keep fish"? I'd probably say it like this:

Onlar balık havuzunun içinde balık yetiştirmek istiyorlar.

Literally, "They want to keep fish in the fish bowl." If I'm wrong, perhaps someone will correct me. [Don't know if I'm "wrong," but this may not be the best way to say this. See LucBE's suggestions below.]

In the meantime, it should be obvious by now that I am not a native speaker of Turkish, nor am I even some degree of fluent, so I rely on a variety of resources to help me out. Many of them I had never heard of before until I began reading the duolingo discussion threads. When I am attempting to translate a word, here's an approach I often take:

When I am trying to translate just a single word, I usually start my search with WordReference.com. I do that because it lists words somewhat similarly to the way a standard dictionary would -- with most common meanings for the word listed first.

If I'm trying to translate something made up of two or three words, however, I usually go to Tureng. It is more comprehensive and seems to be more up-to-date with the most modern words and phrases. It has other extremely helpful features as well. For example, it labels words with categories such as "Computer," "Technical," "Gastronomy," et cetera. It isn't available for every language, but it does include Turkish, German, Spanish, French, and English.

If I need to translate something longer than two or three words, I'll go to Tatoeba. People refer to it as a "sentence dictionary."

For the record, don't think I'm not a fan of Google Translate. I am, but when it comes to Turkish, it is usually a last resort, not a first one.

If you want to take your translations to even higher levels, then consult with the Turkish dictionaries. Nişanyan Sözlük and Türk Dil Kurumu (TDK) are two of the best. You also may want to try Wiktionary. These three resources give you details on the origins of the word which are tremendously helpful in understanding the word better and deciding if it is the word you want to use.

Hope that helped.

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Thanks so much!
A post like this merits to become a sticky. Very helpful indeed! :-)


Allah Allah! That was hızlı. I was still in the process of putting the final touches on it when I discovered you had already replied to it. What a pleasant surprise to receive a compliment so soon. Çok teşekkür ederim!

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My pleasure! :-)

Regarding your suggested translation:
If you use içinde, wouldn't that stress too much the fact that you keep the fish inside the bowl? As opposed to outside of it? I mean, doesn't it sound awkward?
Is Onlar balık havuzda balık yetiştirmek istiyorlar correct?
Or shorter Onlar akvaryumda balık yetiştirmek istiyorlar?


Perhaps I am stressing it too much. It would make sense that the use of a full word rather than a suffixed ending for case would, indeed, seem to add more emphasis. I like your suggestions. I'll leave mine up just so that others can see what you are referring to, but direct readers to your post. Very well done, LucBE!


"Tutmak" also means "to fish"? The translation given is not "They want to keep fish", there is written "They want to fish". Pls. clarify that to me.


tutmak is to hold/to keep literally. but we use it with balık to express to fish.


why is the -lar necessary on istiyor when the 'onlar' is present? I thought it was optional?


Tutmak means keep onlar balık tutmak istiyorlar they want to keep the fish i think


Yes, but tutmak means to keep/to hold, and when used with fish the meaning of hold is transposed into the concept of fishing :) But i might be wrong. Any further comments are welcome.


Can anyone help me in the -mak suffix and infinitive case. I can't understand that...can anyone explain me pls


I think you are using the telephone app to learn with duolingo. therefore I am providing you the tıpps and notes to the infinitive case. These are available only if you use Duolingo on a desktop:

Infinitives The infinitive in Turkish equates to the “to verb” form in English. It can also sometimes (not always) be interpreted as the -ing form (gerund) in English. This is the form that you will always find in a Turkish dictionary. The suffix for this form is -mAk and obeys two way vowel harmony.

The most common place where this is used is before the verb istemek, which means “to want”. For example: Ben gitmek istiyorum. I want to go.

Here are some examples of words in the infinitive form:

Root Infinitive English

sev sevmek to love

yap yapmak to do/make

iç içmek to drink

uyu uyumak to sleep

This can also be used as a gerund in some cases, for example:

Türkçe konuşmak çok kolay. Speaking Turkish is very easy.


çok çok çok teşekkür ederim sabine hanım. But i have another doubt that why it is said to be infitive??


Rica ederim.

the infinitive of a verb is the basic form of the verb. These basic form you will always find in your dictonary: yemek, sevmek, uyumak, yatmak, konuşmak, koşmak, yüzmek, yürümek. All verbs end on 'mek' or 'mak'.

In this same form you will fınd it especıally before istemek = to want. I want to swım - yüzmek istiyorum; You want to eat = Yemek istiyorsun etc.

The other forms of Turkish Gerund are coming later on in the tree. The infinitive is only one of the forms. I will copy you here the tips and notes for the complete gerund, you will learn these rules later. I hope that will help you:

'GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES: (İSİM FİİLLER) This is unfortunately one of the hardest topics in Turkish: Gerunds and Infinitives.

In Turkish, each phrase has only one conjugated verb. That’s why, the other words must be turned into nominal words (nouns, adjectives, etc). Gerund & infinitive suffixes are used for this purpose.

In English, you can make a gerund from a verb adding “-ing” to the root and an infinitive by putting “to” in front of the verb root. However, in Turkish, there are three set of suffixes for this purpose:

-ış, -iş, -uş, -üş -me, -ma -mek, -mak The first groups are mostly gerunds and the last one is mostly infinitives. But the one in the middle can be used as both gerunds and infinitives depending on the sentence. Unfortunately there are no distinct rules to select the correct suffix for making a gerund or infinitive, it all depends on experience.

NOTE##: The suffix “-me”, ”-ma” is not the same as the negations suffixes you have used earlier. After the gerund / infinitive suffixes, there usually comes a personal suffix. For example:

gel-me-m (my coming) yap-ma-n (your doing) [not you’re doing]

On the other hand, after the negation suffix, there should be a tense suffix.

gel-me-di-m (I didn’t come) yap-ma-(y)acak (he / she / it will not do).

Since the verbs are transformed into actions and states, now they can be possessed by the pronouns by using the possessive suffixes. This feature allows you to assess that action or state to the pronoun with a single suffix:

Benim bekle-me-m (my waiting) Senin yazman (your writing) Onun eğlenmesi (his / her / its having fun)

Although this does not sound correct in English, when you try to place it in a sentence, you will understand how Turkish people construct their rather complex sentences:

Bizim çalışmamız lazım (lit. Our studying is necessary) [corr. We need to study]

Ben senin sevmeni istiyorum. (lit. I want your loving / liking) [corr. I want you to like / love]

Onların içmeleri önemli. (lit. Their drinking is important) [corr. It is important for them to drink]'


So, just simply (if there is a "simply" here) I am having difficulty figuring out when to use, for instance, "yiyorum" or "yemem" for "eating." I am just starting on gerunds...


And what's that mean??


They want to fish means " onlar balık istiyorlar"


No, that means "they want fish."

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