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An interesting etymological overlook on the suffix -ıyor, which indicates the present pense

As you might have learnt through the lessons, -yor is used to describe the present tense when we want to refer to an action happening at the moment. According to the tough vowel that is in the end of the word, either ıyor or uyor is used. For example, yapıyorum(yAp-Iyorum), bakıyorum(bAk-Iyorum) and when it comes to the soft vowels, either iyor or üyor is used. For instance, görüyorum(gÖr-Üyorum), bekliyorum(bEkl-İyorum). So, why does it change? And why -iyor for the present tense? Because, there was an auxiliary verb that is called -e yormak, which follows after the main verb. It is, for instance, görüyorsun>göre yorır sen. The subjects were at the end of the sentence, which is why you say: görüyorSUN. Why sun but not sen? As you thought, there is the vowel “o” in ıyOr before the suffix sen, that is why it is sun instead of being sen. To sum up, “göre yorır sen” turns to “görüyorsun” in modern Turkish. The letter ı/u/i/ü in the suffix ıyor is actually “-e” in the verb “-e yormak”. By the way, I’d like to give you another information about the verb görmek, which is to see. You might know that göz is eye, the old version of which is gör. That is where it also comes from. :)

June 3, 2019



Thanks, I actually kind of realized that when I was reviewing the Kazakh grammar. This pattern is also observable in different ways in Turkish. For example: -ebilmek (to be able to) comes from -e bilmek (to know). There are also other common phrases using the same pattern such as -ivermek, -ekalmak , -edurmak and -egelmek.


Yes exactly! This can be seen in other ways.


Interesting. Thanks for sharing


Nice! I'm all for etymological explanations, and find them especially fascinating when they help to explain "irregular" form. So thank you, I very much appreciated this even though I am way too early in my Turkish lessons to fully understand the implications. If you can, I'd love to see more of these fascinating insights. :)

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