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"Neden ben?"

Translation:Why me?

April 9, 2015



A useful sentence to learn.


"Why me?" is a sentence?


Isn't this improper word order, according to the written explanation of this grammar point? Why is it not "ben neden?"


Verbs or predicates are at the end of the sentence, therefore question sentences usually go just before them. In this sentence, although it's not very clear, the predicate is ben. A better-constructed translation to English would be "Why is it me?" and there is a hidden (invisible) 'to be' verb within the pronoun ben. :)


Teşekkür edrim!


Note that if the question was Who is this? it would translate to 'Bu kim?' That's because this time the predicate is the question word kim.

Better answer: Question words usually come to the place of their possible answers.


What is the difference between Niçin and Neden?


They are essentially interchangeable as the English word "why" :-)

Technically speaking, there is a VERY subtle difference. You don't need to know this, but if you're curious:

  • "neden" = literally "from what" (as in, "what caused/inspired this?")
  • "niçin" = literally "for what" (as in "what is the end goal/purpose?")
  • "niye" = literally "to what", and has the exact same meaning as "niçin"

I know you didn't ask about "niye" but it's quite popular, as well. :-)


Never say Why Me Always say Try Me


So "Ben" is used as "I" or "me" depending on its position in the sentence? Ben = I (Ben güzelim) I am beautiful" Ben = Me (Neden ben?) "why me?"


Strictly speaking, "Ben" (nominative case) = "I"; and "Beni" (accusative case) = "me".

In practical use, however, "ben" usually translates as "me" when it is the predicate (i.e. completes the sentence in a "to be" or "to not be" statement) For example: This is me. Why (is it) me? That wasn't me.

Turkish is very consistent, so this irregularity stems from English: when the pronoun is the predicate, we use the objective pronoun 99% of the time... In theory, we should use the predicate nominatives: "I, she, he, we"... But they are so rarely used that they sound completely incorrect... to the extent that Duo probably won't accept them, haha! (For example: "Why I?" sounds terribly wrong, but strictly speaking, is grammatically correct.)

Here is a link if anyone would like to learn more: http://www.dailygrammar.com/Lesson-137-Pronouns.htm


Doesnt ben means i and would bana also be correct?


Well, most people would just say "Neden ben?" in such a case. However, you can also say "Neden beni?" or "Neden bana?" depending on the context, if it's a direct reply to a statement.


No, bana means "to me". And you can use ben as an object and a subject at the same time.


I agree with you about "bana", but "ben" cannot be an object:

  • Bana = to me = indirect object (dative case)
  • Beni = me = direct object (accusative case)


Instead say "Try Me"


I put "why am I" and was about to badmouth Duo for giving me an existential crisis

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