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When to use gerunds and when to use -dIk.

This is probably the grammar point that I'm having the most difficulty with. I'm trying to find some sort of rule in my head that tells when it's appropriate to use gerunds and when it's appropriate to use -dIk. So far, the pattern I've managed to form is that if the sentence's main verb is specifically targeting/acting upon the secondary verb, then you use a gerund, otherwise you'd use -dIk. I'd like to ask the native Turks here to tell me if this is correct or not.

For example, in one of the exercises, we have the sentence: "It is thought that that minister did something corrupt." which translates to "O bakanın yolsuzluk yaptığı düşünülüyor", which uses -dIk. Now in this case, the main verb isn't directly acting on the secondary verb yapmak (i.e. the people aren't thinking directly of the minister's action itself, but are thinking about the fact that the minister did something corrupt), hence the use of the -dIk. However, if the English sentence were "People hated the minister's corrupt doing/action", I would guess that a gerund would be more suitable here i.e. "Halk, bakanın yolsuzluk yapmasından nefret etti"? Is that correct?

Similarly, we have the following sentence from one of the exercises: "The teacher said that you did not do your homework." which translates to "Öğretmen senin ödevlerini yapmadığını söyledi.". Again, this uses -dIk because the main verb soylemek isn't acting directly on the secondary verb yapmak (i.e. the teacher isn't saying your actual "not doing", but is reporting the fact that "you haven't done"). However, if we had the sentence "The teacher wants you to do you your homework", I would translate that using a gerund and say "Öğretmen senin ödevlerini yapmanı istiyor.", because the teacher is directly wanting your actual "doing".

Is this theory correct?

As a side note, I think it would be really useful if an exercise was made that collected a nice mixture of sentences that use gerunds and -dIk and tested you in translating them from English to Turkish. I think that working through lots of examples would help the brain figure out the usage! Perhaps this could be an extra course that you buy with Lingots, kind of like how the Turkish Progress Quiz is now.

May 17, 2015



It seems correct to me. Good job!

I don't know when we can have a new lesson on this topic, but until then, perhaps we can work on some sentences here in the comment section.

Try to translate these sentences to Turkish:

  1. I want you to say that to me.

  2. I know that you came home late yesterday.

  3. Do you know what she's doing right now?

  4. They need us to help them.

  5. We don't need you to come with us.

  6. I watched him run.

  7. I want John to tell Chris to give the book to Jessica.

  8. They always help you even though you don't like them. (even though = rağmen)

  9. I wanted the ninth sentence to be more difficult than the eighth, but I saw that it was easy.

  10. Even though I heard you asked him to tell us how he did that, I didn't interfere. (ask = istemek (here) ; interfere = karışmak)

Sentences 7, 8, 9 and 10 are more complicated. Don't worry if you can't translate them easily. You (or anyone) can post your (their) answers here or in my profile and we'll discuss. :-]

Good luck!


Ok! Let's try:

  1. Bunu bana söylemeni istiyorum.
  2. Dün senin eve geç geldiğini biliyorum.
  3. Onun şimdiki ne yapmasını biliyor musun?
  4. Bizim onlara yardım etmemize ihtiyacı var.
  5. Bizimle gelmene ihtiyacımız yok.
  6. Onun koştuğunu seyrettim.
  7. Ben, John'un Chris'e kitabı Jessica'ya verdiğini söylemesini istiyorum.
  8. Senin onları sevmediğine rağmen, hep sana yardım ediyorlar.
  9. Ben dokuzuncu cümlenin sekizinci cümleden daha kolay olmasını istedim, ama kolay olduğunu gördüm.
  10. Senin, onun bize nasıl yaptığını söylemesini istediğini duyduğuma rağmen, karışmadım.

İ had to look up how to use rağmen (uses -e/-a suffix) and how to say "to need sth".

Phew, the last ones were very hard. I'm apprehensively looking forward to hearing how well (or badly!) I've done. I think 7 and 8 were OK, but 7 and especially 10 were harder.

Really appreciate you taking the time to come with some sample sentences like that, Türk cömertliğine iyi bir örnek :-)


Good job!

Correct ones are: 1, 2, 4, 5, 9

In sentence 4, I would use plural "ihtiyaçları", but yours is fine too. And in number 9, you used kolay twice. The first should be "zor" (difficult), but that's not a grammatical mistake. ;)

Some notes:

I. "rağmen" is always used with "me"-form.

So number 8 → Sen onları sevmemene rağmen… and number 10 → …duymama rağmen…

II. İzlemek and Seyretmek (to watch) are usually used with the "me"-form as well. Don't ask why…

So number 6 → Onun koşmasını seyrettim.

III. Want, Request, Require, Ask/Tell someone to do something all require "me"-forms. Otherwise the meaning might change.

For example in number 7, you have: "…verdiğini söylemesini istiyorum".

"verdiğini" would mean it happened: "I want him to tell him that he gave her…"

But we should say: "vermesini söylemesini istiyorum." → I want him to tell him to give her…

So I would translate these sentences like this:

3 → (Sen) onun şimdi ne yaptığını biliyor musun?

6 → (Ben) onun koşmasını seyrettim.

7 → (Ben) John'un Chris'e, kitabı Jessica'ya vermesini söylemesini istiyorum.

8 → (Sen/Senin) onları sevmemene rağmen sana hep yardım ediyorlar.

10 → (Ben) (Senin) ona (onun/kendisinin) onu nasıl yaptığını bize söylemesini istediğini duymama rağmen, karışmadım.

Don't think about the syntax too much. I wrote the sentences the way that feels natural to me. And in doing that, I may have put a few words in places different from what you may have in mind, but my sentences aren't necessarily the end-product. There are a hundred thousand ways to reconstruct these sentences, so don't worry about it. The grammar is important here.

Tell me if you have any questions.


Really appreciate this!

Izlemek/seyretmek - This makes sense, so in your example sentence you witness the act of running, hence why you use the gerund...however, what about if I wanted to say "I saw that he ran to the shop"....I think I'd use a -dIk for that and say "onun dükkana koştuğunu gördüm", is that correct?

I think your explanation for no 7 has helped a lot in explaining the difference in meaning between the gerund and the -dIk form. Thanks!!

Don't suppose you've got any more sentences to try out and check to see if the rule has sunk in??


Yes, if you say "I saw", then the "-dik" is correct.

More sentences? Sure, but I won't go easy on you! ;-]

11 → Did you see John asking Jessica to watch the movie?

12 → I'm not sure if this is correct. (treat 'if' like "that").

13 → Even though I saw Ron watching Jessica run, I didn't interfere.

14 → Have you ever heard me singing this song?

15 → But you have surely never watched me dance! (surely = kesinlikle)

16 → I'm not sure I want you to see him watching me dance.

17 → Even though I'm not sure I want you to see him watching me dance, I won't tell him to hide from you. (hide = saklanmak)

18 → I want Jack to tell Jessica that I told Ron that I speak Turkish.

19 → Don't ask him to tell them what happened. (happen = olmak ; ask = istemek)

20 → Let's talk about what you did yesterday. (about = ile ilgili)


Thanks! Ok let's try again:

11: John’un Jessica’ya filmi seyretmesini istemesini gördün mü?

12: Bunun doğru olduğundan emin değilim.

13: Ron’un Jessica’nın koşmasını seyretmesini görmeme rağmen, karışmadım.

14: Hiç bu şarkıyı söylediğimi duydun mu?

15: Ama kesinlikle dans etmemi asla görmedin!

16: Onun benim dans etmemi seyretmesini görmeni istediğimden emin değilim.

17: Onun benim dans etmemi seyretmesini görmeni istediğimden emin değil olmama rağmen, ona karışmasını söylemem.

18: Ben, Jack’ın Jessica’ya benim Ron’a Türkçe konuştuğumu söylediğimi söylemesini istiyorum.

19: Onun onlara ne olduğunu söylemesini isteme.

20: Senin dün ne yaptığın ile ilgili konuşalım.

Note: I had to look up "I'm not sure" and "Have you ever", which basically gave away parts of the answers for those questions (i.e. -diK emin degil, and hic ...-diK duymak).


I'll correct it on your profile wall because we're out of space here.


Those look very good. Is it possible you can now add them to the lesson?

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