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  5. "Keşke çocukken okulu değil o…

"Keşke çocukken okulu değil oyunu seçseydim."

Translation:I wish I had chosen games instead of school when I was a child.

May 18, 2015



From this sentence, can we confirm that the formula for "A instead of B" ...in Turkish is: A(+acusative) + değil + B(+acusative) ? Thanks


I would take off the +acc that you have, and then it is perfect. It could be any case depending on the sentence :)

EDIT: Read my below comment


O zaman (A + değil + B), looks very simple :) teşekkürler


I'm confused about how to translate 'A instead of B' as there"s contradictory information above. The translation given is:

Keşke çocukken okulu değil oyunu seçseydim. I wish I had chosen GAMES instead of SCHOOL when I was a child.

But if as you say in the comments above, 'A instead of B' = A + değil + B

then the translation should be: 'I wish I had chosen SCHOOL 'instead of GAMES' (which was my first answer). Can someone clarify which is correct?


Good catch...sometimes I work a little too quickly and things like this slip by :)

"A instead of B" should be "B değil A" with the appropriate case ending depending on the phrases role in the sentence :)


OK, I understand - thanks!


what about this translation? "Keşke çocukken okulu seçmektense oyunu seçseydim"


How do you EDIT?


Does "oyun" here mean video games or sports or could it be either?


It refers to games that children play. "sports" would be "spor" and video games would be "video oyunları." However, "oyun" can also mean "play" as in theater....Oh those Turks.


Well "play" and "oyun" are related! :D

You guys say "game" even for hunting animals! So which language has actually gone astray here? :D


I am still confused about whether this sentence makes any sense in practice. Maybe it is a sentence which is grammatically correct but does not mean anything? As school is compulsory I don't see how a child could choose something instead of school.


So in Turkish, you literally say, "I wish I chose game." That's a weird one. I wish I knew where to get some more practice with oyun.


Typically the usage of plurals and singulars doesn't match in Turkish and English :)


"When i was a child i wish i had chosen games instead of school" looks correct, doesn't it? I'm pretty sure I've reported it several times.


In your version, the wishing is done in the past, when you were a child (it should be 'I wished'). In the original sentence the wishing is being done in the present, regarding the choice you made in the past.


"Okulu" and "oyunu" are both in accusative, shouldn't the translation be "the games" and "the school?"


But it's oyunu, not oyunları. So are we talking about one specific game? Probably not. The singular noun, here, refers to the concept of playing games in general.


If the words describe a concept or some notion in general, why is accusative used then and not nominative. Like in this example: "Bar gördüm" - "I saw (some unspecified) bar(s)" from our earlier discussion. In that discussion, all examples with accusative have "the" in their translations.


Good question. Perhaps the verb "seçmek", akin to "sevmek", has to take objects in accusative form.

Can anyone confirm this?


While speaking, would you put a verbal comma after değil?


There would be a little pause, yes :)


this is impossible!


Is it a past tense subjunctive here?


what about this translation? "Keşke çocukken okulu seçmektense oyunu seçseydim"


In my opinion, this is another Turkish sentence that is poorly written and then poorly translated into English.
"Keşke çocukken, okul yerine oyun seçseydim. ... is much closer to the English translation.

A more natural sounding (English) sentence structure, however, would be more preferable...

"When I was a child, I wish I had chosen games instead of school". ("Ben çocukken, keşke okul yerine oyun seçseydim").


"When I was a child I wish I had chosen games instead of school." Is there any reason why this wouldn't be correct?


I wish when I was a child I had chosen games instead of school; was NOT accepted. Here also, 27 comments have been made, implying that the sentence structure needs further clarification. VERY DISCOURAGING.


This is the information I have gathered on the topic:

  • "Keşke çocukken okulu değil de oyunu seçseydim" is absolutely a valid translation, and a typicall way to express the meaning of doing something rather than something else. From that we can say as stated earlier, that the formula "B değil A" works for this purpose.

  • There are several ways to say this. The suffix (-tense) after a verb will carry the meaning of "instead of" as an example you can say "Sinemaya gitmektense, tiyatroyu tercih ederim" (I prefer to go to the theatre rather than/instead of going to the cinema.

  • If you want to show off you can utilize (-den/ten ziyade) to convey the same meaning. "Sinemaya gitmekten ziyade, tiyatoryu tercih ederim"

Hope this clears up a few things


I just asked some native turks in an online learning-group I am in. Will come back with an answer as soon as I get one

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