Breaking and forming habits (‑ar/er/ır/ir/ur/ür olmak, ‑maz/mez olmak)

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Prerequisites for this Turkish Grammar Lesson

Intermediate “kendi” forms

Kendi as a noun
Kendi kendi as a noun
Kendi kendi with verbs

Simple Present Tense or Aorist

12 uses of the aorist

Starting a habitual/continuous action

Grammar form:

  • Verb + (simple present tense)    ol + (any tense, especially past)

This grammar form is generally used for describing how or when a habit (or other continuous action) got started. This naturally occurs most often when talking about a habit that was started in the past, but the grammar form can also be used to describe habits that are starting (using the present tense form of olmak) or habits that will start (using the future tense of olmak). This grammar form is often paired with another verb in the ‑dikten sonra form.

    Türkiye’ye geldikten sonra çay içer oldum.
    I started drinking tea after coming to Turkey.

    İkinci bebeğimiz olduktan sonra daha çok çalışır olacağım.
    After we have our second child, I’m going to start working a lot harder.

    Mezun olduktan sonra tam zaman çalışır oldum.
    After graduating I started working full-time.

    Doktor dedi ki annemin şekeri varmış. Bunun üzerine ensülin alır oldu.
    The doctor said that my mom has diabetes, so she started taking insulin.

    Şimdi çalışıyorum, ama bebeğimiz olursa evde kalır olurum.
    Right now I’m working, but if we have a baby I’m going to stay at home.

Stopping a habitual/continous action

Grammar form:

  • Verb + maz/mez    ol + (any tense, especially past)
  • Verb + (y) + a/e + maz/mez    ol + (any tense, especially past)

Similarly, the negative form of the same grammar point is used when describing the breaking of a habit or ending a continuous action. Note that the maz/mez ending in this form is just the negative form of the simple present tense. Just like the positive version of this grammar form, the negative form is also usually paired with a ‑dikten sonra grammar form. Sometimes the negative form is paired with an a/e vowel as in the grammar form for inability. Remember that in Turkish this inability form is used more often than in English. That is, it doesn’t always mean that the person is entirely unable to do something. Instead, the form is often included to exaggerate a point or to make a sentence more polite.

    Oğlumu emzirmeyi bıraktıktan sonra gece iyi uyumaz oldu.
    After I stopped nursing my son, he stopped sleeping well at night.

    Önceden sigara içiyordum, ama evlenmeden önce içmez oldum.
    I used to smoke cigarettes, but I quit smoking before I got married.

    Bizden para istedi, ama vermedik. Ondan sonra bizimle konuşmaz oldu.
    He asked us for money but we didn’t give him any. After that, he stopped talking to us.

    Kazadan sonra araba süremez oldum.
    Since the car crash, I haven’t been able to drive anymore.

    Hamile olduktan sonra et yiyemez oldum.
    Since becoming pregnant I haven’t been able to eat meat.

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