Marking quotations using “diye”

Log in or register to save completed lessons.


Past tense verbs

-dı/di/du/dü or -tı/ti/tu/tü
Asking yes or no questions

Future tense

Handling irregular verbs
Asking yes or no questions
Pronouncing -acak/ecek

Simple Present Tense or Aorist

12 uses of the aorist

“Diye” – a word for marking direct quotations

In the Turkish language, the most common way to give a direct quotation is to say the quotation followed by the verb “demek” (to say), usually in the past tense. For example, “Mehmet, ‘merhaba’ dedi” means, “Mehmet said hello.”

However, sometimes you want to use a more descriptive word than “demek” to talk about the way something was said. For example, you might want to use “bağırmak” (to shout) or “fısıldamak” (to whisper). If you want to use a different word besides “demek” to describe how something was said or how something sounded, you have to use the special grammatical word “diye.”

In this lesson, we’ll look at how to use “diye” with a variety of verbs for reporting speech.

Grammar form

  • (Quotation)    diye    (verb)

When you are giving a direct quotation using a verb other than “demek,” say the quotation followed by “diye,” followed by the verb.

Since the word “diye” itself indicates a direct quotation, people often find it unnecessary to use quotation marks (“”) in written Turkish sentences where the word “diye” is used.

Common words used with “diye” for reporting speech

The following are some of the most common verbs that can be used with “diye” for reporting direct quotations.

Turkish English
Söylemek To say
Düşünmek To think
Bağırmak To shout
Fısıldamak To whisper
Sormak To ask
Cevap vermek, cevaplamak To answer
Yazmak To write
Söz vermek To promise

Example sentences with reported speech*

Vazgeçin! diye bağırdı.
He/she shouted, “Give up!”

Hayırlı olsun! diye bağırdı.
He/she shouted, “Congratulations!”

Sus! diye bağırır.
He/she shouts, “Be quiet!”

Tuvalet nerede? diye bağırıyor.
He/she is shouting, “Where is the toilet?”

Kurtuldum! diye düşündü.
He/she thought, “I’m free!”

Aşığım! Aşığım! diye haykırdı.
He/she yelled, “I’m in love! I’m in love!”

Zor mu? diye sordum.
I asked, “Is it hard?”

Bana ucuz bilet mi alıyorsun? diye espiri yaptı.
He/she joked, “Are you getting me a cheap ticket?”

Kim demiş? diye yanıtladım.
I responded, “Who said that?”

Canııım! diye bir ses geliyor.
A voice comes, saying, “Darling!”

İstanbul nasıl? diye sordu.
He/she asked, “How is Istanbul?”

Hazır mı? diye fısıldadı biri.
Someone whispered, “Is it ready?”

Using “diye” for sounds and animal noises

Besides being used for reporting speech, the word “diye” can also be used to describe sounds and animal noises.

Example sentences with noises

Bir gün bir yerde pat diye biter mi?
Some day, somewhere, will it all end suddenly (with a bang)?

Kapı güm diye açıldı.
The door opened with a “boom.”

Arı vız vız vız diye dolaşır.
The bee going around, going buzz buzz buzz.
(Lyrics of a children’s song)

Çuvaldan miyav miyav diye sesler gelmiş.
Meowing sounds were coming from the sack.

Using “diye” in introductions

Sometimes the word “diye” can be used to say what something is called or to introduce a new topic or or a person by name. In these sentences, “diye” is roughly equivalent to the English words “called,” “named,” or “known as.”

Example sentences

Karayollarıspor diye bir takım vardı.
There was a team called Karayollarıspor.

Büyük Kulüp diye bir yer var.
There’s a place called Büyük Kulüp.

Kepek diye bir problem var.
There’s a problem we call dandruff.

Koteks diye bir firmanın işçileri.
They are the workers of a company named Koteks.

Yapımcı sineması diye bir şey var.
There is something called producer’s cinema.

Using “diye” to say “such a thing as…”

In a similar way to introducing a topic or person using “diye,” you can also use “diye” to make comparisons. In these sentences, “diye” carries a meaning similar to the English phrases, “such a thing as,” “a thing like,” and “to the effect of.”

Example sentences

Olmaz diye bir şey yok.
There’s no such thing as, “it can’t be done.”

Yani, gitmeyelim diye bir şey denmedi.
I mean, nothing was said to the effect of, “let’s not go.”

Atina olacak diye bir şart yok.
There’s no such rule that it has to be Athens.

Changing the word order

While the word order most of the time has the verb at the end of the sentence, it is also possible for the verb to be before the quotation. In these sentences, the “diye” word still comes after the quotation even though the verb comes before it.

Example sentences with non-standard word order

Bazı yazarlar bunu eleştiriyor işte o neden orada oynuyor falan diye.
Some writers criticize it, saying, “Why is he playing there,” etc.

Konuşuyor musunuz şu iyiydi, bu kötüydü diye?
Do you talk [with them] to say, “This was good, that was bad?”

Sana kaç kere söyleyeceğim bana böyle şakalar yapma diye!
How many times do I have to tell you not to pull these kinds of pranks on me!

* Unless otherwise specified, all Turkish example sentences included in this lesson were retrieved from TS Corpus v2, a large corpus of Turkish texts compiled from various sources.

This lesson is a prerequisite for:

Story: Kara Oğlum

Benim babam esmer bir adam. Annem sarışın bir bayan. Babam, rahmetlinin altı tane evladı var. Beş tanesi sarışın. Bir tanesi, ben, esmerim...

Leave a Comment