Whether this or that (gerek… gerekse)


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Prerequisites

Beginner “kendi” forms

Using kendi with nouns
Using kendi with verbs

Past tense verbs

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

Simple Present Tense or Aorist

-ar/ır/r
12 uses of the aorist



Whether it’s this or that…

Grammar form:

  • Gerek    (phrase)    gerek(se)    (phrase) …
  • Gerek    (phrase)    gerekse    de    (phrase) …
  • Gerek    (phrase)    (olsun)    gerek(se)    (phrase)    (olsun)

This grammatical form is used in either dramatic or formal contexts to add emphasis to a statement. Depending on the context, the grammatical form can be translated as, “whether/or” or, “both/and.”

There are multiple variations on this form, as shown above. Sometimes the word “olsun” is used after one or both phrases, sometimes the word “de” is added after “gerekse” and sometimes the second occurrence of “gerek” doesn’t include a “-se” ending. All of these variations of the “gerek/gerekse” grammar form have approximately the same meaning. Note that if more than two phrases are connected by “gerek,” only the final “gerek” includes the “-se” ending.

Usage #1: dramatic praise of a business or person

The “gerek/gerekse” form is most commonly used when giving an emphatic positive evaluation of a business or person. In these sentences, the phrases connected by “gerek/gerekse” describe two specific positive aspects of the product or service. These two specific positive elements serve as support for the rest of the sentence, which is a more general positive evaluation. In most of the example sentences below, the “whether/or” translation has been preferred over “both/and” because it best captures both the grammatical meaning and the intended emotional connotation.

    Examples
    Kaş’ta gördüğüm en iyi mekan…gerek mezeleri gerekse etleri mükemmeldi.
    [It was] the best place I saw in Kaş… whether the appetizers or the meat dishes ‑ it was [all] perfect!
    (Review on TripAdvisor)

    Gerek içi, gerekse dışı ile keyifli bir mola durağı.
    Whether [you sit] inside or outside, it is a pleasant lunch break stop.
    (Review on TripAdvisor)

    Gerek otelin konumu ve gerekse otel olanakları son derece güzeldi.
    The hotel was extremely nice ‑ both in its location and its facilities.
    (Review on Booking.com)

    Gerek mobilyaların sökülüp kurulmasında, gerekse küçük eşyalarımızı seri bir şekilde sarıp aktarmalarında bir an olsun titiz çalışmayı elden bırakmayan usta ekibe sonsuz teşekkürler.
    I just want to take a moment to thank the expert team who did not give up working carefully ‑ whether in taking down and setting up furniture or in swiftly wrapping and moving small items.
    (Review of moving company)

    Mandrino Otel’de konaklamanız size ticari ve tarihi merkezin, gerek işleriniz gerek alışverişleriniz gerekse tatiliniz için olsun, ayaklarınızın altında olacağını garanti ediyor.
    By staying at Mandrino Hotel, you will be guaranteed to have the commercial and historical center [of the city] right at your feet ‑ whether [you are traveling] for work, for shopping or for vacation.
    (Excerpt from Mandrino Hotel’s homepage)

    Staj zamanında gerek gördüğüm gerek takip ettiğim projelerde olsun çalışma arkadaşlarım tarafından her zaman bilgilendirildim ve işleyiş hakkında çok şey öğrendim.
    As an intern, whether in projects that I saw or those that I followed, I was always kept informed by my colleagues and I learned a lot about the operation.
    (Excerpt from interview)

Usage #2: formal contexts

The “gerek/gerekse” grammar form often gets used in formal contexts such as academic papers and political speeches. Unlike in the examples above, the usage of “gerek/gerekse” in formal contexts does not necessarily add emotional force to the sentence. On the contrary, “gerek/gerekse” is often used to connect phrases in long sentences in dry, unemotional documentation.

    Examples
    Gerek idari, gerekse adli tahkikata başlandı.
    Both administrative and judicial investigations have been initiated.
    (Title of news report)

    Günlük yaşamda, gerek bilimsel incelemeler olsun ya da başka alanlar olsun; sorunları incelerken çoğunlukla, iki veya daha çok değişken arasında bir ilişki olup olmadığını araştırırız.
    In daily life, whether in scientific studies or in other fields, when researching problems, most of the time we investigate whether or not there is a relationship between two or more variables.
    (Excerpt from research paper)

    Doktora programının makul bir sürede tamamlanabilmesinde gerek öğrencinin gerekse tez danışmanının sorumluluğu bulunmaktadır.
    For a doctorate program to be completed in a reasonable amount of time, both the student and the doctoral advisor share responsibility.
    (Excerpt from academic document)

    Gerek merkez gerekse taşra açısından 19. yüzyıl Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun siyasi, askeri ve iktisadi yönden en hareketli olduğu dönemdir.
    The 19th century was the time where the Ottoman Empire was the most politically, militarily and economically active both in urban and rural areas.
    (Excerpt from invitation to a seminar)

Usage #3: surprising information

    Examples
    Teksas gerek Western filmlerinde olsun gerekse birçok çizgi filmde, hep çölleri ile gösterilir. Aslında epey de yeşillikli, bahçeli bir şehirdir.
    Texas is always shown as having deserts ‑ whether in Western films or in many cartoons. Actually, it is a city of many gardens and greenery.
    (Excerpt from post in travel blog)

    Gerek güzellikte gerekse hayat kurtarıcı durumlarda vazelinin daha önce bilmediğiniz 20 ayrı kullanımı.
    20 different uses of Vaseline that you didn’t know before ‑ whether in cosmetics or in life-saving situations.
    (Description of blog post on news website)

Additional resources

  • A Student Grammar of Turkish, page 254.
      This page has two example sentences of gerek…gerekse forms as well as examples of similar grammatical forms.
  • Turkish: A Comprehensive Grammar, page 444.
      This page has one example sentence of gerek…gerekse and a discussion of the combination of this and similar grammar forms with the word “de”.

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