Without, before (‑madan/meden)


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Prerequisites

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

Ablative case: “from” in Turkish

-dan/den/tan/ten
bundan, şundan, ondan



Using ‑madan to say “without” or “before”

In Turkish, the ‑madan/meden word ending is added to verbs with two main meanings: “without” or “before.” In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the ending and how to understand what it means in different contexts.

Saying “without” with ‑madan

Grammar forms

  • (Verb stem) + madan/meden

To say that something happens without something else happening, simply add either ‑madan or ‑meden (according to E-type vowel harmony) to the verb representing the thing that isn’t happening. Then the second verb, which represents the verb that is happening, normally comes after that.

Example sentences*

Hiçbir şey düşünmeden yoluma devam ettim.
I continued on my way without thinking about anything.

Ben hiç duraksamadan gittim.
I went without hesitating at all.

İşim bitmeden hiçbir yere gitmem.
I don’t go anywhere without finishing my work.

Farkına varmadan atıştırırım.
I eat snack food without realizing it.

Hiçbir şey almadan orayı terk ederim.
I would leave there without taking anything.

Ahmet dayı hiç düşünmeden kabul etti.
Uncle Ahmet accepted it without thinking about it at all.

Üretim olmadan tüketim olmaz.
There can be no consumption without production.

Hekim önerisi olmadan ilaç kullanmayınız!
Do not use medication without a doctor’s recommendation!

[Onlar] araştırmadan okumadan karar verir.
They make decisions without researching or reading.

Hemen kabul ederim düşünmeden.
I would accept it immediately without thinking.

Sağırlar, duymadan konuşur. Körler, görmeden konuşur.
Deaf people talk without hearing. Blind people talk without seeing.

İstikrar olmadan bunu sağlamak olmaz.
This can’t be achieved without stability.

Bu ekonomi sermaye olmadan büyümez.
This economy doesn’t grow without capital.

Ancak, eğitim olmadan spor olmaz.
However, you can’t have sports without education.

Saying “before” with ‑madan

Grammar forms

  • (Verb stem) + madan/meden
  • (Verb stem) + madan/meden    önce

In order to say that something happens before something else, add the ‑madan/meden ending to the verb representing the action that occurs later in time. After this you say the other verb, the one that occurs earlier in time.

Example sentences with “before” meaning

Uykunuz gelmeden yatmayın.
Don’t go to bed before you feel tired.

Siz de geç olmadan doktora danışın.
Consult a doctor before it’s too late.

Hayır, bu ailenin en büyük oğlu benim. Ben evlenmeden kimseye izin yok.
No, I am the oldest son in this family. No one can get married before me.

Et pişmeden tadına bakmayın.
Don’t taste the meat before it is cooked.

Servis yapmadan önce limonatayı ekleyin.
Add the lemonade before serving.

Biz aramadan onlar aradı.
They called before we did.

Tuluma girmeden önce kuru giysiler giyin.
Put on dry clothes before getting in the sleeping bag.

Tencereyi ocaktan almadan önce bademleri ilave edin.
Add the almonds before removing the pot from the stove.

Yemeklerden sonra egzersiz yapmadan önce 30 dakika dinlenin.
After eating, rest for 30 minutes before exercising.

Her gece yatmadan önce mutlaka okurum.
I always read before going to bed every night.

Başlamadan önce bir daha düşünün!
Think again before you start!

Exceptions: combining ‑ma/me and ‑dan/den

In some cases, a verb may have ‑madan or ‑meden added to it but the sentence does not carry a meaning of either “without” or “before.” This happens because the ‑ma/me ending can turn a verb into a noun, and then the ablative ‑dan/den ending can be added to that noun. In these sentences, the ‑madan/meden ending means “from,” “through,” or “of.”

Example sentences with various meanings of ‑madan/meden

Müzikte modernleşmeden yanayım.
I am in favor of the modernization of music.

Medeniyetin yolu sanayileşmeden geçer.
The path of civilization goes through industrialization.

Sayın Derviş, kim? Ekonomiden Sorumlu Bakan. Ben, Özelleştirmeden Sorumlu Bakan.
Mr. Derviş, who is he? The Minister responsible for the Economy. Me? [I am] the Minister responsible for Privatization.

Tartışmadan zarar gelmez.
No harm comes from a discussion.

O konuşmadan dolayı beraat etti.
He was acquitted because of that speech.

Hedefimiz bu karşılaşmadan 3 puan almak.
Our goal is to take 3 points from this match.

Ben bu atamadan vazgeçiyorum.
I am giving up on this appointment.

* 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.

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