A spa project of Peace Corps Turkmenistan

3.0 Verbs

Like English, Turkmen has a great variety of verb tenses. Verbs in Turkmen are conjugated in plural and singular for first, second, and third persons. As in Romance languages and Russian, the subject of a sentence is often not spoken if it is obvious.

Following is a selection of verb tenses and forms. All verbs are conjugated on the model of ÿazmak, to write.

3.1a- Present Comprehensive, long form

Translates to the English Present Simple or Present Progressive

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazÿaryn I write/I am writing. stem +(ÿar)yn +(ÿär)in

Sen ÿazÿarysyñ You write/You are writing. stem +(ÿar)syñ +(ÿär)siñ

Ol ÿazÿar He writes/He is writing. stem +(ÿar) +(ÿär)

Biz ÿazÿarys We write/We are writing stem +(ÿar)ys +(ÿär)is

Siz ÿazÿarsyñyz You write/You are writing. stem +(ÿar)syñyz +(ÿär)siñiz

Olar ÿazÿarlar They write/They are writing. stem +(ÿar)lar +(ÿär)ler

To form the negative, add -ma or -me after the stem:

Men ÿazmaÿaryn = I am not writing. I don't write.

Men iÿmeÿärin = I am not eating. I don't eat.

3.1b - Present Comprehensive, short form

Translates to the English Present Simple or Present Progressive

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazÿan I write/I am writing. stem +ÿan +ÿän

Sen ÿazÿañ You write/You are writing. stem +ÿañ +ÿäñ

Ol ÿazÿar He writes/He is writing. stem +ÿar +ÿär

Biz ÿazÿas We write/We are writing. stem +ÿas +ÿäs

Siz ÿazÿañyz You write/You are writing. stem +ÿañyz +ÿäñiz

Olar ÿazÿarlar They write/They are writing. stem +ÿarlar +ÿärler

To form the negative, add -ma or -me after the stem:

Men ÿazmaÿan = I am not writing. I don't write.

Men içmeÿän = I am not drinking. I don't drink.

3.2a - Present Perfect

Translates to the English Present Perfect.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazypdyrym I have written. stem +(yp)dyrym (ip)dirim

Sen ÿazypsyñ You have written. stem +(yp)syñ (ip)siñ

Ol ÿazypdyr He/she has written. stem +(yp)dyr (ip)dir

Biz ÿazypdyrys We have written. stem +(ypdyrys (ip)diris

Siz ÿazypsyñyz You have written. stem +(yp)syñyz (ip)siñiz

Olar ÿazypdyrlar They have written. stem +(yp)dyrlar (ip)dirler

To form the negative, insert -man or -män in place of the -yp or -ip after thestem in the above endings:

Ol ÿazmandyr = He/she has not written.

Olar gelmänderler = They have not come.

3.2b - Present Perfect (neg.)/Habitual Present (neg.)

Translates to the negative English Present Perfect (or to a negative form of a "Habitual Present Tense")*, as such:

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazamok I have not written. stem +(a)mok +(e)mok

Sen ÿazañok You haven't written. stem +(a)ñok +(e)ñok

Ol ÿazanok He hasn't written. stem +(a)nok +(e)nok

Biz ÿazamzok We haven't written. stem +(a)mzok +(e)mzok

Siz ÿazañzok You haven't written. stem +(a)ñzok +(e)ñzok

Olar ÿazanoklar They haven't written. stem +(a)noklar +(e)noklar

*These forms can also indicate that a certain activity is generally not performed by the speaker:

Men ÿazamok = I don't write. (as a habit)

Men çilim çekemok = I don't smoke. (as a habit)

3.3 - Future Certain

Translates to the English Future Simple with the tone of certainty.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazjak I will write. stem +jak +jek

Sen ÿazjak You will write. stem +jak +jek

Ol ÿazjak He will write. stem +jak +jek

Biz ÿazjak We will write. stem +jak +jek

Siz ÿazjak You will write. stem +jak +jek

Olar ÿazjak They will write. stem +jak +jek

To form the negative, add -däl after the verb:

Men ÿazjak däl = I will not write.

Men gitjek däl = I will not go.

3.4 - Future Indefinite

Translates to English Future Simple with a tone of probability.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazaryn I (probably) will write. stem +(ar)yn +(er)in

Sen ÿazarsyñ You (probably) will write. stem +(ar)syñ +(er)siñ

Ol ÿazar He (probably) will write. stem +(ar) +(er)

Biz ÿazarys We (probably) will write. stem +(ar)ys +(er)is

Siz ÿazarsyñyz You (probably) will write. stem +(ar)syñyz +(er)siñiz

Olar ÿazarlar They (probably) will write. stem +(ar)lar +(er)ler

To negate, add -m after the stem, except in the third person, where -maz is used.

Men ÿazmaryn = I (probably) won't write. Ol ÿazmaz = He (probably) won't write.

Men gitmerin = I (probably) won't go. Olar gitmezler = They (probably) won't go.

3.5 - Conditional

Expresses hypothetical situations, used like the English "if". Usually followed by a statement in the Future Indefinite tense.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazsam If I write... stem +(sa)m +(se)m

Sen ÿazsañ If you write... stem +(sa)ñ +(se)ñ

Ol ÿazsa If he writes... stem +(sa) +(se)

Biz ÿazsak If we write... stem +(sa)k +(se)k

Siz ÿazsañyz If you write... stem +(sa)ñyz +(se)ñiz

Olar ÿazsalar If they write... stem +(sa)lar +(se)ler

To form the negative, add -ma or -me after the verb stem.

Men ÿazmasam = If I do not write...

Men gitmesem = If I do not go.

3.6 - Past Definite

Translates to the English Past Simple.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazdym I wrote. stem +(dy)m +(di)m

Sen ÿazdyñ You wrote. stem +(dy)ñ +(di)ñ

Ol ÿazdy He wrote. stem +(dy) +(di)

Biz ÿazdyk We wrote. stem +(dy)k +(di)k

Siz ÿazdyñz You wrote. stem +(dy)ñyz +(di)ñiz

Olar ÿazdylar They wrote. stem +(dy)lar +(di)ler

To form the negative, add -ma or -me after the stem.

Men ÿazmadym = I didn't write.

Men gitmedim = I didn't go.

3.7 - Obligatory Form

Translates to English "must," "should," or "ought to" with a verb.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazmaly I must write. stem +maly +meli

Sen ÿazmaly You must write. stem +maly +meli

Ol ÿazmaly He must write. stem +maly +meli

Biz ÿazmaly We must write. stem +maly +meli

Siz ÿazmaly You must write. stem +maly +meli

Olar ÿazmaly They must write. stem +maly +meli

To form the negative, add -däl after the verb.

Men ÿazmaly däl = I must (should) not write.

Men gitmeli däl = I must (should) not go.

3.8 - Imperative Forms

In the singular and plural "you" forms, the verbs are simply rendered as commands, with the varying levels of politeness as noted below. Note that the personal pronouns are parenthetical, indicating that they are not spoken as part of the command form, but indicate to whom the command is being delivered.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEKverbs

(Sen) ÿaz! Write! stem

(Sen) ÿazyñ! Write! stem +yñ +iñ

(Sen) ÿazsana! Write, please! (polite) stem +sana +sene

(Siz) ÿazyñ Write! stem +yñ +iñ

(Siz) ÿazsañizlañ Write, please! (polite) stem +sañizlañ +señizläñ

The first person singular and plural forms translate not as commands, but more as expressions of "I'm going to," "may I," "let me," or "let us." The personal pronouns are necessary here.

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazaÿyn. May I write. stem +aÿyn +eÿin

Men geçeÿin. Let me pass.

Biz ÿazalyñ Let's write!. stem +alyñ* +eliñ*

Biz gideliñ Let's go!

*In colloquial speech, the endings are sometimes shortened to -aly and -ely.

To form the plural negative, add -ma or -me after the stem:

Hat ÿazmalyñ = Let's not write a letter.

Bazara gitmeliñ = Let's not go to the bazaar.

The third person forms are also not commands as much as they are urges or wishes, translated roughly as "let..." or "would that..."

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Ol ÿazsyn Let him write. stem +syn +sin

Ol geçsin Let him pass.

Olar ÿazsynlar Let them write! stem +synlar +sinler

Olar geçsinler Let them pass!

To form the negatives for all the above forms, add -ma or -me after the stems, according to vowel harmony:

Ol ÿazmasyn = May he not write.

Olar gitmesinler = May they not go.

3.9 - Intentional Form

Translates to the English "intend to."

Verb Form Translation Form w/ MAK verbs MEK verbs

Men ÿazmakçy I intend to write. stem +makçy mekçi

Sen ÿazmakçy You intend to write. stem +makçy mekçi

Ol ÿazmakçy He/she intends to write. stem +makçy mekçi

Biz ÿazmakçy We intend to write. stem +makçy mekçi

Siz ÿazmakçy You intend to write. stem +makçy mekçi

Olar ÿazmakçy They intend to write. stem +makçy mekçi

To form the negative, add after the verb.

Men ÿazmakçy däl = I do not intend to write.

Men gitmekçi däl = I do not intend to go.

4.0 Relative Clauses

Relative clauses are formed in Turkmen simply by using verb suffixes based on the tense and vowel harmony of the verb. Who and which, used in English to form relative clauses, are not used as such in Turkmen.

Relative clauses in the present tense are formed by adding the suffixes -ÿan and -ÿän to the stems of MAK and MEK verbs, respectively:

gelÿän adamlar = people who are coming

ÿazÿan dostum = my friend who is writing

Sentence structure is as follows:

A?gabatdan gelÿän adamlar ÿolda durdular.


The people who are coming from Ashgabat stopped on the road.

Kitap ÿazÿan dostum Çärjewde ÿa?aÿar.

book-writing-my friend-Charjew-in-lives

My friend who is writing a book is from Charjew.

Relative clauses in the past are formed by adding -an and -en to the stems of MAK and MEK verbs, respectively:

gelen adamlar = those who came

ÿazan dostum = my friend who has written

Sentence structure is as follows:

Tejenden gelen adamlar köp iÿdiler.

Tejen-from-came-people-much-they ate

The people who came from Tejen ate a lot.

Bu kitaby okanlar ony gowy diÿip tapdylar.

This-book-read (plural)-it-good-that-they found

Those who read this book found it (to be) good.

In the future tense, the definite future forms of the verb (-jak and -jek) form the relative clauses. There are no unique suffixes:

Biziñ klasymyzy okatjak mugallym Eÿrandan geldi.

to-our-class-will teach-teacher-from Iran-came

The teacher who will teach our class came from Iran.

Gökdepä gitjek okuwçylar duralgasynda gara?yp durlar.

to Geok Depe-will go-students-stop-at-are waiting

The students who will go to Geok Depe are waiting at the stop.

5.0 Cases and their suffixes

Vowel Endings

Consonant Endings


--- (no change)

pagta - cotton

Gök Depe - Goek Depe (a town)

--- (no change)

gazan - pot

kä?ir - carrot(s)


nyñ, niñ (nuñ, nüñ)

pagtanyñ - ˜ cotton's

Gök Depeniñ- ˜ Goek Depe's

yñ, iñ (uñ, üñ)

gazanyñ- ˜ pot's

kä?iriñ- ˜ carrots's


-a,-ä or -na, -ne

pagta - ˜ to cotton

Gök Depä- ˜ to Goek Depe

-a, -e

gazana- ˜ to the pot

kä?ire- ˜ to the carrots


ny, ni

pagtany - ˜ the cotton (direct ob.)

Gök Depeni- ˜ Goek Depe (d.o.)

y, i

gazany- ˜ the pot (d.o.)

kä?iri- ˜ the carrot(s) (d.o.)


da, de or nda, nde

pagtada- ˜ in cotton

Gök Depede- ˜ in Goek Depe

da, de

gazanda- ˜ in the pot

kä?irde- ˜ in carrots


dan, den or ndan, nden

pagtadan - ˜ from cotton

Gök Depeden- ˜ from Goek Depe

dan, den

gazandan- ˜ from the pot

kä?irden- ˜ from carrots

The Nominative Case answers Kim? Who?, Näme? What? , Nire? Where? It is used for the subject of the sentence and sometimes for non-specific direct objects. Gök Depe gowy. = Goek Depe is nice.

The Possessive Case answers Kimiñ? Whose?, Nämäniñ? Of what? , Niräniñ? Of where? Itis usually used to show simple possessive relationships. Gök Depeniñ häkimligi = Goek Depe's mayor's office. However, it is sometimes used in ways unfamiliar to English speakers, most notably in prepositional contexts: Gök Depeniñ ÿanynda = by Goek Depe, near Goek Depe.

The Dative Case answers Kime? To whom?, Nämä? Towards what? To what end? , Nirä? To where? It describes a motion directed toward something. Bu awtobus Gök Depä gitÿär = This bus is going to Goek Depe. It also describes abstract direction. Maña çaÿ gerek = Tea is necessary to me. (I need tea.) Please note how the final vowels change in the following examples: (Türkmenba?y) Bu awtobus Türkmenba?a gidÿär. (Mary) Bu awtobus Mara gidÿär. (Çüli) Bu awtobus Çülä gidÿär.

The Accusative Case answers Kimi? Who?, Nämäni? What? , Niräni? Where? It is used for direct objects – things that are acted upon by the verb of the sentence. Men kä?iri kesÿärin. = I'm cutting the carrots. It carries the specificity of an English "the" and is only used when the object is definite.

The Time/Place Case answers Kimde? Upon whom?, Nämede? At what? , Nirede? Where? At what place? It translate to English in various ways depending on the context. Gök Depede ÿa?aÿaryn = I live in Goek Depe. Mende çaÿ ÿok = I don't have any tea. (on me)

The Instrumental Case answers Kimden? From who?, Nämeden? From what? , Nireden? From where? Like the English "from" it can be used to describe both physical origin, and more abstract concepts of origin. Bu köÿnek Gök Depeden/pagtadan. = This dress is from Goek Depe/ made from cotton.

5.1 Possessive Suffixes

Unlike English, the Turkmen language also adds a suffix to the object of possession. This may at times be redundant (Meniñ kakam geldi. = My father-(my) came.) but often the possessive participle is omitted (Kakam geldi. = Father-(my) came.) so the suffix alone shows possession.

Vowel ending

Consonant Ending

Vowel ending

Consonant Ending



kakam, my father

ejem, my mother


-ym, -im (-um, üm)

balykym, my fish

itim, my dog


-myz, -miz

kakamyz, our father

ejemiz, our mother


-ymyz, -imiz

(-umyz, ümiz)

balykymyz, our fish

itimiz, our dog

Your (sing, informal)

kakañ, your father

ejeñ, your mother

Your (sing, informal)

-yñ, -iñ (-uñ, üñ)

balykyñ, your fish

itiñ, your dog

Your (plural, formal)

-ñyz, ñiz

kakañyz, your father

ejeñiz, your mother

Your (plural, formal)

-yñyz, -iñiz

(-uñyz, üñiz)

balykyñyz, your fish

itiñiz, your dog

His, her, its

-sy, -si

kakasy, her father

ejesi, her mother

His, her, its

-y, -i

balyky, his fish

iti, his dog


-sy, -si

kakasy, their father

ejesi, their mother


y, -i

balyky, their fish

iti, their dog

6.0 The Absolute Posessive

meniñki mine biziñki ours

seniñki yours siziñki yours

onuñky his/hers/its olaryñky theirs

kimiñki whose? Jereniñki Jeren's

Bu meniñ kitabym=this is my book

Bu kitab meniñki=this book is mine

7.0 Nouns in Direct Relation

Turkmen contains certain pairs of nouns that are in "direct relation," or which together illustrate a concept, exist without use of the posessive suffixes. For example, the general concept of "bus stop" is rendered as awtobus duralgasy, whereas the posessive awtobusyñ duralgasy would indicate "onebus's stop." In these direct relation pairs, the first noun, in its nominative form, acts more as an adjective than a noun, specifying the genreal meaning of the two-word concept. Other examples are as such:

ma?yn ÿagy=motor oil (ma?yn ÿagy=one car's oil)

miwe sogy=fruit juice (miwen sogy=one fruit's juice)

ÿylan deresi=snakeskin (ÿylan deresi=that snake's skin)

mekdep howlysy=schoolyard (mekdeb howlysy=a school's yard)

Note that the second noun is in its "posessed" form with the appropriate -i, -y, -si, or -sy ending.

8.0 Coparatives & Superlatives

To form the comparative, the -dan/den suffix (than) is added to the noun being compared, and the suffix -rak or -räk is then added to the adjective. As in the following examples, the -rak/räk ending is not mandatory:

Bu üzümler ?ol üzümlerden süÿji

Bu üzümler ?ol üzümlerden süÿjiräk = These grapes are sweeter than those grapes

The -rak/räk ending can be used to indicate a comparitive idea without the actual comparative structure:

Olaryñ köÿnekleri kelteräk = Their dresses are (generally) shorter.

To form the superlative, the words or has (most) are added before the adjective:

Maral meniñ iñ gowy okuwçym = Maral is my best pupil.

Bu ma?ynlardan seniñki has owadan = Of all these cars yours is the most beautiful.

Sekizinji klaslaryñ iñ ökde okuwçylaryny saÿla = Choose the most talented pupils of the eighth grade.

9.0 Some Unusual Structures in Turkmen Grammar

A. Comparisons "As... as"

Your hat is as expensive as hers. =

Seniñ ?lÿapañ hem onuñky ÿaly gymmat.

Your hat and hers as expensive.

Your dog is as big as his. =

Seniñ itiñ hem onuñky ÿaly uly.

Your dog and his as big.

Their students are as good as ours. =

Onuñ owkuwçylar hem biziñki ÿaly gowy.

Their students and ours as good.

B. I (verb) (noun) to (verb)

I want him to come. =

Onuñ gelmegini isleÿärin.

His to come I want.

She wants you to listen. =

Ol seniñ e?itmegiñi isleÿär.

She your to listen wants.

I was asking her to do so. =

Onuñ ?eÿle etmegini haÿy? edÿärdim.

Her so to do I was asking.

I want him to come. =

Onuñ gelmegini isleÿärin.

His coming I want.

10.0 Go?ylmalar

Letters, go?ylmalar, are added to verbs to change their function.

10.1: Passive

Adding these go?ylmalar changes the verb to passive voice where the doer of the sentence is unspoken.

-yl/-il; -ul/-ül; -l

Meniñ ejem uly halyny dokady.=

My mother made/wove a big carpet.

?u haly ÿüñden dokyldy.=

This carpet was made/woven from wool.

?u ÿyl iki ÿazyjy täze hekaÿalary döretdiler.

This year two writers created new stories.

¥añy-ÿakynda ?äherimiz hakynda täze go?gy döretildi.=

A new poem was written about our city.

10.2: Reflexive

Adding these go?ylmalar make the verb reflexive where the action of the sentence has its effect on the person or thing that does the action.

-yn/-in; -un/-ün; -n

Günde meniñ joralarymy görÿärin.=

I see my girlfriends everyday.

Ol i?e gidip görenip gaÿtdy.=

He went to work, showed himself and left.

Kakam paltany ma?yna söÿedi.=

My father leaned the axe against the car.

Men ardamyny diwara söÿendym.=

I leaned my back against the wall.

10.3: Reciprocal

Adding these go?ylmalar make the verb exchanged between two people or groups, or given and recieved in return.

-y?/-i?; -u?/ü?; -?

Maral jigisini gyjaklady.=

Maral hugged her little brother/sister.

Dostlar gyjakla?dylar we og?a?dylar.=

The friends hugged and kissed each other.

Sen Selbini gördüñmi?=

Did you see Selbi?

Biz göre?ip salamla?dyk.=

We saw and greeted each other.

10.4: Causitive

Adding these go?ylmalar makes the subject of the verb also the cause of an action or state.

-dyr/-dir; -dur/-dür;-yr/-ir; -ur/-ür; -uz,-üz; -ar/-er; -der/-dar; -t

Men ?u kitap bilen gyzyklanamok.=

I am not interested in this book.

Meniñ mugallymym maña Türkmen go?gularany öwrenmäge gyzyklandyrdy.-

My teacher got me interested in Turkmen poetry.

Mergen öÿe gelip derrew yatdy.=

Mergen came home and went to sleep right away.

Gül?at çagalaryny giç ÿatardy.=

Gulshat put her children to bed late.

Men Ainabady görenimde güldim.=

When I saw Ainabat, I laughed.

Ol gülkunçli dege?me aÿdanynda dostlaryny gülderdi.

He made his friends laugh when he told a funny joke.

Men ÿerde çökip gülleri ni çöpledim.=

I knelt on the ground and picked flowers.

Çopan düÿäni çökerdi.=

The shepherd made the camel kneel down.

Tomsuna hemme adama ir turÿar.=

Everyone gets up/wakes up early in the summer.

Sagat onda maña turuzsana!=

Wake me up at 10 o'clock!

Ol i?ini etdi.=

He did the work.

Ol meni holynda i?letdi.=

He made me work in the yard.

Only görmek=to see uses go?ylma -kez in its causitive form:

Olar bizi köçede gördiler.=

They saw us on the street.

Men suratlarymy jorama görkezÿärin.=

I am showing my friend my pictures.

11.0 Four Important Modal Verbs: otyr, ÿatyr, dur, ÿör

Four verbs in Turkmen, oturmak, ÿatmak, durmak, and ÿörmek, have special 3rd person singular forms, otyr, ÿatyr, dur, and ÿör, respectively, that can be used alone or with compound verb structures to indicate a continuous action or the physical position of something. Personal endings are added to these 3rd person forms as such:

men otyryn men ÿatyrn men durun

sen otyrsyñ sen ÿatyrsyñ sen dursuñ

ol otyr ol ÿatyr ol dur

biz otyrys biz ÿatyrys biz durus

siz otyrsyñyz siz ÿatyrsyñyz siz dursuñyz

olar oyrlar olar ÿatyrlar olar durlar

*The 3rd person singular, ÿör, is used alone only in certain regional dialects.

Examples of the use of the three above forms are as follows:

Myrat ?u wagt ÿatyr=Myrat is sleeping now.

Meniñ dostum mugallymlar jaÿynda otyr=My friend is sitting in the teachers' room.

Ma?ynym mekdebiñiziñ öñünde dur=My car is in front of your school.

In compound structures, these verbs' meanings are retained only in that they indicate the position of the doer of the action:

Ol okap ÿatyr=He is reading. (while lying down)

Men çaÿ içip otyryn=I'm drinking tea. (while seated)

Ol taÿda toÿ gidip dur=There's a party going on over there. (in one place)

Sag-aman i?läp ÿörsiñizmi?=Are you (safely) working? (continuously)

Physical objects capable of continuous action but not movement such as cars, refrigerators, electricity, and televisions, use dur in compound structures:

Swet ÿanyp dur=The lights are on.

Holodilnik i?läp dur=The refrigerator is running.

Duhowka ÿanyp dur=The oven is hot (on).

12.0 Selected Suffixes and Prefixes

12.1: -çy/-çi

The suffix -çy or -çi, according to vowel harmony, functions like -ist or -er in English to denote occupation, profession, or position.

i? work i?çi worker

okuw school okuwçy pupil

In certain cases where the verbs are made into nouns, the suffix becomes -jy or -ji:

diñlemek to listen diñleÿji listener

okamak to read okaÿjy reader

ÿasamak to craft ÿasaÿjy master

12.2: -dar

The suffix, -dar can make personal nouns out of other nouns. It is unaffected by vowel harmony.

bergi debt bergidar debtor

tarap side tarapdar supporter

12.3: -ke?

The suffix -ke? personalizes certain nouns indicative of a particular cistom or habit.

gybat gossip gybatke? gossipper

nas chewing tobacco naske? tobacco chewer (habitual)

çilim cigarette çilimke? smoker

12.4: -siz/-suz/-syz

The suffixes -siz, -suz, or -syz, according to vowel harmony, mean without or un-.

tertip order tertipsiz disorderly

howp danger howpsuz secure

jan spirit jansyz inanimate

12.5: -lik/-lük/-lyk/-luk

These suffixes function to create abstract nouns, like -hood, -ness, or -ity in English. They adhere to vowel harmony.

gözel beautiful gözellik beauty

köp much, many köplük collective

çaga child çagalyk childhood

dost friend dostluk friendship

These suffixes can also make nouns and adjectives from numerical expressions.

bä? five bä?lik five-Manat note

bir ÿyl one year bir ÿyllyk a year's worth

on üç thirteen on üçlük bus #13

These suffixes make nouns and adjectives which show purpose.

gün day gündelik diary

ÿetmek to suffice ÿeterlik enough

el hand ellik glove

12.6: The prefix bi-

The prefix bi- expresses the idea of without-. It does not affect, nor is subject to, vowel harmony.

tarap side bitarap neutral

günä sin bigünä innocent

The above forms can then combine with the -lik/-lük/-lyk/-luk forms to form nouns.

bitaraplyk neutrality

bigünälik innocence

12.7: -daky/-däki

These suffixes adhere to the rules of vowel harmony and act as adjective clauses do in English, as in the following examples:

Men ?ol kinodaky gyzy halamok.

I don't like the girl in that film.

Tejendäki mugallymlar biziñ ÿygnagymyza gelÿärler.

The teachers from Tejen are coming to our meeting.

A?gabatdaky çörek biziñkiden gowy.

The bread in Ashgabat is better than ours.

Öÿüñizdäkilere köp salam aÿt!

Say "hi" to those at your house.

10njy "A" klasdaky okuwçylaryñ tertibi gowy däl.

The pupils of the 10th "A" class are not well behaved.

Eliñdäkini aÿyr!

Get rid of what's in your hand!

Parkyñ içindäki gazly suw ?äherimiziñ iñ gowysy.

The juice in the park is the best in our city.

Mekdebiñ ÿanyndaky howlyda toÿ bar.

There's a party in the yard next to the school.

Men ?u köÿnekdäki ÿakany gowy görÿärin.

I like the yoke (collar) of this dress.

Öten ÿyldaky hasyl bu ÿylydakydan köpdi.

Last year's harvest was more than this year's.

13.0 Expressing Needs and Desires

Although in Turkmen there is a way to express a wish to do something that parallels the English use of infinitives, such as Men çaÿ içmek isleÿärin (I want to drink tea), a far more common way to express desires involves a construction unlike any in English, utilizing the verb gelmek as a helping verb: Meniñ çaÿ içesim gelÿär (My-tea-drinking-comes).This would roughly translate as "I want to drink tea." or "I feel like drinking tea." The main verb içmek has the personal ending -esim added to the stem, with gelmek in the 3rd person singular, gelÿär. Note the use of posessive pronouns rather than personal pronouns in the following charts:

-mak verbs

meniñ ÿat-asym gelÿär I'd like to sleep

seniñ ÿat-asyñ gelÿär You'd like to sleep

onuñ ÿat-asy gelÿär He'd like to sleep

biziñ ÿat-asymyz gelÿär We'd like to sleep

siziñ ÿat-asyñyz gelÿär You'd like to sleep

olaryñ ÿat-asy gelÿär They'd like to sleep

-mek verbs

meniñ iç-esim gelÿär I'd like to drink

seniñ iç-esiñ gelÿär You'd like to drink

onuñ iç-esi gelÿär He'd like to drink

biziñ iç-esimiz gelÿär We'd like to drink

siziñ iç-esiñiz gelÿär You'd like to drink

olaryñ iç-esi gelÿär They'd like to drink

The negative is formed by changing the gelÿär to gelmeÿär or gelenok:

Meniñ hiç zady iÿesim gelenok. I don't feel like eating anything.

The past tense is also possible, as such:

Meniñ bir zady bilesim geldi. I wanted to know something.

14.0 Indicating Possibility: mümkin

The word mümkin is used to indicate possibility or to ask permission for an action, using infinitive verbs, such as:

Çilim çekmek mümkinmi? Is it possible to smoke? (May I smoke?)

Girmek mümkinmi? May I come in?

Jañ etmek mümkinmi? May I make a call?

Grammatically, it can be used to signify "may" or "might," as in:

Men ertir siziñ mekdebiñize geläÿmegim mümkin.

I might come to your school tomorrow.

Men hat ÿazaÿmagym mümkin.

I might write a leter.

-mak verbs

men ÿaz-aÿmagym mümkin I might write

sen ÿaz-aÿmagyñ mümkin you might write

ol ÿaz-aÿmagy mümkin he/she might write

biz ÿaz-aÿmagymyz mümkin we might write

siz ÿaz-aÿmagyñyz mümkin you might write

olar ÿaz-aÿmagy mümkin they might write

-mek verbs

men gel-äÿmegim mümkin I might come

sen gel-äÿmegiñ mümkin you might come

ol gel-äÿmegi mümkin he/she might come

biz gel-äÿmegimiz mümkin we might come

siz gel-äÿmegiñiz mümkin you might come

olar gel-äÿmegi mümkin they might come

The negative is formed as such:

Men ertir mekdebiñize gelmezligim mümkin.

I might not come to your school tomorrow.

Men hat ÿazmazlygym mümkin.

I might not write a letter.

-mak verbs

men ÿaz-mazlygym mümkin I might write

sen ÿaz-mazlygyñ mümkin you might write

ol ÿaz-mazlygy mümkin he/she might write

biz ÿaz-mazlygymyz mümkin we might write

siz ÿaz-mazlygyñyz mümkin you might write

olar ÿaz-mazlygy mümkin they might write

-mek verbs

men gel-mezligim mümkin I might come

sen gel-mezligiñ mümkin you might come

ol gel-mezligi mümkin he/she might come

biz gel-mezligimiz mümkin we might come

siz gel-mezligiñiz mümkin you might come

olar gel-mezligi mümkin they might come

15.0 -dygy/ digi

Men oña alty-da geljekdigimi aÿtdym.

I told him I would come at 6:00.

Siz maña näme isleÿändigiñizi aÿdyñ.

Tell me what you want.

Ol maña köp zat öwrenÿändigini aÿtdy.

He told me he's learning a lot.

Ol maña seniñ gelendigiñi aÿtdy.

She told me that you came (had come).

Köwü?iñ bahasynyñ näçcdigini aÿdyp biljekmi?

Can you tell me how much your shoes cost?

Mugallymyñ nirededigini bilÿärsiñmi?

Do you know where the teacher is?

Men ol gyzyñ menden ulydygyny bilÿärin.

I know that girl is taller than I.

Men seniñ kitabyñ meniñkiden gowydygyny bilÿärin.

I know your book is better than mine.

Biz ?u kitabyñ sözlükdigini bilÿäris.

We know this book is a dictionary.

16.0 Double Verbs

Whereas in English we conjugate all verbs and place "and" between them when two actions are done at once or at relatively the same time, Turkmen employs a structure that puts the two verbs together. The first verb is reduced to its stem and the participial ending -yp or -ip, according to vowel harmony, is added. The ending of the second verb determines the doer of the action indicated, as below.

Men düÿn nahar iÿip ÿatdym.

Yesterday I ate and went to sleep.

Men radio diñläp hat ÿazÿaryn.

I'm listening to the radio and writing a letter.

This form may be used to express an action which has been or will be completed before the expressed action of the second verb:

Biz iÿip gelÿäris.

We ate before coming. (lit. We–eat-come)

Nahar iÿip okuwa gidiñ!

Eat before going to school. (lit. Food-eat-to-school-go)

Swedi öçürip gaÿt.

Go turn off the light. (lit. Light-turn off-come back)

The participlial -ip and -yp endings have negative counterparts, -män and -man, also added to the stem of the first verb

Çagalar iÿmän okuwa gitdiler.

The children went without eating.

Okuwçylar okaman sapaga gelÿärler.

The pupils come to the lesson without studying.

16.1 Expressing Ability: -p/-yp/-ip bilmek

A modal structure involving bilmek is used to convey the idea of being able to do something.

Men Türkmençe okap bilÿärin = I can read Turkmen

Ol Rusça ÿazyp bilenok = He can't write Russian

Biz bazara gidip biljek däl = We won't be able to go to the bazaar

16.2 Doing an Action for Someone: -p/-yp/-ip bermek

A modal structure involving bermek is used to express the doing of an action for someone:

Men size jaÿy salyp berdim = I built a house for you

?ol gapyny ÿapyp bermesene = Don't close that door

?ol käsäni saña alyp bererin = I'll give you that teacup

According to vowel harmony the main verb's stem is followed by the participial ending -yp or -ip, and bermek appears according to the doer of the action and the tense.

16.3 Attempted Action: -p/-yp/-ip görmek

A modal structure involving görmek is used to express the idea of trying to do something, or the idea of doing-and-seeing:

Bu nahary datyp gör = Try this food

Men pikir edip göreÿin = Let me think about it (and see)

?ol köÿnegi geÿip gördi = She tried on that dress

16.4 Anticipated Action: -jak/-jek bolmak

A modal structure involving the future tense and bolmak is used to indicate the idea of being about to do something:

Sen ÿatjak bolÿañmy? = Are you about to sleep?

Olar saña jañ etjek bolÿarlar = They're about to call you

Gara?yñ, men iÿjek bolÿaryn = Wait, I'm going to (about to) eat


The following works were used in preparing this dictionary:

A. Almammedov, R. Nazarov. English-Turkmen Dictionary. - Magaryph Publishers. Ashgabad. 1989. 10,000 words from English to Turkmen.

P. Azimova. Turkmenche-Ruscha Okuw Sozlugi. - Moscow "Russkiy Yazik". 1988. 9000 words from Turkmen to Russian. Our main reference text.

B. Chariyarova. Bolshoy Russko-Turkmenskiy Slovar. - Moscow "Russkiy Yazik". 1987. 77,000 entries in two volumes, translations from Russian to Turkmen.

B. Jumageldieva, G. Sopieva. Turkmenche-Ruscha Gysgalzha Tematik Sozlugi. - Ashgabad "Ilham". 1994. 75 pages of thematic word lists, listing Russian and Turkmen.

B. Meskutova. Ruscha-Turkmenche Okuw Sozlugi. - Moscow "Russkiy Yazik". 1982. 5000 words from Russian to Turkmen.

M. Soyegov, N. Rejepov. Taze Turkmen Elipbi. - Ashgabat "Ruh". 1993. An introduction to the new Turkmen alphabet for Turkmen speakers.

M. Wheeler. The Oxford Russian-English Dictionary. - New York "Oxford University Press". 1992. 82,000 entries from Russian to English.

The following additional works were used as references in preparing the brief grammatical appendix:

R. Nepesova, O. Yaslydeva. Let's Speak English. - Ashgabat "Ilim". 1992. Beginning English for Turkmen Speakers.

Peace Corps Turkmenistan. Turkmen. - Ashgabad. 1995. Compentency-based basic Turkmen instruction.

N. Rejepov. Turkmenskiy Yazik. - Ashgabad "Magarif". 1993. Beginning Turkmen for Russian Speakers.

A. Retman, R. Retman. Let's Learn to Speak English. - Ashgabat. 1992. Beginning English for Turkmen Speakers.

Turkmen Language Project. Turkmen Language Course. - Indiana University. 1994. Compentency-based basic Turkmen instruction.

D. Tyson, L. Clark. Turkmen Language Manual, 2nd Edition. - "U.S. Peace Corps". 1994. Compentency-based basic Turkmen instruction.

J. Yagmirov. Turkmen Dilini Owrenyeris. - Ashabad "Ilim". 1993. Beginning Turkmen for Russian Speakers.

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