The Passive Voice should be very familiar to speakers of English as well as most other European languages, and it exists in Turkish as well. This is accomplished with the suffixes -ıl- and -ın- in Turkish. This article will cover this construction in greater detail.

Formation edit

Verb stems ending in consonants take the ending -ıl-, with respect to 4-way vowel harmony.


However, when the verb stem ends in l, -ın- is preferred instead. (with respect to 4-way vowel harmony)


Stems ending in vowels always take the ending -n.


Irregular verbs edit

There are a very small amount of irregular passive forms in Turkish.

anlamak anlaşılmak
koymak koyulmak is preferred in standard speech, but the irregular form konulmak is also used in everyday speech
kapamak kapatılmak

Combination with other suffixes edit

A verb inflected in the passive voice acts just like any other verb, and thus can receive any other suffixes attached to regular verbs. Almost always, the passive voice suffix comes before other suffixes.

  • Yapılmayabilirmiş
  • Görülürseniz
  • Düşünülebilir mi

The only suffix that may come before the passive voice suffix is the causative voice ending.

  • Öldürülmek
  • Düşündürülmek
  • Kapatılmak

Usage edit

After transative verbs edit

The effect of the passive voice in transative verbs is quite natural. The real subject of the sentence is hidden, and the object acts as the subject.

  • Bu kitap çok seviliyor. This book is quite liked.
  • Salonumuz şu an boyanıyor. Our living room is being painted at the moment.

The real subject may be expressed using the postposition tarafından, but this isn't used as often in Turkish as it is used in English. When this happens, the tarafından phrase usually comes right before the verb.

  • Her yıl 9,5 milyon kişi kanser tarafından öldürülüyor. 9.5 million people are killed because of cancer each year.

In formal speech, the suffix -ca may be used instead when the real subject is an official body.

  • Kanunlar Cumhurbaşkanınca yayımlanır. Bills are signed into law by the President.
  • Öneriniz bakanlıkça reddedildi. Your proposal was rejected by the ministry.

After intransative verbs edit

While it sounds completely unnatural for an English speaker, in Turkish intransative verbs may receive the passive voice as well! This produces a sentence with an impersonal meaning, meaning that no person is understood to be performing the action. Think of man in German and on in French. The closest English equivalents are you or one. This is most often used with the Aorist tense. Such verbs are always in 3rd person singular.

  • Kadıköy'den buraya nasıl geliniyor? How can one come here from Kadıköy?
  • Topluluk ortasında dövüşülmez. You shouldn't fight in public.

Double Passive edit

In a similar fashion to the construction above, a transative verb may receive two passive suffixes to produce a similar impersonal meaning.

  • Dolma, sarımsaklı yoğurtla yenilir. Dolma is eaten with garlic yoghurt.

Sometimes, especially in everyday speech, double passives are used with absolutely no change in meaning.

  • Dediğin konu hakkında çok şey söylenildi. So much was said about the topic you just put forward.
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