In Turkish/Nominal Sentences, it was claimed that there was no Turkish equivelant for the verbs to be and to have. This is only partially true. The verb imek, which is only arguably a verb, functions similar to the verb to be in Western languages.

imek may be appended to noun phrases, or verbs with a tense or mood declension to convey its meaning. The details of this construction shall be discussed in this article.

Declension of imekEdit

imek is never literally used in a Turkish sentence, one of its 4 forms is used instead. These 4 forms are:

All of these forms have complex meanings and use cases, and will thus be covered in their respective articles.

imek as a suffixEdit

However, imek is rarely used as an independent word. Most of the time, the words idi, imiş, ise and iken turn respectively into the suffixes -(y)dı, -(y)mış, -(y)sa and -(y)ken. All forms except -(y)ken obey vowel harmony. Suffix versions of imek are unstressed.

Ahmet'in annesiyse
ödev içinmiş
küçük bir çocukken

An exception is ise, which is used often as a seperate word when it is used as the conjunction on the other hand instead of its usual meaning.

  • Ayşe işleri bitirmek için çok çalışıyor, Kerem ise yatıp dinleniyordu.

Which phrases can imek be used with?Edit

In principle, any phrase that can function as the predicate of the sentence can take imek.

Noun phrasesEdit

imek may append to any noun or noun construction in nominative.

Beyza'nın öğretmeniymiş

Locative and Ablative nouns and noun phrases may also take imek, as discussed in Turkish/Cases. Accustive and Dative nouns on the other hand cannot.

Azra'nın takımından

Postpositional phrases may also combine with imek.

senin içinymiş
sıcak gibiydi

Particles like değil, var, yok and mı/mi/mu/mü combine with imek freely.

gerekli değildi
işiniz varsa


Bare verbs cannot combine with imek directly, only declined verbs can. Most tenses and the necessative mood combine freely with imek. However, the past tenses and the conditional mood combine only with some forms of imek. The exact cases where this is allowed is discussed in their respective articles.


The question particle mı/mi/mu/mü intervenes between the tense suffix and imek.

yapıyor muydu
yapmış ydı
yapacak ydı
yapar ydı
yapmalı ydı
yapsa ydı

Declining for personEdit

All forms of imek except iken are declined for person. The declensions are as follows:

ben yapıyordum yapıyormuşum yapıyorsam
sen yapıyordun yapıyormuşsun yapıyorsan
o yapıyordu yapıyormuş yapıyorsa
biz yapıyorduk yapıyormuşuz yapıyorsak
siz yapıyordunuz yapıyormuşsunuz yapıyorsanız
onlar yapıyorlar yapıyorlarmış yapıyorlarsa

When imek is used in a third person plural question sentence, mı/mi intervenes between lar/ler and imek, as in yapıyorlar mıymış.

The full verb olmakEdit

While imek has only 4 declensions, more tenses are often required. In order to use a noun phrase or declined verb in any other tense, the fully-fledged verb olmak may be used. This construction is to be covered in greater detail in Turkish/Free Auxiliaries.

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