Imperatives

Basic commands: no marker or (y)in(iz). The standard imperative forms express straightforward commands.

    Bu para-yı babanıza verin

  • The longer 2nd person plural form ıs used mainly for formal public commands
    Lütfen kemerlerinizi bağlayın
    Please fasten your seatbelts
  • 3rd person ınstructıons:(-sınlar)
    Çocuklar burada kalsınlar
    Let the children stay here
  • İf the speaker is only interested in getting an action done(or preventing its being done) a passive form may be used
    Artık buraya afış asılmasın
    Let no notices be put here from now on
  • When a 3rd person imperative form is used in a question the speaker is consulting the hearer as to whether she or he wishes a certaın action to be performed or a situation to occur
    Çocuklar burada mı kalsınlar?
    Should the children stay here?

BUYURU
1……………… 1…………….. 1…………….. 1……………..
2. gel 2. al 2. koş 2. dön
3. gelsin 3. alsın 3. koşsun 3. dönsün
1…………….. 1………….. 1……………… 1………………
2. gelin (-iz) 2. alın (-ız) 2. koşun (-uz) 2. dönün (-üz)
3. gelsinler 3. alsınlar 3. koşsunlar 3. dönsünler
gel in gel iniz
oku -y- un oku-y- unuz

The simplest way to form a command is to use the verb without the infinitive -MEK suffix:

Buraya gel. Come here.
Bana bir kahve getir. Bring me a coffee.
Aç. Open.

However, this is not the formal way of asking something to be done, neither is it very polite. It is used when speaking to people you address as sen. You can always put lütfen with it. When speaking to people you address as siz (used for both the plural and the formal singular), the more polite form of command, -(Y)İN or -(Y)İNİZ, is added to the verb. In terms of politeness there is no difference between them, but -(Y)İN is more frequently used in spoken Turkish and -(Y)İNİZ in written Turkish; this latter suffix you will see a lot on signs and notices, and on all kinds of official communications.

    For example:

 

  • (on a train) Pencereden dışarı sarkmayınız.
  • Do not lean out of the window, (in a library) Gürültü. etmeyiniz
  • Do not make a noise, (on a bus) Şoförle konuşmayınız.
  • Do not talk to the driver, (on a door)
  • İtiniz. Push. Çekiniz. Pull.

 

Being shorter, -(Y)İN is more frequent in spoken Turkish:

Yarın akşam erken gelin.
Come early tomorrow evening.
İstanbul’da Topkapı müzesini görün.
See the Topkapi museum in Istanbul.
Bu sabah iki gazete alın.
Buy two newspapers this morning.

You can use lütfen in all these sentences to make your request less abrupt, more polite.
For negative imperatives, put the relevant imperative suffix after the negative -ME:

BUYURU
OLUMLU OLUMSUZ
1……………………….. 1………………………..
2.gel 2.gelme
3.gelsin 3.gelmesin
1……………………….. 1………………………………….. *..
2.gelin (geliniz) 2.gelmeyin (gelmeyiniz)
3.gelsinler 3.gelmesinler
Hava güzel, şemsiye almayın.
The weather is fine, do not take an umbrella.
Çantanızı burada bırakmayın.
Do not leave your bag here.
Bu kutuyu açma.
Do not open this box.
Kağıdı yere atma.
Do not throw the paper on the floor.
    To summarise, a simple rule for which imperative form to use is:

 

  • Use the plain form of the verb (without any suffixes except the -ME ending if the imperative is negative) for people whom you address as sen.
  • Use -(Y)İN after the verb (or, for the negative, after the verb + -ME) for people you address as siz. And try to add lütfen ‘please’ as you do in English: you can start your imperative sentence with lütfen, or put lütfen at the end of the sentence.

 

Lütfen beşte gel. Lütfen beşte gelin. Beşte gel lütfen. Beşte gelin lütfen.
Please come at five. Come at five please.

When you are asking for things at a restaurant or a shop, it is quite sufficient to name what you want, coupled with lütfen:

Bir çay lütfen. One tea please.
Yarım kilo üzüm lütfen. Half a kilo of grapes please.

In colloquial Turkish there is another way of forming the imperative. It is very frequently used in spoken Turkish, but seldom in writing. The suffix used for this is -SENE for people you address as sen, and -SENİZE for people you address as siz.
Çabuk olsana. Be quick, (indicating impatience: Hurry up!) Kapıyı açsanıza. Open the door. İçsene. Drink (it).
This form of request is rather abrupt and can indicate some impatience on the part of the person making the request. You would be well advised to avoid using it – but you will often hear it used, particularly when a person addresses a junior colleague or employee.
Yet another suffix used frequently in colloquial speech to form an imperative is -(Y)İVER. It is added to a verb and implies that the action indicated by the verb can be done quickly and easily. The suffix is -(Y)i + VER, and only the first vowel harmonises; the second part of the suffix is non-harmonic, it is always VER.

Havluları dolaba koyuver.
Put the towels in the cupboard.
On dakika bekleyiver
Wait for ten minutes.

In non-imperative sentences -(Y)İVER can be followed by all the suffixes that a verb can take, but generally it only takes the tense and person suffixes. It implies that the action can be done, or has been done, quickly and without much fuss.

Çamaşırları soğuk suda yıkayıverdim.
I washed the laundry in cold water.
On dakika içinde bavulunu hazırlayıverdi.
He got his case ready (lit. prepared his case) in ten minutes.

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