Lesson 13


The passive is formed with the suffixes -il- and -in-. Both suffixes follow complex vowel harmony, meaning they can take on the forms

-ıl-, -il-, -ul-, and -ül-.

This applies to -in- as well:

-ın-, -in-, -un-, and -ün-.

For all verb stems with a consonant ending, -il- is used – unless the verb stem ends in l (L). In this case, -in- is used.

Examples in the infinitive (basic verb form):

yapmak = to do yapılmak = to be done
kapatmak = to closekapatılmak = to be closed
vermek = to give verilmek = to be given
görmek = to seegörülmek = to be seen

For verb stems with an l ending:

bulmak = to findbulunmak = to be found
almak = to takealınmak = to be taken

13.1.2 Vowel endings

If the verb stem ends with a vowel, only -n- is used:

yemek = to eat yenmek = to be eaten
beklemek = to expect beklenmek = to be expected

13.1.3 Passive in different tenses

With these basic passive forms, you can now “play” in various tenses.

Sample sentences:

iyor present: Pencere açılıyor. = The window is being opened.
ir present: Pencere açılır. = The window is opened.
di past: Pencere açıldı. = The window was opened.
miş past: Pencere açılmış. = The window was opened. (reportedly)
Future: Pencere açılacak. = The window will be opened.
Conditional: Pencere açılıyor. = If the window is opened.


If you’d like to express that a person is performing an action, you connect the passive with tarafından (= by):

Bu mektup Mehmet tarafından gönderildi. = The letter was sent by Mehmet.
Kitap Yaşar Kemal tarafından yazıldı. = The book was written by Yaşar Kemal.


To negate the passive, -me / -ma is added to the passive suffix (simple vowel harmony):

yapılmamak = not to be done
verilmemek = not to be given
görülmemek = not to be seen
bulunmamak = not to be found
yenmemek = not to be eaten

Sample sentences:

Pencere açılmıyor. = The window is not being opened.
Pencere açılmaz. = The window is not opened. (also: … can’t be opened.)
Pencere açılmadı. = The window wasn’t opened.
Pencere açılmamış. = The window wasn’t opened. (reportedly)
Pencere açılmayacak. = The window will not be opened.
Pencere açılmazsa. = If the window isn’t opened.


At the same time, the passive suffix -in is also the suffix for forming the reflexive, meaning verbs that, in English, are followed by oneself / myself / yourself / himself / herself / itself / ourselves / themselves.


yıkamak = to washyıkanmak = to wash oneself
bulmak = to findbulunmak = to find oneself, but also passive: to be found
görmek = to seegörünmek = to see oneself, but also: to appear

Vocabulary for Lesson 13:
dayamak = to support; demek = to say; göndermek = to send; görmek = to see; kir = dirt, dirty; pis = filthy, nasty; pislik = filth, nastiness, mess; satmak = to sell; silmek = to erase; temizlemek = to clean; yıkamak = to wash