Turkish Present Continuous Tense

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Watch this lesson to learn the Turkish Present Continuous Tense. Be sure to download the Course PDF and follow along with all the lessons.

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Positive – Present Continuous

In today’s lecture, we will learn one of the most important tenses you need, to do conversational Turkish, the Present Continuous Tense. Because you’re accustomed to conjugating tense sentences from our Present Simple Tense (Aorist Tense) lesson, you will be able to quickly pick up the rules to make sentences about actions happening now.

The Turkish Present Continuous (or Progressive) Tense is used to talk about general habits and everyday actions. If you remember the word order of a sentence with an action verb, Present Continuous Tense also follows the same order. The only difference we have when making such sentences is we have to add or change certain vowel sounds at the end of a verb and add the tense suffix to “-yor” to make it in continuous.


Let’s see some sentence examples:

  • Ahmet akşam yemeği yapıyor.
  • Ahmet is making dinner.
  • Biz ders çalışıyoruz
  • We are studying.
  • Kedi süt içiyor
  • The cat is drinking milk.
  • Makine ekmek kesiyor
  • The machine is cutting bread.

Conjugation Exceptions

There are some verbs that need to follow some simple rules in order to be correctly conjugated in the Present Continuous Tense.

If the root of a verb ends with the vowel “-e”, we drop it and replace it with either “-i” or “-ü” and later add the Present Continuous suffix “-yor” and finally the personal suffix. Look at our previous chart to choose the correct sound, according to the Vowel Harmony.

  • Ahmet, Ayşe’yi bekliyor. (beklemek)
  • Ahmet is waiting for Ayşe.
  • Annem elma yiyor (yemek)
  • My mom is eating an apple.
  • O, köpeği besliyor (beslemek)
  • He is feeding the dog.
  • Ablam müzik dinliyor (dinlemek)
  • My sister is listening to music.

The reason we changed the “-e” to an “-i” in “dinle/besle/ye/bekle” is because it’s an unrounded front vowel like the “-e” sound. It makes the pronunciation easier and fluent when we change it. Let’s look at other variations of Vowel Replacement for the Continuous Tense.

The below example is of a rounded back vowel. The “-e” is replaced by “-ü”, as they are both rounded back vowels:

  • Teyzem şarkı söylüyor (söylemek)
  • My aunt is singing.

In the below example, the verb “ara” looses its “-a” sound and its replaced with an “-ı” sound:

  • Arkadaşımı arıyorum (aramak)
  • I’m calling my friend.

Finally, root of the verbs that end in a “-t” are usually changed to a “-d” sound. There are some verbs that don’t follow this rule and unfortunately you simply have to memorize them:

  • Amcam işe gidiyor (gitmek)
  • My uncle is going to work.
  • Mehmet televizyon seyrediyor (seyretmek)
  • Mehmet is watching television.
  • Adam tarak satıyor (satmak)
  • The man is selling combs (EXCEPTION)
  • Büyük gemi batıyor (batmak)
  • The big ship is sinking (EXCEPTION)

Negative – Present Continuous

If you want to make a negative present continuous sentence, you need to insert the “-mi/-mı/-mu/-mü” suffixes after the root of the verb, right before present continuous marker “-yor”.


Here are some example sentences:

  • Seni anlamıyorum.
  • I don’t understand you.
  • Ayşe spor yapmıyor.
  • Ayşe isn’t doing sports.
  • Ali beni sevmiyor.
  • Ali doesn’t like me.
  • O gelmiyor.
  • He isn’t coming.

The verb “sevmek” and “anlamak” are used in the Present Continuous tense in Turkish while they are used in the Present Simple Tense in English. There are many other verbs in Turkish that may be used in a different tense in English. This will only be a bit problematic if you’re doing translation work but otherwise you will understand the difference in time.

Like with positive sentences, there are also rules for vowel and consonant changes when conjugating verbs in negative present continuous sentences. But because the negative tense marker always starts with the “-m” letter, you only need to focus on the basic Vowel harmony to choose the correct tense and personal suffix.

Positive Questions

When making positive questions in present continuous, we include the question particle “-mu/-mı” at the end of the sentence, right before the personal suffix.

Ben-ıyor muyum-iyor muyum-uyor muyum-üyor muyum
Sen-ıyor musun-iyor musun-uyor musun-üyor musun
O-ıyor mu-iyor mu-uyor mu-üyor mu
Biz-ıyor muyuz-iyor muyuz-uyor muyuz-üyor muyuz
Siz-ıyor musunuz-iyor musunuz-uyor musunuz-üyor musunuz
Onlar-ıyorlar mı-iyorlar mı-uyorlar mı-üyorlar mı

Let’s see some sentence examples:

  • Bu akşam basketbol oynuyor muyuz?
  • Are we playing basketball tonight?
  • Evet, oynuyoruz!
  • Yes, we’re playing!
  • Bu kitabı okuyor musun?
  • Are you reading this book?
  • Hayır, okumuyorum.
  • No, I’m not reading it.
  • Annemle alışverişe gidiyor musun?
  • Are you going shopping with mom?
  • Evet, gidiyoruz
  • Yes, we’re going.

Using Wh- Questions

We can add more detail to our question sentences by using the below question words right before the verb. When using these words, you don’t write the “-mu/-mı” question particle.

NeredeWhereNe ZamanWhen
KimWhoNiye / NedenWhy

Here are some examples:

  • Nereye gidiyoruz (gitmek)?
  • Where are we going?
  • Ne yiyorsun (yemek)?
  • What are you eating?
  • Neden koşuyorsun (koşmak)?
  • Why are you running?
  • Ne zaman dönüyorsun (dönmek)?
  • When are you returning?
  • Kim geliyor (gelmek)
  • Who’s coming?
  • Bunu nasıl ıyorsun (açmak)
  • How do you open this?

Negative Questions

If you want to make negative questions, you basically make a normal negative present continuous sentence plus the question particle and the personal suffix right at the end of the sentence.

Ben-mıyor muyum-miyor muyum-muyor muyum-müyor muyum
Sen-mıyor musun-miyor musun-muyor musun-müyor musun
O-mıyor mu-miyor mu-muyor mu-müyor mu
Biz-mıyor muyuz-miyor muyuz-muyor muyuz-müyor muyuz
Siz-mıyor musunuz-miyor musunuz-muyor musunuz-müyor musunuz
Onlar-mıyorlar mı-miyorlar mı-muyorlar mı-müyorlar mı

Let’s see some examples:

  • Sen televizyon izlemiyor musun?
  • Aren’t you watching television?
  • Ahmet okula gitmiyor mu?
  • Isn’t Ahmet going to school?
  • Beni hiç düşünmüyor musun?
  • Don’t you ever think about me? (Exception)
  • Ayşe ile konuşmuyor musun?
  • Aren’t you talking to Ayşe?

You’ve come to the end of this lesson!

I hope you liked this free Turkish grammar lesson. This lesson belongs to the free video course named Speaking Turkish in 30 Days. Be sure to watch the other lesson too!

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