Expressing desire (using ‑ası/-esi)

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Prerequisites for this Turkish Grammar Lesson

Intermediate “kendi” forms

Kendi as a noun
Kendi kendi as a noun
Kendi kendi with verbs

Using ‑ası/-esi forms

The following grammar forms are mainly used for expressing a strong desire. This is a fairly uncommon form in Turkish, as most Turkish speakers prefer to use the desire/command tense or a word like istemek to express desire. The ‑ası/-esi verb ending once was used in Turkish as the future tense, but later was replaced by the ‑acak/-ecek ending. Like other obsolete forms, ‑ası/-esi forms are more commonly used in poetry and music than in common speech. Note that the word “olası,” in addition to being used in the forms below, can be a standalone word meaning “possible.”

A desire comes

Grammar form:

  • Verb + (y) + ası/esi + (possessive ending)    geldi/geliyor

These grammar forms are used for describing that a desire came or comes, depending on the tense of the gelmek verb. The “geldi” form is often a reaction to something that was just heard or seen, causing a desire to come suddenly and strongly. It can also be a desire that suddenly popped into someone’s head. The “geliyor” form is more often used to describe a desire that comes to a person sometimes. In these forms and in the ‑ası/-esi var/yok form below, any personal ending can be used, but the first person is most common.

    Kebap gördükten sonra yiyesim geldi.
    After seeing kabob, I want to eat it. (Literally “my going-to-eat-it came”)

    Ve benim, birdenbire yüzünü değil, gözünü değil, senin sesini göresim geldi.
    And suddenly I want to see not your face or your eyes, but your voice.
    (Quote from poet Nazım Hikmet)

    Alemi terk edip gidesim geldi.
    I just feel like forsaking this world and going away.
    (Excerpt from poem by Veysel Şimşek. See whole poem for additional examples.)

    Bazen bu şehirden taşınasım geliyor.
    Sometimes I just feel like moving away from this city.

    Bazen çikolata yiyesim geliyor.
    Sometimes I just have the urge to eat chocolate.

    İnanasım gelmiyor.
    I don’t want to believe it.

There is a desire

Grammar form:

  • Verb + (y) + ası/esi + (possessive ending)    var/yok

This form is very similar to the forms above in that it describes a desire. With this form, however, it is emphasizing that the desire exists (or does not exist) as opposed to indicating the time when the desire came (or comes).

    Iştahım çok açıldı sürekli yiyesim var.
    My appetite is so strong I constantly have the desire to eat.
    (Title of forum post)

    Ağlayasım yok / Gülesim yok
    I have no desire to cry / I have no desire to laugh
    (Excerpt from poem by Atilla Arifhan. See whole poem for additional examples.)

    O kadar çok hiç bir şey yapmayasım var ki…
    I really just have no desire to do anything…

Other usage of ‑esi/-ası

Grammar form:

  • Verb + (y) + ası/esi    (noun)

Grammatically, this form is the same as the ‑acak/-ecek ending when used to describe a noun, such as in “gelecek şeyler” (things that will come). Generally, the ‑acak/ecek ending is preferred over ‑ası/-esi. This form gets used most commonly when cursing someone.

    Kör olası çöpçüler / Aşkımı süpürmüşler
    Those damn garbage men (literally “those garbage men who shall become blind”) / Looks like they swept my love away
    (Excerpt from song lyrics)

    Lanet olası parti!
    That damn [political] party! (Literally “that party that will be damned!”)

    Bir öyle şaşılası dünya ki burası, balıklar kahve içerken çocuklar süt bulamıyor.
    This world is so surprising (literally “this is a world that will surprise so much”) that while fish drink coffee, children can’t find milk.
    (Quote from poet Nazım Hikmet)
    Note that this is a case where the meaning of this grammar form is not a curse.

Additional resources

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