Turkish Negative Potential Mood - not able to, can't

Negative Potential Mood is formed inserting an -e- or -a- before the negative verb:

  • gelmek to comegelememek
    [gel-eme-mek[ not to be able to come.
  • bakmak to lookbakamamak
    [bak-ama-mak] not to be able to look

The verb can be active, passive, reflexive, reciprocal, or causative, thus forming a completely new verb with its own infinitive:

Turkish Negative Potential -Examples in various moods and tenses:

  • bakmamak to not lookbakamamak [bak-a-ma-mak] not to be able to look
  • bakamıyorum
    I can't look. I might not look
  • bakamadın or bakamıyordun
    you could not look
  • bakamıyordu
    he was not able to look
  • bakamazsak
    if we cannot look
    [conditional form]
  • bakamayacaksınız
    you will not be able to look
  • bakamadılar or bakamıyorlardı
    they could not look

Tense and personal endings are added to make the full verb form.
This includes the if.. forms of the -sa, -se Conditional Mood.

Turkish Negative Potential - A-UnDotted Verbs ending in a Vowel

The buffer letter -y- is used to keep the last vowel of the verb stem separate from the ‑e‑ ‑a‑ negative potential particle.

  • anlamamak to understandanlayamamak [anla-y-a-ma-mak] not to be able to understand
  • anlayamadım
    I could not understand
  • anlamasaydın
    if you did not understand
  • anlayamasaydın
    if you could not understand
    [conditional if]
  • anlayamamış
    it seems he could not understand
    [inferential Tense]
  • anlaşılamayacaksak
    if we will not be able to understood
    [passive mood]
  • anlayamazsınız
    you cannot understand
    [simple tense -maz]
  • anlaşamadılar
    they could not agree
    [reciprocal ş form]

Turkish Negative Potential - E-Dotted Verb Formation:

  • çekmemek to not pullçekememek [çek-e-me-mek] not to be able to pull
  • çekemem
    I can't pull
  • çekemiyorsun
    you cannot pull
  • çekilemedi
    it could not be pulled
    [passive form]
  • çekemeyeceğiz
    we will not be able to pull
  • çekememiştiniz
    you had not been able to pull

Turkish Negative Potential - E-Dotted Verbs ending in a Vowel

  • beklemek to wait, expectbekleyememek [bekle-y-e-memek] not to be able to wait
  • bekleyemesem
    if I cannot wait
    [conditional tense]
  • bekletemeyeceksin
    you will not be able to let (it/him) wait
    [causative form]
  • beklenemedi
    it could not have been expected
    [LIT: awaited - passive form]
  • bekleyemeyeceğiz
    we will not be able to wait
  • bekleyemezdiniz
    you couldn't have waited
  • bekleyememişler
    it seems that they could not wait
    [inferential tense]

Turkish Negative Potential Conversational Stress

In speech this negative potential particle -a- / -ya- or -e- / -ye- is heavily accented in order to draw the attention of the listener to the correct tense and mood.

  • GörEmedim [Gör-Eme-dim] I could not see
  • GülEmediniz [Gül-Eme-diniz] You could not laugh
  • Mehmet ağlaYAmayacak [ağla-YAma-y-acak] Mehmet will not be able to cry.
  • DinleYEmedik onu! Dinle-YEme-dik We could not listen to it!