how many verbal forms


Senior Member
Hello, I speak no Turkish, so can't have any opinion, but have read in a book that some languages have many verbal forms (English has only four, eg. exist, exists, existed, existing) and it says that Turkish verbs have 2 million verbal forms. Well, it is so unbelievable that I must ask someone if it is really true. Thanks.
  • Rallino

    They must have counted the harmonized affixes as different forms :p

    like, the past tense forms are: -dı,-di,-du,-dü,-tı,-ti,-tu,-tü.

    There, 8 forms. :p But in fact it's just -di, and its various forms.

    Kind of like Hungarian: -ban/-ben or the accusative: -t / -ot / -öt etc.


    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Perhaps this webpage can give you an idea, Encolpius. It looks like Turkish verbs can be modified to show all sorts of information, but perhaps with less emphasis on things like tense, mood, and aspect than in Indo-European languages. The Wikipedia page makes a rather interesting distinction between inflectional suffixes and derivational suffixes. Apparently, verbal suffixes in Turkish are for the most part derivational, that is they're best understood as creating new words, rather than expressing inflections of a single lexeme.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    :) Highly exaggerated. Yes, we have many verbal forms but not that many or one lifetime wouldn't be enough.
    That's what I thought. And just like said below we also have many forms including vocal harmony changes but if there were 2 million forms and I¨d like to put all the forms of 1 single verb into a book, 200 forms on 1 page, then I'd need a book with 10 000 pages, what I find suspicious. The book says modern Spanish and Italian have about 50, ancient Greek 350, which are all believable.
    < Previous | Next >