ne demek?

Discussion in 'Türkçe (Turkish)' started by Arabus, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Arabus Senior Member

    United States

    Why do we say bu ne demek? but not bu ne diyor? or bu ne der?

    What are the uses of -mek other than signifying an infinitive?

    Are there other verbs used this way?

  2. er targyn Senior Member

    Petrified form?
  3. maviliazman

    maviliazman Member

    It is simply "What does this mean?". "This" is usually a word you haven't understood. You can also say "Arapçada ... ne demek(tir)?", "İtalyancada ... ne demek(tir)?".

    I don't remember at the moment any other verbs used this way.

    And colloquially, when you are offended, surprised or angry due to an action, you can also say to someone "Bu ne demek (oluyor)!" or "Ne demek (oluyor) bu!". By saying this you may have meant to ask for an explanation, an excuse, even an apology, but mostly you are just telling them off.

    (By the way, I'd get the meaning if you said "Ayşe ne demek?", "Ahmet ne anlatmak?", though I could't help smiling.)
  4. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    I got this sentence from somewehre. I didn't make it up.

    So if we can say demektir, does that mean it is not a verb? Or can we also say *diyordır?

    Is yemek like demek?
  5. maviliazman

    maviliazman Member

    All I've tried to tell is they are different. It'd be awkward to say "Bu ne demek?" instead of "Bu ne diyor?" or "Bu ne der?".
    Bu ne diyor? What is this saying.
    Bu ne der? What does this say?
    If you use "demek" as an equivalent of say-tell, it is conjugated like a common verb. (diyordu, diyorum, demişmiş, demezdik, diyorlardı, diyorsan, etc.)

    And you can use "demek" as an equivalent of "mean" in an abstract/inanimate sense. "Demek" here is also conjugated (demektir, demekmiş, demekti, demekse) like an "isim fiil"-I am not sure-I don't know its English.
    Bu ne demek(tir)? What does this mean?
    Su hayat demektir. Water means life.

    If you want to say what someone means, then "demek istemek" is used.
    What do you mean? Sen ne demek istiyorsun?
    Yazar ne demek istiyor? What does the author mean?

    The last time I studied Turkish grammar was 20 years ago and it was in Turkish of course.
  6. Arabus Senior Member

    United States

    So if demek is indeed an isim fiil (verbal noun), then it is not really a finite verb; and this explains why it can't be conjugated for person like your examples show (we have to use istemek to conjugate it for person).

    I didn't know that infinitives can be conjugated for mood like finite verbs. Thanks.

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