Present Continuous Tense

Use the -iyor present tense to say what is happening right now. In English, this tense can be translated as to be doing. Think of it as the Turkish equivalent to English -ing.

Turkish English
Ben geliyorum. I am coming.
Yazıyor. He is writing.
Koşmuyorsun. You are not running.
Bekliyor musunuz? Are you waiting?

Forming the Present Continuous

To form this tense, add -iyor to the verb stem, followed by the personal suffix. Take gelmek (to come), for example:

Verb Stem + iyor Personal Suffix Present Continuous English
geliyor um geliyorum I am coming.
geliyor sun geliyorsun You are coming.
geliyor - geliyor He/she/it is coming.
geliyor uz geliyoruz We are coming.
geliyor sunuz geliyorsunuz You (plural or polite) are coming.
geliyor lar geliyorlar They are coming.

The first i in -iyor follows i-type vowel harmony and must change to match the final vowel in the verb stem. This gives four possible forms of the suffix: -iyor, -ıyor, -uyor, and -üyor. Since the vowel in the final personal suffix will always harmonize with the o in -iyor, it will always take u in this tense. Similarly, the they form will always take -lar.

  • seyrediyoruz
  • yapıyorlar
  • koşuyorum
  • görüyorsun

You can use the pronoun in front of the verb, as in Ben yapıyorum or O geliyor. However, the pronoun is usually omitted unless deliberatly emphasizing who is doing the action. A leading pronoun is redundant - its meaning is already present in the personal suffix at the end of the verb.

The they suffix (-lar) is optional - in practice, Turkish people usually don't say it. The ambiguity between the third-person singular and plural cases, then, is usually resolved by an explicit subject or context.
Kedi atlıyor. The cat is jumping.
Kediler atlıyorlar. The cats are jumping.
Kediler atlıyor. The cats are jumping. more common
Atlıyor. It is jumping / They are jumping. figure out from context

In present continuous, we resolve vowel conflicts by dropping a letter from the stem instead of using a buffer letter. When adding -iyor to the end of a verb stem that ends in a vowel (like yemek or kapamak), drop the final vowel from the stem and add -iyor as usual.

Verb Stem -iyor Personal Suffix All Together English
ye iyor um yeiyorum I am eating.
ye iyor um yiyorum I am eating.
ara ıyor sun arıyorsun You are calling.
kapa ıyor lar kapıyorlar They are closing.
üyü üyor uz üyüyoruz We are sleeping.


To make the negative form (I am not doing), add the negative suffix -me after the stem. Since the e in -me clashes with the i in iyor, we drop the e in -me entirely.

Verb Stem Negative Suffix -iyor Personal Suffix All Together English
yap me iyor um yapmeiyorum I am not doing.
yap ma ıyor um yapmıyorum I am not doing.
gel me iyor sunuz gelmiyorsunuz You are not coming.
öp me üyor lar öpmüyorlar They are not kissing.

When saying the negative form, stress the syllable that commes immediately before -me.

  • istemiyorum
  • calışmıyorum
  • yapmıyorum


To build a question in the present continuous tense (Are you doing?), combine the question suffix -mi with the personal suffix and separate it from the -iyor stem. When the question suffix clashes with the I and we personal suffix, add a buffer y to keep the two vowels from touching. If that's confusing, it's much easier if you look at some examples.

Verb Stem -iyor Question Suffix Personal Suffix All Together English
yap iyor mu sun yapiyor musun? Are you doing?
gör üyor mu - görüyor mu? Did he see?
git iyor mu uz gidiyor muyuz? Are we going?
dinle iyor mu um dinliyor muyum? Am I listening?

Since the vowel in the question suffix will always harmonize with the o in -iyor, it will always take u in this tense.

  • calışıyor musun?
  • yapıyor mu?
  • yiyor musunuz?
  • koşuyor muyuz?

The they question form differs from the rest. In this case, put -mi at the end, like this:

Verb Stem -iyor Personal Suffix Question Suffix All Together English
yap iyor lar yapiyorlar mı? Are they doing?
yüz üyor lar yapiyorlar mı? Are they swimming?

To make a negative question, add the negative suffix -me before -iyor, just like before.

Verb Stem Negative Suffix -iyor Question Suffix Personal Suffix All Together English
yap mi iyor mu sun yapmiyor musun? Are you not doing?
gel me iyor mu uz gelmiyor muyuz? Are we not coming?