In the dictionary, all verbs in Turkish end with the stem –mek ormak, according to vowel harmony.

To make a verbal noun out of a verb, we usually take off the –mek or –mak, and add –me or –ma – in effect merely removing the k at the end.

So yüzmek is to swim, but yüzme is swimming. You can use it as part of a noun phrase – yüzme havuzu is swimming pool – or as a noun on its own, as with swimming as part of a list of sports.

Where this becomes interesting is that Turkish uses verbal nouns (with or without possessives) in a variety of creative ways:

Yüzmem lazımI must swim

Yüzmesi gerekHe or she has to swim

Yüzme nedeniyle – As a result of swimming…

Yüzmeden önce Before swimming…

For the negative, put a -me or -ma before the -me or -ma:

Konuşmama hakkına sahipsin – You have the right to remain silent (lit. You have a right to not talking)

Eve getirilmemesi daha iyi olurduIt would be better if he or she didn’t bring it home


Another type of verbal noun is the –mek or –mak you find in your dictionary, which usually translates as “to do something”:

Yüzmek – to swim

Yüzmek yasak – Swimming is banned

Hata yapmak insani, affetmek ilahidir – To err is human, to forgive divine


Finally, there is also the – form of verbal noun in Turkish, which is a noun describing the way an action is done:

Yüzüşü değişik – The way she swims is different

Bana bakışından anladım – I understood from the way he looked at me

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