Seasons Past

Snow over Kurtuluş, Istanbul (Source: Chris Gratien)
Lesson 3 | -di Simple Past

Singer/songwriters like Yaşar Kurt from Lesson 1 make songs with the purpose of expressing an idea. But sometimes you just want to make a song, and the idea comes after. In these cases a safe strategy is to grab a feeling and mix it with some nature imagery. Spread it across time, and you've got yourself an instant classic like this piece of sanat music from Sadettin Öktenay.

Gönül Yazar
"Ne birleştik, ne ayrıldık" is a composition that has been performed by many singers in the sanat music genre, a broadly-defined kind of modern classical music that combines old Ottoman styles with pop music sensibilities. The performer in this lesson is Gönül Yazar, a singer from İzmir who was popular during the 1970s.

This song is packed with synonyms. We have three words related to love (sevgi / aşk / sevda). I can't explain the difference between these words; in part, it is a matter of variety. But each has its own history, each of which may deserve an entire article. This song also have many words about the weather and seasons that will come in handy later. More importantly, this song introduces the simple past tense -di ending called "geçmiş zamanı" using the verb it is named after: geçmek or "to pass."

Here's a conjugation of geçmek in the simple past tense:
Ben geçtim | Sen geçtin | O geçti | Biz geçtik | Siz geçtiniz | Onlar geçtiler
Note that the "d" in the -di ending becomes a "t" because the preceding letter "ç" is an unvoiced consonant. In order to show more examples of the past tense, here are some of the verbs from Lesson 2 conjugated with the -di ending.

gelmek (to come)geldimgeldingeldigeldikgeldinizgeldiler
gitmek (to go)gittimgittingittigittikgittinizgittiler
ölmek (to die)ölmöldünöldüöldüköldünüzöldüler
konuşmak (to speak)konuştumkonuştunkonuştukonuştukkonuştunuzkonuştular
görüşmek (to meet)görüşmgörüştüngörüştügörüştükgörüştünüzgörüştüler
söylemek (to say)söyledimsöyledinsöyledisöylediksöyledinizsöylediler
yaşamak (to live)yaşamyaşadınyaşadıyaşadıkyaşadınızyaşadılar
oynamak (to play/dance)oynamoynadınoynadıoynadıkoynadınızoynadılar

Follow along with the song and try to pick up the very practical vocabulary contained within. You'll notice that sometimes the line of a song does not make a complete sentence, and that sentence continues into the next line. That's why we need to look for the verbs in order to get the complete sentences, and in this case, I've put the verbs in bold below. 

Click on the words to hear the pronunciation. Vocab audio courtesy of Seçil Yılmaz

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geçmek - to pass
üst - above, over (noun)
üstünden geçmek (time) - for an amount of time to pass since something

sevgi - love
aşk - love
sevda - love
sene - year
mevsim - season
ay - month, moon
rüya - dream
hülya - daydream
yağmur - rain
dolu - hail
kar - snow
kış - winter
bahar - spring
yaz - summer
hayat - life
ömür - lifetime
yaş - age, stage of life

Gönül Yazar - Ne Birleştik Ne Ayrıldık

Listen to the song by clicking the play button above
Sevgimizin aşkımızın üstünden / sene geçti, mevsim geçti, ay geçti
Since our love, since our affection / years passed, seasons passed, months passed
Rüyamızın hülyamızın üstünden / yağmur geçti, dolu geçti, kar geçti
Since our dreams, since our daydreams / rain passed, hail passed, snow passed
Ne birleştik ne ayrıldık biz senle
We have neither united nor separated 
"Ne (noun/verb) ne (noun/verb)" is used to express the concept of "neither/nor."
Kış geçti, bahar geçti, yaz geçti
Winter passed, spring passed, summer passed
The word for fall is "sonbahar" or "the final spring". "Güz" is also used in the meaning of autumn.
Bu aşkın bu sevdanın üstünden
Since this love, since this passion
Hayat geçti, ömür geçti, yaş geçti
A life has passed, a lifetime has passed, an age has passed
If you memorize this song, you'll be well-equipped to tackle our next lesson, which delves more into the past: Lesson 4: The Past is a Wound. First, test your knowledge of this lesson's vocabulary with the quiz below.


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