So Apparently...

From album cover of Candan Erçetin's Melek
Lesson 26 | -miş Evidential Past

The road through Unit 2 has been a long one, but at last, we have reached the final lesson. This lesson revolves around yet another verb tense in Turkish that expresses pastness or completion. This is an extremely nuanced tense and one that has a number of uses, particularly for reflecting upon the past.

The singer in this lesson is Candan Erçetin. She is one of the most recognizable voices in Turkish music today, and in addition to recording numerous albums and performing on stage and television, she is currently the vice president of the Galatasaray soccer club. She is the child of immigrants from the Balkans, and as such, many of her recordings have drawn on that region's motifs, from her performance of Rumeli-style songs to her 2006 album Aman Doktor, which featured lyrics in both Turkish and Greek.

This lesson's song is entitled "Meğer" or "Apparently", and it embodies the spirit of the -miş verb ending that we are featuring here. It is not a simple tense to explain; a friend and I recorded an entire podcast about it, and if you can actually understand what we are trying to say, then that makes one of us. The -miş ending is what we can refer to as the "evidential past" tense. It is evidential because it carries the inherent meaning of "apperently", "it seems", "I guess", or "I hear". It is used to report second-hand information where the factuality of the information is in question, and it is also used to convey a sense of realization. In this song, what Candan Erçetin realizes is that her love was "apparently" not as great a love as she thought.

The -miş ending is conjugated in the same way as most endings. Here are some conjugations of verbs from the song:

yapmak (to do/make)yapmışımyapmışsınyapmışyapmışızyapmışsınızyapmışlar
bakmak (to look)bakmışımbakmışsınbakmışbakmışızbakmışsınızbakmışlar
geçmek (to pass)geçmişimgeçmişsingeçmişgeçmişizgeçmişsinizgeçmişler
saymak (to count)saymışımsaymışsınsaymışsaymışızsaymışsınızsaymışlar
gitmek (to go)gitmişimgitmişsingitmişgitmişizgitmişsinizgitmişler
kalmak (to stay)kalmışımkalmışsınkalmışkalmışızkalmışsınızkalmışlar
olmak (to be/become)olmuşumolmuşsunolmuşolmuşuzolmuşsunuzolmuşlar

The use of the -miş tense in the song is pretty consistently to report a piece of information about the past that was not originally known to the speaker. Meaning she acted as if had been otherwise, but it turns out in the end that she was wrong. We'll see many more examples of this use and other uses of the -miş tense in subsequent lessons. Just note that you do not need the word "meğer" to convey these meanings. It merely adds emphasis to the sentiment expressed.


meğer - apparently, I guess, seems like
artık - anymore, at last, already
boşa - for nothing, in vain
çoktan - a long time ago

saymak - to count
sanmak - to think, to suppose
aldanmak - to be deceived, betrayed
sürmek - to go on, to last, continue
üzmek - to hurt, to sadden, to upset
üzülmek - to get upset, to get sad
açmak - to open
pişman olmak - to be regretful, to regret
ihanet etmek - to betray

kapalı - closed
vakit kaybı - waste of time

Candan Erçetin - Meğer

Ben ne çok hata yapmışım meğer
Apparently I made so many mistakes
Gözüm kapalı bakmışım meğer
Apparently I was looking with my eyes closed
Yıllar geçmış ben saymışım meğer
Apparently years passed and I counted 
Dostum sanıp aldanmışım meğer
Apparently I thought you were my friend and was deceived
Yıllarca sürer sanmışım meğer
Apparently I thought it would last for years
Boşa kalbimi açmışım meğer
Apparently I opened my heart for nothing
Vakit kaybıydı diyemem ama
I can't say it was a waste of time but
Sen hiç dostum olmamışsın meğer
Apparently you were not at all my friend
Olsun varsın pişman değilim
No matter what, I am not regretful
Biraz üzüldüm hepsi bu
I'm a little upset, that's it
Ağlamam artık gidenlere
I will cry no more for those who left
Ağlamam artık bitenlere
I will cry no more for that which is over
Ağlamam artık üzenlere, ihanet edenlere
I will cry no more for those who hurt, those who betray
Ben ne çok hata yapmışım meğer
Apparently I made so many mistakes
Seni yokken var saymışım meğer
Apparently I thought you were there when you were not
Yollar gitmiş ben kalmışım meğer
Apparently I stayed and years went (i.e. I lost them)
Aşkım deyip hapsolmuşum meğer
Apparently I though it was love and became imprisoned
Bir ömür sürer sanmışım meğer
Apparently I thought it would last a lifetime
Ben boşa kürek çekmişim meğer
Apparently I labored for nothing
Vakit kaybıydı diyemem ama
I can't say it was a waste of time but
Senden çoktan vazgecmişim meğer
Apparently I quit you a long time ago
Olsun varsın pişman değilim
Biraz üzüldüm hepsi bu
Ağlamam artık gidenlere
Ağlamam artık bitenlere
Ağlamam artık üzenlere, ihanet edenlere

We've seen a lot of examples of the evidential past in this song, but if you need more, try this one:

We Had No Idea

Match up the words from this lesson before moving to the Unit 2 review.

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