Obligation in Turkish (-mAk şart, -mAk zorunda, -mAk mecburiyetinde, -mAyA mecbur)

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How To Say “MUST/HAVE TO” In Turkish?

have you heard “-mak şart or zorunda or mecbur” before? While talking about necessity in the previous lessons, we talked about -meli / -malı, -mAk lazım, -mAk gerek. You can click on the subjects to study or remember. In this lesson, we will talk about a similar structure. But in this lesson, you will learn how to indicate the verb “must be” in Turkish. We will use these structures: –mak şart, –mak zorunda, –mak mecburiyetinde, –maya mecbur.

Obligation in Turkish (-mAk şart, -mAk zorunda, -mAk mecburiyetinde, -mAyA mecbur)

-mAk şart, -mAk zorunda, -mAk mecburiyetinde, -mAyA mecbur in Turkish

All of these four structures add the meaning of obligation, necessity to the verb. We can compare it to the “must, have to” structures in English. If you use any of these structures, you mean it MUST be done! 

Important Rules

1. Since all these four structures are used as nouns, not all tenses are used with suffixes. If you don’t use any tense with it, it means you are talking about present continuous or present perfect tense. You can also use it with the past tense suffix (-Dİ) as we do in noun sentences.

⇒Okula yeni bir kütüphane yapmak şart.

(It is necessary to build a new library for the school.)(That means it must done!)

⇒Okula yeni bir kütüphane yapmak şarttı.

(It was necessary to build a new library for the school.)

⇒Artık para kazanmak zorundayım.

(Now I have to earn money.)

⇒Yeni eve çıkmak zorundaydım.

(I had to go to the new house.)

⇒Tüm soruları sormak mecburiyetindeyim.

(I have to ask all the questions.)

⇒Maalesef banka şubesine gitmek mecburiyetindeydim.

(Unfortunately, I had to go to the bank branch.)

⇒Erken kalkmaya mecburum.

(I have to get up early.)

⇒Özür dilerim ama gitmeye mecburdum.

(I’m sorry but I had to go.)


2. All expressions (except -maya/-meye mecbur) used with -mak/-mek only.


3. The words “zorunda” and “mecbur” are used with the verb “KALMAK” to talk about an obligation in the future tense.

⇒Böyle devam ederse yeni bir telefon almak zorunda kalacağız.

(If it continues like this, we will have to buy a new phone.)

⇒Testin pozitif çıkarsa sigarayı bırakmaya mecbur kalacaksın.

(If your test is positive, you must to quit smoking.)


If you have any question about obligation in Turkish or any subject about Turkish language just let me know in the comment below. Btw we also share all Turkish grammar lessons, some daily usefull tips, Turkish idioms and more about Turkish language and Turkish culture on YouTube channel! You can watch all lessons for free now! Just click here and subscribe to don’t lose our videos.  See you in another lesson!

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