Turkish Interrogatives – When?

Ne zaman?

In Turkish, ne ‘what’ is combined with zaman ‘time’ to form when questions:
Bu olay ne zaman oldu?
this event what time happen-PT
‘when did this event occur?’
Dün oldu
yesterday happen-PT
‘it happened yesterday’

Please note that although the phrase ne zaman literally translates to ‘what time’ in English, its most accurate meaning in English is ‘when’. For example, while next summer is not a proper response to the question what time? in English, it is in Turkish:
Ne zaman?
what time
gelecek yaz
come-FUT summer
‘upcoming summer’

If you want to ask what time in the English sense then you have to combine saat ‘clock’ with kaç ‘how many?’:
saat kaç?
clock how many
‘what time is it?’
iki buçuk
two half
‘two thirty’

Turkish suffixes are attached at the phrase level to the right most word,
ne zamana varırız
when-DAT arrive-AOR-1PL
‘When will we arrive?’
tren ne zamanlar kalkar
train when-PL depart-AOR
‘What is the usual departure times for the train?’
en son ne zaman
most last when-BE.PT
‘when was the latest (episode or incident)?’

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