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AnnaSusita

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Learning Hungarian from English

Level 15 · 9854 XP

Crowns: 0/468

Skills: 31

Lessons: 127

Lexemes: 1056

Strength: 53%

Created: 2016-08-15
Last Goal: 2023-11-05
Timezone: UTC+2

Last update: 2024-02-22 22:33:50 GMT+3 (cached)


206555082

Hungarian Skills by StrengthCrownsNameOriginal Order

  • ••• 14 Basic Phrases11 @ 100% 0
    akarok · bocsánat · bort · elnézést · estét · hogy · hány éves · ide · igen · jó · jól · kérek · kívánok · köszönöm · menj · menni · nagyon · napot · nem · nincs · oda · paprikást · reggelt · rosszul · sajnos · szeretnék kérni · szia · szépen · szívesen · sört · vagy · vagyok · viszlát · viszontlátásra · vizet · éjszakát
    36 words

    Welcome to the Hungarian course!

    Here you'll meet your first Hungarian phrases as well as a few verbs, most importantly, lenni ‘to be’. It is conjugated as follows:

    SG PL
    1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
    2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl) are’
    3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

    The pronouns in the Hungarian examples are in parentheses because you mostly don't have to use them. The verb form tells you which person and number is indicated.

    Orthography (spelling ) and pronunciation

    Hungarian uses the Latin alphabet (like English) with some additional letters and diacritics. Let's start with the vowels.

    Vowels can be short and long. Short vowels are a, e, i, o, u, ö and ü. Their long versions are á, é, í, ó, ú, ő and ű.

    Consonants can ALSO be short and long. Long consonants are "lengthened " by doubling them, as in reggel ’morning’ .

    Some Hungarian consonants are spelled very differently from their English counterparts:

    Letter Hungarian pronunciation
    c like ts in cats
    cs like ch in channel
    s like sh in shower
    sz like s in sing
    zs like s in pleasure

    So Hungarian szia (’hello’ or ’goodbye’) sounds a bit like English see ya.

    The letters gy, ny, ty represent sounds that sound a bit like adding a y sound to the preceding sound.

    Take a look at this video (there are others) to hear how the vowels and consonants are pronounced:

    Youtube: The sounds of the Hungarian alphabet

    Another video, as a gentle intro to the Hungarian language:

    Hungarian explained - such long words, such an isolated language

  • ••• 32 Basic 121 @ 25% 75
    a · ablak · alma · asztal · autó · az · egy · ez · fiú · igen · lámpa · lány · mi · nem · szék · telefon · vagy · és
    18 words

    Lesson 1

    Just like in English, Hungarian has definite articles and an indefinite article.

    A and az are like English's the . A fiú = the boy .

    If the word starts with a vowel, you use az. For a consonant, you use a.

    az alma, a fiú

    Hungarian's indefinite article is simpler: the indefinite article a or an is always egy.

    egy alma, egy fiú

    Don't confuse Hungarian's a / az, the definite article meaning the, with English's a / an, which are the indefinite articles, meaning egy!

    Lenni, the verb "to be"

    The present tense is :

    SG PL
    1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
    2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl. ) are’
    3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

    The subject pronouns are in parentheses because they are often dropped , the verb conjugation shows the person.

    You are a teacher can be Te tanár vagy. or just Tanár vagy.

    When to include van/vannak

    Hungarian sometimes drops van and vannak. Sometimes there's NO verb where English has is ! You would say What is this ?, Hungarian drops the "is " :

    Mi ez? = what is this ? . . .

    Hungarian word order is freer than in English. To ask What is this?, both Mi ez? and Ez mi? are fine.

    Be alert! The verb is only left out when the subject is in the third person AND the sentence expresses a property of the subject like Ez mi? “What is this?“, Péter egy diák “Péter is a student.”, or Péter álmos “Péter is tired.”

    This only happens in the third person, the first and second person (I, you, we, plural you ) vagyok, vagy, vagyunk, vagytok are NEVER omitted.

    Don't use van or vannak if you are saying what someone or something is.

    "Ő tanár" - "He is a teacher"

    "Péter tanár" - "Péter is a teacher"

    "Az alma piros" - "The apple is red"

    "Mi az?" - "What's that?"

    But, do use van/vannak when describing when, how, the state, or where something or someone is.

    Time - Expressing when something is.

    "Mikor van a buli?" - "When is the party?" "A buli hétkor van." - "The party is at 7."

    State - how something/someone is.

    "Apád ma hogy van?" = "How is your dad today?" "Ma jobban van, mint tegnap, köszönöm." - "He is better today than he was yesterday, thank you."

    Location

    "Hol van a mozi?" - "Where is the cinema?" "Ott van jobbra." - "It's there on the right."

    Adverbial Participle - a verbal state of a noun

    "Ki van nyitva az ablak?" - "Is the window open?" "Nem, be van zárva." - "No, it's shut."

    All the above become "vannak" when the subject is plural:

    "Itt vannak a poharak." - "Here are the glasses."

    "A szobák fűtve vannak." - "The rooms are heated."

    See another explanation here: Hungarianreference.com/Van-is-exists-omitting

  • ••• 14 First Names23 @ 100% 0
    a neved · hogy hívnak? · jános · kati · lászló · mi a neved · péter · zsuzsa · éva
    9 words

    Péter, Kati and Éva are common Hungarian names.

    There are several ways of asking someone what their name is, here are two .

    • One is a neved, meaning ‘your name’ . You can ask someone Mi a neved or ‘What is your name?’ — Recall that we don't always say is in Hungarian.

    • Another is to use hogy hívnak, which is literally ‘How do they call you?’, but it's just another way to say ‘What's your name?’.

    A resource

    Duolingo removed the forum which had tons of useful posts. We tried to save the most important ones, so you if you feel you need more grammar help, check out this blog: magyarbagoly.blogspot.com

  • ••• 32 Basic 232 @ 25% 75
    akkor · alacsony · angol · diák · egyedül · fekete · fiatal · ház · ilyen · játék · ki · kicsi · korán · ma · magas · magyar · milyen · mit · most · már · nagy · orvos · piros · sofőr · szép · tanár · te · én · óra · ön · újra
    31 words

    The verb lenni ‘to be’

    SG PL
    1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
    2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl) are’
    3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

    The most important thing to keep in mind is when to use the third person van ‘is’ and vannak ‘are’, and when to leave them out!

    These examples will help illustrate the difference.

    Én tanár vagyok. meaning ‘I am a teacher.’

    Ő tanár. meaning ‘She/he is a teacher.’

    In the first sentence above, there is a verb, vagyok, but in the second sentence there is no van.

    When expressing what something is like, you do not use van .

    The following examples are fine without van or vannak, in fact, you must not use van here :

    Az autó piros. ‘The car is red.’

    A fiúk tanárok. ‘The boys are teachers.’

    Personal pronouns

    SG PL
    1 én ’I’ mi ’we’
    2 te ’you (sg.)’ ti ’you (pl.)’
    3 ő ’she/he/it’ ők ’they’

    But there are many differences between the two languages:

    • Hungarian has pronouns for the second person singular AND the second person plural: te means ‘you (sg.)’, while ti means ‘you (pl.)’.

    • Hungarian has no gender: the third person singular pronoun ő means both ‘she’ and ‘he’. Thus a sentence like Ő tanár can mean either ‘She is a teacher’ or ‘He is a teacher’.

    • Like German, French and Spanish, Hungarian has pronouns that are used when talking formally to someone : ön in the singular and önök in the plural. They're translated as ‘you’ and they are used in formal settings when talking to someone senior, or a stranger, and when being polite.

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  • ••• 41 Occupations41 @ 25% 75
    bíró · eladó · főnök · katona · munkás · mérnök · művész · művésznő · pincér · politikus · postás · rendező · rendőr · riporter · sportoló · szakács · színész · színésznő · titkárnő · turista · tűzoltó · zeneszerző · zenész · énekesnő · író · óvónő · ügyvéd
    27 words

    Gender in occupations

    Hungarian does not usually specify one's gender: the pronoun ő means ‘he’ and ‘she’. But, when speaking about jobs and occupations, there is a way of showing genders .

    For most occupations, like művész ‘artist’ or rendőr ‘policeman’, just add ‘woman’ .

    művésznő is a female artist, and rendőrnő is a policewoman.

    Nem... hanem... sentences

    Én nem a szakács vagyok, hanem a pincér. I am not the cook, but rather the waiter.

    These nem/hanem types of sentences consist of two parts, and mean something like It is not X, but Y where X and Y contrast. X and Y can be two nouns, two places, two adjectives, two verbs, etc.

    Both de and hanem translate to but, but they are not the same. Think of hanem as but rather. If you speak German, de=aber, hanem=sondern.

    When to use hanem, and when to use de ?.

    Hanem is never alone, if hanem is used, there will always be nem in the first part of the sentence.

    Nem

    Nem precedes what it negates. To find the place for nem, look into the second part of the sentence . The negation has to contrast with the hanem part.

    Én nem a szakács vagyok, hanem a pincér. I am not the cook, but the waiter. The contrast is : the waiter versus the cook, so nem comes before a szakács.

    Nem én vagyok a pincér, hanem ő. It is not ME who is the waiter, but HIM . The contrast is : me versus him, so nem is placed before én.

    The verb can be in the middle of the sentence (after nem X) or at the end (after hanem Y). A megálló nem itt van, hanem ott. A megálló nem itt, hanem ott van. (The stop is not here, but there.)

    Occasionally the contrasting pair is two verbs: Én nem állok, hanem ülök. I am not standing, but sitting.

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  • ••• 41 Places 142 @ 25% 75

    Postpositions

    We'll start with locations and relations between locations .

    English has prepositions, words like on, in, by, etc. which express location:

    • on the building, in the city, by the tree

    Hungarian expresses some of these meanings using suffixes , and some of them using postpositions, not prepositions .

    We'll learn some words for buildings and some postpositions.

    In English, we say behind the house . In Hungarian, we say a ház mögött.

    Egy ház mögött állok. — ‘I am standing behind a house.’

    Van egy kert a ház mögött. — ‘There is a garden behind the house.’

    A tó a nagy ház mögött van. — ‘The lake is behind the big house.’

    The order in which words can follow each other is often fixed:

      1. adjective 2. noun: nagy ház
      1. noun 2. postposition: ház mögött
      1. adjective 2. noun 3. postposition: a nagy ház mögött

    Meet six postpositions:

    • előtt — ‘in front of’

    • mögött — ‘behind’

    • alatt — ‘under’

    • fölött — ‘above’

    • mellett — ‘next to’

    • között — ‘between’

    We will use the suffixes -ban / -ben . These are used for the English preposition "in":

    • a táskában — ‘in the bag’
    • a könyvben — ‘in the book’
    • az épületben — ‘in the building’

    In English we make a difference between "in" and "at", in Hungarian, we only use -ban / -ben:

    • Iskolában vagy? — ‘Are you at (in ) school?’
    • Az iskolában fehér az ablak. — ‘The windows are white in (at ) the school.’

    Suffixes are always attached to the noun they refer to, as if they were “glued together”. Postpositions are always "loose " .

    nincs

    In Hungarian, nem van (side-by-side ) can only be said or written nincs. Compare:

    person localising feeling bad
    én Nem vagyok otthon. Nem vagyok jól.
    te Nem vagy otthon? Nem vagy jól?
    Ön/Maga Nincs otthon? Nincs jól?
    ő Nincs otthon. Nincs jól.

    Word order in questions

    Questions have stricter rules than statements. In Hungarian, if the question has a question word (who, what, where, when, why, how), then that word must be placed immediately in front of the verb.

    It's good to start a question with a question word, but not always necessary.

    Examples:

    • Mi van a város fölött?
    • A város fölött mi van?
    • Ki sétál a régi házak között?
    • A régi házak között ki sétál?

    The question word must come immediately before the verb. It is always in focus - since focus is on the word or phrase immediately before the verb.

    Exceptions:

    When a question word is a part of a "block", like How many cars? How much water? - Then put this "block" before the verb.

    Hány autót lát Péter? - How many cars does Péter see?

    Mennyi víz van a pohárban? - How much water is in the glass?

    Also, miért (why) does not have to be right before the verb.

    Miért dolgozol? - Why are you working?

    Miért te dolgozol? - Why is it you who is working?

  • ••• 41 Verbs 1 : Present Single51 @ 25% 75

    Here are the present tense singular (I, you, s/he ) forms .

    • Tanulni means both ‘to learn’ and ‘to study’. Its stem is tanul- . Its 'indefinite ' present conjugation is :
    tanulni ‘to learn/study’ suffix (ending)
    1 tanul-ok ‘I learn’ -ok
    2 tanul-sz ‘you learn’ -sz
    3 tanul ‘she/he learns’ (null)

    These suffixes (endings ) are used for all the verbs in Lesson 1.

    In Lesson 2, we find verbs like sietni ‘to hurry’. This table shows the singular forms of sietni.

    sietni ‘to hurry’ suffix (ending)
    1 siet-ek ‘I hurry’ -ek
    2 siet-sz ‘you hurry’ -sz
    3 siet ‘she/he hurries’ (null)

    Notice that the first person singular suffix for sietni is -ek, not -ok as in 'tanulni ' ? Why?

    What's happening here is vowel harmony, which you will need for more than to conjugate verbs...

    Vowel harmony means that the vowels (a, e, i, o and u ) in a word require that the vowels in suffixes (like -ek and -ok) "match " the vowels in the words they attach to:

    We use * -ok when the verb it attaches to contains the vowels a, á, o, ó, u, or ú.

    • -ek occurs when the verb it attaches to contains i, í, e, é.

    and * -ök occurs when the verb it attaches to contains ö, ő, ü, or ű.

    The vowels in the suffixes have to be in “harmony” with the vowels in the word they attach to. Moreover, this “harmony” has two groups of vowels, called “back” and “front” (and later "rounded " :

    front vowels back vowels
    i, í, ü, ű u, ú
    e, é, ö, ő o, ó
    a, á

    This table helps determine which vowel should precede the -k in the first person singular — If they are back, we get -ok. If they are front, we get -ek or -ök.

    There are exceptions; you'll learn about those a little later!

    About word order

    Word order in Hungarian is more flexible than in English, but it is not completely free (more about this soon).

    Some words, or parts of the sentence , have to come immediately before the verb - a location called "focus " .

    Question words like ki ‘who’ or mi ‘what’ ...

    • Ki sétál a piac mellett? ‘Who is taking a walk next to the marketplace ? ‘

    Or when you compare or contrast two phrases (or words), one is in focus and has to come right before the verb.

    For example:

    • Nem a piac mellett sétálok, hanem az áruház mellett. ‘I am not walking next to the market, but next to the department store.‘

    The contrast is between a piac mellett ‘next to the market‘ and az áruház mellett ‘next to the department store‘.

  • ••• 41 Accusative 161 @ 25% 75
    almát · autót · buszt · bírót · diákot · eladót · fiatalt · fiút · fát · férfit · gyereket · házat · iskolát · jeget · kenyeret · keveset · kicsit · kit · könyvet · lányt · magasat · mit · nőt · orvost · rendezőt · riportert · semmit · sokat · szállodát · tanárt · telefont · vacsorát · valamit · épületet · írót · ügyvédet
    36 words

    Direct Objects and the accusative case

    The accusative is a fancy word for DIRECT OBJECT ! In Hungarian, it is shown by a * t * - on a direct object !

    Fiú, ’boy’ , becomes fiút when it is the DIRECT OBJECT !

    In English, direct objects usually follow the subject and the predicate, as in

    • The girl sees a boy.

    Boy is the direct object, girl is the subject, and sees is the predicate.

    In Hungarian, the word order can be less regular, but the direct object case is marked with t :

    • A lány lát egy fiút.

    The subject is lány , the verb is lát, and fiút is the direct object, with its accusative ending, t ! So, that "t " is a helpful hint to Hungarians that this word is a DIRECT OBJECT .

    Accusative endings

    If a word ends in i, í, o, ó, ö, ő, u, ú, ü, or ű (not a or e), then t is added directly to the end of the word

    • fiú -> fiút
    • -> nőt

    But words ending in -a and -e, become and when they get the t.

    • alma ’apple’ -> almát
    • körte ’pear’ -> körtét

    If the word ends in a consonant, we USUALLY have to add a vowel before the accusative t -ot / -at / -et / -öt . Which vowel is determined by vowel harmony ! Words with front vowels get a front vowel before the t, words with back vowels get a back vowel. But -r / -l / -n / - ny / - s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly take the -t directly (see below ) .

    back vowels front vowels
    a, á e, é,
    o, ó i, í,
    u, ú ö, ő
    ü, ű

    -back vowels usually get -ot

    • sajt ‘cheese’ -> sajtot

    • narancs 'orange' -> narancsot

    -some words, which you have to memorize, get -at:

    • ház ‘house’ -> házat

    • toll 'pen' -> tollat

    -front vowels get -et:

    • szék ’chair’ -> széket

    • zöldség ’vegetable’ -> zöldséget

    • round vowel words which have ö / ő / ü / ü in the last syllable get -öt

    • gyümölcs ’fruit’ -> gyümölcsöt

    • főnök ’boss’ -> főnököt

    When the word ends in -r / -l / -n / - ny / - s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly we USUALLY add the -t directly .

    • bor ’wine’ -> bort

    • lány ’girl’ -> lányt

    A note on word order

    In sentences with a subject, verb and object, Hungarian has very flexible word order. All of the following can be used in certain contexts:

    • Péter lát egy házat.
    • Péter egy házat lát.
    • Egy házat lát Péter.
    • Egy házat Péter lát.

    They all mean ‘Péter sees a house.’, but each sentence conveys slightly different information with respect to which element is in FOCUS (or stressed ) . A focused phrase appears immediately in front of the verb and it often represents new information or contrast.

    The first sentence (with Péter above ), for example, would be a valid answer to a question like ‘Who sees a house?’ but the second sentence would be " A HOUSE is what Peter sees ", because here egy házat ‘a house’ immediately precedes the verb and is, therefore, in focus.

    FOCUS can be very tricky, but English has similar constructions !

    If you have

    • What does Péter see?

    the question word is in focus and asks for new information. In the reply, the answer to what will also be new information and be in focus.

    And in English you can say,

    • Péter sees a house.

    or

    • It's a house that Péter sees.

    Or:

    • It is Péter who sees a house.

    Each of these stresses something different. In Hungarian, it's done with FOCUS . . .

    Word order in questions

    Question words generally ask for some (new) information and act like a focused part of the sentence. In Hungarian, a question like ‘Who(m) does Mari see?’ ’who(m)’ is in focus and has to appear right before the verb:

    • Kit lát Mari?
    • Mari kit lát?

    Keresni

    If the root (stem ) of a verb ends with s, z, sz, then the second person singular informal (te) form ends with l.

    keres (search) olvas (read) vesz (buy)
    én keresek olvasok veszek
    te keresel olvasol veszel
    ő keres olvas vesz

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  • ••• 41 Plurals and Accusative 171 @ 25% 75
    ablakok · alacsonyak · almák · asztalok · autók · azok · buszok · bírók · diákok · eladók · ezek · feketék · fiúk · férfiak · főnökök · jók · katonák · kicsik · kik · lámpák · lányok · magasak · mik · milyenek · munkások · mérnökök · művészek · művésznők · nők · pincérek · pirosak · politikusok · postások · repülőgépek · székek · szépek · tanárok · telefonok · vonatok · épületek · órák · újak · üzletek
    43 words

    Plurals

    You just learned how to spot, form and use the accusative case. , but so far only in the singular.

    Remember the plural of Hungarian nouns is formed with the -k, often preceded by a vowel.

    Let's take the demonstrative determiners (demonstrative adjectives ) ez ‘this’ and az ’that’ first.

    • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’
    • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

    Which vowel ? Remember vowel harmony ? Ez has a front vowel, and az has a back vowel.

    front vowels back vowels
    i, í, ü, ű u, ú
    e, é, ö, ő o, ó
    a, á

    Thus the vowel before the plural ending -k will be front or back. So we get ezek and azok.

    Tricky ! When a word ends in a vowel, like a or e, for example alma ‘apple’, the vowel lengthens :

    • alma ‘apple’ -> almák ‘apples’

    Plural and accusative

    When words are both plural and in the accusative, we have to arrange the plural -k and the accusative -t . Note that if both are there, we will need a vowel between the -k and the -t!

    • alma + -k (plural) + -t (accusative) -> almá+k+at = almákat ‘apples (obj.)'

    If we want to use these or those as objects, we get:

    • ez ‘this’ -> ezek ‘these’ -> ezeket ’these (obj.)’
    • az ‘that’ -> azok ‘those’ -> azokat ‘those (obj.)’

    Sneak preview: definite conjugation

    You'll learn the definite conjugation soon, but here's a little primer.

    Tricky ! When an object in the accusative is definite, the form of the verb changes slightly.

    Important: Definite phrases have a definite article a or az ‘the’ , or demonstratives like ez ‘this‘ or az ‘that‘, or there will be someone's name(s) .

    So when you see apples, you say:

    Látok almákat ‘I see apples’ Látsz almákat ‘you (sg.) see apples’

    Almákat is indefinite. *Látok * is in the indefinite .

    When you want to say I see those, which is now definite (because of the demonstrative adjective 'azok ' , you say:

    Látom azokat ‘I see those’ or Látod azokat ‘you (sg.) see those’

    You can also use látom, without an object, to say ‘I see it ’. In this lesson, you'll see a few examples of the definite conjugation .

    SG
    1 hallom ‘I hear it’
    2 hallod ‘you hear it’
    SG
    1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’
    2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’

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  • ••• 41 Plurals and Accusative 281 @ 25% 75
    angolok · bankok · fiatalok · folyók · fák · házak · iskolák · kórházak · magyarok · nagyok · orvosok · piacok · pályaudvarok · rendezők · rendőrök · repülőterek · riporterek · régiek · sofőrök · sportolók · szakácsok · szállodák · színészek · színésznők · titkárnők · turisták · tűzoltók · városok · zeneszerzők · zenészek · áruházak · énekesnők · írók · óvónők · ügyvédek
    35 words

    Plural

    We've learned how to form and use the direct object accusative -t . But, so far, all our examples have been singular.

    The plural is formed by adding -k, sometimes , though, it needs a vowel.

    Let's take the demonstrative adjectives ez ‘this’ and az ’that’ first.

    • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’
    • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

    Which vowel ? Vowel harmony will tell you ! Ez has a front vowel, and az has a back vowel.

    front vowels back vowels
    i, í, ü, ű u, ú
    e, é, ö, ő o, ó
    a, á

    So, the vowel before the plural ending -k will also be front or back. So we get ezek and azok.

    If a word ends in a (or e), like alma ‘apple’, the "a ", before the plural ending, lengthens - :

    • alma ‘apple’ -> almák ‘apples’

    in the Plural AND in the accusative (direct object )

    When words are plural AND accusative, we have to arrange the plural's -k and the accusative's -t . If both are there, we need a vowel between the -k and the -t !

    • alma + -k (plural) + -t (accusative) -> almá+k+at = almákat ‘apples (obj.)'

    If we want these and those as direct objects, we get:

    • ez ‘this’ -> ezek ‘these’ -> ezeket ’these (d. obj.)’
    • az ‘that’ -> azok ‘those’ -> azokat ‘those (d. obj.)’

    Contrast and word order

    Hungarian word order is less free in sentences that express a contrast.

    The judge is looking for lawyers and finds actors.

    Here, there is one subject, namely judge.

    But there are two different verbs, is looking for and finds and each of these have their own object, lawyers and actors.

    When contrasting two verbs and objects like this, they have to show the same word order: and the objects must come in front of their respective verbs:

    A bíró ügyvédeket keres és színészeket talál.

    w&a

  • ••• 41 Nationality91 @ 25% 75

    Plural adjectives

    In Hungarian adjectives have plural forms .

    In English you say The women are German, with the word German being the same form for both singular and plural. In Hungarian the adjective has to be plural as well:

    A nők németek.

    Have a look at the Tips and Notes section of the skill Plurals 1 to refresh your memory about how to form plurals of nouns.

    Adjectives are a bit different. The plural suffix will be -ak when an adjective consists of mixed back vowels and neutral vowels like e, i. Look at the following words:

    amerikai + -k = amerikaiak ‘Americans’

    kanadai + -k = kanadaiak ‘Canadians’

    egyiptomi + -k = egyiptomiak ‘Egyptians’

    If an adjective ends in a consonant, you can rely on what you learned in Plurals 1:

    brazil + -k = brazilok ‘Brazilians’

    japán + -k = japánok ‘Japanese’ (plural)

    In Hungarian you don't have to capitalize words referring to nationalities, but in English you do.

    When talking about Brazil, be careful :

    brazil = Brazilian (nationality of a person)

    Brazília = Brazil (the country)

    van in Hungarian

    Remember that the third person forms of to be do not always appear. When we talk about the subject and use adjectives, there is no verb in the Hungarian sentence.

    In

    A nők németek.

    there is no verb. You can't omit it in English, of course!

    Generic statements

    You will come across general statements. Those are sentences that express something that is true in general, for example the following:

    Dogs have four legs.

    This means that In general, dogs have four legs. There is an important difference between such statements in English and Hungarian. In English you don't have to use an article for the subject in those sentences, in Hungarian you usually do. Compare the following:

    Dutch people are tall. A hollandok magasak.

    In Hungarian, you can't say Hollandok magasak to mean Dutch people are tall, you have to add the definite article a(z).

    w

  • ••• 41 Adjectives 192 @ 25% 75
    víz
    1 words

    In this skill you will learn a bunch of new adjectives. We tried to vary the sentence structures to make you practice them. There will be:

    • This is a [adjective] [noun]. = Ez egy [adjective] [noun].

    • This is a black car. = Ez egy fekete autó.

    • This [noun] is [adjective]. Ez a(z) [noun] [adjective].

    • This car is black. Ez az autó fekete.

    What is the difference between idős, öreg and régi?

    Use idős and öreg for people, and régi for objects.

    Ez egy régi ház. This is an old house.

    A nagymamám öreg. My grandmother is old.

    A nagymamám idős. My grandmother is elderly.

    Idős is more like elderly, it is more polite to say, while saying öreg is less polite - in some situations.

    “Régi” has a special meaning when used for people :

    egy régi barátom = an old friend of mine . We have been friends for a long time. The friend is not necessarily old .

    egy öreg / idős barátom = an old friend of mine (the friend is actually old)

    What is the difference between kicsi and kis?

    Immediately before a noun (or before another adjective that refers to the same noun) we can use either kis or kicsi.

    egy kicsi ház = egy kis ház = a small house

    egy kis piros labda = egy kicsi piros labda = a small red ball

    And, kis- can be used to form compound words: kislány (little girl) kismacska (little cat).

    But, AFTER the noun, only kicsi works ! You’re making a statement , you're forming a sentence.

    A ház kicsi. = The house is small.

    Ez a kék autó kicsi. = This blue car is small.

    Az a piros labda kicsi. = That red ball is small.

    But * A ház kis. would be wrong.

  • ••• 41 Verbs 2 Present Plural101 @ 25% 75

    plural verbs in the present

    "We, you and they " and, vowel harmony.

    • Csinálni means ‘to make’ or ‘to do’. It has a back vowel (á). Its forms are :
    csinálni ‘to make/do’ suffix (ending)
    1SG csinál-ok ‘I make’ -ok
    2SG csinál-sz ‘you make’ -sz
    3SG csinál ‘s/he makes’ (null - no ending)
    1PL csinál-unk ‘we make’ -unk
    2PL csinál-tok ‘you make’ -tok
    3PL csinál-nak ‘they make’ -nak

    We also have front vowel verbs.

    pihenni ‘to rest’ suffix (ending)
    1SG pihen-ek ‘I rest’ -ek
    2SG pihen-sz ‘you rest’ -sz
    3SG pihen ‘s/he rests’ (null)
    1PL pihen-ünk ‘we rest’ -ünk
    2PL pihen-tek ‘you rest’ -tek
    3PL pihen-nek* they rest’ -nek

    This table summarizes the suffixes based on vowel harmony:

    front suffixes back suffixes
    1SG -ök /-ek -ok
    2SG -sz -sz
    3SG (null) (null)
    1PL -ünk -unk
    2PL -tek /-tök -tok
    3PL -nek -nak

    But -ik-verbs !

    Here's another kind of verb: the -ik-verb! Its name comes from the third person singular ending , -ik, instead of (null ) no-ending like regular verbs.

    • játsz-ik ‘s/he plays’, ‘s/he is playing’
    • esz-ik ‘s/he eats’, ‘s/he is eating’

    Another difference between an -ik verb and a regular verb is that the first person singular can (but doesn't have to ) end in -m -even without a definite object.

    • játsz-om ‘I play‘, ‘I am playing’
    • esz-em ‘I eat’, ‘I am eating’

    In many grammar books, you might only find the -m ending , but today, many speakers alternate between using -m or the usual -k . Duo accepts either !

    Some other -ik-verbs are: dolgozik ‘works’, eszik ‘eats’, iszik 'drinks’, játszik 'plays’, úszik ‘swims’.

    There's no way to tell if a verb is an -ik verb except memorization.

    Subjects

    Hungarian is a null subject language, you don't always need a subject . Examples :

    They are going home. Hazamennek.

    Both mean the same, but in the Hungarian there is no they - you have to figure it out from the verb's ending .

    Hungarian has more pronouns than English :

    Singular Plural
    1st én mi
    2nd te ti
    3rd ő ők

    Note that you can be singular or plural, te is second person singular, ti second person plural. When you see a sentence like : Are you going home? , it can be translated into Hungarian as either the singular or the plural.

    Hungarian has a few MORE pronouns for "YOU " They are used to address someone formally - like French vous, Spanish usted and German Sie - and many other languages, too .

    These pronouns are ön (singular) and önök (plural), AND maga (singular) and maguk (plural). One thing to keep in mind when using these pronouns is that they behave like third person pronouns (like Spanish usted/ustedes) . So when using ön, the verb will look like it has a third person subject !

    Ön eszik. You are eating (formal, singular)

    Ő eszik He/She is eating.

    Te eszel. You are eating (informal, singular)

  • ••• 41 Definite conjugation111 @ 25% 75

    The definite conjugation is a bit of Hungarian that we don't have in English !

    In sentences with an "accusative " (a direct object), the conjugation depends on whether that object is "definite " or not. The forms we have learned so far are in the indefinite conjugation.

    When a direct object is definite, the verb must be in the definite conjugation !

    (i) Lát-ok egy kutyá-t.

    (ii) Lát-om a kutyá-t.

    In (i), the object is indefinite, ’a dog’. In (ii), it is definite, ’THE dog’. In (ii), the verb changes to látom. The ending -om is in the definite conjugation.

    (iii) Látom .

    (iii) means ‘I see IT .’ The definite conjugation is only used with a definite direct object, so there is an object - even if you don't see it !

    Plus, vowel harmony!

    Here are the definite verb forms of hallani ‘to hear’, szeretni ‘to like/love’ and keresni ‘to be looking for’.

    SG PL
    1 hallom ‘I hear it’ halljuk ‘we hear it’
    2 hallod ‘you hear it’ halljátok ‘you (pl) hear it’
    3 hallja ‘s/he hears it’ hallják ‘they hear it’
    SG PL
    1 szeretem ‘I love it’ szeretjük ‘we love it’
    2 szereted ‘you love it’ szeretitek ‘you (pl) love it’
    3 szereti ‘s/he loves it’ szeretik ‘they love it’
    SG PL
    1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’ keressük ‘we are looking for it’
    2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’ keresitek ‘you (pl) are looking for it’
    3 keresi ‘s/he is looking for it’ keresik ‘they are looking for it’

    Important ! the -j- does not always appear in the definite conjugation. And, when the j follows -s, -z, -sz, or -zs, the consonant is doubled and loses the -j- (ss, zz, ssz, zzs ) :

    • keres + jük = keressük ‘we look for it’
    • hoz + ja = hozza ‘s/he brings it’
    • (meg)vesz + jük = (meg)vesszük ‘we buy/take it’

    Verb prefixes

    Another thing to keep in mind for this lesson is that many Hungarian verbs come with a verbal particle, as :

    meg-látogatja ‘s/he visits’ (with a definite object!)

    This particle/prefix attaches to the front of the verb, but in questions - or when the sentence is stressing information about a subject or an object - it is detached and follows the verb .

    (v) Ki látogatja meg Pétert? ‘Who visits Péter?’

    (vi) Péter látogatja meg Zsuzsát. ‘PETER is visiting Zsuzsa.‘

    The Hungarian word order in (vi) stresses PETER: you are stressing that the sentence is about Peter, not about someone, or something else.

  • ••• 41 Date and Time112 @ 25% 75
    idén · jövőre · néha · tavaly · végre
    5 words

    In this unit, you'll learn how to express date and time. You'll learn a few past tense expressions (more on that later), the days of the week, and months.

    In the past tense you can mostly use the same verb endings as before, but... in the verb endings, a -t- indicates that it is in the past tense:

    csinál ‘to make/do’
    1SG csinál-t-am ‘I made’
    2SG csinál-t-ál ‘you (sg.) made’
    3SG csinál-t ‘he made’
    1PL csinál-t-unk ‘we made’
    2PL csinál-t-atok ‘you (pl.) made’
    3PL csinál-t-ak ‘they made’

    You'll learn more about the past tense later !

    As in many languages, you can use the present tense to talk about things in the future. It is fine to say.

    • Holnap megyek. (literally ’tomorrow I go’)

    to mean ‘I will go tomorrow.’

    The days of the week

    The word nap means both ‘day’ and ‘sun’ in Hungarian. But it only shows up in one of the week's days :

    • hétfő ‘Monday’
    • kedd ‘Tuesday’
    • szerda ‘Wednesday’
    • csütörtök ‘Thursday’
    • péntek ‘Friday’
    • szombat ‘Saturday’
    • vasárnap ‘Sunday’

    If you speak a Slavic language, some of these might sound familiar to you! To express that something happens on a certain day, Hungarian uses a case-suffix which is also used for some of the seasons :

    • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
    • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
    • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
    • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
    • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
    • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
    • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

    As in the plural, the vowel in the suffix depends on the vowels in the stem, so we get -on,-en, or -ön .

    Note that there is an exception: vasárnap - 'Sunday' and ‘on Sunday’ For Sunday, we don't use any ending.

    The months

    In Hungarian, the names of the months are similar to the names of the months in many other European languages, including English.

    • január ‘January’
    • február ‘February’
    • március ‘March’
    • április ‘April’
    • május ‘May’
    • június ‘June’
    • július ‘July’
    • augusztus ‘August’
    • szeptember ‘September’
    • október ‘October’
    • november ‘November’
    • december ‘December’

    To say that something happened in a certain month, Hungarian uses the case suffix -ban or -ben:

    • január-ban ‘in January’
    • szeptember-ben ‘in September’

    The seasons

    While English uses in or during to express that something is happening in a season, Hungarian is a bit different. The seasons, first of all are the following:

    • tavasz ‘spring’
    • nyár ’summer’
    • ősz ‘autumn’
    • tél ‘winter’

    But, there are two different case-suffixes to mark what's happening during a season:

    • tava-sszal ’in spring’
    • nyár-on ‘in summer’
    • ős-szel ‘in autumn’
    • tél-en ‘in winter’

    A tiny tip: none of these endings have a diacritic (accent mark)

    Back to past tense

    There are 5 different past tense verbs in this skill,

    "volt" "született" "csinált" "találkozott" "beszélt"

    We discussed "csinált", now here are the past tense indefinite conjugations for the other four:

    van
    1SG voltam
    2SG voltál
    3SG volt
    1PL voltunk
    2PL voltatok
    3PL voltak
    születik
    1SG születtem
    2SG születtél
    3SG született
    1PL születtünk
    2PL születtetek
    3PL születtek
    találkozik
    1SG találkoztam
    2SG találkoztál
    3SG találkozott
    1PL találkoztunk
    2PL találkoztatok
    3PL találkoztak
    beszél
    1SG beszéltem
    2SG beszéltél
    3SG beszélt
    1PL beszéltünk
    2PL beszéltetek
    3PL beszéltek
  • ••• 41 Pronominal Objects122 @ 25% 75
    engem · ismerlek · látlak · minket · nézlek · szeretlek · titeket · téged · várlak · őket · őt
    11 words

    Accusative pronouns

    You know how to form the accusative (direct object) of a noun. But, pronouns have special forms (like they do in English!).

    Person/Number Nominative Accusative
    1SG én ‘I’ engem ‘me’
    2SG te ‘you (sg.)’ téged ‘you (sg., obj.)’
    3SG ő ‘he/she’ őt ‘him/her’
    1PL mi ‘we’ minket ‘us’
    2PL ti ‘you (pl.)’ titeket ‘you (pl., obj.)’
    3PL ők ‘they’ őket ‘them’
    formal2SG Ön ‘you’ Önt ‘you’
    formal2PL Önök ‘you’ Önöket ‘you’

    When the direct object is a personal pronoun, the situation is a bit more complicated.

    Whether the verb is in the definite or indefinite depends on the person of the pronoun. When the object is őt or őket, (the third person singular and plural pronoun ), the verb is ALWAYS in the definite conjugation:

    • Én látom őt. ‘I see her/him.’
    • Ti látjátok őket. ‘You guys see them.’
    • Mari látja őt. ‘Mari sees her/him.’

    When the object is the first person, engem ‘me’ or minket ‘us’, the verb is ALWAYS in the indefinite conjugation:

    • Mari lát engem. ‘Mari sees me.’
    • Ti láttok minket. ‘You guys see us.’
    • A fiúk látnak engem. ‘The boys see me.’

    Summary:

    Use indefinite conjugation if the object is: téged, titeket, engem, minket

    Use definite conjugation if the object is: őt, őket, Önt, Önöket, magamat, magadat, egymást

    One extra ending:

    When the object is the second person, téged ‘you (sg.)’ and titeket ‘you (pl.)’, we have to take the subject into account. With third person subjects, we use the indefinite conjugation:

    • Mari lát téged. ‘Mari sees you (sg.).’
    • A fiúk látnak titeket. ‘The boys see you guys.’

    When the subject is the first person singular, we encounter a verb form (lak / lek ) we have only seen before in the expression szeret-lek ‘I love you’:

    • Én látlak téged. ‘I see you (sg.).’
    • Én kereslek titeket. ‘I am looking for you guys.’

    This table shows this complicated system (don't worry about the gaps). The bold forms indicate the indefinite conjugation, and the italic ones indicate the definite conjugation. Bold and italic indicates the -lak/-lek ending.

    subject → object 1 2 3
    1 Én látlak téged. Én látom őt/őket.
    2 Te látsz engem. Te látod őt/őket.
    3 Ő lát engem. Ő lát téged. Ő látja őt/őket.
  • ••• 50 Choices 1131 @ 25% 75
    egyik · is · melyik · milyen · miért · másik · sem
    7 words

    van and nincs

    Remember van? It's the third person singular of the verb ‘to be’, but sometimes, we don't use it . It IS used in sentences which translate into English as :

    • there is / there are ...
    • ... is here
    • ... is there, etc.

    Very important! When we negate van, it turns into nincs

    • Van itt madár. ‘There are birds here.’
    • Nincs itt madár. ‘There are no birds here.’

    So, van has a double role: it can mean there is, or is !

    Nincs also has a double role: it can mean there is no, or is not

    How do you decide which ? Does the noun have a definite or an INdefinite article ? (if there is No article it's the indefinite . )

    Van itt egy (indefinite ) hajó. = There is a ship here.

    A (definite ) hajó itt van = The ship is here.

    Similarly for nincs:

    Nincs itt (no article ) hajó. = There is no ship here.

    A (definite ) hajó nincs itt. =The ship is not here.

    Demonstratives (this, that):

    If you want to talk about this house or that house, so when this/that modifies the noun after it, use

    • ez a ház ‘this house’
    • az a ház ‘that house’
    • ez az alma 'this apple' and
    • az az alma ‘that apple’

    They consist of ez ‘this’ plus the definite article a; or az ‘that’ and a. But the definite article needs a -z if the following word begins with a vowel:

    But, if you want a "standalone" this or that, you only need "ez" or "az":

    Ez egy ház. This is a house.

    Az egy asztal. That is a table.

    Az... amelyik

    This is about identifying something or someone and saying something about them. How it works : Az... aki /Az .... amelyik / Az... ami

    In the plural: Azok... akik /Azok .... amelyek / Azok... amik

    The girl who is sitting over there is a student. Az a lány, aki ott ül, egy diák. Or, with a different word order: Az a lány (egy) diák, aki ott ül.

    The bridge that is between the mountains is big. Az a híd, amelyik a hegyek között van, nagy. / Az a híd nagy, amelyik a hegyek között van.

    The bridges (that are ) between the mountains are big. Azok a hidak, amelyek a hegyek között vannak, nagyok. / Azok a hidak nagyok , amelyek a hegyek között vannak.

    The one who is sitting over there is a student. Az, aki ott ül, egy diák. / Az (egy) diák, aki ott ül.

    The one (that is ) between the mountains is big. Az, ami a hegyek között van, nagy. / Az nagy, ami a hegyek között van.

    The ones (that are ) between the mountains are big. Azok, amik a hegyek között vannak, nagyok. / Azok nagyok, amik a hegyek között vannak.

    When the subject is named, use amelyik, , and ami, if the subject is not named. And aki for people.

    Alert ! sentence fragments

    Some exercises use fragments. They start with a lowercase letter, and there's no period at the end.

    For example: "aki a fa alatt ül" is "who sits under the tree"

    ... as a part of a longer sentence, "Az a lány, aki a fa alatt ül, magas." The girl who is sitting under the tree is tall.

    Survival tips for this skill

    Az a könyv hosszú, amelyik az új televízió mellett van.
    Azok a hidak nagyok, amelyek a hegyek között vannak.
    Azok a könyvek drágák, amelyek híresek.
    Az a hegy magas, amelyik a híres város mellett áll.
    Azok a televíziók rosszak, amelyek az ablak mellett
    vannak.
    Az a sportoló fiatal, amelyik a híd alatt úszik.
    Az a híd széles, amelyik a mély folyó fölött áll.
    Az a televízió drága, amelyik az új asztal mellett áll.

    Looking at these sentences, the word order follows a pattern.

    singular:
    Az a [thing] [adjective], amelyik [other parts] [verb]

    plural:
    Azok a [thing] [adjective], amelyek [other parts] [verb]

  • ••• 41 Numbers 1133 @ 25% 75
    egy · harminc · hat · hatvan · hetven · hány · három · hét · húsz · kevés · kilenc · kilencven · mennyi · negyven · nyolc · nyolcvan · négy · rizs · sok · száz · tíz · öt · ötven
    23 words

    Counting

    Numbers are quite different from most other European languages (if you speak some Finnish or Estonian, you might recognize some ):

    egy

    kettő (két ) two has a usage rule explained below

    három

    négy

    öt

    hat

    hét

    nyolc

    kilenc

    tíz

    From ten to one hundred, we have the following:

    tíz húsz harminc negyven ötven hatvan hetven nyolcvan kilencven száz

    As you can see, from 40-90, you use the forms above and add -van or ven (like English -ty).

    Putting these together is orderly.

    sixty-one = hatvanegy

    ONLY with tíz and húsz do you add an infix between them and the vowel is shortened:

    eleven = tizenegy

    twelve = tizenkettő

    twenty-three = huszonhárom etc.

    Higher numbers work the same way:

    one hundred twenty three = százhuszonhárom

    Alert: the diacritics are lost when combined (the vowels are shortened ) ...

    Kettő or két?

    In Hungarian, there are two words for the number 2: kettő and két. This works the same way for the others ending in 2, too: 12 is tizenkettő or tizenkét, 42 is negyvenkettő or negyvenkét and so on .

    What is the difference? Use két as an adjective to modify a noun or adjective .

    Use kettő only by itself, only when we are talking about the number "2 " .

    Example: Kettő meg kettő az négy. Two plus two is four.

    Két alma. Two apples. Két asztal. Two tables. Két szép gyerek. Two beautiful children.

    But, Két sounds very similar to hét (seven), so to avoid confusion and emphasize that you are talking about two, we sometimes use kettő in front of a noun. Kettő alma, kettő asztal.

    But do not use két by itself.

    Numbers and plurals

    Hungarian and English differ in how they use plurals . In Hungarian, plural nouns that follow a number are in the singular.

    • Engl. five students
    • Hung. öt diák

    Rather than using the plural, diákok (students ), we use the singular if a number word precedes it : öt diák.

    And, the verb, in Hungarian, is in the third person singular form, NOT the plural.

    • Engl. five students run one student runs
    • Hung. öt diák fut egy diák fut . . .

    The number word rule applies for "kevés" and "sok" too.

    • Kevés férfi énekel. — ‘Few men sing.’

    • Sok orvos beszél angolul. — ‘Many doctors speak English.’

    Numbers as Adjectives

    Where to put the adjective, and is it supposed to be in the plural ? In the example két szép gyerek ‘two beautiful children’ - if an adjective precedes a plural noun, it stays in the singular , and numbers precede adjectives .

    • négy kicsi macska — ‘four small cats’

    • öt magas fiú — ‘five tall boys’

    w

  • ••• 50 Inessive Case141 100
    vízben
    1 words

    Hungarian has more cases than other European languages, but they are less scary than you might think.

    Many languages, like English, use prepositions to express spatial concepts, Hungarian uses case suffixes.

    English Hungarian
    the shop az üzlet
    in the shop az üzletben
    the hotel a szálloda
    in the hotel a szállodában

    Using the suffix -ban/-ben is like using the English preposition in, but AFTER the word and attached .

    When -ban and when -ben? The vowels in the stem determine the vowels in the suffix :

    Front vowels Back vowels
    i/í u/ú
    ü/ű o/ó
    e/é
    ö/ő a/á

    Since üzlet has front vowels, the vowel in the suffix has to be a front vowel: we put -ben.

    In szálloda, we have back vowels, so we choose -ban.

  • ••• 50 Superessive Case142 100

    The superessive case is one that expresses a spatial relation. As with the inessive , the superessive usually conforms to an English preposition and has forms based on vowel harmony.

    It's easy for English speakers, as it sounds like the preposition ‘on’! -n/-on/-en/ön

    English Hungarian
    the ship a hajó
    on the ship a hajón
    the sidewalk a járda
    on the sidewalk a járdán
    the table az asztal
    on the table az asztalon
    the airplane a repülőgép
    on the airplane a repülőgépen
    the ground a föld
    on the ground a földön

    Using the suffixes -n/-on/-en/ön is like using the English preposition on, but after the word.

    If a word ends in a vowel (except for “a” and “e”) you can add the ending “-n” directly .

    If the word ends in “-a” or “-e” it gets the “-n” but “-a” becomes “” and “-e” becomes “”.

    For words ending in a consonant you also have to consider vowel harmony. Words containing only back vowels (or dominantly back vowels), like asztal, we add “-onasztal-on. You will meet an exceptional vowel, the ”back -i”, like we had in “iszik”. The ‘-í’ in ‘híd’ (= bridge) behaves as a back vowel, so we will say ‘a hídon’ (= on the bridge). Memorization is our only recourse .

    However, for words with only front vowels, the suffix is sometimes -en and sometimes -ön. As in verb conjugations, “-ön” is used if the last syllable contains -ö/-ő/-ü/-ű, like föld meaning ‘floor, ground, Earth’, it becomes földön ‘on the ground’.

    For other front vowels (-e/-é/-i/-í) add “-en”, like szék, which becomes széken.

    When to use it?

    1: Express that “something is ON something”:

    The cat sits on the car. = A macska az autón ül.

    The coat is on the bag. = A kabát a táskán van.

    The apple is on the table. = Az alma az asztalon van.

    I live on a hill. = Egy hegyen élek.

    The book is on the floor. = A könyv a földön van.

    Compare with -ban/-ben: doboz = box

    The pen is in the box. = A toll a dobozban van.

    The pen is on the box. = A toll a dobozon van.

    2: Express being somewhere, regardless of the preposition used in English, if that place is:
    any means of transport: busz (bus), villamos (tram), vonat (train), hajó (ship) (but not a car!)
    an open space: piac (market), utca (street), tér (square), pályaudvar (train station), repülőtér (airport), járda (sidewalk), udvar (yard)
    an event: kiállítás (exhibition), megbeszélés (meeting)
    or an exception… see this list: posta (post office), folyosó (corridor), menza (canteen), egyetem (university)

    I am on the bus. = A buszon vagyok.

    Are you at the market? = A piacon vagy?

    We are not running on the sidewalk. = Nem a járdán futunk.

    3: Do you remember the days of the week? We added this same suffix to them (except for vasárnap, which doesn’t get any suffix).

    • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
    • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
    • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
    • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
    • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
    • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
    • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

    Also two seasons nyár ( = summer) and tél (= winter) get the same suffix:

    nyáron = in summer
    télen = in winter

  • ••• 50 Adessive Case143 100
    víznél
    1 words

    The adessive case expresses a spatial relation like by or next to. Like other cases, it needs vowel harmony and can appear as -nál (back vowels) and -nél (front vowels). Hint: both forms have a diacritic (accent ) .

    English Hungarian
    the table az asztal
    by the table az asztalnál
    the shop az üzlet
    by the shop az üzletnél

    -Nál and -nél approximate English prepositions by or next to .

    Vowel harmony has exceptions that you need to memorize when you come across them. The word for bridge ,híd , for example, takes the suffix -nál:

    hídnál ‘by the bridge’

  • ••• 50 Household302 100

    Remember that Hungarian does not always use the verb *lenni * (to be ) when English does.

    Ez egy szép ajtó. ’This is a nice door.’

    You do have to use van and vannak, though, when you translate sentences about existence, like There is an apple on the table or There are some apples on the table. ,
    and when you talk about location -where something is.

    Van a polcon egy alma.

    ‘There is an apple on the shelf.’ or 'On the shelf, there is an apple ' .

    Ők a házban vannak.

    ‘They are in the house.’

    Postpositions

    Hungarian mostly has postpositions, as opposed to prepositions. You will find some of these in this section.

    We say under the picture in English but in Hungarian the noun comes first: a kép alatt.

    In English the word between comes before the noun(s):

    between the houses

    In Hungarian, the order changes:

    a házak között

  • ••• 50 Clothing152 100

    Dressing up

    One way to say what someone is wearing is to say:

    A férfin pulóver van.

    literally: There is a sweater on the man.

    meaning: The man is wearing a sweater.

    You've already learned the superessive case: -on/-en/-ön. In this skill, you'll get to use it a lot!

    Another way is to use the -ban/-ben ending:

    A férfi pulóverben van.

    Literally The man is in a sweater.

    again, that is, ‘the man is wearing a sweater’.

    Clothing that comes in pairs, - like body parts, too !

    With shoes (or socks, boots...) we usually use the singular when we talk about one pair of shoes.
    For example: Cipőben vagyok. 'I am wearing shoes'
    (Literally: I am in a shoe )

    If you need to talk about one shoe - not a pair - you can say:

    egy fél pár cipő (literally: a half pair of shoes.)

  • ••• 50 Colors153 100

    Hungarian has its own rules regarding colors, for example, two different words for red.

    Piros, sometimes, for things that are not human or are unemotional: piros labda (ball), piros paradicsom (tomato), piros jelzőlámpa (traffic lights).

    And vörös, sometimes, for living or emotional objects : vörös haj (hair), vörös zászló (flag - but not in piros, fehér, zöld [Hungary's flag's colors ] ) , vörös róka (red fox), vörös bor (red wine), vörös csillag (red star). Better just to memorize . . .

    Orange: the fruit itself is narancs but its color is narancssárga.

  • ••• 50 Choices two161 100
    abban · alatt · annál · azokban · azoknál · azokon · azon · e · ebben · előtt · ennél · ezekben · ezeken · ezeknél · ezen · fölött · körül · között · mellett · melyik
    20 words

    Demonstratives

    In English, demonstratives are : this, that, these, those, and so on. In Hungarian, ez and az are this and that.

    The plurals are mostly regular:

    ez + -ek = ezek ‘these’

    az + -ok = azok ‘those’

    ez + -ek + -ben = ezekben ‘in these’

    But... : When the singular demonstratives ez and az are followed by a case suffix like -nak/-nek (dative), -ban/-ben (inessive), -nál/-nél, etc., the -z assimilates to the first consonant of the suffix:

    ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this’

    az + -nál = annál ‘at that’

    ez + -nek = ennek

    Demonstratives + nouns

    When using a demonstrative with a noun, both the demonstrative AND the noun have to have the plural and the case suffixes on BOTH :

    (ez + ben )

    ebben a házban ‘in this house’

    (ezek + ben )

    ezekben a házakban ‘in these houses’

    azoknál a kerteknél ‘by those gardens’

    Demonstratives and postpositions

    Hungarian gets a bit more complicated when you combine a demonstrative and a noun like ez a ház ‘this house’ with a POSTposition like mellett ‘next to‘ : if the postposition starts with a consonant, the z disappears, and we get a , e instead of az, ez:

    e mellett a ház mellett ‘next to this house’

    a fölött a kert fölött ‘above that garden’

    ez alatt a fa alatt ‘under this tree’

    az alatt a fa alatt ‘under that tree’

  • ••• 50 Ordinal Numbers162 100
    első · harmadik · harmincadik · hatodik · hatvanadik · hetedik · hetvenedik · huszadik · hányadik · kilencedik · kilencvenedik · második · negyedik · negyvenedik · nyolcadik · nyolcvanadik · századik · tizedik · ötvenedik · ötödik
    20 words

    Ordinal numbers (like first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. ) are formed by using the number , itself , and -adik, -edik, and -ödik . The choice depends on vowel harmony.

    If the number has a long vowel in the last syllable (like kettő, hét, négy, tíz or húsz), the vowel shortens:

    tíz becomes tizedik ‘tenth’ (and négy -> negyedik, hét -> hetedik)

    In három, the á shortens, and the o disappears, so we get harmadik ‘third‘.

    And, like in English, second, is not derived from two (we don't use twoth!):

    második ‘second’

    (más = ‘different’ but also, ‘another‘)

    En Hu
    first első
    second második
    third harmadik
    fourth negyedik
    fifth ötödik
    sixth hatodik
    seventh hetedik
    eighth nyolcadik
    ninth kilencedik
    tenth tizedik
    eleventh tizenegyedik
    twelfth tizenkettedik
    thirteenth tizenharmadik
    fourteenth tizennegyedik
    fifteenth tizenötödik

    Note that 11th, 12th, 21st, 22nd, 31st, 32nd (and so on) do not contain the words "első" and "második",
    we say tizenegyedik, tizenkettedik, huszonegyedik, huszonkettedik, harmincegyedik, harminckettedik instead.

    Hányadik?

    English does not have a word for "how manyeth" but Hungarian does. Hányadik? You can use this if you expect an ordinal number as an answer.

    Hányadik emeleten laksz? - A harmadik emeleten lakom.

    Hányadik megállóban szállunk le? - A kilencedik megállóban.

  • ••• 50 Animals342 100
    hova · ide · oda
    3 words

    We often make general statements like :

    Lions are carnivores.

    In English, we can use a word without an article, like lions above, to express a general statement.

    In Hungarian, general statements are expressed slightly differently. But sometimes we don't use the verb to be and, when talking about the properties of a third-person subject, in Hungarian, we need an article.

    Thus the English sentence above becomes:

    Az oroszlánok húsevők. = literally ‘the lions carnivores’ , translated: the lions are carnivores . . .

    or

    Az oroszlán húsevő. = both "the lion is a carnivore " and "lions are carnivores " ! . . .

    The same is true with negation.

    Dolphins are not fish.

    becomes

    A delfinek nem halak. = lit. ‘the dolphins not fish’

    w

  • ••• 50 Illative Case 1181 100
    vízbe
    1 words

    The illative case is used to show MOTION into something and it's like English into or to :

    a házba ‘to the house’

    The illative suffix also requires vowel harmony:

    a kertbe ‘into the garden'

    It's easy to confuse the illative case (into ) -ba / -be * with the inessive case -ban/-ben* , in , so be on the alert !

  • ••• 50 Sublative Case 1182 100

    The sublative case indicates motion ONTO something. It corresponds to the English preposition onto and needs vowel harmony:

    a házra ‘onto the house’
    a tetőre ‘onto the roof’

    and it can be a vertical surface or even a tree!

    a falra = on(to) the wall
    a fára = in(to) the tree

  • ••• 50 Allative Case 1183 100
    vízhez
    1 words

    The allative is a movement case, expressing movement TO something. In English, it can be translated with up to - but not in !

    It also requires vowel harmony, and there are two front suffixes, based on whether the vowels in the noun are rounded, like ö and ü, or not (like e ) .

    a kerthez - ‘up to the garden’

    a tükörhöz - ‘up to the mirror’

    a házhoz - ‘up to the house’

  • ••• 50 Preverbs191 100
    be · el · fel · ide · ki · le · oda · vissza · át
    9 words

    Preverbs: simple cases

    In Hungarian: preverbs, verbal modifiers or verbal prefixes (igekötő in Hungarian) are very common . These modifiers USUALLY mean motion TOWARD something: ki ‘toward the outside’, be ‘toward the inside’, le ‘down‘, el ‘away‘, ide ‘toward here‘, oda ‘toward there‘.

    In the simplest cases, a verb with a preverb corresponds, in English, to a verb plus an adverb :

    • kimegyek ‘I go out‘

    • bemész ‘you (sg.) go to‘, ‘you (sg.) enter‘

    • elmegy ‘s/he goes away‘

    • leülünk ‘we sit down‘

    • ideültök ‘you (pl.) sit down here‘

    • odaülnek ‘they sit down there‘

    In English, the distinction between a location and a direction is not always explicit: she is running there can mean she is there and she is running or she is moving from here to there by running. Hungarian makes this explicit : the former meaning would be ott fut and the latter, with a verbal modifier or preverb, odafut (runs over to there... ) .

    Word order

    These verbal modifiers can have big effects on word order! Word order, in Hungarian, is much freer than in English, but there are some restrictions .

    In general, a verbal modifier precedes the verb and they are written as one word:

    • Mari bemegy. ‘Mari enters.‘

    However, the modifier can also be separated from the verb:

    • Mari megy be.

    While this still means that Mari enters , the information it conveys is more like :

    • Mari megy be. = ‘It is Mari who enters.’ (not someone else)

    Mari is in focus because Mari immediately precedes the verb. Whenever there is a focused word or phrase , the particle follows the verb - and is detached .

    Important ! The particle follows the verb when there is negation or in questions with question words:

    • Nem mész el. ‘You do not go away.‘

    • Ki ül le? ‘Who is sitting down?’

    The phrase that corresponds to that question word, in an answer, is also always in focus. The answer to the question Ki ül le? could be:

    • Péter ül le. ‘It is Péter who is sitting down.’ or 'Péter is sitting down.’

    The boldface in the second English translation indicates stress on the word. Say the English answer out loud and you'll hear what this means.

    More on word order

    Hungarian word order is very strict in another respect: the order of topic, focus (new information) and the verb. English generally has

    • subjectverb / predicatedirect object

    but Hungarian generally has

    • topic - focus - verb - others

    order.

    There can be more than one topic!

    • Mari a kertben ül le. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.’ or ‘It's in the garden that Mari is sitting down.’

    • A kertben Mari ül le.Mari is sitting down in the garden.‘ or ‘It's Mari who is sitting down in the garden.‘

    In both sentences, that someone (Mari) is sitting down somewhere (in the garden) is conveyed, but Hungarian focuses on different parts of the sentence. In the first example, the new information is a kertben ‘in the garden’. This is indicated by the word order: a kertben immediately precedes the verb. In English, the word order stays the same, but stress or prominence changes. Compare It's in the garden ... and It's Mary ....

    You can also have an unfocused sentence:

    • Mari leül a kertben. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.'

    This is a neutral sentence. The subject (Mari ) is the topic, but not in focus (the "le " keeps it from being immediately before the verb ) , and neither is a kertben. And, the corresponding sentence, in English, does not have any particular stress on any phrase or word.

    Word order is a complicated matter in Hungarian. For a longer explanation, see this forum post:

    On Emphasis and Word Order in Hungarian

    https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/18806754

  • ••• 50 Illative Case 2201 100

    Here are more sentences using the illative case (plus some preverbs you learned recently). It is used to show motion to something and it corresponds to English to and implies "into " :

    a házba ‘to the house’

    It will not come as a surprise to you that the illative suffix is also subject to vowel harmony:

    a kertbe ‘to the garden'

  • ••• 50 Sublative Case 2202 100
    földre · fűre · vízre
    3 words

    More sublative case: motion onto something . It corresponds to the preposition onto and requires vowel harmony:

    a házra = onto the house , a tetőre = onto the roof

    Here, you'll find sentences using "separable " verbs, from the lesson on "Preverbs" , like felszállni ‘to get on’ . For example :

    • Felszállok a vonatra. ‘I get on the train.’

    Sometimes, Hungarian is more explicit than English , in expressing this kind of motion. For example, - Mari leül a székre means Mari sits down onto the chair - which sounds a bit odd in English.

    The important point is that ra and -re express the direction of the motion onto - which also includes surfaces like "walls " and trees .

  • ••• 50 Allative Case 2203 100
    katihoz · péterhez · évához
    3 words

    The allative is a movement case, showing movement TO something. In English, it can be translated with up to but not in . The allative requires vowel harmony - with a special quirk: there are two front suffixes, based on whether the vowels in the noun are rounded, like ö and ü, or not, like e.

    a házhoz ‘to the house’ a kerthez ‘to the garden’ a tükörhöz ‘to the mirror’

    Here, you'll use these forms with some of the preverbs you have already learned.

  • ••• 50 Geography 1211 100

    Németországban, Magyarországon

    In Germany is Németországban, but in Hungary is Magyarországon. But why do they have different endings?

    Most towns in Hungary take surface suffixes (-n,-on -en -ön ), while the majority of places outside of Hungary use inside suffixes (-ban, -ben ):

    • Szegedre - Szegeden - Szegedről: to, in, from Szeged

    • Bécsbe - Bécsben - Bécsből: to, in, from Vienna

    • Magyarországra - Magyarországon - Magyarországról: to, in, from Hungary

    • Svédországba - Svédországban - Svédországból: to, in, from Sweden

    Exception to these rules are Hungarian towns that end with : -i, -j, -m, -n, -ny, and -r (unless it is in -vár ... ) ! These take the inside suffixes: Tamásiból, Tokajban, Veszprémben, Debrecenből, Tihanyba, Egerben.

    Takes the -ban-ben case Takes the -on -en -ön case
    Countries: Countries:
    Most foreign countries Magyarország
    (a few islands) most islands
    Japánban, Kubában Izlandon, Máltán, Korzikán, Krétán, Madagaszkáron
    - ending with -föld
    - Thaiföldön
    Cities/Towns: Cities/Towns:
    Cities outside Hungary Most Hungarian towns
    Londonban, Berlinben Budapesten, Szegeden
    Hungarian cities ending -i, -j, -m, -n, and -ny In neighboring countries, towns with Hungarian names
    Debrecenben, Veszprémben Kassán, Aradon (but: Bécsben)

    See also this link: Myhunlang blog: Suffixes / Adverbs of Place

    Irregular towns

    In the case of Pécs and a few other towns there's a third, archaic, suffix in use: Pécsett. Others are Győrött and Székesfehérvárott. But Duo also accepts the regular forms: Pécsen, Győrben, Székesfehérváron.

    Articles

    Names of rivers, lakes, islands, hills, mountains, roads, streets, squares, buildings, and institutes tend to have a definite article, even if it's not used in the English translation.

    A Margitsziget
    A Parlament
    A Budai Vár
    A Kékestető
    A Duna
    A Tisza
    A Balaton

    A Margitszigetre megyek. - I am going to Margaret Island.

    A Duna mellett sétálunk. - We are walking next to the Danube.

    City and town names are used without an article.

    Budapesten lakom. - I live in Budapest

  • ••• 50 Choices 3221 100
    abba · ahhoz · arra · azokba · azokhoz · azokra · csak · ebbe · ehhez · erre · ezekbe · ezekhez · ezekre · melyik
    14 words

    Demonstratives in locative cases

    This lesson is about demonstratives (this, that, these, those ) used with : -ba/-be, -hoz/-hez/-ho:z, and -ra/-re.

    These undergo assimilation . The consonant -z in the demonstrative changes to the consonant in the case:

    • ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this one’
    • ez + -hez = ehhez ‘to(wards) this one’
    • az + -ra = arra ‘onto that one’

    This does not happen in the plural, so we get:

    • az + ok + -ra = azokra ‘onto those’

    Demonstratives and nouns

    Attach the ending to BOTH the demonstrative AND the noun:

    • ebben a kertben ‘in this garden’
    • ahhoz az épülethez ‘to that building’
    • azokra a házakra ‘onto those houses’
  • ••• 50 Directional Postpositions222 100
    alá · de · elé · fölé · köré · közé · mellé · mögé
    8 words

    You may have already seen the postpositions alatt ‘under’, fölött ‘above’, mögött ‘behind’ and között ‘between‘.

    They all share the -tt ending, which is an old Hungarian suffix for location.

    To express motion towards a location, we can take their roots and add an -á/-é suffix ,

    alá ‘towards underneath it’
    fölé ‘towards above it’
    mögé ‘towards behind it’
    and közé toward between somethings . . .

    Be careful, though: in English, a phrase like behind the house can be both a ház mögött - for where something is happening - or a ház mögé if there is motion involved.

    Look for motion in this lesson !

    English movement to place
    beside mellé mellett
    under alá alatt
    in front of elé előtt
    behind mögé mögött
    between, among közé között
  • ••• 50 Describe 2461 100
    hamis · igaz · kis · nyitva · zárva
    5 words

    Singular or plural adjectives

    Like in English, the adjective precedes the noun it modifies. (This is called an attributive adjective.) In this case, the adjective is not pluralized.

    A piros alma = The red apple.

    A piros almák = The red apples.

    Ezek piros almák =These are red apples.

    Sometimes you see an adjective that comes after the noun. In English, the adjective usually comes after is/are. However, in the Hungarian translation van or vannak is dropped. (This is called a predicative adjective.) In this case the adjective has to be plural when the subject is plural.

    Az alma piros = The apple is red.

    Az almák pirosak = The apples are red.

    Ezek az almák pirosak =These apples are red.

    A német házak szépek. = German houses are beautiful.

    BUT: Be careful, the rule is not about if the adjective is before or after the noun. (Even though sometimes we say it this way because it is an easier explanation.) The real rule about whether it is an attributive adjective or predicative adjective.

    Example: Politicians are rich. "A politikusok gazdagok" and "Gazdagok a politikusok." is the same thing grammatically, just the word order is rearranged.

    Pirosak az almák. Szépek a német házak. These are also correct.

    Milyen or milyenek?

    Milyen and milyenek work the same way as adjectives.

    attributive:

    Milyen autó ez? What kind of car is this?

    Milyen város ez? What kind of city is this?

    Milyen városokat ismersz? What kind of cities do you know?

    Milyen autók ezek? What kind of cars are these?

    predicative:

    Milyenek a brazil sportolók? A brazil sportolók milyenek? What are the Brazilian athletes like?

    Milyenek az orvosok itt? What are the doctors like here?

    Milyen az orvos? What is the doctor like?

    Milyen az a ház? What is that house like?

    Forming plural adjectives

    Add -ak, -ok -ek -ök or -k to the end of the word:

    If the adjective ends with a vowel:

    -K : after ó ő, a, e and the word kicsi. (Note that a e will turn into á é)
    olcsó, olcsók, jó, jók, önző, önzők, sárga, sárgák, fekete, feketék, kicsi, kicsik, gyenge, gyengék, drága, drágák, olcsó, olcsók, szőke, szőkék, csúnya, csúnyák, tiszta, tiszták, hülye, hülyék, furcsa, furcsák,

    -AK: after i, ú, back and mixed vowel words. amerikai, amerikaiak, koreai, koreaiak, kínai, kínaiak... hosszú, hosszúak, lassú, lassúak, szomorú, szomorúak,

    -EK: after after i, ű, front vowel words.
    keleti, keletiek, jókedvű, jókedvűek, keserű, keserűek, könnyű, könnyűek, régi, régiek, nemzeti, nemzetiek, népszerű, népszerűek, gyönyörű, gyönyörűek, nagyszerű, nagyszerűek,

    If the adjective ends with a consonant:

    -AK: most adjectives with mixed and back vowels
    rossz, rosszak, magas, magasak, vékony, vékonyak, piros, pirosak, barátságos, barátságosak, fáradt, fáradtak, sovány, soványak, fontos, fontosak, gyors, gyorsak, új, újak, száraz, szárazak, okos, okosak, hasznos, hasznosak, csinos, csinosak, hatékony, hatékonyak, szomjas, szomjasak, unalmas, unalmasak

    -OK: after -atlan/-talan, nationalities, and a few other mixed/back vowel adjectives
    magyar, magyarok, angol, angolok, orosz, oroszok, olasz, olaszok, holland, hollandok, / nyugtalan, nyugtalanok, sótlan, sótlanok, / fiatal fiatalok, nagy, nagyok, vastag, vastagok, gazdag, gazdagok, boldog, boldogok, szabad, szabadok,

    -EK: all other adjectives with front vowels
    szép, szépek, szegény, szegények, rövid, rövidek, meleg, melegek, hideg, hidegek, nedves, nedvesek, keskeny, keskenyek, széles, szélesek, sekély, sekélyek, mély, mélyek, erős, erősek, híres, híresek, kövér, kövérek, idős, idősek, öreg, öregek, lehetséges, lehetségesek, lehetetlen, lehetetlenek, ügyes, ügyesek, ingyenes, ingyenesek, modern, modernek, üres, üresek, tökéletes, tökéletesek, helyes, helyesek, friss, frissek, beteg, betegek, éhes, éhesek, nehéz, nehezek,

    -ÖK : the words török, görög.
    török, törökök, görög, görögök

  • ••• 50 Preverbs 2232 100
    be · el · fel · honnan · ide · innen · ki · le · oda · onnan · vissza · át
    12 words

    More verbs with prefixes.

    Preverbs: simple cases

    Here, you'll learn about a common particle : preverbs, verb modifiers or verbal prefixes (igekötő in Hungarian). Many have a meaning expressing motion towards something : ki ‘towards the outside’, be ‘to ’, le ‘down‘, el ‘away‘, ide ‘towards here‘, oda ‘towards there‘.

    A verb with a modifier usually corresponds to a verb plus an adverb:

    • kimegyek ‘I go out‘

    • bemész ‘you (sg.) go to‘, ‘you (sg.) enter‘

    • elmegy ‘s/he goes away‘

    • leülünk ‘we sit down‘

    • ideültök ‘you (pl.) sit down here‘

    • odaülnek ‘they sit down there‘

    In English, the distinction between a location and a direction is not always explicit: she is running there can mean she is there and she is running or she is moving from here to there by running. Hungarian makes this explicit: the former would be ott fut and the latter, with a verbal modifier or preverb, odafut.

    Word order

    These verbal modifiers can have big effects on word order! As you know by now, word order in Hungarian is much freer than in English, but ...

    in general, a verbal modifier precedes the verb and they're written as one word:

    • Mari bemegy. ‘Mari enters.‘

    However, the modifier can also be separated from the verb:

    • Mari megy be.

    While the sentence still means that Mari goes to something, the information it conveys corresponds more to :

    • Mari megy be. = ‘It is Mari who is going to.’ (not someone else)

    In the above example, Mari is in focus because Mari immediately precedes the verb. This is called the focus position. Whenever there is a focused phrase or word in this position, the particle follows the verb.

    In addition, the particle follows the verb when there is negation or in questions with question words:

    • Nem mész el. ‘You are not going away.‘

    • Ki ül le? ‘Who is sitting down?’

    The phrase that responds to a question word is in focus. The answer to the question Ki ül le? could be:

    • Péter ül le. ‘It is Péter who is sitting down.’ or 'Péter is sitting down.’

    The boldface in the second translation shows stress on the word. Try saying the English answer out loud and you'll hear what this means.

    More on word order

    Hungarian word order is fairly free : the subject does not have to precede the verb and the object - as it mostly does in English.

    Hungarian word order is very strict in one respect: the order of topic, focus and the verb. Focus points out new information in a sentence. The topic of a sentence is what the sentence is about. English usually has

    • subjectverbobject

    word order . Hungarian usually has

    • topic - focus - verb and others

    order.

    • Mari a kertben ül le. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.’ Or ‘It's in the garden that Mari is sitting down.’

    • A kertben Mari ül le.Mari is sitting down in the garden.‘ Or ‘It's Mari who is sitting down in the garden.‘

    In both sentences, someone (Mari) is sitting down somewhere (in the garden), but we focus on different parts of the sentence. In the first example, the new or important information is a kertben ‘in the garden’. This is indicated by the word order: a kertben immediately precedes the verb. In English, the word order stays the same, but stress or prominence changes.

    Finally, let's have a look at:

    • Mari leül a kertben. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.'

    The subject (Mari ) is the topic, but is not in focus, because the prefix (le ) has taken the focus position. In cases like these, the verbal modifier stays attached to the verb.

    The sentence it corresponds to, in English, will not have prominence, or stress, on any phrase or word.

    w

  • ••• 50 Elative Case481 100
    amerikából · angliából · bécsből · izraelből · japánból · kairóból · németországból · párizsból · vízből
    9 words

    Another case! The elative case motion out of something. In English, you can translate it with out of.

    Its forms are -ból/-ből . Tiny tip: they both have diacritics . Ból is attached to words with back vowels, ből to words with front vowels:

    • a házból ‘out of the house’

    • a kertből ‘out of the garden’

    Now you know three cases (-ba/-be), (-ban/-ben) , and (-ból/-ből) which start with a -b : the inessive (-ban/-ben), the illative (-ba/-be) and the elative (-ból/-ből) .

    What connects these is that they express motion related to the inside of something - into, in, and out of .

  • ••• 50 Delative Case482 100
    földről · fűről · miről · vízről
    4 words

    The delative case expresses motion away from the SURFACE of something and its forms are -ról/-ről . In English, you can use the prepositions from or off to translate it.

    • repülőtérről ‘from the airport’

    • pályaudvarról ‘from the train station’

    Tiny tip: Hungarians think of both of these locations as SURFACES . They also think of many Hungarian cities close around Budapest as surfaces. And universities . . .

    The delative is also used more abstractly, with verbs like beszél ‘talk’, where it means about:

    • Az épületről beszélek. ‘I am talking about the building.’

    w

  • ••• 50 Ablative Case243 100
    katitól · pétertől
    2 words

    The ablative case -tól/-től shows motion away from something.

    It can usually be translated with from , but not all uses of from can be translated with the ablative!

    • A folyótól jövök. ‘I am coming from the river.’

    • Az épülettől indul a busz. ‘The bus is leaving from the building.’

    There are nine different cases that are related to location. We can arrange them in a 3 x 3 matrix. The triads of movement are :

    goal position source
    SPACES -ba -be -ban -ben -ból -ből
    SURFACES -ra -re -on -en -ön -n -ról -ről
    SOLIDS -hoz -hez -höz -nál -nél -tól -től

    spaces:
    Bemegyek a házba. - I go into the house.
    A házban vagyok. - I am in the house.
    Kimegyek a házból. - I go out of the house.

    surfaces:
    Az asztalra rakom a könyvet. - I put the book on the table.
    A könyv az asztalon van. - The book is on the table.
    Elveszem az asztalról a könyvet. - I take the book away from the table.

    solids:
    Odamegyek a szoborhoz. - I go over to the statue.
    A szobornál várok. - I wait at the statue.
    Elmegyek a szobortól. - I go away from the statue.

  • ••• 50 Choices 4251 100
    abból · arról · attól · azokból · azokról · azoktól · ebből · erről · ettől · ezekből · ezekről · ezektől
    12 words

    Using the demonstratives in the elative (ból / ből), delative (ról / ről) and ablative (tól / től) cases, with English nouns...

    When combining a singular demonstrative pronoun (this, that - ez, az ) with these case endings, the -z of the demonstrative (ez, az ) turns into the first consonant of the suffix:

    • ez + ből = ebből ‘out of this’
    • az + ról = arról ’from on top/the surface of that’ or ’about that’

    In the plural (ezek / azok ) , the plural suffix -k remains, so the case suffix is simply added:

    • ezek + től = ezektől ’from these’

    Demonstratives and nouns

    When using a demonstrative with a noun, both the demonstrative and the noun must have plural and case suffixes:

    • ebből a házból ‘out of this house’

    • azoktól a kertektől ‘from those gardens’

    Notice that the suffix on the demonstrative and the suffix on the noun may use different vowels.

    After all, vowel harmony is determined on a word-by-word basis .

  • ••• 50 Directional Postpositions 2252 100
    alól · elől · közül · mellől · mögül
    5 words

    You'll see some postpositions you already know but in a different form: direction FROM somewhere.

    The suffixes -ól / -ől / -ül attach to stems like al- el- mög- etc. :

    • alatt ‘below’ --- alól ‘from below’
    • mögött ‘behind’ --- mögül ‘from behind’
    • mellett ‘next to’ --- mellől ‘from next to’
    • között 'between' --- közül 'from between'

    Postpositions come after nouns:

    • a ház mögül ‘from behind the house’

    Here is a chart showing how movement from words originate :

    English movement to place movement from
    beside mellé mellett mellől
    under alá alatt alól
    in front of elé előtt elől
    behind mögé mögött mögül
    between, among közé között közül
  • ••• 50 Directions531 100
    arra · arról · előre · erre · erről · felé · felől · hátra · közel · merre · merről
    11 words

    Hungarian has many ways of expressing movement - in several directions!

    You may have already seen the words ide and oda which mean towards here (or hither) and towards there (or thither). English here and there can mean both a location and a direction, whereas Hungarian always makes a difference .

    Motion ONTO A SURFACE is formed using the sublative case -ra/-re, motion AWAY from something by using the delative case -ról/-ről.

    .

    towards something away from something
    merre ‘where to?’ merről ‘where from?‘
    erre ‘towards here/this’ erről ‘from here/this’
    arra ‘towards there/that‘ arról ‘from there/that’

    Also important are the compass directions north, east, south, and west:

    .

    direction towards ... from ...
    észak ‘north’ északra északról
    kelet ‘east’ keletre keletről
    nyugat ‘west' nyugatra nyugatról
    dél ‘south’ délre délről

    .

    The same cases are used for left and right: .

    direction towards ... from ...
    bal ‘left’ balra balról
    jobb ‘right’ jobbra jobbról
  • ••• 50 Places 2522 100

    Some words in this skill (but not all the words)

    LESSON 1

    "múzeum" =museum

    "szobor" =statue

    "színház" =theater

    "sarok" = corner

    "térkép" =map

    LESSON 2

    "templom" = church

    "iroda" = office

    "mozi"= cinema/ movie theater

    "kocsma" = pub

    "pap" = priest

    "autópálya" = highway, motorway

    LESSON 3

    "gyár" = factory

    "állomás" = station

    "torony" = tower

    "könyvtár" =library

    "kávézó" = café

    "betörő" = burglar

    LESSON 4

    "egyetem" =university

    "posta" = post office

    "börtön" = prison, jail

    LESSON 5

    "rendőrség" = police station

    "parkoló" =parking lot, car park

    "pad" = bench

    "stadion" =stadium

    "temető" = cemetery

  • ••• 50 Directional Conjunction281 100
    amerre · amerről · arra · arról
    4 words

    You've learned some of the following:

    • onnan ‘from there’ or ‘from that place’
    • ott ‘there’
    • arra ‘in that direction’
    • arról ‘from that direction’ etc.

    These can appear as relative pronouns as well. In the following English sentence, that introduces the relative clause:

    • We are coming from the place that you are coming from.

    or

    • We are coming from where you are coming.

    The first English example might sound a bit awkward, but it will help with understanding the way Hungarian works here:

    • Onnan jövünk, ahonnan ti jöttök. ‘We are coming from (the place) where you are coming from.’

    onnan means ‘from there’ or ’from that place’; the relative pronoun ahonnan means ‘from where’ in exactly the sense highlighted in the above English example. While in the second English example, we can easily drop the ‘from that place’ in the first part of the sentence, Hungarian does not like this: we want to have onnan here as well.

    The gist of this is that we get pairs like onnan ‘from there’ — ahonnan ‘from where’. You'll see some more of these in this lesson:

    • arra ‘in that direction’ — amerre ‘in which direction’
    • arról ‘from that direction’ — amerről ‘from which direction’

    Note how the English pairs have that in the main clause and which in the relative clause... that's the basic pattern!

    Word order

    Consider these sentences:

    Ott nincs bank, ahova ezek a turisták mennek.
    Ott ebédelünk, ahonnan a villamos visszajön.
    Ott lakik Péter, ahol Éva dolgozik.

    We can see a "Onnan verb1 subject1, ahonnan subject2 verb2". pattern

    If you start with the subject:
    Subject1 onnan verb1, ahonnan subject2 verb2.

    If we have preverbs too:
    Oda megy be Anna, ahonnan Béla kijön.
    or: Anna oda megy be, ahonnan Béla kijön.

    Why? ott/oda/onnan attracts focus, it likes to be directly in front of the verb.
    But ahol/ahova/ahonnan avoids focus. Put the verb further away from them, or at least, do not separate the preverb.

    (Not all the sentences in this skill follow this order, but several of them.)

  • ••• 50 Directional Conjunction 2282 100
    abba · abban · ahhoz · annál · arra · arról · attól · azokba · azokban · azokhoz · azoknál · azokon · azokra · azokról · azoktól · azon
    16 words

    Demonstrative adjectives and relative pronouns .

    In English you can use that as a relative pronoun, as well as which:

    • I like that book which you like too.

    • Szeretem azt a könyvet, amelyiket te is szeretsz.

    The focus in this lesson is on the pair aztamelyik(et): ‘that one ... which’.

    Demonstratives and relative pronouns can have all kinds of cases:

    • abban ‘in that’ — amelyikben ‘in which’
    • azokból ‘out of those’ — amelyekből or amikből ‘out of which’
    • arról ‘about that’ — amerről ’about which’
    • azokról ‘about those’ — amelyekről ‘about which’ (pl.)

    An example:

    • Azokból jövünk ki, amikből ti is. ‘We are coming out of those, out of which you are coming too.’ or ‘We are coming out of (from ) where you are.’

    Note that translations of the English or Hungarian sentences will not always use the same words.

    Abból eszem, amin nincs kép

    means ‘I eat from that one, on which there is no picture.’ This is not a very natural translation. This could be used where there are some plates and one of them doesn't have a picture on it (while the others do). The Hungarian sentence, above, is fine, but its English translation would be:

    I eat off (of ) the one on which there is no picture.

    Depending on the context, a demonstrative in Hungarian can be translated with (or by ) a demonstrative or with a definite article plus one in English.

    Abból eszem, amin nincs kép. I eat from the one on which there is no picture.

    Here the object is not named: I eat from the one... Abból eszem...

    Abból a tálból eszem, amelyiken nincs kép. I eat from the bowl, on which there is no picture.

    Here the object (the bowl) is named. Abból a tálból eszem....

  • ••• 50 Directional Conjunction 3291 100
    alatt · alá · alól · elé · elől · előtt · felett · fölé · köré · körül · közé · között · közül · mellett · mellé · mellől · mögé · mögött · mögül
    19 words

    When you combine a demonstrative and a noun like ez a ház ‘this house’ with a postposition like mellett ‘next to‘, the resulting form is like with the case suffixes above:

    e mellett a ház mellett ‘next to this house’

    a fölött a kert fölött ‘above that garden’

    az alatt a fa alatt ‘under that tree’

    You've seen sentences like:

    Annál a banknál állunk, amelyikben sok ember dolgozik. We are standing at the bank, in which a lot of people are working.

    These sentences answer to "Which?"

    Which bank are we standing at? - There, where a lot of people work.

    In this skill, we combine these two tricks, the "az alatt a fa alatt" construction with the "Az a ..., amelyik ..." construction, and get:

    A színészek a mögül a függöny mögül jönnek ki, amelyiken egy nagy pillangó van.
    The actors come out from behind the curtain on which there is a large butterfly.

  • ••• 50 Math552 100
    meg · mínusz · nulla
    3 words
  • ••• 50 Adjective Conjunction302 100
    amilyen · amilyenek · mint · olyan · olyanok
    5 words

    You saw az (a) ... amelyik and ott...ahol earlier.

    Now it's time for another two-part conjunction:
    olyan ... mint / olyan ...amilyen

    For example:

    (Én) olyan vagyok, mint te.
    (Én) olyan vagyok, amilyen te.
    I am like you.

    A kutya olyan, mint a macska.
    A kutya olyan, amilyen a macska.
    The dog is like the cat.

    For the plural version, use olyanok ... mint / olyanok ...amilyenek

    A kutyák olyanok, mint a macskák.
    A kutyák olyanok, amilyenek a macskák.

    The dogs are like the cats.

  • ••• 50 Pronouns311 100
    vele · veled · velem · veletek · velük · velünk
    6 words
  • ••• 50 Adverbs of place312 100
    mindenfelé · mindenfelől · mindenhol · mindenhonnan · mindenhova · sehol · sehonnan · sehova · semerre · semerről · valahol · valahonnan · valahova · valamerre · valamerről
    15 words

    Words related to location or direction.

    hol family

    Movement from Place Movement to
    every mindenhonnan mindenhol mindenhova
    some valahonnan valahol valahova
    none sehonnan sehol sehova

    merre family

    Movement from Place Movement to
    every mindenfelől - mindenfelé
    some valamerről - valamerre
    none semerről - semerre

    mindenfelől is not a location, it is a directional indicator. The closest translation is ‘from every direction’. mindenhonnan can be translated as ‘from everywhere’.

    • everywhere — mindenhol
    • from everywhere — mindenhonnan
    • to everywhere — mindenhova

    • from every direction — mindenfelől

    • to every direction — mindenfelé

    There is no third option here, since we cannot use a direction as a location.

  • ••• 50 Possessives 1321 100
    kiknek · kinek
    2 words

    Possessive suffixes

    You use possessive adjectives to express who an object belongs to:

    • my table or her shoe

    Hungarian does not have possessive adjectives like my or her but possessive suffixes. They are very similar to possessive adjectives in that they indicate the person and number of the possessor but they appear attached to the noun:

    • az asztalom ‘my table’

    • a cipője ‘her/his shoe’

    The forms are as follows:

    Hungarian English
    1SG -öm, -om, -m my
    2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
    3SG -je, -ja, -a his/her/its
    1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
    2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
    3PL -jük, -juk, -uk their

    cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its possessive forms are:

    Hungarian English
    1SG cipő-m my shoe
    2SG cipő-d your (sg.) shoe
    3SG cipő-je her/his shoe
    1PL cipő-nk our shoe
    2PL cipő-tök your (pl.) shoe
    3PL cipő-jük their shoe

    asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its possessive forms are:

    Hungarian English
    1SG asztal-om my table
    2SG asztal-od your (sg.) table
    3SG asztal-a her/his table
    1PL asztal-unk our table
    2PL asztal-otok your (pl.) table
    3PL asztal-uk their table

    Possessors

    Hungarian has two ways of expressing possession , a bit like the two English constructions a friend's book and a book of a friend.

    Possessors can be nominative, a lány, or dative, e.g. a lánynak:

    • a lány cipője ‘the girl's shoe’
    • a lánynak a cipője ‘the girl's shoe’

    As you can see, the constructions can be the same, but they differ in some ways. The dative (a lánynak) is followed by a ‘the’ and you have to use the dative in questions with whose:

    • Ez kinek a cipője? ‘Whose shoe is this?’

    whose in this sentence is ki-nek, the dative of ki ‘who’.

    Exceptions

    As usual, there are exceptions to the general rule. When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k. (This only happens with ők, all other pronouns stay intact.)

    • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’
    • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

    So it looks like a singular possessor, but it's still plural. Second, when the possessor is a noun in the plural, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or *-(j)ük*:

    • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’
    • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

    mine, yours, ...

    Hungarian also has possessive pronouns mine, yours. They always include the definite article a :

    Hungarian English
    1SG az enyém mine
    2SG a tiéd or a tied yours (sg.)
    3SG az övé hers/his
    1PL a miénk ours
    2PL a tiétek yours (pl.)
    3PL az övék theirs

    You can use these forms in sentences like:

    Ez a cipő az enyém. ‘This shoe is mine.’

  • ••• 50 To have 1331 100
    kiknek · kinek · neked · nekem · neki · nekik · nektek · nekünk
    8 words

    In the previous skill, you learned how to express possession in Hungarian. In this skill, you'll learn another way to show possession: how to make sentences which use the verb to have.

    Hungarian does not have a verb that means to have. Instead, Hungarian uses the verb van ‘there is’ with a dative (for the possessor) and a nominative (for the possessed noun):

    • Mary has a car.
    • Marinak van egy autója.

    This construction means something like There is a car to Mary. .

    The possessed noun has a possessive suffix which matches in person and number with the dative possessor. In the above example, Mari is third person singular, so the possessed noun gets ja.

    Dative possessors can be proper names (like Mari), regular nouns, as well as pronouns, of course.

    • Van egy autóm. ‘I have a car.’
    • Nekem van egy autóm. ‘I have a car.’

    Using a pronoun in such cases usually adds some emphasis on the possessor: pronouns are natural in answers to question:

    • Kinek van autója? ‘Who has a car?’
    • Nekem. or Nekem van autóm. ‘I do.’ / ‘I have a car.’

    Remember also that in Hungarian, the question word ki ‘who’ has separate singular and plural forms, so the sentence

    • Kiknek van autójuk? ‘Who has a car?’

    is asking if there are several possessors: in English, this distinction does not exist, and the sentence can be translated with a singular subject.

    Possessed nouns in the plural

    You know that the regular plural suffix in Hungarian is -k. But when a noun is possessed, we use a different suffix: -i.

    • a kertje ‘his/her garden’
    • a kertek ‘the gardens’
    • a kertjei ‘his/her gardens

    This suffix always follows a possessive (generally ja/je or a_/_e), and precedes the suffix indicating the person and number of the possessor:

    • a kertem ‘my garden’ but a kertjeim ‘my gardens’
    • a házam ‘my house’ but a házaim ‘my houses’
  • ••• 50 Family 1202 100

    Hungarian uses four different words for older/younger brother, older/younger sister, not just brother and sister.

    For example:
    A bátyám orvos. My older brother is a doctor.

    Hol van az öcséd? Where is your younger brother?

    A húgom óvónő. My younger sister is a kindergarten teacher.

    A nővérem mérnök. My older sister is an engineer.

    Hungarian English
    anya mother
    apa father
    testvér sibling
    báty older brother
    öcs younger brother
    nővér older sister
    húg younger sister
    nagymama grandmother
    nagypapa grandfather
    unoka grandchild
    nagynéni aunt
    nagybácsi uncle
    unokatestvér cousin
    unokahúg niece
    unokaöcs nephew
    férj husband
    feleség wife
    após father-in-law
    anyós mother-in-law
    sógor brother-in-law
    sógornő sister-in-law
  • ••• 50 Possessives 2341 100

    Possessive suffixes

    In many languages, you use possessive adjectives to express who a certain object belongs to :

    • my table or her shoe

    Hungarian does not have possessive adjectives like my or her instead possessive suffixes. They are similar to possessive adjectives in that they indicate the person and number of the possessor but they are attached to the noun:

    • az asztalom ‘my table’

    • a cipője ‘her/his shoe’

    The forms are as follows:

    Hungarian English
    1SG -öm, -om, -m my
    2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
    3SG -je, -ja, -a his/her/its
    1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
    2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
    3PL -jük, -juk, -uk their

    They require vowel harmony so if a noun ends in a vowel... cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its forms are:

    Hungarian English
    1SG cipő-m my shoe
    2SG cipő-d your (sg.) shoe
    3SG cipő-je her/his shoe
    1PL cipő-nk our shoe
    2PL cipő-tök your (pl.) shoe
    3PL cipő-jük their shoe

    asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its forms are:

    Hungarian English
    1SG asztal-om my table
    2SG asztal-od your (sg.) table
    3SG asztal-a her/his table
    1PL asztal-unk our table
    2PL asztal-otok your (pl.) table
    3PL asztal-juk their table

    Possessors

    Hungarian has two ways of expressing the possessor of something, like the two English constructions a friend's book and a book of a friend.

    Possessors can be in the nominative case, e.g. a lány, or dative, e.g. a lánynak:

    • a lány cipője ‘the girl's shoe’
    • a lánynak a cipője ‘the girl's shoe’

    The constructions can mean the same, but they differ in some ways. The dative (a lánynak) is followed by a ‘the’ , and you have to use the dative in questions with whose:

    • Ez kinek a cipője? ‘Whose shoe is this?’

    whose in this sentence is ki-nek, the dative of ki ‘who’.

    Exceptions

    As usual, there are exceptions to the rule, and they're complicated ! When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, like ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k:

    • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’
    • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

    So it looks like a singular possessor, but it is still plural. Second, when the possessor is a noun in the plural, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or *-(j)ük*:

    • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’
    • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

    mine, yours, ...

    Hungarian also has possessive pronouns corresponding to mine, yours, etc. They always include the definite article a and are formed as follows:

    Hungarian English
    1SG az enyém mine
    2SG a tiéd or a tied yours (sg.)
    3SG az övé hers/his
    1PL a miénk ours
    2PL a tiétek yours (pl.)
    3PL az övék theirs

    You can use these forms in sentences like:

    Ez a cipő az enyém. ‘This shoe is mine.’

    Dropping a vowel

    Some words drop the last vowel in the plural /in the accusative case / in possessive forms. We can call this a "fleeting vowel".

    For example:

    étterem - restaurant

    éttermek - restaurants

    éttermet - restaurant (accusative)

    étterme - his/her restaurant

    éttermem - my restaurant

    Here we show the accusative singular and the 3rd person singular possessive forms, the other possessive forms follow the pattern.

    English HU nominative accusative 3SG possessive
    restaurant étterem éttermet étterme
    room, hall terem termet terme
    strawberry eper epret epre
    mirror tükör tükröt tükre
    statue szobor szobrot szobra
    monkey majom majmot majma
    tail farok farkat farka
    bush bokor bokrot bokra
    dream álom álmot álma
    (lion) cub kölyök kölyköt kölyke
  • ••• 50 To have 2342 100
  • ••• 50 Choices 5351 100
    annak · azoknak · ennek · ezeknek
    4 words

    Long forms

    As we saw earlier, usually we can choose between a short form and a long form to show possession:

    the boy's dog = a fiú kutyája / a fiúnak a kutyája

    the girl's cat = a lány macskája / a lánynak a macskája

    However, if you use the possessor with this/that, you have to use the longer form (with the -nak-nek ending)

    this boy's dog = ennek a fiúnak a kutyája

    that boy's dog = annak a fiúnak a kutyája

    this girl's cat = ennek a lánynak a macskája

    that girl's cat = annak a lánynak a macskája

    If the possessor is plural:

    these boys' dog = ezeknek a fiúknak a kutyája

    those girls' cat = azoknak a lányoknak a macskája

    -ja or -juk

    Let's refresh the possessive endings:

    Hungarian English
    1SG -öm, -em, -om, -m my
    2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
    3SG -je, -ja, -e, -a his/her/its
    1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
    2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
    3PL -jük, -juk, -ük, -uk their

    But we will see that the 3rd person plural behaves strangely.

    Exceptions

    As usual, there are a few exceptions to the general rule. When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k. (This only happens with ők, all other pronouns stay intact.)

    • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’

    • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

    So it looks like a singular possessor, but is still plural. Second, when the possessor is a plural noun, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or -(j)ük

    • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’

    • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

    How does it work in general?

    First, we have to make a distinction. Do we have a Possessive sentence, like The boy's dog is black. A fiú kutyája fekete.

    or a To have sentence: The boy has a dog. A fiúnak van egy kutyája.

    So, in total:

    Possessive sentence To have sentence
    they -juk -juk
    az ő kutyájuk (nekik) van egy kutyájuk
    their dog they have a dog
    plural noun -ja -juk
    a fiúk kutyája, a fiúknak a kutyája a fiúknak van egy kutyájuk
    the boys' dog the boys have a dog
    önök, maguk -ja -juk
    az önök kutyája önöknek van egy kutyájuk
    your dog you have a dog
    not named -juk -juk
    a kutyájuk van egy kutyájuk
    (their/your) dog (they/you) have a dog

    Articles

    One more thing, where Possessive sentence versus a To have sentence makes a big difference.

    Annak a fiúnak a kutyája barna. That boy's dog is black.

    (You have to write a kutyája here.)

    Annak a fiúnak van egy kutyája. /Annak a fiúnak van kutyája. That boy has a dog.

    (Here, egy kutyája or kutyája without article is possible.)

  • ••• 50 Adverbial Possessives353 100
  • ••• 50 Body Parts192 100

    Body parts that come in pairs - like clothing

    When you talk about paired body parts (eyes, ears, legs), use the singular in Hungarian most of the time.

    Kék a szeme. - His eyes are blue.

    Nagy a füle. - Her ears are big.

  • ••• 50 Ablative Postpositional Pronouns371 100

    Take some postpositions, add moving away from something and attach some personal endings.

    English Postposition ... me ... you ... him/her
    (from) beside mellől mellőlem mellőled mellőle
    (from) under alól alólam alólad alóla
    (from) in front of elől előlem előled előle
    (from) above fölül fölülem fölüled fölüle
    (from) behind mögül mögülem mögüled mögüle
  • ••• 50 Adessive Postpositional Pronouns372 100

    Take some postpositions, and attach some personal endings.

    English Postposition ... me ... you ... him/her
    beside, next to mellett mellettem melletted mellette
    under alatt alattam alattad alatta
    in front of előtt előttem előtted előtte
    above fölött fölöttem fölötted fölötte
    behind mögött mögöttem mögötted mögötte
    after után utánam utánad utána
  • ••• 50 Allative Postpositional Pronouns373 100

    Take some postpositions, add moving towards something and attach some personal endings.

    English Postposition ...me ... you ... him/her
    (to) beside mellé mellém melléd mellé
    (to) under alá alám alád alá
    (to) in front of elé elém eléd elé
    (to) above fölé fölém föléd fölé
    (to) behind mögé mögém mögéd mögé
    towards felé felém feléd felé
    (to) around köré körém köréd köré
  • ••• 50 Pronouns of Source381 100

    You learned the case endings earlier. For example, in the house = a házban. In this skill, you will see constructions like "in me", "from you", "about him".

    Pronouns of source

    Case ending ...me ... you ... him/her
    - ból - ből belőlem belőled belőle
    - ról - ről rólam rólad róla
    - tól - től tőlem tőled tőle
    Case ending ...us ... you (pl.) ... them
    - ból - ből belőlünk belőletek belőlük
    - ról - ről rólunk rólatok róluk
    - tól - től tőlünk tőletek tőlük
  • ••• 50 Pronouns of Position382 100

    Pronouns of position

    Case ending ...me ... you ... him/her
    - ban - ben bennem benned benne
    - on - en -ön -n rajtam rajtad rajta
    - nál - nél nálam nálad nála
    Case ending ...us ... you (pl) ... them
    - ban - ben bennünk bennetek bennük
    - on - en -ön -n rajtunk rajtatok rajtuk
    - nál - nél nálunk nálatok náluk
  • ••• 50 Pronouns of Goal383 100

    Pronouns of goal

    Case ending ...me ... you ... him/her
    - ba - be belém beléd belé
    - ra -re rám rád
    - hoz -hez -höz hozzám hozzád hozzá
    Case ending ...us ... you (pl.) ... them
    - ba - be belénk belétek beléjük
    - ra -re ránk rátok rájuk
    - hoz -hez -höz hozzánk hozzátok hozzájuk
  • ••• 50 Plural Possessions391 100

    The plural of possessed nouns

    You've already learned quite a bit about possession in Hungarian. You might have noticed, however, that the examples so far were missing something, namely
    plurals of possessed nouns.

    While usually plurals of nouns are indicated by the suffix -k (with a vowel preceding it), when we're dealing with a possessed noun, like his bosses, the plural is formed in a different way, with -i. So:

    • Péter főnöke ‘Péter's boss’
    • Péter főnökei ‘Péter's bosses

    The great thing about this suffix is that there's no vowel harmony. It's simply -i and remains -i. Thus:

    • Éva asztala ‘Éva's table’
    • Éva asztalai ‘Éva's tables

    Let's look at the plural forms of the words cipő and asztal that we discussed in the Tips and Notes of Possessives 1. Cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its possessed forms are:

    Hungarian English
    1SG cipő-im my shoes
    2SG cipő-id your (sg.) shoes
    3SG cipő-i her/his shoes
    1PL cipő-ink our shoes
    2PL cipő-itek your (pl.) shoes
    3PL cipő-ik their shoes

    asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its possessed forms are:

    Hungarian English
    1SG asztal-aim my tables
    2SG asztal-aid your (sg.) tables
    3SG asztal-ai her/his tables
    1PL asztal-aink our tables
    2PL asztal-aitok your (pl.) tables
    3PL asztal-aik their tables

    Ő, Ők

    Be careful, ők gets shortened to ő in some possessive structures, and only the possessive ending shows the possessor:

    az ő széke - his/her chair

    az ő székük - their chair

    az ő székei - his/her chairs

    az ő székeik - their chairs

    az ő háza - his/her house

    az ő házuk - their house

    az ő házai - his/her houses

    az ő házaik - their houses

  • ••• 50 Choices 6400 100
    akiknek · akinek · annak · azoknak
    4 words
  • ••• 50 Past tense 1402 100

    The past tense in Hungarian is relatively simple (really!). In contrast to English, there is only a single past tense, and it is mostly regular.

    The past is formed by adding a -t with or without a vowel to the verb stem, followed by the personal endings. This is first shown for the indefinite paradigm of lát, a verb with a back vowel.

    lát-oklát-t-am ‘I saw’

    lát-szlát-t-ál ‘you (sg.) saw’

    látlát-ott ‘she/he/it saw’

    lát-unklát-t-unk ‘we saw’

    lát-toklát-ta-tok ‘you (pl.) saw’

    lát-naklát-t-ak ‘they saw’

    For verbs with front vowels, the suffixes are slightly different:

    keres-ekkeres-t-em ‘I was looking for’

    keres-elkeres-t-él ‘you (sg.) were looking for’

    kereskeres-ett ‘she/he/it was looking for’

    keres-ünkkeres-t-ünk ‘we were looking for’

    keres-tekkeres-te-tek ‘you (pl.) were looking for’

    keres-nekkeres-t-ek ‘they were looking for’

    Notice that in the first person singular, the ending is -m for both the indefinite and the definite forms, unlike in the present tense. This makes your life easier (you’ll learn the definite forms soon).

    There is another group of verbs where the past tense singular third person form does not end with -ott -ett or -ött just simply with a -t.

    talál-oktalál-t-am ‘I found’

    talál-sztalál-t-ál ‘you (sg.) found’

    találtalál-t ‘she/he/it found’

    talál-unktalál-t-unk ‘we found’

    talál-toktalál-ta-tok ‘you (pl.) found’

    talál-naktalál-t-ak ‘they found’

    There are a few exceptional stems which look slightly different in the present and the past tense:

    vagyok, van, ... → _voltam ‘I was’, volt ‘she/he/it was’, ...

    megyek, megy, ... → mentem ‘I went’, ment ‘she/he/it went’, ...

    eszem, eszik, ... → ettem ‘I ate’, evett ‘she/he/it ate’, ...

    iszom, iszik, ... → ittam ‘I drank’, ivott ‘she/he/it drank’, ...

    Even these, as you can see, are somewhat regular. The -sz in verbs like eszik, iszik, vesz, tesz, lesz, disappears in the past tense: evett, ivott, vett, tett, lett.

  • ••• 50 Food411 100
    sült
    1 words

    In this lesson, you'll learn the Hungarian words for a number of fruits, vegetables and other foods, as well as the names of some Hungarian dishes.

    As in earlier skills, when talking about something in general, Hungarian differs from English. Where English uses a bare noun, as in Cheese is tasty., in Hungarian you have to use a definite article plus a noun: A sajt finom.

    Another difference between the two languages is that Hungarian sometimes uses a bare singular noun where English would use an article and a noun or a plural: Szőlőt eszem. translates to I am eating grapes.

    Some of the dishes mentioned in the sentences in this skill are difficult to translate, since they are Hungarian specialties. So here is a very short little guide to Hungarian cuisine:

    • gulyás(leves) is a soup flavoured with some paprika with different vegetables and meat; it is soupier than "goulash soup" in other countries

    • lángos is a small, round piece of wheat dough (sometimes with potato as well) with yeast that is fried in oil or baked and eaten with garlic, cheese and/or sour dough

    • lecsó is a vegetable ragout or stew, made with onion, tomato, peppers, and paprika

    • pálinka is a fruit brandy that is often made from apricots (then usually called barack or barackpálinka), plums (szilvapálinka), or other fruit

    • paprikás is a dish made with paprika, onion, garlic and different meats or vegetables, such as chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, or beans; there are many varieties; this dish is sometimes known as "goulash" outside of Hungary

    • pörkölt is a stew usually made with (you guessed it!) paprika, onion, garlic and beef or pork; there are many different varieties, however; this dish is often known as "goulash" outside of Hungary

  • ••• 50 Linking words441 100
    ahol · amikor · azonban · bár · de · ennek ellenére · ha · hogy · mert · mindegy · még · mégis · nos · pedig · persze · például · sőt · talán · tehát · továbbá · tudom · valóban · végül is · általában
    24 words
  • ••• 50 Past tense 2422 100

    You have recently learned the past tense in Hungarian. As you remember, it is formed by adding a -t- to the stem followed by personal suffixes. However, as in the present tense, Hungarian distinguishes using a verb form whether the (third person) direct object is definite or not. In the skill Past 1, we showed you the forms without objects or with indefinite objects. Here are the forms for past tense verbs with definite objects.

    We start with the verb lát, with a back vowel, e.g. láttuk ‘we saw it’. Note that the first person singular is the same for both. Some of the verb forms with definite objects are similar to the present tense forms: instead of -j-, we find a -t- in the 3SG and the plural forms.

    indefinite or no object definite object
    1SG lát-t-am lát-t-am
    2SG lát-t-ál lát-t-ad
    3SG lát-ott lát-t-a
    1PL lát-t-unk lát-t-uk
    2PL lát-ta-tok lát-t-átok
    3PL lát-t-ak lát-t-ák

    Now for a verb with front vowels, like keres, e.g. kerestük ‘we were looking for it’.

    indefinite or no object definite object
    1SG keres-t-em keres-t-em
    2SG keres-t-él keres-t-ed
    3SG keres-ett keres-t-e
    1PL keres-t-ünk keres-t-ük
    2PL keres-te-tek keres-t-étek
    3PL keres-t-ek keres-t-ék
  • ••• 50 Accusative Numerals432 100
    első · elsőt · ezreket · ezret · harmadik · harmadikat · harmincadikat · harmincat · hat · hatodik · hatodikat · hatot · hetedik · hetet · huszonötödiket · huszonötöt · hármat · három · kecskét · kettőt · kilenc · kilencet · másodikat · negyediket · nyolc · nyolcadikat · nyolcat · négyet · szeretjük · százat · ötvenediket · ötvenet · ötödik · ötödiket · ötöt · újságot
    36 words
  • ••• 50 Verb practice613 100
    autókat · erőseket · férfiakat · gyerekeket · görögöket · imádják · kutyákat · magyarokat · nagyokat · nehezeket · nőket · ruhákat · székeket · szépeket · tisztákat · tisztát · virágokat
    17 words

    You've already learned a whole lot about Hungarian verbs! They can be intransitive (not take an object) or transitive (take an object). When they are transitive, they can have different forms based on whether their object is definite or not! And of course, we can put them in the past tense, too.

    So far, you were practising these skills separately, but in this skill, you'll have to concentrate on whether you're dealing with the present or the past, and with definite or indefinite objects!

  • ••• 50 Choices 7442 100
    akit · amit · azokat · azt · borokat · ezeket · ezt · fiúkat · fiút · házakat · kenyereket · kenyeret · kutyát · lányokat · lányt
    15 words
  • ••• 50 Quoting621 100
    említi · említjük · gondolja · gondoljuk · gondolom · hisszük · hiszem · hiszi · kérdezi · kérdeznek · válaszolja · válaszoljátok · válaszolom
    13 words

    This skill is about embedded clauses with verbs of believing, such as gondol ‘to believe’, and verbs of saying, such as kérdez ‘to ask’.

    In English, the complement clause of believe is often introduced by that. In Hungarian, hogy has the same function (but it is preceded by a comma):

    • I believe that it is raining.
    • Azt hiszem, hogy esik az eső.

    In Hungarian, however, the main clause also contains azt, the accusative form of the demonstrative az. This is necessary with the verbs gondol, hisz ‘to believe’ and válaszol ‘to reply’:

    • Mari azt gondolja, hogy esik. ‘Mari believes that it is raining.’
    • Péter azt válaszolja, hogy jön. ‘Péter answers that he is coming.’
  • ••• 50 Possession Object462 100

    Here, you will meet possessed direct objects, objects with both a possessive and an accusative suffix. The form is that the noun is followed by the possessive marker and by the accusative marker - in that order:

    házház-amház-am-at ‘my house (obj.)’

    The accusative is fairly regular, too. Recall that for a word like alma ‘apple’, adding the accusative lengthens the final vowel:

    almaalmá-t ‘apple (obj.)’

    The same happens with possessive forms ending in -a:

    ház-a ‘his/her/its house’ → ház-á-t ‘his/her/its house (obj.)’

    Note that possessed direct objects (nearly) always require the definite verb form, and they often appear with a definite determiner or possessor .

    Finally, if the possessor is in the first or second person singular, the accusative can sometimes be omitted:

    Add a kezed! ‘Give me your hand!’

    Here, it is fairly common to just use kezed instead of kezedet. But if the possessor is in the third person this is never possible.

Cached // 2021-06-170.062

··········· Table of Contents ···········

Basics 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Welcome!

Orthography (spelling) and pronunciation

Hungarian uses the Latin alphabet (abcd) with some additional letters and diacritics (accent marks).

Let's start with the vowels.

Vowels can be short and long. Short vowels are a, e, i, o, u, ö and ü. Their long versions are á, é, í, ó, ú, ő and ű.

Consonants can also be short and long. Consonants become long by doubling them, as in reggel ’morning’.

Ironically if a digraph or a trigraph (a letter that consists of two or three characters ) becomes long, we don't write it down twice, but shorten it:

sz + sz = ssz, cs + cs = ccs, zs + zs = zzs

dinnye [watermelon] consist of diny+nye. The long 'ny' is 'nny'. (A long 'dzs' is 'ddzs' but you won't see this often.)

Some English consonants are spelled differently in Hungarian:

Letter Hungarian pronunciation IPA
c like ts in cats [t͡s]
cs like ch in channel [t͡ʃ]
s like sh in shower [ʃ]
sz like s in sing [s]
zs like s in pleasure [ʒ]
gy no English equivalent [ɟ]
ny like gn in lasagne [ɲ]
ty like t in Tuesday [c]
dzs like j in jump [d͡ʒ]

So Hungarian szia (’hello’ or ’goodbye’) sounds like English see ya!

The letters gy, ny, ty are sounds which not all varieties of English have. They sound a bit like adding a y sound to the preceding sound.

Don't forget that these di- and trigraph letters aren't pronounced consonant by consonant, they represent ONE sound.

Keep in mind that sz and cs are completely distinct sounds - the same applies for gy and zs.

Hungarians think of these multigraphs as ONE letter .

Articles

Hungarian has definite articles. Hungarian a and az correspond to English the. So English the boy is Hungarian a fiú. Use az when the word it precedes (usually an adjective or a noun) starts with a vowel.

Here are all the vowels in Hungarian: a, á, e, é, i, í, o, ó, ö, ő, u, ú, ü, ű

When the word starts with a consonant, use a.

This is similar to the indefinite article in English: a / an. While it is a boy, it's an apple.

The indefinite article (a/ an in English) is simply egy in Hungarian. (Which is also the numeral "one".)

egy alma = an apple

egy fiú = a boy

Don't confuse Hungarian's a / az, the definite article meaning the, with English's a / an, which are the indefinite articles, meaning egy!

a fiú — ‘the boy’

az autó — ‘the car’

egy fiú — ‘a boy’

egy autó — ‘a car’

Adjectives

Just like in English, the adjective comes before the noun.

a piros autó — ‘the red car’

egy piros autó — ‘a red car’

Basic Phrases 6 · 2021-04-04 ^

Welcome to the Hungarian course!

Here you'll meet your first Hungarian phrases as well as a few verbs, most importantly, lenni ‘to be’. It is conjugated as follows:

SG PL
1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl) are’
3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

The pronouns in the Hungarian examples are in parentheses because you mostly don't have to use them. The verb form tells you which person and number is indicated.

Orthography (spelling ) and pronunciation

Hungarian uses the Latin alphabet (like English) with some additional letters and diacritics. Let's start with the vowels.

Vowels can be short and long. Short vowels are a, e, i, o, u, ö and ü. Their long versions are á, é, í, ó, ú, ő and ű.

Consonants can ALSO be short and long. Long consonants are "lengthened " by doubling them, as in reggel ’morning’ .

Some Hungarian consonants are spelled very differently from their English counterparts:

Letter Hungarian pronunciation
c like ts in cats
cs like ch in channel
s like sh in shower
sz like s in sing
zs like s in pleasure

So Hungarian szia (’hello’ or ’goodbye’) sounds a bit like English see ya.

The letters gy, ny, ty represent sounds that sound a bit like adding a y sound to the preceding sound.

Take a look at this video (there are others) to hear how the vowels and consonants are pronounced:

Youtube: The sounds of the Hungarian alphabet

Another video, as a gentle intro to the Hungarian language:

Hungarian explained - such long words, such an isolated language

Basic 1 13 · 2021-11-16 ^

Lesson 1

Just like in English, Hungarian has definite articles and an indefinite article.

A and az are like English's the . A fiú = the boy .

If the word starts with a vowel, you use az. For a consonant, you use a.

az alma, a fiú

Hungarian's indefinite article is simpler: the indefinite article a or an is always egy.

egy alma, egy fiú

Don't confuse Hungarian's a / az, the definite article meaning the, with English's a / an, which are the indefinite articles, meaning egy!

Lenni, the verb "to be"

The present tense is :

SG PL
1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl. ) are’
3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

The subject pronouns are in parentheses because they are often dropped , the verb conjugation shows the person.

You are a teacher can be Te tanár vagy. or just Tanár vagy.

When to include van/vannak

Hungarian sometimes drops van and vannak. Sometimes there's NO verb where English has is ! You would say What is this ?, Hungarian drops the "is " :

Mi ez? = what is this ? . . .

Hungarian word order is freer than in English. To ask What is this?, both Mi ez? and Ez mi? are fine.

Be alert! The verb is only left out when the subject is in the third person AND the sentence expresses a property of the subject like Ez mi? “What is this?“, Péter egy diák “Péter is a student.”, or Péter álmos “Péter is tired.”

This only happens in the third person, the first and second person (I, you, we, plural you ) vagyok, vagy, vagyunk, vagytok are NEVER omitted.

Don't use van or vannak if you are saying what someone or something is.

"Ő tanár" - "He is a teacher"

"Péter tanár" - "Péter is a teacher"

"Az alma piros" - "The apple is red"

"Mi az?" - "What's that?"

But, do use van/vannak when describing when, how, the state, or where something or someone is.

Time - Expressing when something is.

"Mikor van a buli?" - "When is the party?" "A buli hétkor van." - "The party is at 7."

State - how something/someone is.

"Apád ma hogy van?" = "How is your dad today?" "Ma jobban van, mint tegnap, köszönöm." - "He is better today than he was yesterday, thank you."

Location

"Hol van a mozi?" - "Where is the cinema?" "Ott van jobbra." - "It's there on the right."

Adverbial Participle - a verbal state of a noun

"Ki van nyitva az ablak?" - "Is the window open?" "Nem, be van zárva." - "No, it's shut."

All the above become "vannak" when the subject is plural:

"Itt vannak a poharak." - "Here are the glasses."

"A szobák fűtve vannak." - "The rooms are heated."

See another explanation here: Hungarianreference.com/Van-is-exists-omitting

Basic 1 alternative 1 · 2018-11-01 ^

Lesson 1

Just like English, Hungarian has a so-called definite article (or definite determiner). Hungarian a and az correspond to English the. So English the boy is Hungarian a fiú. It is easy to figure out whether you have to use a or az: when the following word (usually an adjective or a noun) starts with a vowel, you use az. When it starts with a consonant, you use a.

This is very similar to the indefinite determiner in English: a and an. While it is a boy, it's an apple. In this case, Hungarian is simpler: the indefinite determiner is simply egy.

Be careful not to confuse Hungarian a/az, which is the definite article meaning the, with English a/an, which is the indefinite article, meaning egy!

Lesson 2

You will notice that Hungarian sometimes lacks a verb where English has is. For example, while in English you would say What is this?, Hungarian does not have a verb here: Mi ez?

In addition, Hungarian word order is freer than English word order. To ask What is this?, in Hungarian both Mi ez? and Ez mi? are fine.

Be careful! The verb is only missing when the subject is in the third person and the sentence expresses a property relating to the subject like Ez mi? “What is this?“, Péter egy diák “Péter is a student.”, or Péter álmos “Péter is tired.”

In other words, we omit "van" when stating what something is using an adjective or a noun.

Lesson 3

The third person form of the English verb to be in Hungarian is van. This form is used when the verb is combined with a question word or an adverb like hol (‘where’), ott (‘there’), bent (‘inside’), as described above.

Here are all the present-tense forms again:

SG PL
1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl) are’
3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

When to include van/vannak

You will see that the words van and vannak are often omitted. This only happens in the third person, the first and second person vagyok, vagy, vagyunk, vagytok are never omitted.

Don't use van/vannak if you are saying what someone/something is using a noun or an adjective.

"Ő egy tanár" - "He is a teacher"

"Péter egy tanár" - "Péter is a teacher"

"Az alma piros" - "The apple is red"

"Mi az?" - "What's that?"

But do use van/vannak in the following cases (basically, describing when, how, where something/someone is. )

Time - Expressing when something is. "Mikor van a buli?" - "When is the party?" "A buli 7-kor van." - "The party is at 7."

State - Expressing how something/someone is. "Apád ma hogy van?" - "How is your dad today?" "Ma jobban van, mint tegnap, köszönöm." - "He is better today than he was yesterday, thank you."

Location - Expressing where something is. "Hol van a mozi?" - "Where is the cinema?" "Ott van jobbra." - "It's there on the right."

Adverbial Participle - Expressing a verbal state of a noun "Ki van nyitva az ablak?" - "Is the window open?" "Nem, be van zárva." - "No, it's shut."

All the above become "Vannak" when the subject in question is plural:

"Itt vannak a poharak." - "Here are the glasses."

"A szobák fűtve vannak." - "The rooms are heated."

See another explanation here: Hungarianreference.com/Van-is-exists-omitting

Intros 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Personal pronouns

Like English, Hungarian has personal pronouns, words like ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, etc. Here are the Hungarian ones:

Singular Plural
1 én I mi we
2 te / Ön / Maga you (sg.) ti / Önök / Maguk you (pl)
3 ő he, she ők they

But there are some important differences between the two languages:

  • Hungarian has distinct pronouns for second person singular and second person plural: te means ‘you (sg.)’, while ti means ‘you (pl.)’.

  • Hungarian has no gender: the third person singular pronoun ő means both ‘she’ and ‘he’. Thus a Hungarian sentence like Ő tanár can mean either ‘She is a teacher’ or ‘He is a teacher’.

  • Like German, French and Spanish, Hungarian has pronouns that are used to address someone in a formal way: ön or maga in the singular and önök or maguk in the plural. These can be translated to English as ‘you’ and they are used in formal settings when talking to someone senior, strangers and when being polite. While these forms refer to the person you are talking to, the verb forms are identical to the third person forms. In this skill’s sentences we used Uram (=Sir) and Hölgyem (=Madam) to indicate the formal situation.

The verb "to be"

Here are the present tense forms of the verb "to be" in first and second person singular.

SG meaning
1 (én) vagyok I am
2 (te) vagy you (sg.) are

én and te are in parentheses because they should be dropped, as the verb conjugation shows the person. We add the pronoun if we want to put emphasis on the person. For example "I am English." in a neutral context is just Angol vagyok.

The verb "to speak"

SG meaning
1 (én) beszélek I speak
2 (te) beszélsz you (sg.) speak
2 (Ön) beszél you (polite) speak
3 (ő) beszél she/he speaks

Nationalities and languages

We say Magyar vagyok és beszélek magyarul. "magyar" is an adjective (or occasionally a noun) while "magyarul" is an adverb. nationality+ul/ül adverbs are used with the verb beszél.

Word order in very short sentences

In Hungarian, an important rule is that the focus comes before the verb.

If you are stating something about yourself, put that piece of new information before the verb.

Magyar vagyok. ‘I am Hungarian.’

Angol vagyok. ‘I am English.’

When negating these simple sentences, the most natural way is to put nem right before the verb.

Nem vagyok magyar. ‘I am not Hungarian.’

Nem vagyok angol. ‘I am not English.’

Nem beszélek angolul. ‘I do not speak English.’

Yes–No questions

For yes or no questions you only have to add a question mark at the end of the sentence:

Magyar vagy? ‘Are you Hungarian?’

Angol vagy? ‘Are you English?’

Beszélsz angolul? ‘Do you speak English?’

First Names 5 · 2022-08-29 ^

Péter, Kati and Éva are common Hungarian names.

There are several ways of asking someone what their name is, here are two .

  • One is a neved, meaning ‘your name’ . You can ask someone Mi a neved or ‘What is your name?’ — Recall that we don't always say is in Hungarian.

  • Another is to use hogy hívnak, which is literally ‘How do they call you?’, but it's just another way to say ‘What's your name?’.

A resource

Duolingo removed the forum which had tons of useful posts. We tried to save the most important ones, so you if you feel you need more grammar help, check out this blog: magyarbagoly.blogspot.com

Qualities 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The verb "to be"

Here are the present-tense forms of the verb "to be" in the singular.

SG meaning
1 (én) vagyok I am
2 (te) vagy you (sg.) are
2 (Ön) Ø you (polite) are
3 (ő) Ø she/he is

The personal pronouns én, te etc. are in parentheses because they can usually be omitted: the verb form shows the person. We add the pronoun if we want to show emphasis . For example "I am English", neutrally is just Angol vagyok.

For "Ön" and "ő" we must omit the verb "is". We simply say: Ő amerikai. ‘He is American.’ or Ön magyar. ‘You are Hungarian.’ (in a formal situation).

Nominal sentence – or how (not) to use the verb "to be"

Hungarian often drops the verb where English has "is". For example, in English you would say "The apple is red", in Hungarian it's : Az alma piros.

The third person verb is dropped (so you talk about "ön" (formal you) or "ő" (he/she)) when the sentence expresses a property of the subject, an identification between two things, like:

Péter egy diák. — ‘Péter is a student.’

Ő egy tanár. — ‘He is a teacher.’ / ‘She is a teacher.’

Zsuzsa egy tanár. — ‘Zsuzsa is a teacher.’

Uram, ön tanár? — ‘Are you a teacher, sir?’

The verb is also omitted when you are describing a person or object:

Péter magas. — ‘Péter is tall.’

Az alma piros. — ‘The apple is red.’

A diák fiatal. — ‘The student is young.’

Since there are no genders in Hungarian, the word ő means both ‘he’ and ‘she’.

When we talk about an object we can use ez (this/it) or az (that). Remember that az means two things: "that" and "the". So, we get sentences like:

Ez egy alma. — ‘This is an apple.’

Az egy alma. — ‘That is an apple.’

Ez nem egy alma. — ‘This is not an apple.’

Az nem egy alma. — ‘That is not an apple.’

Ez egy alma? — ‘Is this an apple?’

Az egy alma? ­— ‘Is that an apple?’

Adjectives

As in English, adjectives come before the noun. Pay attention to the placement of an adjective, now that you know "is" is omitted .

a piros alma ­— ‘the red apple’

Az alma piros. — ‘The apple is red.’

a magas fiú = the tall boy

A fiú magas. = The boy is tall.

Basic 2 5 · 2020-12-01 ^

The verb lenni ‘to be’

SG PL
1 (én) vagyok ‘I am’ (mi) vagyunk ‘we are’
2 (te) vagy ‘you (sg.) are’ (ti) vagytok ‘you (pl) are’
3 (ő) van ‘s/he is’ (ők) vannak ‘they are’

The most important thing to keep in mind is when to use the third person van ‘is’ and vannak ‘are’, and when to leave them out!

These examples will help illustrate the difference.

Én tanár vagyok. meaning ‘I am a teacher.’

Ő tanár. meaning ‘She/he is a teacher.’

In the first sentence above, there is a verb, vagyok, but in the second sentence there is no van.

When expressing what something is like, you do not use van .

The following examples are fine without van or vannak, in fact, you must not use van here :

Az autó piros. ‘The car is red.’

A fiúk tanárok. ‘The boys are teachers.’

Personal pronouns

SG PL
1 én ’I’ mi ’we’
2 te ’you (sg.)’ ti ’you (pl.)’
3 ő ’she/he/it’ ők ’they’

But there are many differences between the two languages:

  • Hungarian has pronouns for the second person singular AND the second person plural: te means ‘you (sg.)’, while ti means ‘you (pl.)’.

  • Hungarian has no gender: the third person singular pronoun ő means both ‘she’ and ‘he’. Thus a sentence like Ő tanár can mean either ‘She is a teacher’ or ‘He is a teacher’.

  • Like German, French and Spanish, Hungarian has pronouns that are used when talking formally to someone : ön in the singular and önök in the plural. They're translated as ‘you’ and they are used in formal settings when talking to someone senior, or a stranger, and when being polite.

w

Phrases 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

"Jó napot!" or "Szia!"- How to say “Hello!”

In Hungarian, there is a grammatical distinction between formal and informal speech. When we say “Hello!” our usage depends on formal structures of address to older people, our superiors and people we don't know (for example: people in shops and banks). This is called "magázás". It's a sign of respect. If the other person proposes "tegezés", which is the informal mode of communication, we are expected to use it.

Also consider the time of day.

time formal informal
7:00-9:00 Jó reggelt! Szia!
9:00-18:00 Jó napot! (nap = day) Szia!
18:00-22:00 Jó estét! (este = night) Szia!

"Jó napot!" is like “Hello!”, “Good morning!” or “Good afternoon!”, depending on the time of day, and whether you have a formal or informal relationship even though it literally means "Good day!". So in the translation exercises Hello/Good morning/Good afternoon are also accepted.

When your relation to the other person is informal, you can say "Szia!" at any time.

When saying goodbye, you only have to consider your relationship:

formal informal
Viszontlátásra! Szia!

You can also say "Viszlát!" instead of "Viszontlátásra!". It’s a contracted form, and is slightly less polite, but it’s still polite and formal.

Depending on our relation to another person, if you want to know somebody's name, you can ask:

formal informal
Hogy hívják? Hogy hívnak?

In English there's no difference between the two translations, we add "Madam" and "Sir" to highlight formal sentences, so you can practice both forms.

How to excuse yourself:
Use "Elnézést!" or "Bocsánat". Usually they are interchangeable, but "Elnézést!" is closer to "Excuse me!" and "Bocsánat" is more like "Sorry".

So say: “Bocsánat, hogy hívnak?” - when you forget someone’s name “Elnézést, hogy hívják?” - when asking their name for the first time.

Occupations 5 · 2021-01-05 ^

Gender in occupations

Hungarian does not usually specify one's gender: the pronoun ő means ‘he’ and ‘she’. But, when speaking about jobs and occupations, there is a way of showing genders .

For most occupations, like művész ‘artist’ or rendőr ‘policeman’, just add ‘woman’ .

művésznő is a female artist, and rendőrnő is a policewoman.

Nem... hanem... sentences

Én nem a szakács vagyok, hanem a pincér. I am not the cook, but rather the waiter.

These nem/hanem types of sentences consist of two parts, and mean something like It is not X, but Y where X and Y contrast. X and Y can be two nouns, two places, two adjectives, two verbs, etc.

Both de and hanem translate to but, but they are not the same. Think of hanem as but rather. If you speak German, de=aber, hanem=sondern.

When to use hanem, and when to use de ?.

Hanem is never alone, if hanem is used, there will always be nem in the first part of the sentence.

Nem

Nem precedes what it negates. To find the place for nem, look into the second part of the sentence . The negation has to contrast with the hanem part.

Én nem a szakács vagyok, hanem a pincér. I am not the cook, but the waiter. The contrast is : the waiter versus the cook, so nem comes before a szakács.

Nem én vagyok a pincér, hanem ő. It is not ME who is the waiter, but HIM . The contrast is : me versus him, so nem is placed before én.

The verb can be in the middle of the sentence (after nem X) or at the end (after hanem Y). A megálló nem itt van, hanem ott. A megálló nem itt, hanem ott van. (The stop is not here, but there.)

Occasionally the contrasting pair is two verbs: Én nem állok, hanem ülök. I am not standing, but sitting.

w

Where? 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Localizing — or when to use "is"

You've seen that Hungarian often drops the verb "van" where English has is. For example, while in English you would say Is he English?, the Hungarian is: Ő angol?

Be careful! The verb only drops out when the verb is in the third person and the sentence expresses a property relating to the subject.

When we are talking about locations we do use "is", van.

János a kertben van. — ‘János is in the garden.’

Zsuzsa az étteremben van. — ‘Zsuzsa is in the restaurant.’

Here we are not characterizing the person, we are not describing them, nor identifying them. TIP: there's a trick to decide if you need to use van or not.

Zsuzsa egy diák. so Zsuzsa = egy diák (a student).

Zsuzsa a kertben van. so Zsuzsa ≠ kertben (in the garden).

Ask yourself if the two things are "equals". If not, use van.

Vowel harmony

The English preposition "in" appears on Hungarian words as a suffix. It has two forms: -ban and -ben.

The idea is that the vowels in the suffixes are in “harmony” with the vowels in the word they attach to. This “harmony” relates to two groups of vowels, called “back” and “front”:

back vowels front vowels
a, á e, é,
o, ó i, í,
u, ú ö, ő
ü, ű

This table will help you determine which suffix should be added to the nouns! If they are back vowels, we use -ban. If they are front, we use -ben.

boltban but kertben

parkban but étteremben

(Vowel harmony is complex and it affects many suffixes and inflections so you will hear more about it later.)

If a word ends in a or e, before getting the suffix, they become á and é. So szálloda + ban = szállodában.

Word order in questions

Important: If a question contains a question word (who? what? where?), then the question word is in focus. Focus is directly before the verb, so the question word comes right before the verb .

Questions with hol (where):

Hol van a park? — ‘Where is the park?’

Hol van a szálloda? — ‘Where is the hotel?’

It is a good choice to start the sentence with the question word, but it is not necessary, these are also correct:

A park hol van? or A szálloda hol van?

Note, again, the question word appears right before the verb.

Verbs 1 : Present Single 8 · 2021-04-04 ^

Here are the present tense singular (I, you, s/he ) forms .

  • Tanulni means both ‘to learn’ and ‘to study’. Its stem is tanul- . Its 'indefinite ' present conjugation is :
tanulni ‘to learn/study’ suffix (ending)
1 tanul-ok ‘I learn’ -ok
2 tanul-sz ‘you learn’ -sz
3 tanul ‘she/he learns’ (null)

These suffixes (endings ) are used for all the verbs in Lesson 1.

In Lesson 2, we find verbs like sietni ‘to hurry’. This table shows the singular forms of sietni.

sietni ‘to hurry’ suffix (ending)
1 siet-ek ‘I hurry’ -ek
2 siet-sz ‘you hurry’ -sz
3 siet ‘she/he hurries’ (null)

Notice that the first person singular suffix for sietni is -ek, not -ok as in 'tanulni ' ? Why?

What's happening here is vowel harmony, which you will need for more than to conjugate verbs...

Vowel harmony means that the vowels (a, e, i, o and u ) in a word require that the vowels in suffixes (like -ek and -ok) "match " the vowels in the words they attach to:

We use * -ok when the verb it attaches to contains the vowels a, á, o, ó, u, or ú.

  • -ek occurs when the verb it attaches to contains i, í, e, é.

and * -ök occurs when the verb it attaches to contains ö, ő, ü, or ű.

The vowels in the suffixes have to be in “harmony” with the vowels in the word they attach to. Moreover, this “harmony” has two groups of vowels, called “back” and “front” (and later "rounded " :

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

This table helps determine which vowel should precede the -k in the first person singular — If they are back, we get -ok. If they are front, we get -ek or -ök.

There are exceptions; you'll learn about those a little later!

About word order

Word order in Hungarian is more flexible than in English, but it is not completely free (more about this soon).

Some words, or parts of the sentence , have to come immediately before the verb - a location called "focus " .

Question words like ki ‘who’ or mi ‘what’ ...

  • Ki sétál a piac mellett? ‘Who is taking a walk next to the marketplace ? ‘

Or when you compare or contrast two phrases (or words), one is in focus and has to come right before the verb.

For example:

  • Nem a piac mellett sétálok, hanem az áruház mellett. ‘I am not walking next to the market, but next to the department store.‘

The contrast is between a piac mellett ‘next to the market‘ and az áruház mellett ‘next to the department store‘.

School 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Verbs

Tanulni means both ‘to learn’ and ‘to study’. Its stem is tanul. Its indefinite present singular conjugation is:

tanulni ‘to learn/study’ suffix (ending)
1 tanul-ok ‘I learn’ -ok
2 tanul-sz ‘you learn’ -sz
3 tanul ‘(formal) you learn /she/he learns’ (null)

Now look at the verb "to stand":

állni ‘to stand’ suffix (ending)
1 áll-ok ‘I stand’ -ok
2 áll-sz ‘you stand’ -sz
3 áll ‘(formal) you stand / she/he stands’ (no ending)

Let's write!

írni ‘to write’ suffix (ending)
1 ír-ok ‘I write’ -ok
2 ír-sz ‘you write’ -sz
3 ír ‘(formal) you write / she/he writes’ (no ending)

You will see later, that ír is actually an exception, it contains a front vowel (í) and still takes back-vowel suffixes.

Verbs 1 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Here is a verb in a present tense .

  • Tanulni means both ‘to learn’ and ‘to study’. Its stem is tanul- . Its 'indefinite ' present conjugation is :
tanulni ‘to learn/study’ suffix (ending)
1 tanul-ok ‘I learn’ -ok
2 tanul-sz ‘you learn’ -sz
3 tanul ‘she/he learns’ (null)

These suffixes (endings ) are used for all the verbs in Lesson 1.

In Lesson 2, however, we find verbs like sietni ‘to hurry’. This table shows the singular forms of sietni.

siet ‘to hurry’ suffix (ending)
1 siet-ek ‘I hurry’ -ek
2 siet-sz ‘you hurry’ -sz
3 siet ‘(formal) you hurry / she/he hurries’ (no ending)

Notice that the first person singular suffix for sietni is -ek, not -ok as in 'tanulni ' ? Why?

What's happening here is a concept called vowel harmony, - which we'll need for more than to conjugate verbs.

Vowel harmony means that the vowels (a, e, i, o and u ) in a word require that the vowels in suffixes (like -ek and -ok) "match " the vowels in the words they attach to:

  • -ok occurs when the verb it attaches to contains the vowels a, á, o, ó, u, or ú.

  • -ek occurs when the verb it attaches to contains i, í, e, é.

  • -ök occurs when the verb it attaches to contains ö, ő, ü, or ű.

The vowels in the suffixes have to be in “harmony” with the vowels in the word they attach to. Moreover, this “harmony” relates to two groups of vowels, called “back” and “front”:

Hungarians are happy, because the vowels in the suffixes are in “harmony” with the vowels in the word they attach to.

As a reminder:

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

This table helps determine which vowel should precede the -k in the first person singular — If they are back, we get -ok. If they are front, we get -ek or -ök.

There are exceptions; you'll learn about those a little later! )

Words, szálloda and étterem , tend to have only front or back vowels, like . But "new" words , like sétálni 'to walk' (which came into Hungarian after the Middle Ages), can have both, What to do? In the vast majority , look at the last vowel, and adjust the ending to it.
But ... back vowels are stronger than front vowels, so they tend to rule the vowel harmony.

One more thing! There used to be two types of i in Hungarian, a front and a back i. It leads us to add back vowel endings to the verb írni e.g.:

írni ‘to write’ suffix (ending)
1 ír-ok ‘I write’ -ok
2 ír-sz ‘you write’ -sz
3 ír ‘(formal) you write / she/he writes’ (no ending)

Now you're starting to be a vowel harmony pro!

A note on word order

Word order in Hungarian is more flexible than in English, but it is not completely free (more about this soon).

Some words, or parts of the sentence , have to come immediately before the verb - a location called "focus ".

Accusative 1 9 · 2021-02-28 ^

Direct Objects and the accusative case

The accusative is a fancy word for DIRECT OBJECT ! In Hungarian, it is shown by a * t * - on a direct object !

Fiú, ’boy’ , becomes fiút when it is the DIRECT OBJECT !

In English, direct objects usually follow the subject and the predicate, as in

  • The girl sees a boy.

Boy is the direct object, girl is the subject, and sees is the predicate.

In Hungarian, the word order can be less regular, but the direct object case is marked with t :

  • A lány lát egy fiút.

The subject is lány , the verb is lát, and fiút is the direct object, with its accusative ending, t ! So, that "t " is a helpful hint to Hungarians that this word is a DIRECT OBJECT .

Accusative endings

If a word ends in i, í, o, ó, ö, ő, u, ú, ü, or ű (not a or e), then t is added directly to the end of the word

  • fiú -> fiút
  • -> nőt

But words ending in -a and -e, become and when they get the t.

  • alma ’apple’ -> almát
  • körte ’pear’ -> körtét

If the word ends in a consonant, we USUALLY have to add a vowel before the accusative t -ot / -at / -et / -öt . Which vowel is determined by vowel harmony ! Words with front vowels get a front vowel before the t, words with back vowels get a back vowel. But -r / -l / -n / - ny / - s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly take the -t directly (see below ) .

back vowels front vowels
a, á e, é,
o, ó i, í,
u, ú ö, ő
ü, ű

-back vowels usually get -ot

  • sajt ‘cheese’ -> sajtot

  • narancs 'orange' -> narancsot

-some words, which you have to memorize, get -at:

  • ház ‘house’ -> házat

  • toll 'pen' -> tollat

-front vowels get -et:

  • szék ’chair’ -> széket

  • zöldség ’vegetable’ -> zöldséget

  • round vowel words which have ö / ő / ü / ü in the last syllable get -öt

  • gyümölcs ’fruit’ -> gyümölcsöt

  • főnök ’boss’ -> főnököt

When the word ends in -r / -l / -n / - ny / - s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly we USUALLY add the -t directly .

  • bor ’wine’ -> bort

  • lány ’girl’ -> lányt

A note on word order

In sentences with a subject, verb and object, Hungarian has very flexible word order. All of the following can be used in certain contexts:

  • Péter lát egy házat.
  • Péter egy házat lát.
  • Egy házat lát Péter.
  • Egy házat Péter lát.

They all mean ‘Péter sees a house.’, but each sentence conveys slightly different information with respect to which element is in FOCUS (or stressed ) . A focused phrase appears immediately in front of the verb and it often represents new information or contrast.

The first sentence (with Péter above ), for example, would be a valid answer to a question like ‘Who sees a house?’ but the second sentence would be " A HOUSE is what Peter sees ", because here egy házat ‘a house’ immediately precedes the verb and is, therefore, in focus.

FOCUS can be very tricky, but English has similar constructions !

If you have

  • What does Péter see?

the question word is in focus and asks for new information. In the reply, the answer to what will also be new information and be in focus.

And in English you can say,

  • Péter sees a house.

or

  • It's a house that Péter sees.

Or:

  • It is Péter who sees a house.

Each of these stresses something different. In Hungarian, it's done with FOCUS . . .

Word order in questions

Question words generally ask for some (new) information and act like a focused part of the sentence. In Hungarian, a question like ‘Who(m) does Mari see?’ ’who(m)’ is in focus and has to appear right before the verb:

  • Kit lát Mari?
  • Mari kit lát?

Keresni

If the root (stem ) of a verb ends with s, z, sz, then the second person singular informal (te) form ends with l.

keres (search) olvas (read) vesz (buy)
én keresek olvasok veszek
te keresel olvasol veszel
ő keres olvas vesz

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Café 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Objects and the accusative case

In Hungarian, a direct object (the accusative ) is marked by a suffix -t . A noun like fiú ’boy’ becomes fiút when it is the direct object .

In English, direct objects generally follow the subject and the verb, as in

  • The girl sees a boy.

where a boy is the direct object, the girl is the subject, and sees is the verb or predicate.

But why do we need that -t (the accusative case)? In Hungarian, word order can be freer than in English. It's a clue for what is the direct object.

  • A lány lát egy fiút.

Or with a different word order, but the same meaning:

  • Egy fiút lát a lány.

The subject is a lány which does not have a case ending (we say it is “nominative”). The verb is lát and egy fiút is the direct object, with its accusative -t.

If a word ends in a vowel, this -t is simply added :

  • fiú -> fiút
  • -> nőt

But words ending in -a and -e become and before they get the -t. (Do you remember szálloda -> szállodában? It's the same rule.)

If a word ends in a consonant, we usually have to add a vowel before the -t, -ot / -at / -et / -öt . Which vowel is determined by vowel harmony - as with verbs! Words with front vowels in them get a front vowel before the -t, words with back vowels get a back vowel.

back vowels front vowels
a, á e, é,
o, ó i, í,
u, ú ö, ő
ü, ű
  • For back vowels usually the accusative ending is -ot:

  • sajt ‘cheese’ -> sajtot

  • narancs ‘orange’ -> narancsot

  • A few words, that you have to memorize, take -at:

  • ház ‘house’ -> házat

  • toll ‘pen’ -> tollat

  • For front vowels the accusative is usually an -et:

  • szék ’chair’ -> széket

  • zöldség ’vegetable’ -> zöldséget

  • But, words which have ö / ő / ü / ű in the last syllable get -öt:

  • gyümölcs ’fruit’ -> gyümölcsöt

  • főnök ’boss’, ‘manager’ -> főnököt

When a word ends in -r / -l / -n / -ny / -s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly , we simply add the -t :

  • bor ’wine’ -> bort

  • lány ’girl’ -> lányt

The verbs iszik and eszik

inni ‘to drink’ and enni ‘to eat’ are two -ik verbs with slightly different conjugations :

iszik eszik
(én) iszom ! eszem !
(te) iszol eszel
(ő) / (ön) iszik eszik

! In some dialects, instead of iszom we say iszok and instead of eszem we say eszek.

Every verb ending in -zik, -szik, -sik conjugates like this :

  • To get the stem , you have to remove the ending -ik

  • 1st person singular is the stem + -om / -em / -öm

  • 2nd person singular is the stem + -ol / -el / -öl

  • 3rd person singular is the stem + -ik, the form in a dictionary

  • In the plural they are conjugated the same way as any other verb (you will learn plurals soon).

A note on word order

In sentences with a subject, a verb and an object, Hungarian has a very flexible word order. All of the following can be used in certain contexts:

  • Péter lát egy házat.
  • Péter egy házat lát.
  • Egy házat lát Péter.
  • Egy házat Péter lát.

While they all mean ‘Péter sees a house.’, each sentence conveys slightly different information with respect to which element is in focus - or stressed. A focused phrase appears right in front of the verb in Hungarian and it often represents new information or contrast.

The first sentence with Péter above, for example, would be a valid answer to a question like ‘Who sees a house?’ but the second sentence stresses 'house ' because egy házat ‘a house’ immediately precedes the verb and is therefore in focus.

This can be very tricky, but English has similar restrictions! If you have the question

  • What does Péter see?

the question word is in focus and asks for new information. In the reply, the answer to what will also be new information and in focus. In English you can say,

  • Péter sees a house.

or

  • It's a house that Péter sees.

or

  • It is Péter who sees a house.

The analogy is : the X, in the “It is X that ...”, construction is that the X comes right before the verb in Hungarian!

Plurals and Accusative 1 5 · 2021-01-25 ^

Plurals

You just learned how to spot, form and use the accusative case. , but so far only in the singular.

Remember the plural of Hungarian nouns is formed with the -k, often preceded by a vowel.

Let's take the demonstrative determiners (demonstrative adjectives ) ez ‘this’ and az ’that’ first.

  • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’
  • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

Which vowel ? Remember vowel harmony ? Ez has a front vowel, and az has a back vowel.

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

Thus the vowel before the plural ending -k will be front or back. So we get ezek and azok.

Tricky ! When a word ends in a vowel, like a or e, for example alma ‘apple’, the vowel lengthens :

  • alma ‘apple’ -> almák ‘apples’

Plural and accusative

When words are both plural and in the accusative, we have to arrange the plural -k and the accusative -t . Note that if both are there, we will need a vowel between the -k and the -t!

  • alma + -k (plural) + -t (accusative) -> almá+k+at = almákat ‘apples (obj.)'

If we want to use these or those as objects, we get:

  • ez ‘this’ -> ezek ‘these’ -> ezeket ’these (obj.)’
  • az ‘that’ -> azok ‘those’ -> azokat ‘those (obj.)’

Sneak preview: definite conjugation

You'll learn the definite conjugation soon, but here's a little primer.

Tricky ! When an object in the accusative is definite, the form of the verb changes slightly.

Important: Definite phrases have a definite article a or az ‘the’ , or demonstratives like ez ‘this‘ or az ‘that‘, or there will be someone's name(s) .

So when you see apples, you say:

Látok almákat ‘I see apples’ Látsz almákat ‘you (sg.) see apples’

Almákat is indefinite. *Látok * is in the indefinite .

When you want to say I see those, which is now definite (because of the demonstrative adjective 'azok ' , you say:

Látom azokat ‘I see those’ or Látod azokat ‘you (sg.) see those’

You can also use látom, without an object, to say ‘I see it ’. In this lesson, you'll see a few examples of the definite conjugation .

SG
1 hallom ‘I hear it’
2 hallod ‘you hear it’
SG
1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’
2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’

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Feelings 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Feelings

  • éhes — ‘hungry’

  • szomjas — ‘thirsty’

  • fáradt — ‘tired’

  • boldog — ‘happy’

  • szomorú — ‘sad’

These are adjectives. So feeling happy, we can say:

  • Boldog vagyok. — ‘I am happy.’

  • Boldog vagy. — ‘You are happy.’

  • Ön boldog. — ‘You are happy.’ (formal)

  • Boldog. — ‘He / she is happy.’

  • Péter / Éva boldog. — ‘Péter / Éva is happy.’

Note that the verb was omitted for she/he/formal you.

Questions have the same structure, but there is a question mark at the end:

  • Boldog vagy? ­— ‘Are you happy?’

Using "van" with adverbs

If you're talking about health, you'll probably use these two expressions:

  • jól vagyok — I feel well

  • rosszul vagyok — ‘I feel unwell’ or ‘I feel sick’

Note: jól and rosszul are adverbs, so it is obligatory to add van for the third person:

  • Jól vagyok. — ‘I feel well.’

  • Jól vagy. — ‘You feel well.’

  • Ön jól van. — ‘You feel well.’ (formal)

  • Jól van. — ‘He / She feels well.’

  • Péter / Éva jól van. — ‘Péter / Éva feels well.’

Adjectives modify a pronoun or a noun, adverbs modify an event, the “action” expressed by a verb. The following examples might help:

Little dictionary:

adjective adverb
Hungarian jól
English good well
example Éva . Éva jól van.
meaning Éva is good. Éva feels fine.
adjective adverb
Hungarian rossz rosszul
English bad bad(ly)
example Éva rossz. Éva rosszul van.
meaning Éva is bad. Éva is sick/doesn't feel good.

Overview: When to include van/vannak

Hungarian sometimes drops van and vannak. Sometimes there's NO verb where English has is ! You would say What is this ?, Hungarian drops the "is " :

Mi ez? = What is this ? . . .

Be alert! The verb is only left out when the subject is in the third person AND the sentence expresses a property of the subject like Ez mi? “What is this?“, Péter egy diák “Péter is a student.”, or Péter álmos “Péter is tired.”

This only happens in the third person, the first and second person (I, you, we, plural you ) vagyok, vagy, vagyunk, vagytok are NEVER omitted.

Don't use van or vannak if you are saying what someone or something is.

"Ő tanár" - "He is a teacher"

"Péter tanár" - "Péter is a teacher"

"Az alma piros" - "The apple is red"

"Mi az?" - "What's that?"

But, do use van/vannak when describing when, how, the state, or where something or someone is.

Time - Expressing when something is.

"Mikor van a buli?" - "When is the party?" "A buli hétkor van." - "The party is at 7."

State - how something/someone is.

"Apád ma hogy van?" = "How is your dad today?" "Ma jobban van, mint tegnap, köszönöm." - "He is better today than he was yesterday, thank you."

Location

"Hol van a mozi?" - "Where is the cinema?" "Ott van jobbra." - "It's there on the right."

Adverbial Participle - a verbal state of a noun

"Ki van nyitva az ablak?" - "Is the window open?" "Nem, be van zárva." - "No, it's shut."

All the above become "vannak" when the subject is plural:

"Itt vannak a poharak." - "Here are the glasses."

"A szobák fűtve vannak." - "The rooms are heated."

See another explanation here: Hungarianreference.com/Van-is-exists-omitting

Plurals and Accusative 2 12 · 2021-03-20 ^

Plural

We've learned how to form and use the direct object accusative -t . But, so far, all our examples have been singular.

The plural is formed by adding -k, sometimes , though, it needs a vowel.

Let's take the demonstrative adjectives ez ‘this’ and az ’that’ first.

  • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’
  • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

Which vowel ? Vowel harmony will tell you ! Ez has a front vowel, and az has a back vowel.

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

So, the vowel before the plural ending -k will also be front or back. So we get ezek and azok.

If a word ends in a (or e), like alma ‘apple’, the "a ", before the plural ending, lengthens - :

  • alma ‘apple’ -> almák ‘apples’

in the Plural AND in the accusative (direct object )

When words are plural AND accusative, we have to arrange the plural's -k and the accusative's -t . If both are there, we need a vowel between the -k and the -t !

  • alma + -k (plural) + -t (accusative) -> almá+k+at = almákat ‘apples (obj.)'

If we want these and those as direct objects, we get:

  • ez ‘this’ -> ezek ‘these’ -> ezeket ’these (d. obj.)’
  • az ‘that’ -> azok ‘those’ -> azokat ‘those (d. obj.)’

Contrast and word order

Hungarian word order is less free in sentences that express a contrast.

The judge is looking for lawyers and finds actors.

Here, there is one subject, namely judge.

But there are two different verbs, is looking for and finds and each of these have their own object, lawyers and actors.

When contrasting two verbs and objects like this, they have to show the same word order: and the objects must come in front of their respective verbs:

A bíró ügyvédeket keres és színészeket talál.

w&a

Jobs 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Word order

In this lesson you will meet some new words, mainly professions. As for grammar, it lets you practice how to put a sentence together. Let's review!

1. An adjective comes before the noun that it describes:

  • egy fiatal mérnök — ‘a young engineer’

  • A fiatal mérnök dolgozik. — ‘The young engineer is working.’

2. Describing a person, omit the verb "is" from the sentence:

  • Az énekesnő szép. — ‘The singer is pretty.’

  • A magyar énekesnő szép. — ‘The Hungarian singer is pretty.’

  • János magas színész. — ‘János is a tall actor.’

3. You HAVE to use van ‘is’ when you are describing somebody or something's location:

  • A titkárnő bent van. — ‘The secretary is in(side).’

  • Hol van az orvos? — ‘Where is the doctor?’

4. For negation nem must come immediately before the verb: (if you want to negate the full sentence)

  • A turista nem dolgozik. — ‘The tourist is not working (/ does not work).’

  • Este nem dolgozik a titkárnő. — ‘The secretary does not work in the evening.’

5. For negation in a sentence without a verb (when you omit "is"), you have to put nem before the adjective (like 'tall') or noun (like 'tourist'), that is, before the predicate:

  • A színész nem alacsony. — ‘The actor is not tall.’

  • A magyar turista nem magas. — ‘The Hungarian tourist is not tall.’

  • János nem turista. — ‘János is not a tourist.’

6. In yes or no questions you can use the same word order as in a statement:

  • Ön rendőr. — ‘You [formal] are a police officer.’

  • Ön rendőr? — ‘Are you [formal] a police officer?’

As in English, the intonation will change in questions.

7. In questions with question words the structure is: question word then verb then subject (if needed ) :

  • Hol van a tanár? — ‘Where is the teacher?’

  • Hol dolgozik (Ön)? — ‘Where do you [formal] work?’

  • Hol dolgozol? — ‘Where do you work?’

  • Mit csinál a politikus? — ‘What does a politician do?’

  • Mit csinálsz? — ‘What do you do ? ’ / 'What are you doing ? '

The verb "dolgozni" an -ik verb

Remember iszik (inni ) and eszik (enni )? Conjugate all verbs ending in -zik, -szik, -sik the same way.

DOLGOZIK iszik eszik
(én) dolgozom ! iszom ! eszem !
(te) dolgozol iszol eszel
(ő) / (Ön) dolgozik iszik eszik
(mi) dolgozunk iszunk eszünk
(ti) dolgoztok isztok esztek
(ők) / (Önök) dolgoznak isznak esznek

! In spoken language, and in some dialects, instead of dolgozom you may hear dolgozok.

  • To get the stem of the verb, remove the ending -ik

  • 1st person singular = the stem + -om / -em / -öm

  • 2nd person singular is stem + -ol /or -el

  • 3rd person singular is stem + -ik. The 3rd person singular is the form found in Hungarian dictionaries.

Food 1 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Here you will see some new food words . As for grammar you can review how to make a general statement (or describe something), talk about food, add the accusative suffix to some special words, and conjugate two “kitchen” verbs .

I. General statements

1. Describing something (using an adjective):

A cukor édes. — ‘Sugar is sweet.’ or ‘The sugar is sweet.’

A só sós. — ‘Salt is salty.’ or ‘The salt is salty.’

A paprika piros. — ‘Paprika is red.’ or ‘The paprika is red.’

Az eper finom. — ‘Strawberries are tasty.’ or ‘The strawberry is tasty.’

Note that in English, general statements like “Sugar is sweet” do not have a definite article, but in Hungarian you do need a definite article .

Also, be careful with the word order and the lack of articles. The following sentence does not mean the same as az eper finom:

finom eper — ‘tasty strawberry’

2. Categorizing (nouns):

A gomba nem zöldség. — ‘Mushrooms are not vegetables.’

A sör egy ital. — ‘Beer is a drink.’

3. Asking for information about the quality:

Friss az eper? — ‘Are (the) strawberries fresh?’ or ‘Is the strawberry fresh?’

Finom az alma? — ‘Are apples tasty?’ or ‘Is the apple tasty?’

Keserű a citrom? — ‘Are lemons bitter?’ or ‘Is the lemon bitter?’

II. Describing a food with the suffix -s/-os/-as/-es/-ös:

These suffixes mean that a food is somehow “provided” or “supplied” with something, a bit like English -y in milky.

For example:

vajas kenyér — ‘buttered bread’

tejes kávé — ‘milky coffee’

mézes kenyér — ‘bread with honey’

s karamella — ‘salted caramel’

For now, just keep in mind what this suffix adds to the meaning.

III. Accusative

1. Words ending in -r / -l / -n / -ny / -s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly:

rizs ‘rice’ -> rizst

tojás ‘egg’ -> tojást

2. Words with two syllables containing / in the last syllable shorten (lose the diacritic ) the vowel before the accusative suffix:

madár ‘bird’ -> madarat

pohár ‘glass’ (drink container, not the material) -> poharat

kenyér ‘bread’ -> kenyeret

3. A few words change by losing the vowel before the final consonant:

cukor ‘sugar’ -> cukrot

eper ‘strawberry’ -> epret

IV. The verbs süt ‘to bake’ and főz ‘to cook’

süt főz
(én) sütök főzök
(te) sütsz főzöl !
(ő) / (ön) süt főz

So the vowel is the same for the first person, as it was for ül ‘to sit’, repül ‘to fly’ and örül ‘to be glad’. But in the second person the same thing happens that we saw for eszik and iszik: you can't add the suffix -sz to the stem főz, so you add -öl. (In fact, this works for all verbs whose stems end with -z or -sz.)

Classifiers

Look at these examples:

  • egy pohár víz - a glass of water

  • Kérek egy pohár vizet. - I want a glass of water.

  • egy csésze tea - a cup of tea

  • Iszom egy csésze teát. - I drink a cup of tea.

  • egy kiló rizs - a kilogram of rice

  • Kérek egy kiló rizst. - I want a kilogram of rice.

If you describe the quantity of something (a glass of, a cup of, a kilo of), you don't need to translate "of", just put the food/drink right after the classifier.

Also, in the accusative case, only the object (víz, tea, rizs) receives the accusative ending (-t), the classifier (egy pohár, egy csésze, egy kiló) remains unchanged.

More 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Plural forms

Hungarian noun plurals are formed using -k / - ok / -ak / -ek / -ök suffixes . They're similar to the accusative endings -t / -ot / -at / -et / -öt.

Add -k to words that end in a vowel:

  • fiú -> fiúk
  • -> nők
  • autó -> autók

But words ending in -a or -e, become and when the -k is added.

  • alma -> almák
  • körte -> körték

Which vowel to choose? Remember vowel harmony?

back vowels front vowels
a, á e, é,
o, ó i, í,
u, ú ö, ő
ü, ű

-for nouns with back vowels the plural is usually -ok

  • lány ‘girl’ -> lányok

  • diák 'student' -> diákok

  • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

-there are a few words you have to memorize which get -ak:

  • ház ‘house’ -> házak

  • toll 'pen' -> tollak

These are not the only ones. When you come across one, memorize it . . .

-for front vowels the plural is an -ek:

  • szék ’chair’ -> székek

  • épület ’building’ -> épületek

  • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’

-but words with a round vowel (ö / ő / ü / ü) in the last syllable, get -ök

  • gyümölcs ’fruit’ -> gyümölcsök

  • rendőr ’police officer’ -> rendőrök

An exception is :

férfi ‘man’ -> férfiak ‘men’

You can't add -k to words ending in -r / -l / -n / -ny / -s / -sz / -z / -j / -ly .
Maybe this comparison will help you remember:

noun accusative plural
lány lányt lányok
busz buszt buszok
az azt azok
ember embert emberek
ez ezt ezek
sofőr sofőrt sofőrök
Ön Önt Önök

A nominal sentence in the plural

Using a nominal sentence (without a visible verb), the predicate adjective is plural if the subject is plural.

A lányok diákok. — ‘The girls are students.’

Ezek nagy épületek. — ‘These are big buildings.’

Azok nem autók. = Those are not cars.

Nationality 3 · 2020-12-01 ^

Plural adjectives

In Hungarian adjectives have plural forms .

In English you say The women are German, with the word German being the same form for both singular and plural. In Hungarian the adjective has to be plural as well:

A nők németek.

Have a look at the Tips and Notes section of the skill Plurals 1 to refresh your memory about how to form plurals of nouns.

Adjectives are a bit different. The plural suffix will be -ak when an adjective consists of mixed back vowels and neutral vowels like e, i. Look at the following words:

amerikai + -k = amerikaiak ‘Americans’

kanadai + -k = kanadaiak ‘Canadians’

egyiptomi + -k = egyiptomiak ‘Egyptians’

If an adjective ends in a consonant, you can rely on what you learned in Plurals 1:

brazil + -k = brazilok ‘Brazilians’

japán + -k = japánok ‘Japanese’ (plural)

In Hungarian you don't have to capitalize words referring to nationalities, but in English you do.

When talking about Brazil, be careful :

brazil = Brazilian (nationality of a person)

Brazília = Brazil (the country)

van in Hungarian

Remember that the third person forms of to be do not always appear. When we talk about the subject and use adjectives, there is no verb in the Hungarian sentence.

In

A nők németek.

there is no verb. You can't omit it in English, of course!

Generic statements

You will come across general statements. Those are sentences that express something that is true in general, for example the following:

Dogs have four legs.

This means that In general, dogs have four legs. There is an important difference between such statements in English and Hungarian. In English you don't have to use an article for the subject in those sentences, in Hungarian you usually do. Compare the following:

Dutch people are tall. A hollandok magasak.

In Hungarian, you can't say Hollandok magasak to mean Dutch people are tall, you have to add the definite article a(z).

w

Numbers 01 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Counting

Numbers are quite different from most other European languages (if you speak some Finnish or Estonian, you might recognize some ):

egy

kettő (két ) two has a usage rule explained below

három

négy

öt

hat

hét

nyolc

kilenc

tíz

From ten to one hundred, we have the following:

tíz húsz harminc negyven ötven hatvan hetven nyolcvan kilencven száz

As you can see, from 40-90, you use the forms above and add -van or ven (like English -ty).

Putting these together is orderly.

sixty-one = hatvanegy

ONLY with tíz and húsz do you add an infix between them and the vowel is shortened:

eleven = tizenegy

twelve = tizenkettő

twenty-three = huszonhárom etc.

Higher numbers work the same way:

one hundred twenty three = százhuszonhárom

Alert: the diacritics are lost when combined (the vowels are shortened ) ...

Kettő or két?

In Hungarian, there are two words for the number 2: kettő and két. This works the same way for the others ending in 2, too: 12 is tizenkettő or tizenkét, 42 is negyvenkettő or negyvenkét and so on .

What is the difference? Use két as an adjective to modify a noun or adjective .

Use kettő only by itself, only when we are talking about the number "2 " .

Example: Kettő meg kettő az négy. Two plus two is four.

Két alma. Two apples. Két asztal. Two tables. Két szép gyerek. Two beautiful children.

But, Két sounds very similar to hét (seven), so to avoid confusion and emphasize that you are talking about two, we sometimes use kettő in front of a noun. Kettő alma, kettő asztal.

But do not use két by itself.

Numbers and plurals

Hungarian and English differ in how they use plurals . In Hungarian, plural nouns that follow a number are in the singular.

  • Engl. five students
  • Hung. öt diák

Rather than using the plural, diákok (students ), we use the singular if a number word precedes it : öt diák.

And, the verb, in Hungarian, is in the third person singular form, NOT the plural.

  • Engl. five students run one student runs
  • Hung. öt diák fut egy diák fut . . .

The number-word rule applies for "kevés" and "sok" too.

  • Kevés férfi énekel. — ‘Few men sing.’

  • Sok orvos beszél angolul. — ‘Many doctors speak English.’

Numbers as Adjectives

Where to put the adjective, and is it supposed to be in the plural ? In the example két szép gyerek ‘two beautiful children’ - if an adjective precedes a plural noun, it stays in the singular , and numbers precede adjectives .

  • négy kicsi macska — ‘four small cats’

  • öt magas fiú — ‘five tall boys’

Adjectives 1 9 · 2021-04-04 ^

In this skill you will learn a bunch of new adjectives. We tried to vary the sentence structures to make you practice them. There will be:

  • This is a [adjective] [noun]. = Ez egy [adjective] [noun].

  • This is a black car. = Ez egy fekete autó.

  • This [noun] is [adjective]. Ez a(z) [noun] [adjective].

  • This car is black. Ez az autó fekete.

What is the difference between idős, öreg and régi?

Use idős and öreg for people, and régi for objects.

Ez egy régi ház. This is an old house.

A nagymamám öreg. My grandmother is old.

A nagymamám idős. My grandmother is elderly.

Idős is more like elderly, it is more polite to say, while saying öreg is less polite - in some situations.

“Régi” has a special meaning when used for people :

egy régi barátom = an old friend of mine . We have been friends for a long time. The friend is not necessarily old .

egy öreg / idős barátom = an old friend of mine (the friend is actually old)

What is the difference between kicsi and kis?

Immediately before a noun (or before another adjective that refers to the same noun) we can use either kis or kicsi.

egy kicsi ház = egy kis ház = a small house

egy kis piros labda = egy kicsi piros labda = a small red ball

And, kis- can be used to form compound words: kislány (little girl) kismacska (little cat).

But, AFTER the noun, only kicsi works ! You’re making a statement , you're forming a sentence.

A ház kicsi. = The house is small.

Ez a kék autó kicsi. = This blue car is small.

Az a piros labda kicsi. = That red ball is small.

But * A ház kis. would be wrong.

Verbs 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Verbs in the plural (We do, you do, they do )

Here are the plurals . Good news: they get the same endings in the plural, even if they are -ik-verbs. And you need to remember vowel harmony.

  • The verb csinál (‘to make’ or ‘to do’ ) . You can tell that it has a back vowel (á) and a front vowel (i ). If you have both, the back vowel dominates, as in sétál. Its plural forms are:
csinál ‘to make/do’ suffix (ending)
(mi) csinál-unk ‘we make’ -unk
(ti) csinál-tok ‘you make’ -tok
(ők / Önök / Maguk) csinál-nak ‘they make’ -nak
  • Front vowel verbs :
pihen ‘to rest’ suffix (ending)
(mi) pihen-ünk ‘we rest’ -ünk
(ti) pihen-tek ‘you rest’ -tek
(ők / Önök / Maguk) pihen-nek 'they rest’ -nek
  • If the last syllable has ö / ő / ü / ű, the 2nd person plural (ti) ending is -tök.
ül ‘to sit’ suffix (ending)
(mi) ül-ünk ‘we sit’ -ünk
(ti) ül-tök ‘you sit’ -tök
(ők / Önök / Maguk) ül-nek 'they sit’ -nek
  • The following table summarizes the suffixes based on vowel harmony:
back suffixes front suffixes
(én) -ok -ek/ -ök
(te) -sz -sz
(ő / Ön / Maga) - -
(mi) -unk -ünk
(ti) -tok -tek/-tök
(ők / Önök / Maguk) -nak -nek

Verbs ending in -s / -sz /-z have a slightly different conjugation. In the second person singular instead of -sz you add -ol / -el / -öl. The plural forms are the same.

olvas keres főz
(én) olvasok keresek főzök
(te) olvasol keresel főzöl
(ő / Ön / Maga) olvas keres főz
(mi) olvasunk keresünk főzünk
(ti) olvastok kerestek főztök
(ők / Önök / Maguk) olvasnak keresnek főznek

Subjects

Many times, in Hungarian , you don't have to say the subject : Táncolnak. = They are dancing.

In the Hungarian there is no word for they, you can figure it out from the verb ending .

The plural pronouns :

Singular Plural
1st én mi
2nd te ti
3rd ő ők

Hungarian has WAY more pronouns than you are used to !
To address someone formally - like the French vous, the Spanish usted or the German Sie (and many other languages ) - Hungarian uses "Ön" and "Maga" (the formal forms of "te", but they use the 3rd person singular ) . The plural forms work the same way.

"Önök" and "Maguk" are the formal forms of "ti", and the verbs after them use the 3rd person plural. Hungarian even Capitalizes These Forms ! . . .

But, they behave like third person pronouns (like vous or usted). When using Ön, the verb looks like it has a third person singular subject:

(Önök) táncolnak. (Ők) táncolnak.

compared to :

(Ti) táncoltok.

Note that you in English refers to either singular or plural, Hungarian makes a difference . Te refers to the second person singular, ti refers to the second person plural. When you see an English sentence like

Are you dancing?

You can translate this into Hungarian in the singular or the plural, formal or informal:

Táncolsz? (te)

Táncol? (Ön / Maga)

Táncoltok? (ti)

Táncolnak? (Önök / Maguk)

In real life this ambiguity doesn't arise because the context lets you know who you are talking about.

w

Verbs 2 Present Plural 8 · 2021-04-04 ^

plural verbs in the present

"We, you and they " and, vowel harmony.

  • Csinálni means ‘to make’ or ‘to do’. It has a back vowel (á). Its forms are :
csinálni ‘to make/do’ suffix (ending)
1SG csinál-ok ‘I make’ -ok
2SG csinál-sz ‘you make’ -sz
3SG csinál ‘s/he makes’ (null - no ending)
1PL csinál-unk ‘we make’ -unk
2PL csinál-tok ‘you make’ -tok
3PL csinál-nak ‘they make’ -nak

We also have front vowel verbs.

pihenni ‘to rest’ suffix (ending)
1SG pihen-ek ‘I rest’ -ek
2SG pihen-sz ‘you rest’ -sz
3SG pihen ‘s/he rests’ (null)
1PL pihen-ünk ‘we rest’ -ünk
2PL pihen-tek ‘you rest’ -tek
3PL pihen-nek* they rest’ -nek

This table summarizes the suffixes based on vowel harmony:

front suffixes back suffixes
1SG -ök /-ek -ok
2SG -sz -sz
3SG (null) (null)
1PL -ünk -unk
2PL -tek /-tök -tok
3PL -nek -nak

But -ik-verbs !

Here's another kind of verb: the -ik-verb! Its name comes from the third person singular ending , -ik, instead of (null ) no-ending like regular verbs.

  • játsz-ik ‘s/he plays’, ‘s/he is playing’
  • esz-ik ‘s/he eats’, ‘s/he is eating’

Another difference between an -ik verb and a regular verb is that the first person singular can (but doesn't have to ) end in -m -even without a definite object.

  • játsz-om ‘I play‘, ‘I am playing’
  • esz-em ‘I eat’, ‘I am eating’

In many grammar books, you might only find the -m ending , but today, many speakers alternate between using -m or the usual -k . Duo accepts either !

Some other -ik-verbs are: dolgozik ‘works’, eszik ‘eats’, iszik 'drinks’, játszik 'plays’, úszik ‘swims’.

There's no way to tell if a verb is an -ik verb except memorization.

Subjects

Hungarian is a null subject language, you don't always need a subject . Examples :

They are going home. Hazamennek.

Both mean the same, but in the Hungarian there is no they - you have to figure it out from the verb's ending .

Hungarian has more pronouns than English :

Singular Plural
1st én mi
2nd te ti
3rd ő ők

Note that you can be singular or plural, te is second person singular, ti second person plural. When you see a sentence like : Are you going home? , it can be translated into Hungarian as either the singular or the plural.

Hungarian has a few MORE pronouns for "YOU " They are used to address someone formally - like French vous, Spanish usted and German Sie - and many other languages, too .

These pronouns are ön (singular) and önök (plural), AND maga (singular) and maguk (plural). One thing to keep in mind when using these pronouns is that they behave like third person pronouns (like Spanish usted/ustedes) . So when using ön, the verb will look like it has a third person subject !

Ön eszik. You are eating (formal, singular)

Ő eszik He/She is eating.

Te eszel. You are eating (informal, singular)

Places 1 10 · 2023-06-21 ^

Postpositions

We'll start with locations and relations between locations .

English has prepositions, words like on, in, by, etc. which express location:

  • on the building, in the city, by the tree

Hungarian expresses some of these meanings using suffixes , and some of them using postpositions, not prepositions .

We'll learn some words for buildings and some postpositions.

In English, we say behind the house . In Hungarian, we say a ház mögött.

Egy ház mögött állok. — ‘I am standing behind a house.’

Van egy kert a ház mögött. — ‘There is a garden behind the house.’

A tó a nagy ház mögött van. — ‘The lake is behind the big house.’

The order in which words can follow each other is often fixed:

    1. adjective 2. noun: nagy ház
    1. noun 2. postposition: ház mögött
    1. adjective 2. noun 3. postposition: a nagy ház mögött

Meet six postpositions:

  • előtt — ‘in front of’

  • mögött — ‘behind’

  • alatt — ‘under’

  • fölött — ‘above’

  • mellett — ‘next to’

  • között — ‘between’

We will use the suffixes -ban / -ben . These are used for the English preposition "in":

  • a táskában — ‘in the bag’
  • a könyvben — ‘in the book’
  • az épületben — ‘in the building’

In English we make a difference between "in" and "at", in Hungarian, we only use -ban / -ben:

  • Iskolában vagy? — ‘Are you at (in ) school?’
  • Az iskolában fehér az ablak. — ‘The windows are white in (at ) the school.’

Suffixes are always attached to the noun they refer to, as if they were “glued together”. Postpositions are always "loose " .

nincs

In Hungarian, nem van (side-by-side ) can only be said or written nincs. Compare:

person localising feeling bad
én Nem vagyok otthon. Nem vagyok jól.
te Nem vagy otthon? Nem vagy jól?
Ön/Maga Nincs otthon? Nincs jól?
ő Nincs otthon. Nincs jól.

Word order in questions

Questions have stricter rules than statements. In Hungarian, if the question has a question word (who, what, where, when, why, how), then that word must be placed immediately in front of the verb.

It's good to start a question with a question word, but not always necessary.

Examples:

  • Mi van a város fölött?
  • A város fölött mi van?
  • Ki sétál a régi házak között?
  • A régi házak között ki sétál?

The question word must come immediately before the verb. It is always in focus - since focus is on the word or phrase immediately before the verb.

Exceptions:

When a question word is a part of a "block", like How many cars? How much water? - Then put this "block" before the verb.

Hány autót lát Péter? - How many cars does Péter see?

Mennyi víz van a pohárban? - How much water is in the glass?

Also, miért (why) does not have to be right before the verb.

Miért dolgozol? - Why are you working?

Miért te dolgozol? - Why is it you who is working?

Come & Go 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

-ik verbs

The -ik-verbs' name comes from the third person singular form (ő / Ön / Maga), which ends in -ik .

  • dolgoz-ik ‘s/he works’, ‘s/he is working’
  • esz-ik ‘s/he eats’, ‘s/he is eating’

When you add suffixes, you have to drop the "-ik". The main other difference between these verbs and regular verbs is that the first person singular (én) can end in -m, not the normal -k:

  • dolgoz-om ‘Iwork‘, ‘I am working’
  • esz-em ‘I eat’, ‘I am eating’

In many grammars, you would only find these forms ending in -m, but many speakers alternate between using -m forms or the regular -k ending for first person. We teach you both, and Duo accepts both!

If the stem of a verb ends in -s / -sz / -z / -zs, for example in iszik, the second person singular form is -ol / -el / -öl, according to vowel harmony:

lakik dolgozik eszik
(én) lakok/lakom dolgozok/dolgozom eszek/eszem
(te) laksz dolgozol eszel
(ő / Ön / maga) lakik dolgozik eszik
(MI) lakunk dolgozunk eszünk
(TI) laktok dolgoztok esztek
(ŐK / ÖNÖK / MAGUK) laknak dolgoznak esznek

jön és megy

Let's see two REALLY irregular verbs:

  • megy — ‘to go’

  • jön — ‘to come’

The endings are the same but the stems change!

megy jön
(én) megyek jövök
(te) mész jössz
(ő / Ön / Maga) megy jön
(mi) megyünk jövünk
(ti) mentek jöttök
(ők / Önök / Maguk) mennek jönnek

Hol or hova?

Hol and hova are question words, meaning "where". The difference is that we use hol when talking about still position (Where are you? Hol vagy? )
and hova if there is a movement towards something. (Where are you going to? Hova mész?)

Hová is a synonym of hova.

Ide and oda are the "movement towards something" counterparts of itt and ott

At what place? To what place?
where hol hova/hová
here itt ide
there ott oda

Definite conjugation 10 · 2021-04-04 ^

The definite conjugation is a bit of Hungarian that we don't have in English !

In sentences with an "accusative " (a direct object), the conjugation depends on whether that object is "definite " or not. The forms we have learned so far are in the indefinite conjugation.

When a direct object is definite, the verb must be in the definite conjugation !

(i) Lát-ok egy kutyá-t.

(ii) Lát-om a kutyá-t.

In (i), the object is indefinite, ’a dog’. In (ii), it is definite, ’THE dog’. In (ii), the verb changes to látom. The ending -om is in the definite conjugation.

(iii) Látom .

(iii) means ‘I see IT .’ The definite conjugation is only used with a definite direct object, so there is an object - even if you don't see it !

Plus, vowel harmony!

Here are the definite verb forms of hallani ‘to hear’, szeretni ‘to like/love’ and keresni ‘to be looking for’.

SG PL
1 hallom ‘I hear it’ halljuk ‘we hear it’
2 hallod ‘you hear it’ halljátok ‘you (pl) hear it’
3 hallja ‘s/he hears it’ hallják ‘they hear it’
SG PL
1 szeretem ‘I love it’ szeretjük ‘we love it’
2 szereted ‘you love it’ szeretitek ‘you (pl) love it’
3 szereti ‘s/he loves it’ szeretik ‘they love it’
SG PL
1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’ keressük ‘we are looking for it’
2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’ keresitek ‘you (pl) are looking for it’
3 keresi ‘s/he is looking for it’ keresik ‘they are looking for it’

Important ! the -j- does not always appear in the definite conjugation. And, when the j follows -s, -z, -sz, or -zs, the consonant is doubled and loses the -j- (ss, zz, ssz, zzs ) :

  • keres + jük = keressük ‘we look for it’
  • hoz + ja = hozza ‘s/he brings it’
  • (meg)vesz + jük = (meg)vesszük ‘we buy/take it’

Verb prefixes

Another thing to keep in mind for this lesson is that many Hungarian verbs come with a verbal particle, as :

meg-látogatja ‘s/he visits’ (with a definite object!)

This particle/prefix attaches to the front of the verb, but in questions - or when the sentence is stressing information about a subject or an object - it is detached and follows the verb .

(v) Ki látogatja meg Pétert? ‘Who visits Péter?’

(vi) Péter látogatja meg Zsuzsát. ‘PETER is visiting Zsuzsa.‘

The Hungarian word order in (vi) stresses PETER: you are stressing that the sentence is about Peter, not about someone, or something else.

Date and Time 7 · 2022-07-08 ^

In this unit, you'll learn how to express date and time. You'll learn a few past tense expressions (more on that later), the days of the week, and months.

In the past tense you can mostly use the same verb endings as before, but... in the verb endings, a -t- indicates that it is in the past tense:

csinál ‘to make/do’
1SG csinál-t-am ‘I made’
2SG csinál-t-ál ‘you (sg.) made’
3SG csinál-t ‘he made’
1PL csinál-t-unk ‘we made’
2PL csinál-t-atok ‘you (pl.) made’
3PL csinál-t-ak ‘they made’

You'll learn more about the past tense later !

As in many languages, you can use the present tense to talk about things in the future. It is fine to say.

  • Holnap megyek. (literally ’tomorrow I go’)

to mean ‘I will go tomorrow.’

The days of the week

The word nap means both ‘day’ and ‘sun’ in Hungarian. But it only shows up in one of the week's days :

  • hétfő ‘Monday’
  • kedd ‘Tuesday’
  • szerda ‘Wednesday’
  • csütörtök ‘Thursday’
  • péntek ‘Friday’
  • szombat ‘Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘Sunday’

If you speak a Slavic language, some of these might sound familiar to you! To express that something happens on a certain day, Hungarian uses a case-suffix which is also used for some of the seasons :

  • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
  • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
  • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
  • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
  • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
  • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

As in the plural, the vowel in the suffix depends on the vowels in the stem, so we get -on,-en, or -ön .

Note that there is an exception: vasárnap - 'Sunday' and ‘on Sunday’ For Sunday, we don't use any ending.

The months

In Hungarian, the names of the months are similar to the names of the months in many other European languages, including English.

  • január ‘January’
  • február ‘February’
  • március ‘March’
  • április ‘April’
  • május ‘May’
  • június ‘June’
  • július ‘July’
  • augusztus ‘August’
  • szeptember ‘September’
  • október ‘October’
  • november ‘November’
  • december ‘December’

To say that something happened in a certain month, Hungarian uses the case suffix -ban or -ben:

  • január-ban ‘in January’
  • szeptember-ben ‘in September’

The seasons

While English uses in or during to express that something is happening in a season, Hungarian is a bit different. The seasons, first of all are the following:

  • tavasz ‘spring’
  • nyár ’summer’
  • ősz ‘autumn’
  • tél ‘winter’

But, there are two different case-suffixes to mark what's happening during a season:

  • tava-sszal ’in spring’
  • nyár-on ‘in summer’
  • ős-szel ‘in autumn’
  • tél-en ‘in winter’

A tiny tip: none of these endings have a diacritic (accent mark)

Back to past tense

There are 5 different past tense verbs in this skill,

"volt" "született" "csinált" "találkozott" "beszélt"

We discussed "csinált", now here are the past tense indefinite conjugations for the other four:

van
1SG voltam
2SG voltál
3SG volt
1PL voltunk
2PL voltatok
3PL voltak
születik
1SG születtem
2SG születtél
3SG született
1PL születtünk
2PL születtetek
3PL születtek
találkozik
1SG találkoztam
2SG találkoztál
3SG találkozott
1PL találkoztunk
2PL találkoztatok
3PL találkoztak
beszél
1SG beszéltem
2SG beszéltél
3SG beszélt
1PL beszéltünk
2PL beszéltetek
3PL beszéltek

Time 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Talking about time

The first key word is "óra" which means "hour", "o'clock", "clock" and "watch". The second is "perc", it means minute.

Egy óra az 60 perc. = One hour is 60 minutes.

A film hét órakor kezdődik. = The movie starts at 7 o'clock.

Ez egy szép óra. = This is a nice watch/clock.

Hány óra van? = What time is it?

7:00 = Hét óra van. / Reggel hét óra van.

19:00 = Tizenkilenc óra van. / Hét óra van. /Este hét óra van.

You can add, to avoid confusion: "reggel", "délelőtt", "délután", "este", "éjjel". Some of these have a precise definition, but some don't.

  • "reggel" starts when you wake up and it becomes "délelőtt" when you leave your home or start working , between 5 and 10 a.m. depending on your lifestyle. It's pretty subjective.

  • "délelőtt" before noon ("dél"), between 9:00/10:00 and 12:00.

  • "délután" starts after noon ("dél"). Since sunset varies in time, the end of "délután" isn't precise , but usually people say that it lasts until 6 p.m.
  • "este" is between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., also depending on your lifestyle, but in general "este" ends at bedtime.
  • "éjszaka" starts around 10 p.m. and lasts until you're sleeping.

Back to the clock. There are different ways of expressing time:

7:15 = Hét óra tizenöt perc van. / Hét óra tizenöt van. / Hét tizenöt van.

8:25 = Nyolc óra huszonöt perc van. / Nyolc óra huszonöt van. / Nyolc huszonöt van.

9:37 = Kilenc óra harminchét perc van. / Kilenc óra harminchét van. / Kilenc harminchét van.

17:50 = Tizenhét óra ötven perc van. / Tizenhét óra ötven van. / TIzenhét ötven van.

So you can omit the word "perc" or "óra+perc", but you can't omit "óra" alone.

9:15, 9:30, 9:45 can be "negyed", "fél" and "háromnegyed". You always have to concentrate on the next hour and imagine that its quarter, half or three quarters hours have already passed.

9:15 = Negyed 10. (literally: "quarter of 10")

9:30 = Fél 10. (literally "half of 10")

9:45 = Háromnegyed 10. (literally "three quarters of 10")

Think of it as a journey: you started at 9 o'clock and are heading for 10 . At 9:15 you have covered the first quarter of the distance to 10 o'clock. At 9:30, half of it, and at 9:45, three quarters of it.

Do not use the word "óra" after "negyed", "fél" and "háromnegyed".

Between 12:00 and 24:00 use the numbers from 1 to 12 if you want to use "negyed", "fél" or "háromnegyed".

  • 12:15 = Negyed 1.
  • 19:30 = Fél 8.
  • 22:30 = Fél 11.
  • 23:45 = Háromnegyed 12.

If you want an a.m. or p.m., you can add "reggel", "délelőtt", "délután", "este" or "éjjel".

7:15 = Reggel negyed 8.

10:30 = Délelőtt fél tizenegy.

17:45 = Délután háromnegyed hat.

19:30 = Este fél 8.

Do not use "negyed", "fél" and "háromnegyed" with "dél" and "éjfél". Use the word tizenkettő / tizenkét óra.

11:30 = (Délelőtt )fél tizenkettő / tizenkét óra.

23:30 = (Este) fél tizenkettő / tizenkét óra.

When? / At what time?

When you ask "mikor" or "hány órakor" in the answer the suffix -kor appears, it's the equivalent of "at" in English. Important, you always have to add it to the last element.

  • 11 órakor/11-kor = at 11 o'clock
  • fél 11-kor = at half past ten
  • háromnegyed egykor = at quarter to one
  • kilenc óra harminc perckor / Kilenc óra harminckor / Kilenc harminckor = at 9:30.
  • tizenkét órakor / tizenkettőkor = at 12:00

Pronominal Objects 11 · 2022-02-10 ^

Accusative pronouns

You know how to form the accusative (direct object) of a noun. But, pronouns have special forms (like they do in English!).

Person/Number Nominative Accusative
1SG én ‘I’ engem ‘me’
2SG te ‘you (sg.)’ téged ‘you (sg., obj.)’
3SG ő ‘he/she’ őt ‘him/her’
1PL mi ‘we’ minket ‘us’
2PL ti ‘you (pl.)’ titeket ‘you (pl., obj.)’
3PL ők ‘they’ őket ‘them’
formal2SG Ön ‘you’ Önt ‘you’
formal2PL Önök ‘you’ Önöket ‘you’

When the direct object is a personal pronoun, the situation is a bit more complicated.

Whether the verb is in the definite or indefinite depends on the person of the pronoun. When the object is őt or őket, (the third person singular and plural pronoun ), the verb is ALWAYS in the definite conjugation:

  • Én látom őt. ‘I see her/him.’
  • Ti látjátok őket. ‘You guys see them.’
  • Mari látja őt. ‘Mari sees her/him.’

When the object is the first person, engem ‘me’ or minket ‘us’, the verb is ALWAYS in the indefinite conjugation:

  • Mari lát engem. ‘Mari sees me.’
  • Ti láttok minket. ‘You guys see us.’
  • A fiúk látnak engem. ‘The boys see me.’

Summary:

Use indefinite conjugation if the object is: téged, titeket, engem, minket

Use definite conjugation if the object is: őt, őket, Önt, Önöket, (magát, magukat), magamat, magadat, egymást

One extra ending:

When the object is the second person, téged ‘you (sg.)’ and titeket ‘you (pl.)’, we have to take the subject into account. With third person subjects, we use the indefinite conjugation:

  • Mari lát téged. ‘Mari sees you (sg.).’
  • A fiúk látnak titeket. ‘The boys see you guys.’

When the subject is the first person singular, we encounter a verb form (lak / lek ) we have only seen before in the expression szeret-lek ‘I love you’:

  • Én látlak téged. ‘I see you (sg.).’
  • Én kereslek titeket. ‘I am looking for you guys.’

This table shows this complicated system (don't worry about the gaps). The bold forms indicate the indefinite conjugation, and the italic ones indicate the definite conjugation. Bold and italic indicates the -lak/-lek ending.

subject → object 1 2 3
1 Én látlak téged. Én látom őt/őket.
2 Te látsz engem. Te látod őt/őket.
3 Ő lát engem. Ő lát téged. Ő látja őt/őket.

This That 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Ez a, Az a

In English, demonstrative adjectives are ‘this’ and ‘that’. In Hungarian, they are a lot more complex:

  • ez a(z) ‘this’
  • az a(z) ‘that’

They consist of ez ‘this’ plus a definite article a; or az ‘that’ and a definite article a. In both cases, the definite article can take on a -z if the following word starts with a vowel:

  • ez a ház ‘this house’
  • az a ház ‘that house’
  • ez az alma ‘this apple’
  • az az alma ‘that apple’

for plurals:

  • ezek a házak ‘these houses’
  • azok a házak ‘those houses’
  • ezek az almák ‘these apples’
  • azok az almák ‘those apples’

In a sentence:

  • Ez az alma piros. = This apple is red.
  • Az a ház szép. = That house is nice.
  • Ezek a lányok diákok. = These girls are students.
  • Azok a férfiak ügyvédek. = Those men are lawyers.

If this/that/these/those describes a noun, we use the ez a(z) / az a(z) / ezek a(z) / azok a(z) forms, as above.

The other "Ez"

If this / that / these / those are "stand alone words" (they are not directly in front of a noun), we use the simpler forms: ez, az, ezek, azok.

This is a table. = Ez egy asztal.

That is a table. = Az egy asztal.

These are apples. = Ezek almák.

Those are apples. = Azok almák.

In the 'Attributes' skill you saw that you can add an adjective to this structure, for example:

This is a black car. = Ez egy fekete autó.

That is a nice house. = Az egy szép ház.

Difference

In terms of grammar, the following are two different sentences .

This is a black car. = Ez egy fekete autó. (subject: This =Ez)

This car is black. = Ez az autó fekete. (subject: This car =Ez az autó)

Choices 1 10 · 2022-07-08 ^

van and nincs

Remember van? It's the third person singular of the verb ‘to be’, but sometimes, we don't use it . It IS used in sentences which translate into English as :

  • there is / there are ...
  • ... is here
  • ... is there, etc.

Very important! When we negate van, it turns into nincs

  • Van itt madár. ‘There are birds here.’
  • Nincs itt madár. ‘There are no birds here.’

So, van has a double role: it can mean there is, or is !

Nincs also has a double role: it can mean there is no, or is not

How do you decide which ? Does the noun have a definite or an INdefinite article ? (if there is No article it's the indefinite . )

Van itt egy (indefinite ) hajó. = There is a ship here.

A (definite ) hajó itt van = The ship is here.

Similarly for nincs:

Nincs itt (no article ) hajó. = There is no ship here.

A (definite ) hajó nincs itt. =The ship is not here.

Demonstratives (this, that):

If you want to talk about this house or that house, so when this/that modifies the noun after it, use

  • ez a ház ‘this house’
  • az a ház ‘that house’
  • ez az alma 'this apple' and
  • az az alma ‘that apple’

They consist of ez ‘this’ plus the definite article a; or az ‘that’ and a. But the definite article needs a -z if the following word begins with a vowel:

But, if you want a "standalone" this or that, you only need "ez" or "az":

Ez egy ház. This is a house.

Az egy asztal. That is a table.

Az... amelyik

This is about identifying something or someone and saying something about them. How it works : Az... aki /Az .... amelyik / Az... ami

In the plural: Azok... akik /Azok .... amelyek / Azok... amik

The girl who is sitting over there is a student. Az a lány, aki ott ül, egy diák. Or, with a different word order: Az a lány (egy) diák, aki ott ül.

The bridge that is between the mountains is big. Az a híd, amelyik a hegyek között van, nagy. / Az a híd nagy, amelyik a hegyek között van.

The bridges (that are ) between the mountains are big. Azok a hidak, amelyek a hegyek között vannak, nagyok. / Azok a hidak nagyok , amelyek a hegyek között vannak.

The one who is sitting over there is a student. Az, aki ott ül, egy diák. / Az (egy) diák, aki ott ül.

The one (that is ) between the mountains is big. Az, ami a hegyek között van, nagy. / Az nagy, ami a hegyek között van.

The ones (that are ) between the mountains are big. Azok, amik a hegyek között vannak, nagyok. / Azok nagyok, amik a hegyek között vannak.

When the subject is named, use amelyik, , and ami, if the subject is not named. And aki for people.

Alert ! sentence fragments

Some exercises use fragments. They start with a lowercase letter, and there's no period at the end.

For example: "aki a fa alatt ül" is "who sits under the tree"

... as a part of a longer sentence, "Az a lány, aki a fa alatt ül, magas." The girl who is sitting under the tree is tall.

Survival tips for this skill

Az a könyv hosszú, amelyik az új televízió mellett van.
Azok a hidak nagyok, amelyek a hegyek között vannak.
Azok a könyvek drágák, amelyek híresek.
Az a hegy magas, amelyik a híres város mellett áll.
Azok a televíziók rosszak, amelyek az ablak mellett
vannak.
Az a sportoló fiatal, amelyik a híd alatt úszik.
Az a híd széles, amelyik a mély folyó fölött áll.
Az a televízió drága, amelyik az új asztal mellett áll.

Looking at these sentences, the word order follows a pattern.

singular:
Az a [thing] [adjective], amelyik [other parts] [verb]

plural:
Azok a [thing] [adjective], amelyek [other parts] [verb]

Days 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The days of the week

The word nap means both ‘day’ and ‘sun’ . It only shows up in one of the week days, though:

  • hétfő ‘Monday’
  • kedd ‘Tuesday’
  • szerda ‘Wednesday’
  • csütörtök ‘Thursday’
  • péntek ‘Friday’
  • szombat ‘Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘Sunday’

To express that something happened on a certain day, Hungarian uses a case-suffix that we'll see later (and which is also used for some of the seasons):

  • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
  • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
  • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
  • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
  • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
  • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

The vowel in the suffix depends on the vowels in the stem, so we get either -on, -en or -ön.

Note that there is an exception: vasárnap - ‘on Sunday’ For Sunday, we don't need the -on ending.

When, after the name of the day, you specify the moment of the day you have two options: add the suffix or not. F.eg.:

  • hétfő délután / hétfőn délután = On Monday afternoon

  • kedd este / kedden este = On Tuesday evening

Szerda van.

In the sentence "It is Wednesday", "it" is a dummy subject. It does not refer to anything real. But we use a different construction in Hungarian (no dummy subject needed):

Szerda van. - It is Wednesday.

Similarly for time:

Hat óra van. - It is 6 o'clock.

Dél van. - It is noon.

For weather we use the same structure .

Meleg van. - It is warm.

Hideg van. - It is cold.

30 fok van. - It is 30 degrees.

Numbers 1 5 · 2021-02-11 ^

Counting

Numbers are quite different from most other European languages (if you speak some Finnish or Estonian, you might recognize some ):

egy

kettő (két ) two has a usage rule explained below

három

négy

öt

hat

hét

nyolc

kilenc

tíz

From ten to one hundred, we have the following:

tíz húsz harminc negyven ötven hatvan hetven nyolcvan kilencven száz

As you can see, from 40-90, you use the forms above and add -van or ven (like English -ty).

Putting these together is orderly.

sixty-one = hatvanegy

ONLY with tíz and húsz do you add an infix between them and the vowel is shortened:

eleven = tizenegy

twelve = tizenkettő

twenty-three = huszonhárom etc.

Higher numbers work the same way:

one hundred twenty three = százhuszonhárom

Alert: the diacritics are lost when combined (the vowels are shortened ) ...

Kettő or két?

In Hungarian, there are two words for the number 2: kettő and két. This works the same way for the others ending in 2, too: 12 is tizenkettő or tizenkét, 42 is negyvenkettő or negyvenkét and so on .

What is the difference? Use két as an adjective to modify a noun or adjective .

Use kettő only by itself, only when we are talking about the number "2 " .

Example: Kettő meg kettő az négy. Two plus two is four.

Két alma. Two apples. Két asztal. Two tables. Két szép gyerek. Two beautiful children.

But, Két sounds very similar to hét (seven), so to avoid confusion and emphasize that you are talking about two, we sometimes use kettő in front of a noun. Kettő alma, kettő asztal.

But do not use két by itself.

Numbers and plurals

Hungarian and English differ in how they use plurals . In Hungarian, plural nouns that follow a number are in the singular.

  • Engl. five students
  • Hung. öt diák

Rather than using the plural, diákok (students ), we use the singular if a number word precedes it : öt diák.

And, the verb, in Hungarian, is in the third person singular form, NOT the plural.

  • Engl. five students run one student runs
  • Hung. öt diák fut egy diák fut . . .

The number word rule applies for "kevés" and "sok" too.

  • Kevés férfi énekel. — ‘Few men sing.’

  • Sok orvos beszél angolul. — ‘Many doctors speak English.’

Numbers as Adjectives

Where to put the adjective, and is it supposed to be in the plural ? In the example két szép gyerek ‘two beautiful children’ - if an adjective precedes a plural noun, it stays in the singular , and numbers precede adjectives .

  • négy kicsi macska — ‘four small cats’

  • öt magas fiú — ‘five tall boys’

w

Inessive Case 7 · 2022-02-10 ^

Hungarian has more cases than other European languages, but they are less scary than you might think.

Many languages, like English, use prepositions to express spatial concepts, Hungarian uses case suffixes.

English Hungarian
the shop az üzlet
in the shop az üzletben
the hotel a szálloda
in the hotel a szállodában

Using the suffix -ban/-ben is like using the English preposition in, but AFTER the word and attached .

When -ban and when -ben? The vowels in the stem determine the vowels in the suffix :

Front vowels Back vowels
i/í u/ú
ü/ű o/ó
e/é
ö/ő a/á

Since üzlet has front vowels, the vowel in the suffix has to be a front vowel: we put -ben.

In szálloda, we have back vowels, so we choose -ban.

Shopping 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Mennyibe kerül?

To ask the price of something, use

Mennyibe kerül? - How much does it cost?

Mennyibe kerül az a táska? - How much does that bag cost?

For the answer, we attached -ba -be to the currency (as -be is attached to the question word “mennyi” (= how much)). You can also use the question word “hány” (= how many) and add the currency (+ba/be).

Az a táska 50 dollárba kerül. - That bag costs 50 dollars.

Ez a kabát 10000 forintba kerül. - This coat costs 10000 forints.

Hány euróba / forintba / dollárba kerül ez a kabát? - How many euros / forints / dollars does this coat cost?

Some new numbers:

harminc = 30

negyven = 40

ötven = 50

Clothes and adjectives

You will learn the vocabulary of clothing and how to describe how somebody is dressed:

Kati sárga nadrágban van. = Kati is wearing yellow trousers.

Péter kék ingben van. = Peter is wearing a blue shirt.

  1. ‘Trousers’ (and any other plural nouns meaning clothes) are not plural nouns in Hungarian.

  2. - ban / - ben is added to the name of the piece of clothing + verb “van” (conjugated). This expression can be used for clothes in which you can be. You can’t be “in a bag” or “in a scarf” because they are rather “on you”.

  3. Use this structure when you would use in English the present continuous. It is only used to describe what somebody is wearing at that moment.

Superessive Case 13 · 2022-02-10 ^

The superessive case is one that expresses a spatial relation. As with the inessive , the superessive usually conforms to an English preposition and has forms based on vowel harmony.

It's easy for English speakers, as it sounds like the preposition ‘on’! -n/-on/-en/ön

English Hungarian
the ship a hajó
on the ship a hajón
the sidewalk a járda
on the sidewalk a járdán
the table az asztal
on the table az asztalon
the airplane a repülőgép
on the airplane a repülőgépen
the ground a föld
on the ground a földön

Using the suffixes -n/-on/-en/ön is like using the English preposition on, but after the word.

If a word ends in a vowel (except for “a” and “e”) you can add the ending “-n” directly .

If the word ends in “-a” or “-e” it gets the “-n” but “-a” becomes “” and “-e” becomes “”.

For words ending in a consonant you also have to consider vowel harmony. Words containing only back vowels (or dominantly back vowels), like asztal, we add “-onasztal-on. You will meet an exceptional vowel, the ”back -i”, like we had in “iszik”. The ‘-í’ in ‘híd’ (= bridge) behaves as a back vowel, so we will say ‘a hídon’ (= on the bridge). Memorization is our only recourse .

However, for words with only front vowels, the suffix is sometimes -en and sometimes -ön. As in verb conjugations, “-ön” is used if the last syllable contains -ö/-ő/-ü/-ű, like föld meaning ‘floor, ground, Earth’, it becomes földön ‘on the ground’.

For other front vowels (-e/-é/-i/-í) add “-en”, like szék, which becomes széken.

When to use it?

1: Express that “something is ON something”:

The cat sits on the car. = A macska az autón ül.

The coat is on the bag. = A kabát a táskán van.

The apple is on the table. = Az alma az asztalon van.

I live on a hill. = Egy hegyen élek.

The book is on the floor. = A könyv a földön van.

Compare with -ban/-ben: doboz = box

The pen is in the box. = A toll a dobozban van.

The pen is on the box. = A toll a dobozon van.

2: Express being somewhere, regardless of the preposition used in English, if that place is:
any means of transport: busz (bus), villamos (tram), vonat (train), hajó (ship) (but not a car!)
an open space: piac (market), utca (street), tér (square), pályaudvar (train station), repülőtér (airport), járda (sidewalk), udvar (yard)
an event: kiállítás (exhibition), megbeszélés (meeting)
or an exception… see this list: posta (post office), folyosó (corridor), menza (canteen), egyetem (university)

I am on the bus. = A buszon vagyok.

Are you at the market? = A piacon vagy?

We are not running on the sidewalk. = Nem a járdán futunk.

3: Do you remember the days of the week? We added this same suffix to them (except for vasárnap, which doesn’t get any suffix).

  • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
  • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
  • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
  • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
  • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
  • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

Also two seasons nyár ( = summer) and tél (= winter) get the same suffix:

nyáron = in summer
télen = in winter

Adessive Case 8 · 2022-02-10 ^

The adessive case expresses a spatial relation like by or next to. Like other cases, it needs vowel harmony and can appear as -nál (back vowels) and -nél (front vowels). Hint: both forms have a diacritic (accent ) .

English Hungarian
the table az asztal
by the table az asztalnál
the shop az üzlet
by the shop az üzletnél

-Nál and -nél approximate English prepositions by or next to .

Vowel harmony has exceptions that you need to memorize when you come across them. The word for bridge ,híd , for example, takes the suffix -nál:

hídnál ‘by the bridge’

Hobbies 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The knights who say "Ni!" - The infinitive

In this skill, you will meet the infinitive form of a verb. The infinitive form always ends with -ni. For regular verbs, just take the singular third person form and attach a -ni.

English Hungarian
S/3 he/she studies tanul
infinitive to study tanulni
S/3 he/she runs fut
infinitive to run futni
S/3 he/she dances táncol
infinitive to dance táncolni

For verbs ending in -ik, remove the -ik and add the -ni.

English Hungarian
S/3 he/she plays tennis teniszezik
infinitive to play tennis teniszezni
S/3 he/she plays football focizik
infinitive to play football focizni

Sometimes you might find two consonants at the end of a verb, it can also happen when you “remove” the “-ik” ending. In this case, you will have to add an extra vowel to glue it to the “-ni”. For example:

English Hungarian
S/3 he/she say mond
infinitive to say mondani
S/3 he/she takes a shower fürdik
infinitive to take a shower fürdeni

Finally, of course, there are some irregular verbs. From this list you will meet in this skill “enni, inni, menni, venni, lenni”. But we wanted to show you all the irregular ones, as they are those verbs which usually behave differently.

English Hungarian
S/3 he/she goes megy
infinitive to go menni
S/3 he/she eats eszik
inf to eat enni
S/3 he/she drinks iszik
inf to drink inni
S/3 he/she buys vesz
inf to buy venni
S/3 he/she is van
inf to be lenni
S/3 he/she believes hisz
inf to believe hinni
S/3 he/she puts tesz
inf to put tenni
S/3 he/she brings visz
inf to bring vinni

Combining with other verbs

The infinitive form is usually used when there is another verb in the sentence, which can express:

I. a preference (to love, to hate, to like doing / to do something):

  • Szeretek táncolni. - I like to dance. /I like dancing.

  • Utálok táncolni. - I hate dancing.

II. a capacity or capability to do something:

  • Tudok táncolni. - I can dance. / I know how to dance

  • Nem tudok táncolni. - I can’t dance. / I don't know how to dance.

Depending on the context, "tud" can be translated as "can" or "know".

III. a desire, a wish (I would like to do something):

  • Szeretnék táncolni. - I would like to dance.

  • Nem szeretnék táncolni. - I wouldn’t like to dance.

IV. a possibility (It is allowed / It is possible):

  • Lehet táncolni. - It is allowed to dance.

  • Nem lehet táncolni. - It is not possible to dance. / It is not allowed to dance.

V. expresses a habit: It is like adding “usually” to the sentence. (Or you can imagine "I used to dance", but in the present tense.)

  • Szoktam táncolni. - I usually dance.

  • Nem szoktam táncolni. - I don’t dance usually. / I don’t usually dance.

szokott
(én) szoktam
(te) szoktál
(ő/Ön) szokott
(mi) szoktunk
(ti) szoktatok
(ők/Önök) szoktak

Can it have an object?

Yes, you can say ‘I like eating cheese.’ or ‘I hate eating cheese.’ depending on your taste :). You have to change the word order, and put the object (with the accusative ending ‘-t’) before the infinitive.

Szeretek sajtot enni. = I like eating cheese.

Utálok sajtot enni. = I hate eating cheese.

other examples:

Szeretnék sört inni. = I would like to drink beer.

Szeretnék almát enni. = I would like to eat an apple.

Nem szeretnék tévét nézni. = I would not like to watch tv.

Itt lehet kenyeret venni. = It is possible to buy bread here.

In this case you expressed something in general. If you would like to express your desire to do something with a specific thing, it is also possible. For example, you can say “I would like to eat an apple.” or “I would like to drink a coffee.” As the article “a/an” appeared in the English sentence, it will also appear in the Hungarian, and then we will have the same word order as in English, and the object will come after the infinitive.

Szeretnék enni egy almát. = I would like to eat an apple.

Szeretnék inni egy kávét. = I would like to drink a coffee.

Szeretnék venni egy házat. = I would like to buy a house.

"would like to"

It looks similar, so be careful with "like" and "would like to". (The "would like to" version is the conditional of the verb "szeret".)

like would like to
(én) szeretek szeretk
(te) szeretsz szeretl
(ő/Ön) szeret szeretne
(mi) szeretünk szeretnk
(ti) szerettek szerettek
(ők) szeretnek szeretnek

On Top 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The superessive case is one that expresses a spatial relation. As with the inessive , the superessive usually conforms to an English preposition and has forms based on vowel harmony.

It's easy for English speakers, as it sounds like the preposition ‘on’! -n/-on/-en/ön

English Hungarian
the ship a hajó
on the ship a hajón
the sidewalk a járda
on the sidewalk a járdán
the table az asztal
on the table az asztalon
the airplane a repülőgép
on the airplane a repülőgépen
the ground a föld
on the ground a földön

Using the suffixes -n/-on/-en/ön is like using the English preposition on, but after the word.

If a word ends in a vowel (except for “a” and “e”) you can add the ending “-n” directly .

If the word ends in “-a” or “-e” it gets the “-n” but “-a” becomes “” and “-e” becomes “”.

For words ending in a consonant you also have to consider vowel harmony. Words containing only back vowels (or dominantly back vowels), like asztal, we add “-onasztal-on. You will meet an exceptional vowel, the ”back -i”, like we had in “iszik”. The ‘-í’ in ‘híd’ (= bridge) behaves as a back vowel, so we will say ‘a hídon’ (= on the bridge). Memorization is our only recourse .

However, for words with only front vowels, the suffix is sometimes -en and sometimes -ön. As in verb conjugations, “-ön” is used if the last syllable contains -ö/-ő/-ü/-ű, like föld meaning ‘floor, ground, Earth’, it becomes földön ‘on the ground’.

For other front vowels (-e/-é/-i/-í) add “-en”, like szék, which becomes széken.

When to use it?

1: Express that “something is ON something”:

The cat sits on the car. = A macska az autón ül.

The coat is on the bag. = A kabát a táskán van.

The apple is on the table. = Az alma az asztalon van.

I live on a hill. = Egy hegyen élek.

The book is on the floor. = A könyv a földön van.

Compare with -ban/-ben: doboz = box

The pen is in the box. = A toll a dobozban van.

The pen is on the box. = A toll a dobozon van.

2: Express being somewhere, regardless of the preposition used in English, if that place is:
any means of transport: busz (bus), villamos (tram), vonat (train), hajó (ship) (but not a car!)
an open space: piac (market), utca (street), tér (square), pályaudvar (train station), repülőtér (airport), járda (sidewalk), udvar (yard)
an event: kiállítás (exhibition), megbeszélés (meeting)
or an exception… see this list: posta (post office), folyosó (corridor), menza (canteen), egyetem (university)

I am on the bus. = A buszon vagyok.

Are you at the market? = A piacon vagy?

We are not running on the sidewalk. = Nem a járdán futunk.

3: Do you remember the days of the week? We added this same suffix to them (except for vasárnap, which doesn’t get any suffix).

  • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
  • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
  • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
  • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
  • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
  • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

Also two seasons nyár ( = summer) and tél (= winter) get the same suffix:

nyáron = in summer
télen = in winter

Choices two 9 · 2021-11-16 ^

Demonstratives

In English, demonstratives are : this, that, these, those, and so on. In Hungarian, ez and az are this and that.

The plurals are mostly regular:

ez + -ek = ezek ‘these’

az + -ok = azok ‘those’

ez + -ek + -ben = ezekben ‘in these’

But... : When the singular demonstratives ez and az are followed by a case suffix like -nak/-nek (dative), -ban/-ben (inessive), -nál/-nél, etc., the -z assimilates to the first consonant of the suffix:

ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this’

az + -nál = annál ‘at that’

ez + -nek = ennek

Demonstratives + nouns

When using a demonstrative with a noun, both the demonstrative AND the noun have to have the plural and the case suffixes on BOTH :

(ez + ben )

ebben a házban ‘in this house’

(ezek + ben )

ezekben a házakban ‘in these houses’

azoknál a kerteknél ‘by those gardens’

Demonstratives and postpositions

Hungarian gets a bit more complicated when you combine a demonstrative and a noun like ez a ház ‘this house’ with a POSTposition like mellett ‘next to‘ : if the postposition starts with a consonant, the z disappears, and we get a , e instead of az, ez:

e mellett a ház mellett ‘next to this house’

a fölött a kert fölött ‘above that garden’

ez alatt a fa alatt ‘under this tree’

az alatt a fa alatt ‘under that tree’

Describing 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

In this skill you will learn a bunch of new adjectives. We tried to vary the sentence structures to make you practice them. There will be:

  • This is a [adjective] [noun]. = Ez egy [adjective] [noun].

  • This is a black car. = Ez egy fekete autó.

  • This [noun] is [adjective]. Ez a(z) [noun] [adjective].

  • This car is black. Ez az autó fekete.

What is the difference between idős, öreg and régi?

Use idős and öreg for people, and régi for objects.

Ez egy régi ház. This is an old house.

A nagymamám öreg. My grandmother is old.

A nagymamám idős. My grandmother is elderly.

Idős is more like elderly, it is more polite to say, while saying öreg is less polite - in some situations.

“Régi” has a special meaning when used for people :

egy régi barátom = an old friend of mine . We have been friends for a long time. The friend is not necessarily old .

egy öreg / idős barátom = an old friend of mine (the friend is actually old)

What is the difference between kicsi and kis?

Immediately before a noun (or before another adjective that refers to the same noun) we can use either kis or kicsi.

egy kicsi ház = egy kis ház = a small house

egy kis piros labda = egy kicsi piros labda = a small red ball

And, kis- can be used to form compound words: kislány (little girl) kismacska (little cat).

But, AFTER the noun, only kicsi works ! You’re making a statement , you're forming a sentence.

A ház kicsi. = The house is small.

Ez a kék autó kicsi. = This blue car is small.

Az a piros labda kicsi. = That red ball is small.

But * A ház kis. would be wrong.

There Is 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

THERE IS (NOT) / THERE ARE (NOT)

There is a / an [noun] = Van egy [singular noun ]

There are [noun in plural] = Vannak [plural noun ]

There isn't any [noun] = Nincs [singular noun ]

There aren't any [plural noun ] = Nincsenek [plural noun ]

For the structure "There is (not).../There are (not)..." we recommend :

  1. Van / Vannak / Nincs / Nincsenek + (article if needed) + noun + localisation.

OR

  1. Localisation + van / vannak / nincs / nincenek +(article if needed) + noun.

SO

1st type:

  • Van egy macska az asztal alatt. = There is a cat under the table.

  • Vannak állatok az állatkertben. = There are animals in the zoo.

  • Nincs víz a pohárban. = There isn't any water in the glass.

  • Nincsenek macskák a kertben. = There aren't any cats in the garden.

OR

2nd type:

  • Az asztal alatt van egy macska. = Under the table, there is a cat.

  • Az állatkertben vannak állatok. = In the zoo there are animals.

  • A pohárban nincs víz. = In the glass, there isn't any water.

  • A kertben nincsenek macskák. = In the garden, there aren't any cats.

Tricky parts in this skill:

I. There are many... = Van sok... Since "sok" is a quantity, we don't use plurals after it . This also means that "van" must stay in the singular. Compare:

Az állatkertben van sok állat. = There are many animals in the zoo.

A fán sok szép alma van. = There are many beautiful apples in the tree.

A kertben vannak fák. = There are trees in the garden.

A kertben van sok fa. = There are many trees in the garden.

II. For describing what somebody is wearing, you can use "van valakin valami", literally, there is something on somebody. So add the -n/-on/-en/-ön ending to the person who is wearing that clothing.

A fiún van sál. = The boy is wearing a scarf. / He has a scarf on.

A lányon van kabát. = The girl is wearing a coat. / She has a coat on.

III. For extra credit we added "Tűz van!" [Fire!] which is worth remembering . Following this you can also say: "Baj van!" [There's a problem!] as an imprecation when you're facing a difficulty .

IV. Articles in Hungarian and in English usually work the same way: "a / an" is usually "egy", "the" is usually "a /az". But When talking about generalities, English and Hungarian have different strategies. Compare:

Apples are red. = Az alma piros.

  • English without article but in plural

  • Hungarian with article (a/az or egy) but in singular

Tigers are striped. = A tigris csíkos.

Tigers are striped animals. = A tigris egy csíkos állat.

Elephants are big animals. = Az elefántok nagy állatok. / Az elefánt nagy állat.

V. But when talking about one specific animal/animals ( not a generality ) the articles behave the same way.

The tigers are next to the lions. = A tigrisek az oroszlánok mellett vannak.

The elephants are standing next to the water. = Az elefántok a víz mellett állnak

VI. This little "a/az" can change the meaning of the sentence. Please compare:

Az oroszlánok mellett vannak a zsiráfok. = The giraffes are next to the lions.

BUT

Az oroszlánok mellett vannak zsiráfok. = Next to the lions there are giraffes.

VII. In Hungarian we tend to ask negative questions to express surprise or to be polite and avoid embarassement. But negative sentences, in English, aren't used the same way . Nevertheless we thought that it might be useful to show you this .

To express surprise or politeness, we would choose "nincs" instead of "van":

  • Nincs mozi a városban? = There is no cinema in the city, is there?

  • Nincs tej a süteményben? = Is there milk in the cookie?

Word order problems

In the following three sentences the words are the same, the only differnce is their order, which changes slightly the meaning of the 3rd sentence. You can use the 1st and the 2nd sentences interchangeably , but the 3rd has a different meaning.

  1. Van egy cica a fán. = There is a cat in the tree.

  2. A fán van egy cica. = In the tree, there is a cat.

  3. Egy cica van a fán. = It is a cat that is in the tree. / It is one cat that is in the tree.

Word order is complicated in Hungarian. For a longer and deeper explanation, please read these forum posts :

[Once more on Hungarian Word Order] https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23906912

[Structure and word order of a Hungarian sentence] https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/20169609

Really important advice : "Ask not where to put the verb, ask where to put everything else relative to the verb!”

Ordinal Numbers 9 · 2021-11-16 ^

Ordinal numbers (like first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. ) are formed by using the number , itself , and -adik, -edik, and -ödik . The choice depends on vowel harmony.

If the number has a long vowel in the last syllable (like kettő, hét, négy, tíz or húsz), the vowel shortens:

tíz becomes tizedik ‘tenth’ (and négy -> negyedik, hét -> hetedik)

In három, the á shortens, and the o disappears, so we get harmadik ‘third‘.

And, like in English, second, is not derived from two (we don't use twoth!):

második ‘second’

(más = ‘different’ but also, ‘another‘)

En Hu
first első
second második
third harmadik
fourth negyedik
fifth ötödik
sixth hatodik
seventh hetedik
eighth nyolcadik
ninth kilencedik
tenth tizedik
eleventh tizenegyedik
twelfth tizenkettedik
thirteenth tizenharmadik
fourteenth tizennegyedik
fifteenth tizenötödik

Note that 11th, 12th, 21st, 22nd, 31st, 32nd (and so on) do not contain the words "első" and "második",
we say tizenegyedik, tizenkettedik, huszonegyedik, huszonkettedik, harmincegyedik, harminckettedik instead.

Hányadik?

English does not have a word for "how manyeth" but Hungarian does. Hányadik? You can use this if you expect an ordinal number as an answer.

Hányadik emeleten laksz? - A harmadik emeleten lakom.

Hányadik megállóban szállunk le? - A kilencedik megállóban.

Illative Case 1 6 · 2022-02-10 ^

The illative case is used to show MOTION into something and it's like English into or to :

a házba ‘to the house’

The illative suffix also requires vowel harmony:

a kertbe ‘into the garden'

It's easy to confuse the illative case (into ) -ba / -be * with the inessive case -ban/-ben* , in , so be on the alert !

My Cat 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

possessive endings

-m and -d

Ending with a vowel - just m or d

Ending with a consonant , back vowels, -am, -ad -om, -od

Ending with a consonant, front vowels, -em, -ed -öm, -öd

singular /plural

In some cases, the Hungarian phrase is singular, while the English is plural.
This happens often with paired clothing items (shoes, gloves, boots) and paired body parts (eyes, hands, ears...)

A cipőm fekete. My shoes are black (but literally my shoe is black)

A szemem kék. My eyes are blue (but literally my eye is blue)

Word order A kutyám fekete. vs Fekete a kutyám.

Sublative Case 1 7 · 2022-02-10 ^

The sublative case indicates motion ONTO something. It corresponds to the English preposition onto and needs vowel harmony:

a házra ‘onto the house’
a tetőre ‘onto the roof’

and it can be a vertical surface or even a tree!

a falra = on(to) the wall
a fára = in(to) the tree

Nations 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Plural adjectives

Hungarian differs from English in that adjectives have plural forms as well.

In English you say The women are German, the word German being the same for both singular and plural, but in Hungarian the adjective has to be in the plural as well:

A nők németek.

Look at Tips and Notes of the skill Plurals 1 to refresh your memory how to form the plurals of nouns.

Adjectives are a bit different: often, the plural suffix will be -ak even when an adjective has back vowels but ends in a neutral vowel like e, i.

amerikai + -k = amerikaiak ‘Americans’

kanadai + -k = kanadaiak ‘Canadians’

egyiptomi + -k = egyiptomiak ‘Egyptians’

If an adjective ends in a consonant, you can rely on what you've learned in Plurals 1:

brazil + -k = brazilok ‘Brazilians’

japán + -k = japánok ‘Japanese’ (plural)

Note that in Hungarian you don't have to capitalize words referring to nationalities, in English you do.

When talking about Brazil, be alert:

brazil = Brazilian (nationality of a person)

Brazília = Brazil (the country)

van in Hungarian

Remember that in Hungarian, the third person forms of to be do not always appear. When we talk about the properties of the subject and express those using adjectives, there is no verb in the Hungarian sentence.

In

A nők németek.

there is no verb. You can't omit it in English, of course!

Generic statements

You will come across generic statements. They express something that is true in general, for example:

Dogs have four legs.

This means that In general, dogs have four legs. There is a difference between such statements in English and Hungarian. While in English you don't use an article for the subject in such sentences, in Hungarian you usually do. Compare the following:

Dutch people are tall. A hollandok magasak.

In Hungarian, you can't say Hollandok magasak to mean Dutch people are tall, you have to add the definite article a(z).

Allative Case 1 6 · 2022-02-10 ^

The allative is a movement case, expressing movement TO something. In English, it can be translated with up to - but not in !

It also requires vowel harmony, and there are two front suffixes, based on whether the vowels in the noun are rounded, like ö and ü, or not (like e ) .

a kerthez - ‘up to the garden’

a tükörhöz - ‘up to the mirror’

a házhoz - ‘up to the house’

What? 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Direct Objects and the accusative

This skill is about the accusative case. In Hungarian, the accusative case is marked by the suffix -t - on the direct object. A noun like fiú ’boy’ becomes fiút when it is in the accusative.

In English, direct objects generally follow the subject and the verb (predicate ), as in

  • The girl sees a boy.

a boy is the direct object, the girl is the subject, and sees is the verb.

In Hungarian, the word order can be freer, but the direct object is marked with a -t, so in Hungarian it's easier to see and hear :

  • A lány lát egy fiút.

The subject is a lány which does not have a case ending (it is in the “nominative” case). The verb is lát and egy fiút is the direct object, with its accusative -t !

In the first lesson, this -t is added directly to the word:

  • fiú -> fiút
  • tanár ‘teacher’ -> tanárt etc.

In later skills, you'll see that sometimes we have to add a vowel before the -t, for example:

  • ház ‘house’ -> házat
  • ügyvéd ’lawyer’ -> ügyvédet
  • diák ‘student’ -> diákot

The vowel is determined by vowel harmony, as with verbs! Words with front vowels get a front vowel before the -t, words with back vowels get a back vowel.

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

A note on word order

In sentences with a subject, a verb and an object, Hungarian has a very flexible word order. All of the following can be used in certain contexts:

  • Péter lát egy házat.
  • Péter egy házat lát.
  • Egy házat lát Péter.
  • Egy házat Péter lát.

While they all mean ‘Péter sees a house.’, each conveys slightly different information with respect to which element is in focus (or stressed ). A focused phrase appears right in front of the verb in Hungarian and it usually shows new information or contrast.

The first sentence above would be a valid answer to a question like ‘Who sees a house?’ but the second sentence would be egy házat because ‘a house’ immediately precedes the verb and is therefore in focus.

This can be tricky, but English has similar constructions! If you have the following question

  • What does Péter see?

the question word is in focus and asks for new information. In the reply, the answer to what will also be new information and in focus. In English you can say,

  • Péter sees a house.

or

  • It's a house that Péter sees.

It is rare to answer the question with:

  • It is Péter who sees a house.

The analogy is the following: the X in the “It is X that ...” is that the X comes right before the verb in Hungarian.

Word order in questions

Question words generally ask for some (new) information and in Hungarian they behave like other focused parts of the sentence. So in a question like ‘Who(m) does Mary know?’ ’who(m)’ is in focus in Hungarian and has to appear right before the verb:

  • Kit lát Mari?
  • Mari kit lát?

Preverbs 7 · 2021-04-04 ^

Preverbs: simple cases

In Hungarian: preverbs, verbal modifiers or verbal prefixes (igekötő in Hungarian) are very common . These modifiers USUALLY mean motion TOWARD something: ki ‘toward the outside’, be ‘toward the inside’, le ‘down‘, el ‘away‘, ide ‘toward here‘, oda ‘toward there‘.

In the simplest cases, a verb with a preverb corresponds, in English, to a verb plus an adverb :

  • kimegyek ‘I go out‘

  • bemész ‘you (sg.) go to‘, ‘you (sg.) enter‘

  • elmegy ‘s/he goes away‘

  • leülünk ‘we sit down‘

  • ideültök ‘you (pl.) sit down here‘

  • odaülnek ‘they sit down there‘

In English, the distinction between a location and a direction is not always explicit: she is running there can mean she is there and she is running or she is moving from here to there by running. Hungarian makes this explicit : the former meaning would be ott fut and the latter, with a verbal modifier or preverb, odafut (runs over to there... ) .

Word order

These verbal modifiers can have big effects on word order! Word order, in Hungarian, is much freer than in English, but there are some restrictions .

In general, a verbal modifier precedes the verb and they are written as one word:

  • Mari bemegy. ‘Mari enters.‘

However, the modifier can also be separated from the verb:

  • Mari megy be.

While this still means that Mari enters , the information it conveys is more like :

  • Mari megy be. = ‘It is Mari who enters.’ (not someone else)

Mari is in focus because Mari immediately precedes the verb. Whenever there is a focused word or phrase , the particle follows the verb - and is detached .

Important ! The particle follows the verb when there is negation or in questions with question words:

  • Nem mész el. ‘You do not go away.‘

  • Ki ül le? ‘Who is sitting down?’

The phrase that corresponds to that question word, in an answer, is also always in focus. The answer to the question Ki ül le? could be:

  • Péter ül le. ‘It is Péter who is sitting down.’ or 'Péter is sitting down.’

The boldface in the second English translation indicates stress on the word. Say the English answer out loud and you'll hear what this means.

More on word order

Hungarian word order is very strict in another respect: the order of topic, focus (new information) and the verb. English generally has

  • subjectverb / predicatedirect object

but Hungarian generally has

  • topic - focus - verb - others

order.

There can be more than one topic!

  • Mari a kertben ül le. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.’ or ‘It's in the garden that Mari is sitting down.’

  • A kertben Mari ül le.Mari is sitting down in the garden.‘ or ‘It's Mari who is sitting down in the garden.‘

In both sentences, that someone (Mari) is sitting down somewhere (in the garden) is conveyed, but Hungarian focuses on different parts of the sentence. In the first example, the new information is a kertben ‘in the garden’. This is indicated by the word order: a kertben immediately precedes the verb. In English, the word order stays the same, but stress or prominence changes. Compare It's in the garden ... and It's Mary ....

You can also have an unfocused sentence:

  • Mari leül a kertben. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.'

This is a neutral sentence. The subject (Mari ) is the topic, but not in focus (the "le " keeps it from being immediately before the verb ) , and neither is a kertben. And, the corresponding sentence, in English, does not have any particular stress on any phrase or word.

Word order is a complicated matter in Hungarian. For a longer explanation, see this forum post:

On Emphasis and Word Order in Hungarian

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/18806754

Body Parts 3 · 2023-06-21 ^

Body parts that come in pairs - like clothing

When you talk about paired body parts (eyes, ears, legs), use the singular in Hungarian most of the time.

Kék a szeme. - His eyes are blue.

Nagy a füle. - Her ears are big.

Numbers 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Numbers and plural

Hungarian and English differ in how they form phrases like five students. In English, nouns that follow a number are in the plural, but in Hungarian, they are in the singular.

  • Engl. five students
  • Hung. öt diák

Rather than using the plural, diákok, we use the singular after number words in Hungarian: diák.

Accordingly, the verb in Hungarian takes the third person singular form, rather than the plural. Compare:

  • Engl. five students run
  • Hung. öt diák fut

Counting

The numbers from one through nine are quite different from most other European languages (if you speak some Finnish or Estonian, you might recognise some, though):

egy kettő három négy öt hat hét nyolc kilenc tíz

From ten to one hundred, we have the following:

tíz húsz harminc negyven ötven hatvan hetven nyolcvan kilencven száz

As you can see, from 40-90, you use the forms above and add -van or -ven (compare English -ty).

Putting these together is straightforward. The multiples of ten precede the multiples of one, thus:

sixty-one = hatvanegy

Only from tíz to húsz do you add an infix and the vowel is shortened:

eleven = tizenegy

twelve = tizenkettő

twenty-three = huszonhárom etc.

Higher numbers work in the same way:

one hundred and twenty three = százhuszonhárom

Kettő or két?

In Hungarian, there are two words for the number 2: kettő and két. This carries on to other numbers ending with two: 12 is tizenkettő or tizenkét, 42 is negyvenkettő or negyvenkét.

What is the difference? Use két to quantify a noun.

Examples: Két alma. Two apples. Két asztal. Two tables. Két szép gyerek. Two beautiful children.

Use kettő if it stands by itself, so we are talking about the number 2. Example: Kettő meg kettő az négy. Two plus two is four.

Két sounds very like hét (seven), so to avoid ambiguity and to emphasize that you are talking about two, it is allowed to use kettő in front of a noun. Kettő alma, kettő asztal.

But do not use két by itself.

I See It 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The definite conjugation is a bit of Hungarian that we don't have in English.

In sentences with an accusative (a direct object), the form of the verb depends on whether the direct object is definite or not. So far, all the verbs have been in the indefinite conjugation. When a direct object is definite, the verb must be in the definite conjugation.

(i) Látok egy kutyát. I see a dog .

(ii) Látom a kutyát. I see the dog .

In (i), the object is indefinite, meaning ’a dog’. In (ii), it is definite, meaning ’THE dog’. In (ii), the verb changes to látom. The ending -om is part of the definite conjugation.

Important: if you use the definite conjugation, it IMPLIES an object, even if you don't see one:

(iii) Látom. = ‘I see IT.’

You only use the definite with a definite direct object. First there has to BE a direct object. Then it has to be 'definite ' .

Plus, vowel harmony! Here are the definite verb forms of hallani - and keresni - :

SG PL
1 hallom ‘I hear it’ halljuk ‘we hear it’
2 hallod ‘you hear it’ halljátok ‘you (pl) hear it’
3 hallja ‘s/he hears it’ hallják ‘they hear it’
SG PL
1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’ keressük ‘we are looking for it’
2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’ keresitek ‘you (pl) are looking for it’
3 keresi ‘s/he is looking for it’ keresik ‘they are looking for it’

Important: the -j- does not always appear in the definite conjugation. And, if it follows -s, -z, -sz, or -zs, the consonant is doubled and loses the -j-:

  • keres + jük = keressük ‘we look for it’
  • hoz + ja = hozza ‘s/he brings it’
  • (meg)vesz + jük = (meg)vesszük ‘we buy/take it’

Singular form comparisons. In this skill, you will meet the following four verbs:

indefinite definite
1SG látok ‘I see’ látom ‘I see it’
2SG látsz ‘you see’ látod ‘you see it’
3SG lát ‘s/he sees’ látja ‘s/he sees it’
indefinite definite
1SG várok ‘I wait’ várom ‘I wait for it’
2SG vársz ‘you wait’ várod ‘you wait for it’
3SG vár ‘s/he waits’ várja ‘s/he waits for it’

if the verb ends with s/z/ sz, then the indefinite 2SG form ends with -ol - el- öl, and the 3SG definite form assimilates the -ja ending -> olvassa, hozza

indefinite definite
1SG olvasok ‘I read’ olvasom ‘I read it’
2SG olvasol ‘you read’ olvasod ‘you read it’
3SG olvas ‘s/he reads’ olvassa ‘s/he reads it’
indefinite definite
1SG hozok ‘I bring’ hozom ‘I bring it’
2SG hozol ‘you bring’ hozod ‘you bring it’
3SG hoz ‘s/he brings’ hozza ‘s/he brings it’

How to recognize the indefinite ? egy ... / no article/ valamit

Vs. signs of the definite: a, az, azt a, ezt a, proper names ( Katit, Zsuzsát, Pétert)

You will see what happens if the object is a personal pronoun in a later skill.

Illative Case 2 5 · 2022-02-10 ^

Here are more sentences using the illative case (plus some preverbs you learned recently). It is used to show motion to something and it corresponds to English to and implies "into " :

a házba ‘to the house’

It will not come as a surprise to you that the illative suffix is also subject to vowel harmony:

a kertbe ‘to the garden'

Family 1 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Hungarian uses four different words for older/younger brother, older/younger sister, not just brother and sister.

For example:
A bátyám orvos. My older brother is a doctor.

Hol van az öcséd? Where is your younger brother?

A húgom óvónő. My younger sister is a kindergarten teacher.

A nővérem mérnök. My older sister is an engineer.

Hungarian English
anya mother
apa father
testvér sibling
báty older brother
öcs younger brother
nővér older sister
húg younger sister
nagymama grandmother
nagypapa grandfather
unoka grandchild
nagynéni aunt
nagybácsi uncle
unokatestvér cousin
unokahúg niece
unokaöcs nephew
férj husband
feleség wife
após father-in-law
anyós mother-in-law
sógor brother-in-law
sógornő sister-in-law

Sublative Case 2 5 · 2022-02-10 ^

More sublative case: motion onto something . It corresponds to the preposition onto and requires vowel harmony:

a házra = onto the house , a tetőre = onto the roof

Here, you'll find sentences using "separable " verbs, from the lesson on "Preverbs" , like felszállni ‘to get on’ . For example :

  • Felszállok a vonatra. ‘I get on the train.’

Sometimes, Hungarian is more explicit than English , in expressing this kind of motion. For example, - Mari leül a székre means Mari sits down onto the chair - which sounds a bit odd in English.

The important point is that ra and -re express the direction of the motion onto - which also includes surfaces like "walls " and trees .

Allative Case 2 5 · 2022-02-10 ^

The allative is a movement case, showing movement TO something. In English, it can be translated with up to but not in. The allative requires vowel harmony - with a special quirk: there are two front suffixes, based on whether the vowels in the noun are rounded, like ö and ü, or not, like e.

a házhoz ‘to the house’ a kerthez ‘to the garden’ a tükörhöz ‘to the mirror’

Here, you'll use these forms with some of the preverbs you have already learned.

Geography 1 8 · 2022-02-10 ^

Németországban, Magyarországon

In Germany is Németországban, but in Hungary is Magyarországon. But why do they have different endings?

Most towns in Hungary take surface suffixes (-n,-on -en -ön ), while the majority of places outside of Hungary use inside suffixes (-ban, -ben ):

• Szegedre - Szegeden - Szegedről: to, in, from Szeged

• Bécsbe - Bécsben - Bécsből: to, in, from Vienna

• Magyarországra - Magyarországon - Magyarországról: to, in, from Hungary

• Svédországba - Svédországban - Svédországból: to, in, from Sweden

Exception to these rules are Hungarian towns that end with : -i, -j, -m, -n, -ny, and -r (unless it is in -vár ... ) ! These take the inside suffixes: Tamásiból, Tokajban, Veszprémben, Debrecenből, Tihanyba, Egerben.

Takes the -ban-ben case Takes the -on -en -ön case
Countries: Countries:
Most foreign countries Magyarország
(a few islands) most islands
Japánban, Kubában Izlandon, Máltán, Korzikán, Krétán, Madagaszkáron
- ending with -föld
- Thaiföldön
Cities/Towns: Cities/Towns:
Cities outside Hungary Most Hungarian towns
Londonban, Berlinben Budapesten, Szegeden
Hungarian cities ending -i, -j, -m, -n, and -ny In neighboring countries, towns with Hungarian names
Debrecenben, Veszprémben Kassán, Aradon (but: Bécsben)

See also this link: Myhunlang blog: Suffixes / Adverbs of Place

Irregular towns

In the case of Pécs and a few other towns there's a third, archaic, suffix in use: Pécsett. Others are Győrött and Székesfehérvárott. But Duo also accepts the regular forms: Pécsen, Győrben, Székesfehérváron.

Articles

Names of rivers, lakes, islands, hills, mountains, roads, streets, squares, buildings, and institutes tend to have a definite article, even if it's not used in the English translation.

A Margitsziget
A Parlament
A Budai Vár
A Kékestető
A Duna
A Tisza
A Balaton

A Margitszigetre megyek. - I am going to Margaret Island.

A Duna mellett sétálunk. - We are walking next to the Danube.

City and town names are used without an article.

Budapesten lakom. - I live in Budapest

I Do It 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The definite conjugation is a bit of Hungarian that we don't have in English !

In sentences with an "accusative " (a direct object), the conjugation depends on whether that object is "definite " or not. The forms we have learned so far are in the indefinite conjugation.

When a direct object is definite, the verb must be in the definite conjugation !

(i) Lát-ok egy kutyá-t.

(ii) Lát-om a kutyá-t.

In (i), the object is indefinite, ’a dog’. In (ii), it is definite, ’THE dog’. In (ii), the verb changes to látom. The ending -om is in the definite conjugation.

(iii) Látom .

(iii) means ‘I see IT .’ The definite conjugation is only used with a definite direct object, so there is an object - even if you don't see it !

Plus, vowel harmony!

Here are the definite verb forms of hallani ‘to hear’, szeretni ‘to like/love’ and keresni ‘to be looking for’.

SG PL
1 hallom ‘I hear it’ halljuk ‘we hear it’
2 hallod ‘you hear it’ halljátok ‘you (pl) hear it’
3 hallja ‘s/he hears it’ hallják ‘they hear it’
SG PL
1 szeretem ‘I love it’ szeretjük ‘we love it’
2 szereted ‘you love it’ szeretitek ‘you (pl) love it’
3 szereti ‘s/he loves it’ szeretik ‘they love it’
SG PL
1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’ keressük ‘we are looking for it’
2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’ keresitek ‘you (pl) are looking for it’
3 keresi ‘s/he is looking for it’ keresik ‘they are looking for it’

Important ! the -j- does not always appear in the definite conjugation. And, when the j follows -s, -z, -sz, or -zs, the consonant is doubled and loses the -j- (ss, zz, ssz, zzs ) :

  • keres + jük = keressük ‘we look for it’
  • hoz + ja = hozza ‘s/he brings it’
  • (meg)vesz + jük = (meg)vesszük ‘we buy/take it’

Verb prefixes

Another thing to keep in mind for this lesson is that many Hungarian verbs come with a verbal particle, as :

meg-látogatja ‘s/he visits’ (with a definite object!)

This particle/prefix attaches to the front of the verb, but in questions - or when the sentence is stressing information about a subject or an object - it is detached and follows the verb .

(v) Ki látogatja meg Pétert? ‘Who visits Péter?’

(vi) Péter látogatja meg Zsuzsát. ‘PETER is visiting Zsuzsa.‘

The Hungarian word order in (vi) stresses PETER: you are stressing that the sentence is about Peter, not about someone, or something else.

Me & You 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Accusative pronouns

You know how to form the accusative (direct object) of a noun. But, pronouns have special forms (like they do in English!).

Person/Number Nominative Accusative
1SG én ‘I’ engem ‘me’
2SG te ‘you (sg.)’ téged ‘you (sg., obj.)’
3SG ő ‘he/she’ őt ‘him/her’
1PL mi ‘we’ minket ‘us’
2PL ti ‘you (pl.)’ titeket ‘you (pl., obj.)’
3PL ők ‘they’ őket ‘them’
formal2SG Ön ‘you’ Önt ‘you’
formal2PL Önök ‘you’ Önöket ‘you’

When the direct object is a personal pronoun, the situation is a bit more complicated.

Whether the verb is in the definite or indefinite depends on the person of the pronoun. When the object is őt or őket, (the third person singular and plural pronoun ), the verb is ALWAYS in the definite conjugation:

  • Én látom őt. ‘I see her/him.’
  • Ti látjátok őket. ‘You guys see them.’
  • Mari látja őt. ‘Mari sees her/him.’

When the object is the first person, engem ‘me’ or minket ‘us’, the verb is ALWAYS in the indefinite conjugation:

  • Mari lát engem. ‘Mari sees me.’
  • Ti láttok minket. ‘You guys see us.’
  • A fiúk látnak engem. ‘The boys see me.’

Summary:

Use indefinite conjugation if the object is: téged, titeket, engem, minket

Use definite conjugation if the object is: őt, őket, Önt, Önöket, (magát, magukat), magamat, magadat, egymást

One extra ending:

When the object is the second person, téged ‘you (sg.)’ and titeket ‘you (pl.)’, we have to take the subject into account. With third person subjects, we use the indefinite conjugation:

  • Mari lát téged. ‘Mari sees you (sg.).’
  • A fiúk látnak titeket. ‘The boys see you guys.’

When the subject is the first person singular, we encounter a verb form (lak / lek ) we have only seen before in the expression szeret-lek ‘I love you’:

  • Én látlak téged. ‘I see you (sg.).’
  • Én kereslek titeket. ‘I am looking for you guys.’

This table shows this complicated system (don't worry about the gaps). The bold forms indicate the indefinite conjugation, and the italic ones indicate the definite conjugation. Bold and italic indicates the -lak/-lek ending.

subject → object 1 2 3
1 Én látlak téged. Én látom őt/őket.
2 Te látsz engem. Te látod őt/őket.
3 Ő lát engem. Ő lát téged. Ő látja őt/őket.

Choices 3 7 · 2021-11-16 ^

Demonstratives in locative cases

This lesson is about demonstratives (this, that, these, those ) used with : -ba/-be, -hoz/-hez/-ho:z, and -ra/-re.

These undergo assimilation . The consonant -z in the demonstrative changes to the consonant in the case:

  • ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this one’
  • ez + -hez = ehhez ‘to(wards) this one’
  • az + -ra = arra ‘onto that one’

This does not happen in the plural, so we get:

  • az + ok + -ra = azokra ‘onto those’

Demonstratives and nouns

Attach the ending to BOTH the demonstrative AND the noun:

  • ebben a kertben ‘in this garden’
  • ahhoz az épülethez ‘to that building’
  • azokra a házakra ‘onto those houses’

Verbs 3 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Getting an extra vowel

Some verbs receive an extra vowel in the middle, in the te, ti and ők forms, indefinite conjugation.
This happens if the stem ends with -ít (example: tanít),
or the stem ends with two consonants (example: tüsszent, fest),
and some verbs ending in -ll also behave like this. (example: hall)

fest (paint) tanít (teach) tüsszent (sneeze) hall (hear)
(én) festek tanítok tüsszentek hallok
(te) festesz tanítasz tüsszentesz hallasz
(ő / Ön / Maga) fest tanít tüsszent hall
(mi) festünk tanítunk tüsszentünk hallunk
(ti) festetek tanítotok tüsszentetek hallotok
(ők / Önök / Maguk) festenek tanítanak tüsszentenek hallanak

Directional Postpositions 7 · 2021-11-16 ^

You may have already seen the postpositions alatt ‘under’, fölött ‘above’, mögött ‘behind’ and között ‘between‘.

They all share the -tt ending, which is an old Hungarian suffix for location.

To express motion towards a location, we can take their roots and add an -á/-é suffix ,

alá ‘towards underneath it’
fölé ‘towards above it’
mögé ‘towards behind it’
and közé toward between somethings . . .

Be careful, though: in English, a phrase like behind the house can be both a ház mögött - for where something is happening - or a ház mögé if there is motion involved.

Look for motion in this lesson !

English movement to place
beside mellé mellett
under alá alatt
in front of elé előtt
behind mögé mögött
between, among közé között

Love 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

When the subject is the first person singular, we encounter a verb form (lak / lek ) we have only seen before in the expression szeret-lek ‘I love you’:

So the lak-lek ending shows both the subject and the object!

  • Szeretlek. I love you.

  • Látlak. I see you.

  • Hallak. I hear you.

  • Utállak. I hate you.

This -lak-lek ending works for both the singular and the plural you (te, ti). But not for the formal (ön, önök) versions.

  • Én látlak téged. ‘I see you (sg.).’
  • Én kereslek titeket. ‘I am looking for you guys.’

BUT:

  • Én látom önt. ‘I see you (sg., formal).’
  • Én keresem önöket. ‘I am looking for you (pl. formal).’

The following table shows this system (don't worry about the gaps). The bold forms indicate the indefinite conjugation, and the italic ones indicate the definite conjugation. Bold and italic indicates the -lak/-lek ending.

subject → object 1 2 3
1 Én látlak téged. Én látom őt/őket.
2 Te látsz engem. Te látod őt/őket.
3 Ő lát engem. Ő lát téged. Ő látja őt/őket.

Adjectives 2 2 · 2021-04-04 ^

Singular or plural adjectives

Like in English, the adjective precedes the noun it modifies. (This is called an attributive adjective.) In this case, the adjective is not pluralized.

A piros alma = The red apple.

A piros almák = The red apples.

Ezek piros almák =These are red apples.

Sometimes you see an adjective that comes after the noun. In English, the adjective usually comes after is/are. However, in the Hungarian translation van or vannak is dropped. (This is called a predicative adjective.) In this case the adjective has to be plural when the subject is plural.

Az alma piros = The apple is red.

Az almák pirosak = The apples are red.

Ezek az almák pirosak =These apples are red.

A német házak szépek. = German houses are beautiful.

BUT: Be careful, the rule is not about if the adjective is before or after the noun. (Even though sometimes we say it this way because it is an easier explanation.) The real rule about whether it is an attributive adjective or predicative adjective.

Example: Politicians are rich. "A politikusok gazdagok" and "Gazdagok a politikusok." is the same thing grammatically, just the word order is rearranged.

Pirosak az almák. Szépek a német házak. These are also correct.

Milyen or milyenek?

Milyen and milyenek work the same way as adjectives.

attributive:

Milyen autó ez? What kind of car is this?

Milyen város ez? What kind of city is this?

Milyen városokat ismersz? What kind of cities do you know?

Milyen autók ezek? What kind of cars are these?

predicative:

Milyenek a brazil sportolók? A brazil sportolók milyenek? What are the Brazilian athletes like?

Milyenek az orvosok itt? What are the doctors like here?

Milyen az orvos? What is the doctor like?

Milyen az a ház? What is that house like?

Forming plural adjectives

Add -ak, -ok -ek -ök or -k to the end of the word:

If the adjective ends with a vowel:

-K : after ó ő, a, e and the word kicsi. (Note that a e will turn into á é)
olcsó, olcsók, jó, jók, önző, önzők, sárga, sárgák, fekete, feketék, kicsi, kicsik, gyenge, gyengék, drága, drágák, olcsó, olcsók, szőke, szőkék, csúnya, csúnyák, tiszta, tiszták, hülye, hülyék, furcsa, furcsák,

-AK: after i, ú, back and mixed vowel words. amerikai, amerikaiak, koreai, koreaiak, kínai, kínaiak... hosszú, hosszúak, lassú, lassúak, szomorú, szomorúak,

-EK: after after i, ű, front vowel words.
keleti, keletiek, jókedvű, jókedvűek, keserű, keserűek, könnyű, könnyűek, régi, régiek, nemzeti, nemzetiek, népszerű, népszerűek, gyönyörű, gyönyörűek, nagyszerű, nagyszerűek,

If the adjective ends with a consonant:

-AK: most adjectives with mixed and back vowels
rossz, rosszak, magas, magasak, vékony, vékonyak, piros, pirosak, barátságos, barátságosak, fáradt, fáradtak, sovány, soványak, fontos, fontosak, gyors, gyorsak, új, újak, száraz, szárazak, okos, okosak, hasznos, hasznosak, csinos, csinosak, hatékony, hatékonyak, szomjas, szomjasak, unalmas, unalmasak

-OK: after -atlan/-talan, nationalities, and a few other mixed/back vowel adjectives
magyar, magyarok, angol, angolok, orosz, oroszok, olasz, olaszok, holland, hollandok, / nyugtalan, nyugtalanok, sótlan, sótlanok, / fiatal fiatalok, nagy, nagyok, vastag, vastagok, gazdag, gazdagok, boldog, boldogok, szabad, szabadok,

-EK: all other adjectives with front vowels
szép, szépek, szegény, szegények, rövid, rövidek, meleg, melegek, hideg, hidegek, nedves, nedvesek, keskeny, keskenyek, széles, szélesek, sekély, sekélyek, mély, mélyek, erős, erősek, híres, híresek, kövér, kövérek, idős, idősek, öreg, öregek, lehetséges, lehetségesek, lehetetlen, lehetetlenek, ügyes, ügyesek, ingyenes, ingyenesek, modern, modernek, üres, üresek, tökéletes, tökéletesek, helyes, helyesek, friss, frissek, beteg, betegek, éhes, éhesek, nehéz, nehezek,

-ÖK : the words török, görög.
török, törökök, görög, görögök

Preverbs 2 8 · 2021-04-04 ^

More verbs with prefixes.

Preverbs: simple cases

Here, you'll learn about a common particle : preverbs, verb modifiers or verbal prefixes (igekötő in Hungarian). Many have a meaning expressing motion towards something : ki ‘towards the outside’, be ‘to ’, le ‘down‘, el ‘away‘, ide ‘towards here‘, oda ‘towards there‘.

A verb with a modifier usually corresponds to a verb plus an adverb:

  • kimegyek ‘I go out‘

  • bemész ‘you (sg.) go to‘, ‘you (sg.) enter‘

  • elmegy ‘s/he goes away‘

  • leülünk ‘we sit down‘

  • ideültök ‘you (pl.) sit down here‘

  • odaülnek ‘they sit down there‘

In English, the distinction between a location and a direction is not always explicit: she is running there can mean she is there and she is running or she is moving from here to there by running. Hungarian makes this explicit: the former would be ott fut and the latter, with a verbal modifier or preverb, odafut.

Word order

These verbal modifiers can have big effects on word order! As you know by now, word order in Hungarian is much freer than in English, but ...

in general, a verbal modifier precedes the verb and they're written as one word:

  • Mari bemegy. ‘Mari enters.‘

However, the modifier can also be separated from the verb:

  • Mari megy be.

While the sentence still means that Mari goes to something, the information it conveys corresponds more to :

  • Mari megy be. = ‘It is Mari who is going to.’ (not someone else)

In the above example, Mari is in focus because Mari immediately precedes the verb. This is called the focus position. Whenever there is a focused phrase or word in this position, the particle follows the verb.

In addition, the particle follows the verb when there is negation or in questions with question words:

  • Nem mész el. ‘You are not going away.‘

  • Ki ül le? ‘Who is sitting down?’

The phrase that responds to a question word is in focus. The answer to the question Ki ül le? could be:

  • Péter ül le. ‘It is Péter who is sitting down.’ or 'Péter is sitting down.’

The boldface in the second translation shows stress on the word. Try saying the English answer out loud and you'll hear what this means.

More on word order

Hungarian word order is fairly free : the subject does not have to precede the verb and the object - as it mostly does in English.

Hungarian word order is very strict in one respect: the order of topic, focus and the verb. Focus points out new information in a sentence. The topic of a sentence is what the sentence is about. English usually has

  • subjectverbobject

word order . Hungarian usually has

  • topic - focus - verb and others

order.

  • Mari a kertben ül le. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.’ Or ‘It's in the garden that Mari is sitting down.’

  • A kertben Mari ül le.Mari is sitting down in the garden.‘ Or ‘It's Mari who is sitting down in the garden.‘

In both sentences, someone (Mari) is sitting down somewhere (in the garden), but we focus on different parts of the sentence. In the first example, the new or important information is a kertben ‘in the garden’. This is indicated by the word order: a kertben immediately precedes the verb. In English, the word order stays the same, but stress or prominence changes.

Finally, let's have a look at:

  • Mari leül a kertben. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.'

The subject (Mari ) is the topic, but is not in focus, because the prefix (le ) has taken the focus position. In cases like these, the verbal modifier stays attached to the verb.

The sentence it corresponds to, in English, will not have prominence, or stress, on any phrase or word.

w

Stuff 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Plural

You learned how to spot, form and use the accusative case, but so far only in the singular.

Remember the plural of Hungarian nouns is formed with the -k, often preceded by a vowel.

Let's take the demonstrative determiners (demonstrative adjectives ) ez ‘this’ and az ’that’ first.

  • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’
  • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

Which vowel? Remember vowel harmony ? Ez has a front vowel, and az has a back vowel.

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

Thus the vowel before the plural ending -k will be front or back. So we get ezek and azok.

When a word ends in a vowel, like a or e, for example alma ‘apple’, the vowel lengthens :

  • alma ‘apple’ -> almák ‘apples’

Plural and accusative

When words are both plural and in the accusative, we have to arrange the plural -k and the accusative -t . Note that if both are there, we will need a vowel between the -k and the -t!

  • alma + -k (plural) + -t (accusative) -> almá+k+at = almákat ‘apples (obj.)'

If we want to use these or those as objects, we get:

  • ez ‘this’ -> ezek ‘these’ -> ezeket ’these (obj.)’
  • az ‘that’ -> azok ‘those’ -> azokat ‘those (obj.)’

Reminder: definite conjugation

When an object in the accusative is definite, the form of the verb changes slightly.

Important: Definite phrases have a definite article a or az ‘the’ , or demonstratives like ez ‘this‘ or az ‘that‘, or there will be someone's name(s) .

So when you see apples, you say:

Látok almákat ‘I see apples’ Látsz almákat ‘you (sg.) see apples’

Almákat is indefinite. *Látok * is in the indefinite .

When you want to say I see those, which is now definite (because of the demonstrative adjective 'azok ' , you say:

Látom azokat ‘I see those’ or Látod azokat ‘you (sg.) see those’

You can also use látom, without an object, to say ‘I see it ’. In this lesson, you'll see a few examples of the definite conjugation .

SG
1 hallom ‘I hear it’
2 hallod ‘you hear it’
SG
1 keresem ‘I am looking for it’
2 keresed ‘you are looking for it’

Ablative Case 7 · 2022-02-10 ^

The ablative case -tól/-től shows motion away from something.

It can usually be translated with from , but not all uses of from can be translated with the ablative!

  • A folyótól jövök. ‘I am coming from the river.’

  • Az épülettől indul a busz. ‘The bus is leaving from the building.’

There are nine different cases that are related to location. We can arrange them in a 3 x 3 matrix. The triads of movement are :

goal position source
SPACES -ba -be -ban -ben -ból -ből
SURFACES -ra -re -on -en -ön -n -ról -ről
SOLIDS -hoz -hez -höz -nál -nél -tól -től

spaces:
Bemegyek a házba. - I go into the house.
A házban vagyok. - I am in the house.
Kimegyek a házból. - I go out of the house.

surfaces:
Az asztalra rakom a könyvet. - I put the book on the table.
A könyv az asztalon van. - The book is on the table.
Elveszem az asztalról a könyvet. - I take the book away from the table.

solids:
Odamegyek a szoborhoz. - I go over to the statue.
A szobornál várok. - I wait at the statue.
Elmegyek a szobortól. - I go away from the statue.

Choices 4 3 · 2021-03-30 ^

Using the demonstratives in the elative (ból / ből), delative (ról / ről) and ablative (tól / től) cases, with English nouns...

When combining a singular demonstrative pronoun (this, that - ez, az ) with these case endings, the -z of the demonstrative (ez, az ) turns into the first consonant of the suffix:

  • ez + ből = ebből ‘out of this’
  • az + ról = arról ’from on top/the surface of that’ or ’about that’

In the plural (ezek / azok ) , the plural suffix -k remains, so the case suffix is simply added:

  • ezek + től = ezektől ’from these’

Demonstratives and nouns

When using a demonstrative with a noun, both the demonstrative and the noun must have plural and case suffixes:

  • ebből a házból ‘out of this house’

  • azoktól a kertektől ‘from those gardens’

Notice that the suffix on the demonstrative and the suffix on the noun may use different vowels.

After all, vowel harmony is determined on a word-by-word basis .

Directional Postpositions 2 8 · 2021-03-29 ^

You'll see some postpositions you already know but in a different form: direction FROM somewhere.

The suffixes -ól / -ől / -ül attach to stems like al- el- mög- etc. :

  • alatt ‘below’ --- alól ‘from below’
  • mögött ‘behind’ --- mögül ‘from behind’
  • mellett ‘next to’ --- mellől ‘from next to’
  • között 'between' --- közül 'from between'

Postpositions come after nouns:

  • a ház mögül ‘from behind the house’

Here is a chart showing how movement from words originate :

English movement to place movement from
beside mellé mellett mellől
under alá alatt alól
in front of elé előtt elől
behind mögé mögött mögül
between, among közé között közül

Stuff 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Plural

We've learned how to form and use the direct object accusative -t . But, so far, all our examples have been singular.

The plural is formed by adding -k, sometimes , though, it needs a vowel.

Let's take the demonstrative adjectives ez ‘this’ and az ’that’ first.

  • ez ’this’ -> ezek ’these’
  • az ’that’ -> azok ’those’

Which vowel ? Vowel harmony will tell you ! Ez has a front vowel, and az has a back vowel.

front vowels back vowels
i, í, ü, ű u, ú
e, é, ö, ő o, ó
a, á

So, the vowel before the plural ending -k will also be front or back. So we get ezek and azok.

If a word ends in a (or e), like alma ‘apple’, the "a ", before the plural ending, lengthens - :

  • alma ‘apple’ -> almák ‘apples’

in the Plural AND in the accusative (direct object )

When words are plural AND accusative, we have to arrange the plural's -k and the accusative's -t . If both are there, we need a vowel between the -k and the -t !

  • alma + -k (plural) + -t (accusative) -> almá+k+at = almákat ‘apples (obj.)'

If we want these and those as direct objects, we get:

  • ez ‘this’ -> ezek ‘these’ -> ezeket ’these (d. obj.)’
  • az ‘that’ -> azok ‘those’ -> azokat ‘those (d. obj.)’

Contrast and word order

Hungarian word order is less free in sentences that express a contrast.

The judge is looking for lawyers and finds actors.

Here, there is one subject, namely judge.

But there are two different verbs, is looking for and finds and each of these have their own object, lawyers and actors.

When contrasting two verbs and objects like this, they have to show the same word order: and the objects must come in front of their respective verbs:

A bíró ügyvédeket keres és színészeket talál.

New Things 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Singular or plural adjectives

Like in English, the adjective precedes the noun it modifies. (This is called an attributive adjective.) In this case, the adjective is not pluralized.

A piros alma = The red apple.

A piros almák = The red apples.

Ezek piros almák =These are red apples.

Sometimes you see an adjective that comes after the noun. In English, the adjective usually comes after is/are. However, in the Hungarian translation van or vannak is dropped. (This is called a predicative adjective.) In this case the adjective has to be plural when the subject is plural.

Az alma piros = The apple is red.

Az almák pirosak = The apples are red.

Ezek az almák pirosak =These apples are red.

A német házak szépek. = German houses are beautiful.

BUT: Be careful, the rule is not about if the adjective is before or after the noun. (Even though sometimes we say it this way because it is an easier explanation.) The real rule about whether it is an attributive adjective or predicative adjective.

Example: Politicians are rich. "A politikusok gazdagok" and "Gazdagok a politikusok." is the same thing grammatically, just the word order is rearranged.

Pirosak az almák. Szépek a német házak. These are also correct.

Milyen or milyenek?

Milyen and milyenek work the same way as adjectives.

attributive:

Milyen autó ez? What kind of car is this?

Milyen város ez? What kind of city is this?

Milyen városokat ismersz? What kind of cities do you know?

Milyen autók ezek? What kind of cars are these?

predicative:

Milyenek a brazil sportolók? A brazil sportolók milyenek? What are the Brazilian athletes like?

Milyenek az orvosok itt? What are the doctors like here?

Milyen az orvos? What is the doctor like?

Milyen az a ház? What is that house like?

Forming plural adjectives

Add -ak, -ok -ek -ök or -k to the end of the word:

If the adjective ends with a vowel:

-K : after ó ő, a, e and the word kicsi. (Note that a e will turn into á é)
olcsó, olcsók, jó, jók, önző, önzők, sárga, sárgák, fekete, feketék, kicsi, kicsik, gyenge, gyengék, drága, drágák, olcsó, olcsók, szőke, szőkék, csúnya, csúnyák, tiszta, tiszták, hülye, hülyék, furcsa, furcsák,

-AK: after i, ú, back and mixed vowel words. amerikai, amerikaiak, koreai, koreaiak, kínai, kínaiak... hosszú, hosszúak, lassú, lassúak, szomorú, szomorúak,

-EK: after after i, ű, front vowel words.
keleti, keletiek, jókedvű, jókedvűek, keserű, keserűek, könnyű, könnyűek, régi, régiek, nemzeti, nemzetiek, népszerű, népszerűek, gyönyörű, gyönyörűek, nagyszerű, nagyszerűek,

If the adjective ends with a consonant:

-AK: most adjectives with mixed and back vowels
rossz, rosszak, magas, magasak, vékony, vékonyak, piros, pirosak, barátságos, barátságosak, fáradt, fáradtak, sovány, soványak, fontos, fontosak, gyors, gyorsak, új, újak, száraz, szárazak, okos, okosak, hasznos, hasznosak, csinos, csinosak, hatékony, hatékonyak, szomjas, szomjasak, unalmas, unalmasak

-OK: after -atlan/-talan, nationalities, and a few other mixed/back vowel adjectives
magyar, magyarok, angol, angolok, orosz, oroszok, olasz, olaszok, holland, hollandok, / nyugtalan, nyugtalanok, sótlan, sótlanok, / fiatal fiatalok, nagy, nagyok, vastag, vastagok, gazdag, gazdagok, boldog, boldogok, szabad, szabadok,

-EK: all other adjectives with front vowels
szép, szépek, szegény, szegények, rövid, rövidek, meleg, melegek, hideg, hidegek, nedves, nedvesek, keskeny, keskenyek, széles, szélesek, sekély, sekélyek, mély, mélyek, erős, erősek, híres, híresek, kövér, kövérek, idős, idősek, öreg, öregek, lehetséges, lehetségesek, lehetetlen, lehetetlenek, ügyes, ügyesek, ingyenes, ingyenesek, modern, modernek, üres, üresek, tökéletes, tökéletesek, helyes, helyesek, friss, frissek, beteg, betegek, éhes, éhesek, nehéz, nehezek,

-ÖK : the words török, görög.
török, törökök, görög, görögök

Directional Conjunction 5 · 2021-03-30 ^

You've learned some of the following:

  • onnan ‘from there’ or ‘from that place’
  • ott ‘there’
  • arra ‘in that direction’
  • arról ‘from that direction’ etc.

These can appear as relative pronouns as well. In the following English sentence, that introduces the relative clause:

  • We are coming from the place that you are coming from.

or

  • We are coming from where you are coming.

The first English example might sound a bit awkward, but it will help with understanding the way Hungarian works here:

  • Onnan jövünk, ahonnan ti jöttök. ‘We are coming from (the place) where you are coming from.’

onnan means ‘from there’ or ’from that place’; the relative pronoun ahonnan means ‘from where’ in exactly the sense highlighted in the above English example. While in the second English example, we can easily drop the ‘from that place’ in the first part of the sentence, Hungarian does not like this: we want to have onnan here as well.

The gist of this is that we get pairs like onnan ‘from there’ — ahonnan ‘from where’. You'll see some more of these in this lesson:

  • arra ‘in that direction’ — amerre ‘in which direction’
  • arról ‘from that direction’ — amerről ‘from which direction’

Note how the English pairs have that in the main clause and which in the relative clause... that's the basic pattern!

Word order

Consider these sentences:

Ott nincs bank, ahova ezek a turisták mennek.
Ott ebédelünk, ahonnan a villamos visszajön.
Ott lakik Péter, ahol Éva dolgozik.

We can see a "Onnan verb1 subject1, ahonnan subject2 verb2". pattern

If you start with the subject:
Subject1 onnan verb1, ahonnan subject2 verb2.

If we have preverbs too:
Oda megy be Anna, ahonnan Béla kijön.
or: Anna oda megy be, ahonnan Béla kijön.

Why? ott/oda/onnan attracts focus, it likes to be directly in front of the verb.
But ahol/ahova/ahonnan avoids focus. Put the verb further away from them, or at least, do not separate the preverb.

(Not all the sentences in this skill follow this order, but several of them.)

Directional Conjunction 2 8 · 2021-04-04 ^

Demonstrative adjectives and relative pronouns .

In English you can use that as a relative pronoun, as well as which:

  • I like that book which you like too.

  • Szeretem azt a könyvet, amelyiket te is szeretsz.

The focus in this lesson is on the pair aztamelyik(et): ‘that one ... which’.

Demonstratives and relative pronouns can have all kinds of cases:

  • abban ‘in that’ — amelyikben ‘in which’
  • azokból ‘out of those’ — amelyekből or amikből ‘out of which’
  • arról ‘about that’ — amerről ’about which’
  • azokról ‘about those’ — amelyekről ‘about which’ (pl.)

An example:

  • Azokból jövünk ki, amikből ti is. ‘We are coming out of those, out of which you are coming too.’ or ‘We are coming out of (from ) where you are.’

Note that translations of the English or Hungarian sentences will not always use the same words.

Abból eszem, amin nincs kép

means ‘I eat from that one, on which there is no picture.’ This is not a very natural translation. This could be used where there are some plates and one of them doesn't have a picture on it (while the others do). The Hungarian sentence, above, is fine, but its English translation would be:

I eat off (of ) the one on which there is no picture.

Depending on the context, a demonstrative in Hungarian can be translated with (or by ) a demonstrative or with a definite article plus one in English.

Abból eszem, amin nincs kép. I eat from the one on which there is no picture.

Here the object is not named: I eat from the one... Abból eszem...

Abból a tálból eszem, amelyiken nincs kép. I eat from the bowl, on which there is no picture.

Here the object (the bowl) is named. Abból a tálból eszem....

Inside 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Hungarian has more cases than other European languages, but they are less scary than you might think.

Many languages, like English, use prepositions to express spatial concepts, Hungarian uses case suffixes.

English Hungarian
the shop az üzlet
in the shop az üzletben
the hotel a szálloda
in the hotel a szállodában

Using the suffix -ban/-ben is like using the English preposition in, but AFTER the word and attached .

When -ban and when -ben? The vowels in the stem determine the vowels in the suffix :

Front vowels Back vowels
i/í u/ú
ü/ű o/ó
e/é
ö/ő a/á

Since üzlet has front vowels, the vowel in the suffix has to be a front vowel: we put -ben.

In szálloda, we have back vowels, so we choose -ban.

Directional Conjunction 3 3 · 2020-11-04 ^

When you combine a demonstrative and a noun like ez a ház ‘this house’ with a postposition like mellett ‘next to‘, the resulting form is like with the case suffixes above:

e mellett a ház mellett ‘next to this house’

a fölött a kert fölött ‘above that garden’

az alatt a fa alatt ‘under that tree’

You've seen sentences like:

Annál a banknál állunk, amelyikben sok ember dolgozik. We are standing at the bank, in which a lot of people are working.

These sentences answer to "Which?"

Which bank are we standing at? - There, where a lot of people work.

In this skill, we combine these two tricks, the "az alatt a fa alatt" construction with the "Az a ..., amelyik ..." construction, and get:

A színészek a mögül a függöny mögül jönnek ki, amelyiken egy nagy pillangó van.
The actors come out from behind the curtain on which there is a large butterfly.

Beside 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The adessive case expresses a spatial relation like by or next to. Like other cases, it needs vowel harmony and can appear as -nál (back vowels) and -nél (front vowels). Hint: both forms have a diacritic (accent ) .

English Hungarian
the table az asztal
by the table az asztalnál
the shop az üzlet
by the shop az üzletnél

-Nál and -nél approximate English prepositions by or next to .

Vowel harmony has exceptions that you need to memorize when you come across them. The word for bridge ,híd , for example, takes the suffix -nál:

hídnál ‘by the bridge’

Clothing 10 · 2023-06-21 ^

Dressing up

One way to say what someone is wearing is to say:

A férfin pulóver van.

literally: There is a sweater on the man.

meaning: The man is wearing a sweater.

You've already learned the superessive case: -on/-en/-ön. In this skill, you'll get to use it a lot!

Another way is to use the -ban/-ben ending:

A férfi pulóverben van.

Literally The man is in a sweater.

again, that is, ‘the man is wearing a sweater’.

Clothing that comes in pairs, - like body parts, too !

With shoes (or socks, boots...) we usually use the singular when we talk about one pair of shoes.
For example: Cipőben vagyok. 'I am wearing shoes'
(Literally: I am in a shoe )

If you need to talk about one shoe - not a pair - you can say:

egy fél pár cipő (literally: a half pair of shoes.)

Household 6 · 2023-06-21 ^

Remember that Hungarian does not always use the verb *lenni * (to be ) when English does.

Ez egy szép ajtó. ’This is a nice door.’

You do have to use van and vannak, though, when you translate sentences about existence, like There is an apple on the table or There are some apples on the table. ,
and when you talk about location -where something is.

Van a polcon egy alma.

‘There is an apple on the shelf.’ or 'On the shelf, there is an apple ' .

Ők a házban vannak.

‘They are in the house.’

Postpositions

Hungarian mostly has postpositions, as opposed to prepositions. You will find some of these in this section.

We say under the picture in English but in Hungarian the noun comes first: a kép alatt.

In English the word between comes before the noun(s):

between the houses

In Hungarian, the order changes:

a házak között

Adjective Conjunction 1 · 2020-12-10 ^

You saw az (a) ... amelyik and ott...ahol earlier.

Now it's time for another two-part conjunction:
olyan ... mint / olyan ...amilyen

For example:

(Én) olyan vagyok, mint te.
(Én) olyan vagyok, amilyen te.
I am like you.

A kutya olyan, mint a macska.
A kutya olyan, amilyen a macska.
The dog is like the cat.

For the plural version, use olyanok ... mint / olyanok ...amilyenek

A kutyák olyanok, mint a macskák.
A kutyák olyanok, amilyenek a macskák.

The dogs are like the cats.

Ownership 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Possessive suffixes

You use possessive adjectives to express who an object belongs to:

  • my table or her shoe

Hungarian does not have possessive adjectives like my or her but possessive suffixes. They are very similar to possessive adjectives in that they indicate the person and number of the possessor but they appear attached to the noun:

  • az asztalom ‘my table’

  • a cipője ‘her/his shoe’

The forms are as follows:

Hungarian English
1SG -öm, -om, -m my
2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
3SG -je, -ja, -a his/her/its
1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
3PL -jük, -juk, -uk their

cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its possessive forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG cipő-m my shoe
2SG cipő-d your (sg.) shoe
3SG cipő-je her/his shoe
1PL cipő-nk our shoe
2PL cipő-tök your (pl.) shoe
3PL cipő-jük their shoe

asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its possessive forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG asztal-om my table
2SG asztal-od your (sg.) table
3SG asztal-a her/his table
1PL asztal-unk our table
2PL asztal-otok your (pl.) table
3PL asztal-uk their table

Possessors

Hungarian has two ways of expressing possession , a bit like the two English constructions a friend's book and a book of a friend.

Possessors can be nominative, a lány, or dative, e.g. a lánynak:

  • a lány cipője ‘the girl's shoe’
  • a lánynak a cipője ‘the girl's shoe’

As you can see, the constructions can be the same, but they differ in some ways. The dative (a lánynak) is followed by a ‘the’ and you have to use the dative in questions with whose:

  • Ez kinek a cipője? ‘Whose shoe is this?’

whose in this sentence is ki-nek, the dative of ki ‘who’.

Exceptions

As usual, there are exceptions to the general rule. When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k. (This only happens with ők, all other pronouns stay intact.)

  • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’
  • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

So it looks like a singular possessor, but it's still plural. Second, when the possessor is a noun in the plural, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or -(j)ük:

  • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’
  • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

mine, yours, ...

Hungarian also has possessive pronouns mine, yours. They always include the definite article a :

Hungarian English
1SG az enyém mine
2SG a tiéd or a tied yours (sg.)
3SG az övé hers/his
1PL a miénk ours
2PL a tiétek yours (pl.)
3PL az övék theirs

You can use these forms in sentences like:

Ez a cipő az enyém. ‘This shoe is mine.’

Adverbs of place 6 · 2022-02-10 ^

Words related to location or direction.

hol family

Movement from Place Movement to
every mindenhonnan mindenhol mindenhova
some valahonnan valahol valahova
none sehonnan sehol sehova

merre family

Movement from Place Movement to
every mindenfelől - mindenfelé
some valamerről - valamerre
none semerről - semerre

mindenfelől is not a location, it is a directional indicator. The closest translation is ‘from every direction’. mindenhonnan can be translated as ‘from everywhere’.

  • everywhere — mindenhol
  • from everywhere — mindenhonnan
  • to everywhere — mindenhova

  • from every direction — mindenfelől

  • to every direction — mindenfelé

There is no third option here, since we cannot use a direction as a location.

Possessives 1 2 · 2020-11-05 ^

Possessive suffixes

You use possessive adjectives to express who an object belongs to:

  • my table or her shoe

Hungarian does not have possessive adjectives like my or her but possessive suffixes. They are very similar to possessive adjectives in that they indicate the person and number of the possessor but they appear attached to the noun:

  • az asztalom ‘my table’

  • a cipője ‘her/his shoe’

The forms are as follows:

Hungarian English
1SG -öm, -om, -m my
2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
3SG -je, -ja, -a his/her/its
1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
3PL -jük, -juk, -uk their

cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its possessive forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG cipő-m my shoe
2SG cipő-d your (sg.) shoe
3SG cipő-je her/his shoe
1PL cipő-nk our shoe
2PL cipő-tök your (pl.) shoe
3PL cipő-jük their shoe

asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its possessive forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG asztal-om my table
2SG asztal-od your (sg.) table
3SG asztal-a her/his table
1PL asztal-unk our table
2PL asztal-otok your (pl.) table
3PL asztal-uk their table

Possessors

Hungarian has two ways of expressing possession , a bit like the two English constructions a friend's book and a book of a friend.

Possessors can be nominative, a lány, or dative, e.g. a lánynak:

  • a lány cipője ‘the girl's shoe’
  • a lánynak a cipője ‘the girl's shoe’

As you can see, the constructions can be the same, but they differ in some ways. The dative (a lánynak) is followed by a ‘the’ and you have to use the dative in questions with whose:

  • Ez kinek a cipője? ‘Whose shoe is this?’

whose in this sentence is ki-nek, the dative of ki ‘who’.

Exceptions

As usual, there are exceptions to the general rule. When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k. (This only happens with ők, all other pronouns stay intact.)

  • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’
  • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

So it looks like a singular possessor, but it's still plural. Second, when the possessor is a noun in the plural, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or *-(j)ük*:

  • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’
  • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

mine, yours, ...

Hungarian also has possessive pronouns mine, yours. They always include the definite article a :

Hungarian English
1SG az enyém mine
2SG a tiéd or a tied yours (sg.)
3SG az övé hers/his
1PL a miénk ours
2PL a tiétek yours (pl.)
3PL az övék theirs

You can use these forms in sentences like:

Ez a cipő az enyém. ‘This shoe is mine.’

Year 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

In this unit, you'll learn how to express date and time. You'll learn a few past tense expressions (more on that later), the days of the week, and months.

In the past tense you can mostly use the same verb endings as before, verbbut in the verb endings, a -t- indicates that it is in the past tense:

csinál ‘to make/do’
1SG csinál-t-am ‘I made’
2SG csinál-t-ál ‘you (sg.) made’
3SG csinál-t ‘he made’
1PL csinál-t-unk ‘we made’
2PL csinál-t-atok ‘you (pl.) made’
3PL csinál-t-ak ‘they made’

You'll learn more about the past tense later !

As in many languages, you can use the present tense to talk about things in the future. It is fine to say.

  • Holnap megyek. (literally ’tomorrow I go’)

to mean ‘I will go tomorrow.’

The days of the week

The word nap means both ‘day’ and ‘sun’ in Hungarian. But it only shows up in one of the week days, which are :

  • hétfő ‘Monday’
  • kedd ‘Tuesday’
  • szerda ‘Wednesday’
  • csütörtök ‘Thursday’
  • péntek ‘Friday’
  • szombat ‘Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘Sunday’

If you speak a Slavic language, some of these might sound familiar to you! To express that something happened on a certain day, Hungarian uses a case-suffix that we'll see later on (and which is also used for some of the seasons):

  • hétfő-n ‘on Monday’
  • kedd-en ‘on Tuesday’
  • szerdá-n ‘on Wednesday’
  • csütörtök-ön ‘on Thursday’
  • péntek-en ‘on Friday’
  • szombat-on ‘on Saturday’
  • vasárnap ‘on Sunday’

As in the plural, the vowel in the suffix depends on the vowels in the stem, so we get either -en, -ön or -on.

Note that there is an exception: vasárnap - 'Sunday' and ‘on Sunday’ For Sunday, we don't need the -on ending.

The months

In Hungarian, the names of the months are similar to the names of the months in many other European languages, including English.

  • január ‘January’
  • február ‘February’
  • március ‘March’
  • április ‘April’
  • május ‘May’
  • június ‘June’
  • július ‘July’
  • augusztus ‘August’
  • szeptember ‘September’
  • október ‘October’
  • november ‘November’
  • december ‘December’

To say that something happened in a certain month, Hungarian uses the case suffix -ban or -ben:

  • január-ban ‘in January’
  • szeptember-ben ‘in September’

The seasons

While English uses in or during to express that something is happening in a season, Hungarian is a bit different. The seasons, first of all are the following:

  • tavasz ‘spring’
  • nyár ’summer’
  • ősz ‘autumn’
  • tél ‘winter’

But, there are two different case-suffixes to mark what's happening during a season:

  • tavasszal ’in the spring’
  • nyáron ‘in the summer’
  • ősszel ‘in the fall'
  • télen ‘in the winter’

To have 1 3 · 2020-11-05 ^

In the previous skill, you learned how to express possession in Hungarian. In this skill, you'll learn another way to show possession: how to make sentences which use the verb to have.

Hungarian does not have a verb that means to have. Instead, Hungarian uses the verb van ‘there is’ with a dative (for the possessor) and a nominative (for the possessed noun):

  • Mary has a car.
  • Marinak van egy autója.

This construction means something like There is a car to Mary. .

The possessed noun has a possessive suffix which matches in person and number with the dative possessor. In the above example, Mari is third person singular, so the possessed noun gets ja.

Dative possessors can be proper names (like Mari), regular nouns, as well as pronouns, of course.

  • Van egy autóm. ‘I have a car.’
  • Nekem van egy autóm. ‘I have a car.’

Using a pronoun in such cases usually adds some emphasis on the possessor: pronouns are natural in answers to question:

  • Kinek van autója? ‘Who has a car?’
  • Nekem. or Nekem van autóm. ‘I do.’ / ‘I have a car.’

Remember also that in Hungarian, the question word ki ‘who’ has separate singular and plural forms, so the sentence

  • Kiknek van autójuk? ‘Who has a car?’

is asking if there are several possessors: in English, this distinction does not exist, and the sentence can be translated with a singular subject.

Possessed nouns in the plural

You know that the regular plural suffix in Hungarian is -k. But when a noun is possessed, we use a different suffix: -i.

  • a kertje ‘his/her garden’
  • a kertek ‘the gardens’
  • a kertjei ‘his/her gardens

This suffix always follows a possessive (generally ja/je or a_/_e), and precedes the suffix indicating the person and number of the possessor:

  • a kertem ‘my garden’ but a kertjeim ‘my gardens’
  • a házam ‘my house’ but a házaim ‘my houses’

Family 4 · 2020-11-26 ^

Hungarian uses four different words for older/younger brother, older/younger sister, not just brother and sister.

For example:
A bátyám orvos. My older brother is a doctor.

Hol van az öcséd? Where is your younger brother?

A húgom óvónő. My younger sister is a kindergarten teacher.

A nővérem mérnök. My older sister is an engineer.

Hungarian English
anya mother
apa father
testvér sibling
báty older brother
öcs younger brother
nővér older sister
húg younger sister
nagymama grandmother
nagypapa grandfather
unoka grandchild
nagynéni aunt
nagybácsi uncle
unokatestvér cousin
unokahúg niece
unokaöcs nephew
férj husband
feleség wife
após father-in-law
anyós mother-in-law
sógor brother-in-law
sógornő sister-in-law

This That 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Demonstratives

In English, demonstratives are : this, that, these, those, and so on. In Hungarian, ez and az are this and that.

The plurals are mostly regular:

ez + -ek = ezek ‘these’

az + -ok = azok ‘those’

ez + -ek + -ben = ezekben ‘in these’

But... : When the singular demonstratives ez and az are followed by a case suffix like -nak/-nek (dative), -ban/-ben (inessive), -nál/-nél, etc., the -z assimilates to the first consonant of the suffix:

ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this’

az + -nál = annál ‘at that’

ez + -nek = ennek

Demonstratives + nouns

When using a demonstrative with a noun, both the demonstrative AND the noun have to have the plural and the case suffixes on BOTH :

(ez + ben )

ebben a házban ‘in this house’

(ezek + ben )

ezekben a házakban ‘in these houses’

azoknál a kerteknél ‘by those gardens’

Demonstratives and postpositions

Hungarian gets a bit more complicated when you combine a demonstrative and a noun like ez a ház ‘this house’ with a POSTposition like mellett ‘next to‘ : if the postposition starts with a consonant, the z disappears, and we get a , e instead of az, ez:

e mellett a ház mellett ‘next to this house’

a fölött a kert fölött ‘above that garden’

ez alatt a fa alatt ‘under this tree’

az alatt a fa alatt ‘under that tree’

Memories 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The past tense in Hungarian is relatively simple (really!). In contrast to English, there is only a single past tense, and it is mostly regular.

The past is formed by adding a -t with or without a vowel to the verb stem, followed by the personal endings. This is first shown for the indefinite paradigm of lát, a verb with a back vowel.

lát-oklát-t-am ‘I saw’

lát-szlát-t-ál ‘you (sg.) saw’

látlát-ott ‘she/he/it saw’

lát-unklát-t-unk ‘we saw’

lát-toklát-ta-tok ‘you (pl.) saw’

lát-naklát-t-ak ‘they saw’

For verbs with front vowels, the suffixes are slightly different:

keres-ekkeres-t-em ‘I was looking for’

keres-elkeres-t-él ‘you (sg.) were looking for’

kereskeres-ett ‘she/he/it was looking for’

keres-ünkkeres-t-ünk ‘we were looking for’

keres-tekkeres-te-tek ‘you (pl.) were looking for’

keres-nekkeres-t-ek ‘they were looking for’

Notice that in the first person singular, the ending is -m for both the indefinite and the definite forms, unlike in the present tense. This makes your life easier (you’ll learn the definite forms soon).

There is another group of verbs where the past tense singular third person form does not end with -ott -ett or -ött just simply with a -t.

talál-oktalál-t-am ‘I found’

talál-sztalál-t-ál ‘you (sg.) found’

találtalál-t ‘she/he/it found’

talál-unktalál-t-unk ‘we found’

talál-toktalál-ta-tok ‘you (pl.) found’

talál-naktalál-t-ak ‘they found’

There are a few exceptional stems which look slightly different in the present and the past tense:

vagyok, van, ... → _voltam ‘I was’, volt ‘she/he/it was’, ...

megyek, megy, ... → mentem ‘I went’, ment ‘she/he/it went’, ...

eszem, eszik, ... → ettem ‘I ate’, evett ‘she/he/it ate’, ...

iszom, iszik, ... → ittam ‘I drank’, ivott ‘she/he/it drank’, ...

Even these, as you can see, are somewhat regular. The -sz in verbs like eszik, iszik, vesz, tesz, lesz, disappears in the past tense: evett, ivott, vett, tett, lett.

Possessives 2 6 · 2021-03-18 ^

Possessive suffixes

In many languages, you use possessive adjectives to express who a certain object belongs to :

  • my table or her shoe

Hungarian does not have possessive adjectives like my or her instead possessive suffixes. They are similar to possessive adjectives in that they indicate the person and number of the possessor but they are attached to the noun:

  • az asztalom ‘my table’

  • a cipője ‘her/his shoe’

The forms are as follows:

Hungarian English
1SG -öm, -om, -m my
2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
3SG -je, -ja, -a his/her/its
1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
3PL -jük, -juk, -uk their

They require vowel harmony so if a noun ends in a vowel... cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG cipő-m my shoe
2SG cipő-d your (sg.) shoe
3SG cipő-je her/his shoe
1PL cipő-nk our shoe
2PL cipő-tök your (pl.) shoe
3PL cipő-jük their shoe

asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG asztal-om my table
2SG asztal-od your (sg.) table
3SG asztal-a her/his table
1PL asztal-unk our table
2PL asztal-otok your (pl.) table
3PL asztal-juk their table

Possessors

Hungarian has two ways of expressing the possessor of something, like the two English constructions a friend's book and a book of a friend.

Possessors can be in the nominative case, e.g. a lány, or dative, e.g. a lánynak:

  • a lány cipője ‘the girl's shoe’
  • a lánynak a cipője ‘the girl's shoe’

The constructions can mean the same, but they differ in some ways. The dative (a lánynak) is followed by a ‘the’ , and you have to use the dative in questions with whose:

  • Ez kinek a cipője? ‘Whose shoe is this?’

whose in this sentence is ki-nek, the dative of ki ‘who’.

Exceptions

As usual, there are exceptions to the rule, and they're complicated ! When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, like ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k:

  • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’
  • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

So it looks like a singular possessor, but it is still plural. Second, when the possessor is a noun in the plural, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or *-(j)ük*:

  • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’
  • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

mine, yours, ...

Hungarian also has possessive pronouns corresponding to mine, yours, etc. They always include the definite article a and are formed as follows:

Hungarian English
1SG az enyém mine
2SG a tiéd or a tied yours (sg.)
3SG az övé hers/his
1PL a miénk ours
2PL a tiétek yours (pl.)
3PL az övék theirs

You can use these forms in sentences like:

Ez a cipő az enyém. ‘This shoe is mine.’

Dropping a vowel

Some words drop the last vowel in the plural /in the accusative case / in possessive forms. We can call this a "fleeting vowel".

For example:

étterem - restaurant

éttermek - restaurants

éttermet - restaurant (accusative)

étterme - his/her restaurant

éttermem - my restaurant

Here we show the accusative singular and the 3rd person singular possessive forms, the other possessive forms follow the pattern.

English HU nominative accusative 3SG possessive
restaurant étterem éttermet étterme
room, hall terem termet terme
strawberry eper epret epre
mirror tükör tükröt tükre
statue szobor szobrot szobra
monkey majom majmot majma
tail farok farkat farka
bush bokor bokrot bokra
dream álom álmot álma
(lion) cub kölyök kölyköt kölyke

Animals 3 · 2023-06-21 ^

We often make general statements like :

Lions are carnivores.

In English, we can use a word without an article, like lions above, to express a general statement.

In Hungarian, general statements are expressed slightly differently. But sometimes we don't use the verb to be and, when talking about the properties of a third-person subject, in Hungarian, we need an article.

Thus the English sentence above becomes:

Az oroszlánok húsevők. = literally ‘the lions carnivores’ , translated: the lions are carnivores . . .

or

Az oroszlán húsevő. = both "the lion is a carnivore " and "lions are carnivores " ! . . .

The same is true with negation.

Dolphins are not fish.

becomes

A delfinek nem halak. = lit. ‘the dolphins not fish’

w

Choices 5 4 · 2020-12-20 ^

Long forms

As we saw earlier, usually we can choose between a short form and a long form to show possession:

the boy's dog = a fiú kutyája / a fiúnak a kutyája

the girl's cat = a lány macskája / a lánynak a macskája

However, if you use the possessor with this/that, you have to use the longer form (with the -nak-nek ending)

this boy's dog = ennek a fiúnak a kutyája

that boy's dog = annak a fiúnak a kutyája

this girl's cat = ennek a lánynak a macskája

that girl's cat = annak a lánynak a macskája

If the possessor is plural:

these boys' dog = ezeknek a fiúknak a kutyája

those girls' cat = azoknak a lányoknak a macskája

-ja or -juk

Let's refresh the possessive endings:

Hungarian English
1SG -öm, -em, -om, -m my
2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
3SG -je, -ja, -e, -a his/her/its
1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
3PL -jük, -juk, -ük, -uk their

But we will see that the 3rd person plural behaves strangely.

Exceptions

As usual, there are a few exceptions to the general rule. When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k. (This only happens with ők, all other pronouns stay intact.)

  • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’

  • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

So it looks like a singular possessor, but is still plural. Second, when the possessor is a plural noun, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or -(j)ük

  • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’

  • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

How does it work in general?

First, we have to make a distinction. Do we have a Possessive sentence, like The boy's dog is black. A fiú kutyája fekete.

or a To have sentence: The boy has a dog. A fiúnak van egy kutyája.

So, in total:

Possessive sentence To have sentence
they -juk -juk
az ő kutyájuk (nekik) van egy kutyájuk
their dog they have a dog
plural noun -ja -juk
a fiúk kutyája, a fiúknak a kutyája a fiúknak van egy kutyájuk
the boys' dog the boys have a dog
önök, maguk -ja -juk
az önök kutyája önöknek van egy kutyájuk
your dog you have a dog
not named -juk -juk
a kutyájuk van egy kutyájuk
(their/your) dog (they/you) have a dog

Articles

One more thing, where Possessive sentence versus a To have sentence makes a big difference.

Annak a fiúnak a kutyája barna. That boy's dog is black.

(You have to write a kutyája here.)

Annak a fiúnak van egy kutyája. /Annak a fiúnak van kutyája. That boy has a dog.

(Here, egy kutyája or kutyája without article is possible.)

Colors 4 · 2023-06-21 ^

Hungarian has its own rules regarding colors, for example, two different words for red.

Piros, sometimes, for things that are not human or are unemotional: piros labda (ball), piros paradicsom (tomato), piros jelzőlámpa (traffic lights).

And vörös, sometimes, for living or emotional objects : vörös haj (hair), vörös zászló (flag - but not in piros, fehér, zöld [Hungary's flag's colors ] ) , vörös róka (red fox), vörös bor (red wine), vörös csillag (red star). Better just to memorize . . .

Orange: the fruit itself is narancs but its color is narancssárga.

First! 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Ordinal numbers (like first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. ) are formed by using the number , itself , and -adik, -edik, and -ödik . The choice depends on vowel harmony.

If the number has a long vowel in the last syllable (like kettő, hét, négy, tíz or húsz), the vowel shortens:

tíz becomes tizedik ‘tenth’ (and négy -> negyedik, hét -> hetedik)

In három, the á shortens, and the o disappears, so we get harmadik ‘third‘.

And, like in English, second, is not derived from two (we don't use twoth!):

második ‘second’

(más = ‘different’ but also, ‘another‘)

En Hu
first első
second második
third harmadik
fourth negyedik
fifth ötödik
sixth hatodik
seventh hetedik
eighth nyolcadik
ninth kilencedik
tenth tizedik
eleventh tizenegyedik
twelfth tizenkettedik
thirteenth tizenharmadik
fourteenth tizennegyedik
fifteenth tizenötödik

Note that 11th, 12th, 21st, 22nd, 31st, 32nd (and so on) do not contain the words "első" and "második",
we say tizenegyedik, tizenkettedik, huszonegyedik, huszonkettedik, harmincegyedik, harminckettedik instead.

Hányadik?

English does not have a word for "how manyeth" but Hungarian does. Hányadik? You can use this if you expect an ordinal number as an answer.

Hányadik emeleten laksz? - A harmadik emeleten lakom.

Hányadik megállóban szállunk le? - A kilencedik megállóban.

Negation 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Is, sem, and double negatives

is

In Hungarian, is means too or also. We place is right after the word it refers to.  

Examples:  

I, too, like horses = Én is szeretem a lovakat. 

I like horses too (stress on "I" and "too" in speech) = Én is szeretem a lovakat.

I like horses too = I like horses (in addition to something else that has already been mentioned)   Szeretem a lovakat is.

Én is okos vagyok = I am also smart. (and someone else is smart as well)

Én okos is vagyok és szép is. = I am smart and beautiful too.

Some tips:

- Never put is at the beginning of the sentence. As we have seen, "is" refers to the word right before it. If it is the first word of the sentence, what does it refer to?  Nothing. That does not work.

  • In the great majority of the time, do not place it after the verb. Btw, placing it after the verb is possible:

Szeretlek is meg nem is.  = I love you and also don't love you.

Látom és hallom is a filmet. = I see and also hear the movie.  

But these examples are rare, and do not come up in this Duolingo course, so as a survival tip on Duolingo, do not put is after the verb. :P

sem

Sem means neither. It is the negated form of is

Again, we place sem right after the word it refers to.  

I also don't like horses  (someone else also does not like them) = Én sem szeretem a lovakat.

I do not like horses either = I don't like horses (in addition to some other animals)   Nem szeretem a lovakat sem. / A lovakat sem szeretem.

I do not like horses either = I don't like horses (in addition to not liking riding them)    Nem is szeretem a lovakat.

Not as simple as the examples with is, but here I can say the same tips. 

  • Do not put sem at the beginning of the sentence, since "sem" refers to the word right before it.  (Well, there are some exceptions, but those are rare.)

  • Do not place it after the verb. Here,  "szeretem sem" is impossible, we would use "nem is szeretem" instead. 

 Nem látom és nem is hallom a filmet. = I do see and also do not hear the movie.

Double negation

You know nothing, Jon Snow!  -  Nem tudsz te semmit, Havas Jon!

Hungarian uses double negatives.  In English, we say "I do not see anything", while the Hungarian version would be literally  "I do not see nothing." - Nem látok semmit.  This is considered bad grammar in English, but perfectly fine (and mandatory) in Hungarian. 

When the following pronouns are used in a negative sentence, we usually get a double negative. Pronouns in question are:

senki nobody

semmi nothing

sehol (sehová, sehonnan)  (to/from) nowhere

soha  never

When the above negative pronoun comes AFTER the predicate (verb in this context), we have an N-S pattern. That is, we use Nem and then Senki.

Positive statement English Negative statement English
Látok valakit I see someone Nem látok senkit I don't see anyone
Van itt valami Something is here Itt nincs semmi There is nothing here
Ági megy valahová Ági is going somewhere Ági nem megy sehová Ági is not going anywhere

When one of the above negative pronouns comes BEFORE the predicate, we have an S-S pattern. That is, we use Senki and then Sem.  But in this case, using Nem instead of Sem also works.  (Using sem is more natural.)

Positive statement English Negative statement English
Látok valakit I see someone Senkit sem látok / Senkit nem látok I see noone
Van itt valami Something is here Semmi sincs itt  / Semmi nincs itt Nothing is here
Soha sem olvasok / Soha nem olvasok I never read

Caution:  earlier we learned that sem alone means neither.  But semmi sem and semmi nem  (or senki sem and senki nem) are equivalent. 

What's more, we can have a triple negation, with an N-S-S pattern.

Nem tudsz semmit sem. - You don't know anything.

Nem ismerek senkit sem itt.  - I don't know anyone here.

Back to the "You know nothing" example, all of these are possible in Hungarian: 

Nem tudsz semmit. 

Semmit sem tudsz.

Semmit nem tudsz. 

Nem tudsz semmit sem.

Ablative Postpositional Pronouns 5 · 2020-12-24 ^

Take some postpositions, add moving away from something and attach some personal endings.

English Postposition ... me ... you ... him/her
(from) beside mellől mellőlem mellőled mellőle
(from) under alól alólam alólad alóla
(from) in front of elől előlem előled előle
(from) above fölül fölülem fölüled fölüle
(from) behind mögül mögülem mögüled mögüle

Have 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

In the previous skill, you learned how to express possession in Hungarian. In this skill, you'll learn another way to show possession: how to make sentences which use the verb to have.

Hungarian does not have a verb that means to have. Instead, Hungarian uses the verb van ‘there is’ with a dative (for the possessor) and a nominative (for the possessed noun):

  • Mary has a car.
  • Marinak van egy autója.

This construction means something like There is a car to Mary. .

The possessed noun has a possessive suffix which matches in person and number with the dative possessor. In the above example, Mari is third person singular, so the possessed noun gets ja.

Dative possessors can be proper names (like Mari), regular nouns, as well as pronouns, of course.

  • Van egy autóm. ‘I have a car.’
  • Nekem van egy autóm. ‘I have a car.’

Using a pronoun in such cases usually adds some emphasis on the possessor: pronouns are natural in answers to question:

  • Kinek van autója? ‘Who has a car?’
  • Nekem. or Nekem van autóm. ‘I do.’ / ‘I have a car.’

Remember also that in Hungarian, the question word ki ‘who’ has separate singular and plural forms, so the sentence

  • Kiknek van autójuk? ‘Who has a car?’

is asking if there are several possessors: in English, this distinction does not exist, and the sentence can be translated with a singular subject.

Possessed nouns in the plural

You know that the regular plural suffix in Hungarian is -k. But when a noun is possessed, we use a different suffix: -i.

  • a kertje ‘his/her garden’
  • a kertek ‘the gardens’
  • a kertjei ‘his/her gardens

This suffix always follows a possessive (generally ja/je or a_/_e), and precedes the suffix indicating the person and number of the possessor:

  • a kertem ‘my garden’ but a kertjeim ‘my gardens’
  • a házam ‘my house’ but a házaim ‘my houses’

Adessive Postpositional Pronouns 3 · 2022-02-10 ^

Adessive Postpositional Pronouns

Take some postpositions, and attach some personal endings.

English Postposition ... me ... you ... him/her
beside, next to mellett mellettem melletted mellette
under alatt alattam alattad alatta
in front of előtt előttem előtted előtte
above fölött fölöttem fölötted fölötte
behind mögött mögöttem mögötted mögötte
after után utánam utánad utána

Allative Postpositional Pronouns 3 · 2021-11-16 ^

Take some postpositions, add moving towards something and attach some personal endings.

English Postposition ...me ... you ... him/her
(to) beside mellé mellém melléd mellé
(to) under alá alám alád alá
(to) in front of elé elém eléd elé
(to) above fölé fölém föléd fölé
(to) behind mögé mögém mögéd mögé
towards felé felém feléd felé
(to) around köré körém köréd köré

Pronouns of Source 2 · 2020-11-04 ^

You learned the case endings earlier. For example, in the house = a házban. In this skill, you will see constructions like "in me", "from you", "about him".

Pronouns of source

Case ending ...me ... you ... him/her
- ból - ből belőlem belőled belőle
- ról - ről rólam rólad róla
- tól - től tőlem tőled tőle
Case ending ...us ... you (pl.) ... them
- ból - ből belőlünk belőletek belőlük
- ról - ről rólunk rólatok róluk
- tól - től tőlünk tőletek tőlük

Pronouns of Position 1 · 2020-11-04 ^

Pronouns of position

Case ending ...me ... you ... him/her
- ban - ben bennem benned benne
- on - en -ön -n rajtam rajtad rajta
- nál - nél nálam nálad nála
Case ending ...us ... you (pl) ... them
- ban - ben bennünk bennetek bennük
- on - en -ön -n rajtunk rajtatok rajtuk
- nál - nél nálunk nálatok náluk

Pronouns of Goal 1 · 2020-11-04 ^

Pronouns of goal

Case ending ...me ... you ... him/her
- ba - be belém beléd belé
- ra -re rám rád
- hoz -hez -höz hozzám hozzád hozzá
Case ending ...us ... you (pl.) ... them
- ba - be belénk belétek beléjük
- ra -re ránk rátok rájuk
- hoz -hez -höz hozzánk hozzátok hozzájuk

Into 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The illative case is used to show MOTION into something and it's like English into or to :

a házba ‘to the house’

The illative suffix also requires vowel harmony:

a kertbe ‘into the garden'

It's easy to confuse the illative case (into ) -ba / -be * with the inessive case -ban/-ben* , in , so be on the alert !

Plural Possessions 4 · 2021-11-16 ^

The plural of possessed nouns

You've already learned quite a bit about possession in Hungarian. You might have noticed, however, that the examples so far were missing something, namely
plurals of possessed nouns.

While usually plurals of nouns are indicated by the suffix -k (with a vowel preceding it), when we're dealing with a possessed noun, like his bosses, the plural is formed in a different way, with -i. So:

  • Péter főnöke ‘Péter's boss’
  • Péter főnökei ‘Péter's bosses

The great thing about this suffix is that there's no vowel harmony. It's simply -i and remains -i. Thus:

  • Éva asztala ‘Éva's table’
  • Éva asztalai ‘Éva's tables

Let's look at the plural forms of the words cipő and asztal that we discussed in the Tips and Notes of Possessives 1. Cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its possessed forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG cipő-im my shoes
2SG cipő-id your (sg.) shoes
3SG cipő-i her/his shoes
1PL cipő-ink our shoes
2PL cipő-itek your (pl.) shoes
3PL cipő-ik their shoes

asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its possessed forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG asztal-aim my tables
2SG asztal-aid your (sg.) tables
3SG asztal-ai her/his tables
1PL asztal-aink our tables
2PL asztal-aitok your (pl.) tables
3PL asztal-aik their tables

Ő, Ők

Be careful, ők gets shortened to ő in some possessive structures, and only the possessive ending shows the possessor:

az ő széke - his/her chair

az ő székük - their chair

az ő székei - his/her chairs

az ő székeik - their chairs

az ő háza - his/her house

az ő házuk - their house

az ő házai - his/her houses

az ő házaik - their houses

Onto 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The sublative case indicates motion ONTO something. It corresponds to the English preposition onto and needs vowel harmony:

a házra ‘onto the house’
a tetőre ‘onto the roof’

and it can be a vertical surface or even a tree!

a falra = on(to) the wall
a fára = in(to) the tree

Toward 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The allative is a movement case, expressing movement TO something. In English, it can be translated with up to - but not in !

It also requires vowel harmony, and there are two front suffixes, based on whether the vowels in the noun are rounded, like ö and ü, or not (like e ) .

a kerthez - ‘up to the garden’

a tükörhöz - ‘up to the mirror’

a házhoz - ‘up to the house’

Moving 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Preverbs: simple cases

In Hungarian: preverbs, verbal modifiers or verbal prefixes (igekötő in Hungarian) are very common . These modifiers USUALLY mean motion TOWARD something: ki ‘toward the outside’, be ‘toward the inside’, le ‘down‘, el ‘away‘, ide ‘toward here‘, oda ‘toward there‘.

In the simplest cases, a verb with a preverb corresponds, in English, to a verb plus an adverb :

  • kimegyek ‘I go out‘

  • bemész ‘you (sg.) go to‘, ‘you (sg.) enter‘

  • elmegy ‘s/he goes away‘

  • leülünk ‘we sit down‘

  • ideültök ‘you (pl.) sit down here‘

  • odaülnek ‘they sit down there‘

In English, the distinction between a location and a direction is not always explicit: she is running there can mean she is there and she is running or she is moving from here to there by running. Hungarian makes this explicit : the former meaning would be ott fut and the latter, with a verbal modifier or preverb, odafut (runs over to there... ) .

Word order

These verbal modifiers can have big effects on word order! Word order, in Hungarian, is much freer than in English, but there are some restrictions .

In general, a verbal modifier precedes the verb and they are written as one word:

  • Mari bemegy. ‘Mari enters.‘

However, the modifier can also be separated from the verb:

  • Mari megy be.

While this still means that Mari enters , the information it conveys is more like :

  • Mari megy be. = ‘It is Mari who enters.’ (not someone else)

Mari is in focus because Mari immediately precedes the verb. Whenever there is a focused word or phrase , the particle follows the verb - and is detached .

Important ! The particle follows the verb when there is negation or in questions with question words:

  • Nem mész el. ‘You do not go away.‘

  • Ki ül le? ‘Who is sitting down?’

The phrase that corresponds to that question word, in an answer, is also always in focus. The answer to the question Ki ül le? could be:

  • Péter ül le. ‘It is Péter who is sitting down.’ or 'Péter is sitting down.’

The boldface in the second English translation indicates stress on the word. Say the English answer out loud and you'll hear what this means.

More on word order

Hungarian word order is very strict in another respect: the order of topic, focus (new information) and the verb. English generally has

  • subjectverb / predicatedirect object

but Hungarian generally has

  • topic - focus - verb - others

order.

There can be more than one topic!

  • Mari a kertben ül le. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.’ or ‘It's in the garden that Mari is sitting down.’

  • A kertben Mari ül le.Mari is sitting down in the garden.‘ or ‘It's Mari who is sitting down in the garden.‘

In both sentences, that someone (Mari) is sitting down somewhere (in the garden) is conveyed, but Hungarian focuses on different parts of the sentence. In the first example, the new information is a kertben ‘in the garden’. This is indicated by the word order: a kertben immediately precedes the verb. In English, the word order stays the same, but stress or prominence changes. Compare It's in the garden ... and It's Mary ....

You can also have an unfocused sentence:

  • Mari leül a kertben. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.'

This is a neutral sentence. The subject (Mari ) is the topic, but not in focus (the "le " keeps it from being immediately before the verb ) , and neither is a kertben. And, the corresponding sentence, in English, does not have any particular stress on any phrase or word.

Word order is a complicated matter in Hungarian. For a longer explanation, see this forum post:

On Emphasis and Word Order in Hungarian

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/18806754

Past tense 1 2 · 2021-01-31 ^

The past tense in Hungarian is relatively simple (really!). In contrast to English, there is only a single past tense, and it is mostly regular.

The past is formed by adding a -t with or without a vowel to the verb stem, followed by the personal endings. This is first shown for the indefinite paradigm of lát, a verb with a back vowel.

lát-oklát-t-am ‘I saw’

lát-szlát-t-ál ‘you (sg.) saw’

látlát-ott ‘she/he/it saw’

lát-unklát-t-unk ‘we saw’

lát-toklát-ta-tok ‘you (pl.) saw’

lát-naklát-t-ak ‘they saw’

For verbs with front vowels, the suffixes are slightly different:

keres-ekkeres-t-em ‘I was looking for’

keres-elkeres-t-él ‘you (sg.) were looking for’

kereskeres-ett ‘she/he/it was looking for’

keres-ünkkeres-t-ünk ‘we were looking for’

keres-tekkeres-te-tek ‘you (pl.) were looking for’

keres-nekkeres-t-ek ‘they were looking for’

Notice that in the first person singular, the ending is -m for both the indefinite and the definite forms, unlike in the present tense. This makes your life easier (you’ll learn the definite forms soon).

There is another group of verbs where the past tense singular third person form does not end with -ott -ett or -ött just simply with a -t.

talál-oktalál-t-am ‘I found’

talál-sztalál-t-ál ‘you (sg.) found’

találtalál-t ‘she/he/it found’

talál-unktalál-t-unk ‘we found’

talál-toktalál-ta-tok ‘you (pl.) found’

talál-naktalál-t-ak ‘they found’

There are a few exceptional stems which look slightly different in the present and the past tense:

vagyok, van, ... → _voltam ‘I was’, volt ‘she/he/it was’, ...

megyek, megy, ... → mentem ‘I went’, ment ‘she/he/it went’, ...

eszem, eszik, ... → ettem ‘I ate’, evett ‘she/he/it ate’, ...

iszom, iszik, ... → ittam ‘I drank’, ivott ‘she/he/it drank’, ...

Even these, as you can see, are somewhat regular. The -sz in verbs like eszik, iszik, vesz, tesz, lesz, disappears in the past tense: evett, ivott, vett, tett, lett.

Food 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

In this lesson, you'll learn the Hungarian words for a number of fruits, vegetables and other foods, as well as the names of some Hungarian dishes.

As in earlier skills, when talking about something in general, Hungarian differs from English. Where English uses a bare noun, as in Cheese is tasty., in Hungarian you have to use a definite article plus a noun: A sajt finom.

Another difference between the two languages is that Hungarian sometimes uses a bare singular noun where English would use an article and a noun or a plural: Szőlőt eszem. translates to I am eating grapes.

Some of the dishes mentioned in the sentences in this skill are difficult to translate, since they are Hungarian specialties. So here is a very short little guide to Hungarian cuisine:

  • gulyás(leves) is a soup flavoured with some paprika with different vegetables and meat; it is soupier than "goulash soup" in other countries

  • lángos is a small, round piece of wheat dough (sometimes with potato as well) with yeast that is fried in oil or baked and eaten with garlic, cheese and/or sour dough

  • lecsó is a vegetable ragout or stew, made with onion, tomato, peppers, and paprika

  • pálinka is a fruit brandy that is often made from apricots (then usually called barack or barackpálinka), plums (szilvapálinka), or other fruit

  • paprikás is a dish made with paprika, onion, garlic and different meats or vegetables, such as chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, or beans; there are many varieties; this dish is sometimes known as "goulash" outside of Hungary

  • pörkölt is a stew usually made with (you guessed it!) paprika, onion, garlic and beef or pork; there are many different varieties, however; this dish is often known as "goulash" outside of Hungary

Into 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Here are more sentences using the illative case (plus some preverbs you learned recently). It is used to show motion to something and it corresponds to English to and implies "into " :

a házba ‘to the house’

It will not come as a surprise to you that the illative suffix is also subject to vowel harmony:

a kertbe ‘to the garden'

Past tense 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

You have recently learned the past tense in Hungarian. As you remember, it is formed by adding a -t- to the stem followed by personal suffixes. However, as in the present tense, Hungarian distinguishes using a verb form whether the (third person) direct object is definite or not. In the skill Past 1, we showed you the forms without objects or with indefinite objects. Here are the forms for past tense verbs with definite objects.

We start with the verb lát, with a back vowel, e.g. láttuk ‘we saw it’. Note that the first person singular is the same for both. Some of the verb forms with definite objects are similar to the present tense forms: instead of -j-, we find a -t- in the 3SG and the plural forms.

indefinite or no object definite object
1SG lát-t-am lát-t-am
2SG lát-t-ál lát-t-ad
3SG lát-ott lát-t-a
1PL lát-t-unk lát-t-uk
2PL lát-ta-tok lát-t-átok
3PL lát-t-ak lát-t-ák

Now for a verb with front vowels, like keres, e.g. kerestük ‘we were looking for it’.

indefinite or no object definite object
1SG keres-t-em keres-t-em
2SG keres-t-él keres-t-ed
3SG keres-ett keres-t-e
1PL keres-t-ünk keres-t-ük
2PL keres-te-tek keres-t-étek
3PL keres-t-ek keres-t-ék

Onto 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

More sublative case: motion onto something . It corresponds to the preposition onto and requires vowel harmony:

a házra = onto the house , a tetőre = onto the roof

Here, you'll find sentences using "separable " verbs, from the lesson on "Preverbs" , like felszállni ‘to get on’ . For example :

  • Felszállok a vonatra. ‘I get on the train.’

Sometimes, Hungarian is more explicit than English , in expressing this kind of motion. For example, - Mari leül a székre means Mari sits down onto the chair - which sounds a bit odd in English.

The important point is that ra and -re express the direction of the motion onto - which also includes surfaces like "walls " and trees .

Toward 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The allative is a movement case, showing movement TO something. In English, it can be translated with up to but not in. The allative requires vowel harmony - with a special quirk: there are two front suffixes, based on whether the vowels in the noun are rounded, like ö and ü, or not, like e.

a házhoz ‘to the house’ a kerthez ‘to the garden’ a tükörhöz ‘to the mirror’

Here, you'll use these forms with some of the preverbs you have already learned.

Geography 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Németországban, Magyarországon

In Germany is Németországban, but in Hungary is Magyarországon. But why do they have different endings?

Most towns in Hungary take surface suffixes (-n,-on -en -ön ), while the majority of places outside of Hungary use inside suffixes (-ban, -ben ):

• Szegedre - Szegeden - Szegedről: to, in, from Szeged

• Bécsbe - Bécsben - Bécsből: to, in, from Vienna

• Magyarországra - Magyarországon - Magyarországról: to, in, from Hungary

• Svédországba - Svédországban - Svédországból: to, in, from Sweden

Exception to these rules are Hungarian towns that end with : -i, -j, -m, -n, -ny, and -r (unless it is in -vár ... ) ! These take the inside suffixes: Tamásiból, Tokajban, Veszprémben, Debrecenből, Tihanyba, Egerben.

Takes the -ban-ben case Takes the -on -en -ön case
Countries: Countries:
Most foreign countries Magyarország
(a few islands) most islands
Japánban, Kubában Izlandon, Máltán, Korzikán, Krétán, Madagaszkáron
- ending with -föld
- Thaiföldön
Cities/Towns: Cities/Towns:
Cities outside Hungary Most Hungarian towns
Londonban, Berlinben Budapesten, Szegeden
Hungarian cities ending -i, -j, -m, -n, and -ny In neighboring countries, towns with Hungarian names
Debrecenben, Veszprémben Kassán, Aradon (but: Bécsben)

See also this link: Myhunlang blog: Suffixes / Adverbs of Place

Irregular towns

In the case of Pécs and a few other towns there's a third, archaic, suffix in use: Pécsett. Others are Győrött and Székesfehérvárott. But Duo also accepts the regular forms: Pécsen, Győrben, Székesfehérváron.

Articles

Names of rivers, lakes, islands, hills, mountains, roads, streets, squares, buildings, and institutes tend to have a definite article, even if it's not used in the English translation.

A Margitsziget
A Parlament
A Budai Vár
A Kékestető
A Duna
A Tisza
A Balaton

A Margitszigetre megyek. - I am going to Margaret Island.

A Duna mellett sétálunk. - We are walking next to the Danube.

City and town names are used without an article.

Budapesten lakom. - I live in Budapest

This That 3 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Demonstratives in locative cases

This lesson is about demonstratives (this, that, these, those ) used with : -ba/-be, -hoz/-hez/-ho:z, and -ra/-re.

These undergo assimilation . The consonant -z in the demonstrative changes to the consonant in the case:

  • ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this one’
  • ez + -hez = ehhez ‘to(wards) this one’
  • az + -ra = arra ‘onto that one’

This does not happen in the plural, so we get:

  • az + ok + -ra = azokra ‘onto those’

Demonstratives and nouns

Attach the ending to BOTH the demonstrative AND the noun:

  • ebben a kertben ‘in this garden’
  • ahhoz az épülethez ‘to that building’
  • azokra a házakra ‘onto those houses’

Describe 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Singular or plural adjectives

Like in English, the adjective precedes the noun it modifies. (This is called an attributive adjective.) In this case, the adjective is not pluralized.

A piros alma = The red apple.

A piros almák = The red apples.

Ezek piros almák =These are red apples.

Sometimes you see an adjective that comes after the noun. In English, the adjective usually comes after is/are. However, in the Hungarian translation van or vannak is dropped. (This is called a predicative adjective.) In this case the adjective has to be plural when the subject is plural.

Az alma piros = The apple is red.

Az almák pirosak = The apples are red.

Ezek az almák pirosak =These apples are red.

A német házak szépek. = German houses are beautiful.

BUT: Be careful, the rule is not about if the adjective is before or after the noun. (Even though sometimes we say it this way because it is an easier explanation.) The real rule about whether it is an attributive adjective or predicative adjective.

Example: Politicians are rich. "A politikusok gazdagok" and "Gazdagok a politikusok." is the same thing grammatically, just the word order is rearranged.

Pirosak az almák. Szépek a német házak. These are also correct.

Milyen or milyenek?

Milyen and milyenek work the same way as adjectives.

attributive:

Milyen autó ez? What kind of car is this?

Milyen város ez? What kind of city is this?

Milyen városokat ismersz? What kind of cities do you know?

Milyen autók ezek? What kind of cars are these?

predicative:

Milyenek a brazil sportolók? A brazil sportolók milyenek? What are the Brazilian athletes like?

Milyenek az orvosok itt? What are the doctors like here?

Milyen az orvos? What is the doctor like?

Milyen az a ház? What is that house like?

Forming plural adjectives

Add -ak, -ok -ek -ök or -k to the end of the word:

If the adjective ends with a vowel:

-K : after ó ő, a, e and the word kicsi. (Note that a e will turn into á é)
olcsó, olcsók, jó, jók, önző, önzők, sárga, sárgák, fekete, feketék, kicsi, kicsik, gyenge, gyengék, drága, drágák, olcsó, olcsók, szőke, szőkék, csúnya, csúnyák, tiszta, tiszták, hülye, hülyék, furcsa, furcsák,

-AK: after i, ú, back and mixed vowel words. amerikai, amerikaiak, koreai, koreaiak, kínai, kínaiak... hosszú, hosszúak, lassú, lassúak, szomorú, szomorúak,

-EK: after after i, ű, front vowel words.
keleti, keletiek, jókedvű, jókedvűek, keserű, keserűek, könnyű, könnyűek, régi, régiek, nemzeti, nemzetiek, népszerű, népszerűek, gyönyörű, gyönyörűek, nagyszerű, nagyszerűek,

If the adjective ends with a consonant:

-AK: most adjectives with mixed and back vowels
rossz, rosszak, magas, magasak, vékony, vékonyak, piros, pirosak, barátságos, barátságosak, fáradt, fáradtak, sovány, soványak, fontos, fontosak, gyors, gyorsak, új, újak, száraz, szárazak, okos, okosak, hasznos, hasznosak, csinos, csinosak, hatékony, hatékonyak, szomjas, szomjasak, unalmas, unalmasak

-OK: after -atlan/-talan, nationalities, and a few other mixed/back vowel adjectives
magyar, magyarok, angol, angolok, orosz, oroszok, olasz, olaszok, holland, hollandok, / nyugtalan, nyugtalanok, sótlan, sótlanok, / fiatal fiatalok, nagy, nagyok, vastag, vastagok, gazdag, gazdagok, boldog, boldogok, szabad, szabadok,

-EK: all other adjectives with front vowels
szép, szépek, szegény, szegények, rövid, rövidek, meleg, melegek, hideg, hidegek, nedves, nedvesek, keskeny, keskenyek, széles, szélesek, sekély, sekélyek, mély, mélyek, erős, erősek, híres, híresek, kövér, kövérek, idős, idősek, öreg, öregek, lehetséges, lehetségesek, lehetetlen, lehetetlenek, ügyes, ügyesek, ingyenes, ingyenesek, modern, modernek, üres, üresek, tökéletes, tökéletesek, helyes, helyesek, friss, frissek, beteg, betegek, éhes, éhesek, nehéz, nehezek,

-ÖK : the words török, görög.
török, törökök, görög, görögök

Possession Object 4 · 2021-04-01 ^

Here, you will meet possessed direct objects, objects with both a possessive and an accusative suffix. The form is that the noun is followed by the possessive marker and by the accusative marker - in that order:

házház-amház-am-at ‘my house (obj.)’

The accusative is fairly regular, too. Recall that for a word like alma ‘apple’, adding the accusative lengthens the final vowel:

almaalmá-t ‘apple (obj.)’

The same happens with possessive forms ending in -a:

ház-a ‘his/her/its house’ → ház-á-t ‘his/her/its house (obj.)’

Note that possessed direct objects (nearly) always require the definite verb form, and they often appear with a definite determiner or possessor .

Finally, if the possessor is in the first or second person singular, the accusative can sometimes be omitted:

Add a kezed! ‘Give me your hand!’

Here, it is fairly common to just use kezed instead of kezedet. But if the possessor is in the third person this is never possible.

Moving 3 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

More verbs with prefixes.

Preverbs: simple cases

Here, you'll learn about a common particle : preverbs, verb modifiers or verbal prefixes (igekötő in Hungarian). Many have a meaning expressing motion towards something : ki ‘towards the outside’, be ‘to ’, le ‘down‘, el ‘away‘, ide ‘towards here‘, oda ‘towards there‘.

A verb with a modifier usually corresponds to a verb plus an adverb:

  • kimegyek ‘I go out‘

  • bemész ‘you (sg.) go to‘, ‘you (sg.) enter‘

  • elmegy ‘s/he goes away‘

  • leülünk ‘we sit down‘

  • ideültök ‘you (pl.) sit down here‘

  • odaülnek ‘they sit down there‘

In English, the distinction between a location and a direction is not always explicit: she is running there can mean she is there and she is running or she is moving from here to there by running. Hungarian makes this explicit: the former would be ott fut and the latter, with a verbal modifier or preverb, odafut.

Word order

These verbal modifiers can have big effects on word order! As you know by now, word order in Hungarian is much freer than in English, but ...

in general, a verbal modifier precedes the verb and they're written as one word:

  • Mari bemegy. ‘Mari enters.‘

However, the modifier can also be separated from the verb:

  • Mari megy be.

While the sentence still means that Mari goes to something, the information it conveys corresponds more to :

  • Mari megy be. = ‘It is Mari who is going to.’ (not someone else)

In the above example, Mari is in focus because Mari immediately precedes the verb. This is called the focus position. Whenever there is a focused phrase or word in this position, the particle follows the verb.

In addition, the particle follows the verb when there is negation or in questions with question words:

  • Nem mész el. ‘You are not going away.‘

  • Ki ül le? ‘Who is sitting down?’

The phrase that responds to a question word is in focus. The answer to the question Ki ül le? could be:

  • Péter ül le. ‘It is Péter who is sitting down.’ or 'Péter is sitting down.’

The boldface in the second translation shows stress on the word. Try saying the English answer out loud and you'll hear what this means.

More on word order

Hungarian word order is fairly free : the subject does not have to precede the verb and the object - as it mostly does in English.

Hungarian word order is very strict in one respect: the order of topic, focus and the verb. Focus points out new information in a sentence. The topic of a sentence is what the sentence is about. English usually has

  • subjectverbobject

word order . Hungarian usually has

  • topic - focus - verb and others

order.

  • Mari a kertben ül le. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.’ Or ‘It's in the garden that Mari is sitting down.’

  • A kertben Mari ül le.Mari is sitting down in the garden.‘ Or ‘It's Mari who is sitting down in the garden.‘

In both sentences, someone (Mari) is sitting down somewhere (in the garden), but we focus on different parts of the sentence. In the first example, the new or important information is a kertben ‘in the garden’. This is indicated by the word order: a kertben immediately precedes the verb. In English, the word order stays the same, but stress or prominence changes.

Finally, let's have a look at:

  • Mari leül a kertben. ‘Mari is sitting down in the garden.'

The subject (Mari ) is the topic, but is not in focus, because the prefix (le ) has taken the focus position. In cases like these, the verbal modifier stays attached to the verb.

The sentence it corresponds to, in English, will not have prominence, or stress, on any phrase or word.

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Elative Case 6 · 2023-06-21 ^

Another case! The elative case motion out of something. In English, you can translate it with out of.

Its forms are -ból/-ből . Tiny tip: they both have diacritics . Ból is attached to words with back vowels, ből to words with front vowels:

  • a házból ‘out of the house’

  • a kertből ‘out of the garden’

Now you know three cases (-ba/-be), (-ban/-ben) , and (-ból/-ből) which start with a -b : the inessive (-ban/-ben), the illative (-ba/-be) and the elative (-ból/-ből) .

What connects these is that they express motion related to the inside of something - into, in, and out of .

Delative Case 5 · 2023-06-21 ^

The delative case expresses motion away from the SURFACE of something and its forms are -ról/-ről . In English, you can use the prepositions from or off to translate it.

  • repülőtérről ‘from the airport’

  • pályaudvarról ‘from the train station’

Tiny tip: Hungarians think of both of these locations as SURFACES . They also think of many Hungarian cities close around Budapest as surfaces. And universities . . .

The delative is also used more abstractly, with verbs like beszél ‘talk’, where it means about:

  • Az épületről beszélek. ‘I am talking about the building.’

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Away From 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The ablative case -tól/-től shows motion away from something.

It can usually be translated with from , but not all uses of from can be translated with the ablative!

  • A folyótól jövök. ‘I am coming from the river.’

  • Az épülettől indul a busz. ‘The bus is leaving from the building.’

There are nine different cases that are related to location. We can arrange them in a 3 x 3 matrix. The triads of movement are :

goal position source
SPACES -ba -be -ban -ben -ból -ből
SURFACES -ra -re -on -en -ön -n -ról -ről
SOLIDS -hoz -hez -höz -nál -nél -tól -től

spaces:
Bemegyek a házba. - I go into the house.
A házban vagyok. - I am in the house.
Kimegyek a házból. - I go out of the house.

surfaces:
Az asztalra rakom a könyvet. - I put the book on the table.
A könyv az asztalon van. - The book is on the table.
Elveszem az asztalról a könyvet. - I take the book away from the table.

solids:
Odamegyek a szoborhoz. - I go over to the statue.
A szobornál várok. - I wait at the statue.
Elmegyek a szobortól. - I go away from the statue.

This That 4 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Using the demonstratives in the elative (ból / ből), delative (ról / ről) and ablative (tól / től) cases, with English nouns...

When combining a singular demonstrative pronoun (this, that - ez, az ) with these case endings, the -z of the demonstrative (ez, az ) turns into the first consonant of the suffix:

  • ez + ből = ebből ‘out of this’
  • az + ról = arról ’from on top/the surface of that’ or ’about that’

In the plural (ezek / azok ) , the plural suffix -k remains, so the case suffix is simply added:

  • ezek + től = ezektől ’from these’

Demonstratives and nouns

When using a demonstrative with a noun, both the demonstrative and the noun must have plural and case suffixes:

  • ebből a házból ‘out of this house’

  • azoktól a kertektől ‘from those gardens’

Notice that the suffix on the demonstrative and the suffix on the noun may use different vowels.

After all, vowel harmony is determined on a word-by-word basis.

Demonstratives and postpositions

Hungarian gets a bit more complicated when you combine a demonstrative and a noun like ez a ház ‘this house’ with a POSTposition like mellett ‘next to‘ : if the postposition starts with a consonant, the z disappears, and we get a , e instead of az, ez:

e mellett a ház mellett ‘next to this house’

a fölött a kert fölött ‘above that garden’

ez alatt a fa alatt ‘under this tree’

az alatt a fa alatt ‘under that tree’

To and From 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Destination

You may have already seen the postpositions alatt ‘under’, fölött ‘above’, mögött ‘behind’ and között ‘between‘.

They all share the -tt ending, which is an old Hungarian suffix for location.

To express motion towards a location, we can take their roots and add an -á/-é suffix ,

alá ‘towards underneath it’
fölé ‘towards above it’
mögé ‘towards behind it’
and közé toward between somethings . . .

Be careful, though: in English, a phrase like behind the house can be both a ház mögött - for where something is happening - or a ház mögé if there is motion involved.

Look for motion in this lesson !

English movement to place
beside mellé mellett
under alá alatt
in front of elé előtt
behind mögé mögött
between, among közé között
above, over fölé fölött, felett
around köré körül

Coming from somewhere

You'll see some postpositions you already know, but in a different form: direction FROM somewhere.

The suffixes -ól / -ől / -ül attach to stems like al- el- mög- etc. :

  • alatt ‘below’ --- alól ‘from below’
  • mögött ‘behind’ --- mögül ‘from behind’
  • mellett ‘next to’ --- mellől ‘from next to’
  • között 'between' --- közül 'from between'

Postpositions come after nouns:

  • a ház mögül ‘from behind the house’

Here is a chart showing how movement from words originate:

English movement to place movement from
beside mellé mellett mellől
under alá alatt alól
in front of elé előtt elől
behind mögé mögött mögül
between, among közé között közül

Cooking 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

In this lesson, you'll learn the Hungarian words for a number of fruits, vegetables and other foods, as well as the names of some Hungarian dishes.

As in earlier skills, when talking about something in general, Hungarian differs from English. Where English uses a bare noun, as in Cheese is tasty., in Hungarian you have to use a definite article plus a noun: A sajt finom.

Another difference between the two languages is that Hungarian sometimes uses a bare singular noun where English would use an article and a noun or a plural: Szőlőt eszem. translates to I am eating grapes.

Some of the dishes mentioned in the sentences in this skill are difficult to translate, since they are Hungarian specialties. So here is a very short little guide to Hungarian cuisine:

  • gulyás(leves) is a soup flavoured with some paprika with different vegetables and meat; it is soupier than "goulash soup" in other countries

  • lángos is a small, round piece of wheat dough (sometimes with potato as well) with yeast that is fried in oil or baked and eaten with garlic, cheese and/or sour dough

  • lecsó is a vegetable ragout or stew, made with onion, tomato, peppers, and paprika

  • pálinka is a fruit brandy that is often made from apricots (then usually called barack or barackpálinka), plums (szilvapálinka), or other fruit

  • paprikás is a dish made with paprika, onion, garlic and different meats or vegetables, such as chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, or beans; there are many varieties; this dish is sometimes known as "goulash" outside of Hungary

  • pörkölt is a stew usually made with (you guessed it!) paprika, onion, garlic and beef or pork; there are many different varieties, however; this dish is often known as "goulash" outside of Hungary

Places 2 4 · 2023-06-21 ^

Some words in this skill (but not all the words)

LESSON 1

"múzeum" =museum

"szobor" =statue

"színház" =theater

"sarok" = corner

"térkép" =map

LESSON 2

"templom" = church

"iroda" = office

"mozi"= cinema/ movie theater

"kocsma" = pub

"pap" = priest

"autópálya" = highway, motorway

LESSON 3

"gyár" = factory

"állomás" = station

"torony" = tower

"könyvtár" =library

"kávézó" = café

"betörő" = burglar

LESSON 4

"egyetem" =university

"posta" = post office

"börtön" = prison, jail

LESSON 5

"rendőrség" = police station

"parkoló" =parking lot, car park

"pad" = bench

"stadion" =stadium

"temető" = cemetery

Directions 6 · 2023-06-21 ^

Hungarian has many ways of expressing movement - in several directions!

You may have already seen the words ide and oda which mean towards here (or hither) and towards there (or thither). English here and there can mean both a location and a direction, whereas Hungarian always makes a difference .

Motion ONTO A SURFACE is formed using the sublative case -ra/-re, motion AWAY from something by using the delative case -ról/-ről.

.

towards something away from something
merre ‘where to?’ merről ‘where from?‘
erre ‘towards here/this’ erről ‘from here/this’
arra ‘towards there/that‘ arról ‘from there/that’

Also important are the compass directions north, east, south, and west:

.

direction towards ... from ...
észak ‘north’ északra északról
kelet ‘east’ keletre keletről
nyugat ‘west' nyugatra nyugatról
dél ‘south’ délre délről

.

The same cases are used for left and right: .

direction towards ... from ...
bal ‘left’ balra balról
jobb ‘right’ jobbra jobbról

Now & Then 2 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

You have recently learned the past tense in Hungarian. As you remember, it is formed by adding a -t- to the stem followed by personal suffixes. However, as in the present tense, Hungarian distinguishes using a verb form whether the (third person) direct object is definite or not. In the skill Past 1, we showed you the forms without objects or with indefinite objects. Here are the forms for past tense verbs with definite objects.

We start with the verb lát, with a back vowel, e.g. láttuk ‘we saw it’. Note that the first person singular is the same for both. Some of the verb forms with definite objects are similar to the present tense forms: instead of -j-, we find a -t- in the 3SG and the plural forms.

indefinite or no object definite object
1SG lát-t-am lát-t-am
2SG lát-t-ál lát-t-ad
3SG lát-ott lát-t-a
1PL lát-t-unk lát-t-uk
2PL lát-ta-tok lát-t-átok
3PL lát-t-ak lát-t-ák

Now for a verb with front vowels, like keres, e.g. kerestük ‘we were looking for it’.

indefinite or no object definite object
1SG keres-t-em keres-t-em
2SG keres-t-él keres-t-ed
3SG keres-ett keres-t-e
1PL keres-t-ünk keres-t-ük
2PL keres-te-tek keres-t-étek
3PL keres-t-ek keres-t-ék

Which one 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

melyik

Melyik means "which".

Melyik alma zöld? Which apple is green?

Ez az alma. This apple.

Az... amelyik

This construction is about identifying something or someone, then saying something about them. It works with Az... aki /Az .... amelyik / Az... ami

In the plural: Azok... akik /Azok .... amelyek / Azok... amik

The girl who is sitting over there is a student. Az a lány, aki ott ül, egy diák. Or, with different word order: Az a lány (egy) diák, aki ott ül.

The bridge that is between the mountains is big. Az a híd, amelyik a hegyek között van, nagy. / Az a híd nagy, amelyik a hegyek között van.

The bridges that are between the mountains are big. Azok a hidak, amelyek a hegyek között vannak, nagyok. / Azok a hidak nagyok, amelyek a hegyek között vannak.

The one who is sitting over there is a student. Az, aki ott ül, egy diák. / Az (egy) diák, aki ott ül.

The one between the mountains is big. Az, ami a hegyek között van, nagy. / Az nagy, ami a hegyek között van.

The ones between the mountains are big. Azok, amik a hegyek között vannak, nagyok. / Azok nagyok, amik a hegyek között vannak.

We usually use amelyik, when the subject is named, and ami, if the subject is not named. And aki for people.

While aki only used for people, amelyik works for both people and things (and abstract ideas.)

My Horse 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Possessive suffixes

In many languages, you use possessive adjectives to express who a certain object belongs to :

  • my table or her shoe

Hungarian does not have possessive adjectives like my or her instead possessive suffixes. They are similar to possessive adjectives in that they indicate the person and number of the possessor but they are attached to the noun:

  • az asztalom ‘my table’

  • a cipője ‘her/his shoe’

The forms are as follows:

Hungarian English
1SG -öm, -om, -m my
2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
3SG -je, -ja, -a his/her/its
1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
3PL -jük, -juk, -uk their

They require vowel harmony so if a noun ends in a vowel... cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG cipő-m my shoe
2SG cipő-d your (sg.) shoe
3SG cipő-je her/his shoe
1PL cipő-nk our shoe
2PL cipő-tök your (pl.) shoe
3PL cipő-jük their shoe

asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG asztal-om my table
2SG asztal-od your (sg.) table
3SG asztal-a her/his table
1PL asztal-unk our table
2PL asztal-otok your (pl.) table
3PL asztal-juk their table

Possessors

Hungarian has two ways of expressing the possessor of something, like the two English constructions a friend's book and a book of a friend.

Possessors can be in the nominative case, e.g. a lány, or dative, e.g. a lánynak:

  • a lány cipője ‘the girl's shoe’
  • a lánynak a cipője ‘the girl's shoe’

The constructions can mean the same, but they differ in some ways. The dative (a lánynak) is followed by a ‘the’ , and you have to use the dative in questions with whose:

  • Ez kinek a cipője? ‘Whose shoe is this?’

whose in this sentence is ki-nek, the dative of ki ‘who’.

Exceptions

As usual, there are exceptions to the rule, and they're complicated ! When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, like ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k:

  • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’
  • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

So it looks like a singular possessor, but it is still plural. Second, when the possessor is a noun in the plural, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or -(j)ük:

  • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’
  • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

mine, yours, ...

Hungarian also has possessive pronouns corresponding to mine, yours, etc. They always include the definite article a and are formed as follows:

Hungarian English
1SG az enyém mine
2SG a tiéd or a tied yours (sg.)
3SG az övé hers/his
1PL a miénk ours
2PL a tiétek yours (pl.)
3PL az övék theirs

You can use these forms in sentences like:

Ez a cipő az enyém. ‘This shoe is mine.’

Dropping a vowel

Some words drop the last vowel in the plural /in the accusative case / in possessive forms. We can call this a "fleeting vowel".

For example:

étterem - restaurant

éttermek - restaurants

éttermet - restaurant (accusative)

étterme - his/her restaurant

éttermem - my restaurant

Here we show the accusative singular and the 3rd person singular possessive forms, the other possessive forms follow the pattern.

English HU nominative accusative 3SG possessive
restaurant étterem éttermet étterme
room, hall terem termet terme
strawberry eper epret epre
mirror tükör tükröt tükre
statue szobor szobrot szobra
monkey majom majmot majma
tail farok farkat farka
bush bokor bokrot bokra
dream álom álmot álma
(lion) cub kölyök kölyköt kölyke

Somewhere 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Words related to location or direction.

hol family

Movement from Place Movement to
every mindenhonnan mindenhol mindenhova
some valahonnan valahol valahova
none sehonnan sehol sehova

merre family

Movement from Place Movement to
every mindenfelől - mindenfelé
some valamerről - valamerre
none semerről - semerre

mindenfelől is not a location, it is a directional indicator. The closest translation is ‘from every direction’. mindenhonnan can be translated as ‘from everywhere’.

  • everywhere — mindenhol
  • from everywhere — mindenhonnan
  • to everywhere — mindenhova

  • from every direction — mindenfelől

  • to every direction — mindenfelé

There is no third option here, since we cannot use a direction as a location.

This That 5 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Long forms

As we saw earlier, usually we can choose between a short form and a long form to show possession:

the boy's dog = a fiú kutyája / a fiúnak a kutyája

the girl's cat = a lány macskája / a lánynak a macskája

However, if you use the possessor with this/that, you have to use the longer form (with the -nak-nek ending)

this boy's dog = ennek a fiúnak a kutyája

that boy's dog = annak a fiúnak a kutyája

this girl's cat = ennek a lánynak a macskája

that girl's cat = annak a lánynak a macskája

If the possessor is plural:

these boys' dog = ezeknek a fiúknak a kutyája

those girls' cat = azoknak a lányoknak a macskája

-ja or -juk

Let's refresh the possessive endings:

Hungarian English
1SG -öm, -em, -om, -m my
2SG -öd, -ed, -od, -d your (sg.)
3SG -je, -ja, -e, -a his/her/its
1PL -ünk, -unk, -nk our
2PL -(ö)tök, -(e)tek, -(o)tok your (pl.)
3PL -jük, -juk, -ük, -uk their

But we will see that the 3rd person plural behaves strangely.

Exceptions

As usual, there are a few exceptions to the general rule. When the possessor is third person plural, the forms change in one of two ways. First, when the possessor is a pronoun, ők ‘they’, the pronoun loses its -k. (This only happens with ők, all other pronouns stay intact.)

  • az ő cipőjük ‘their shoe’

  • az ő asztaluk ‘their table’

So it looks like a singular possessor, but is still plural. Second, when the possessor is a plural noun, like a lányok, the possessed noun loses its plural ending -(j)uk or -(j)ük

  • a lányok cipője ‘the girls' shoe’

  • a lányok asztala ‘the girls' table'

How does it work in general?

First, we have to make a distinction. Do we have a Possessive sentence, like The boy's dog is black. A fiú kutyája fekete.

or a To have sentence: The boy has a dog. A fiúnak van egy kutyája.

So, in total:

Possessive sentence To have sentence
they -juk -juk
az ő kutyájuk (nekik) van egy kutyájuk
their dog they have a dog
plural noun -ja -juk
a fiúk kutyája, a fiúknak a kutyája a fiúknak van egy kutyájuk
the boys' dog the boys have a dog
önök, maguk -ja -juk
az önök kutyája önöknek van egy kutyájuk
your dog you have a dog
not named -juk -juk
a kutyájuk van egy kutyájuk
(their/your) dog (they/you) have a dog

Articles

One more thing, where Possessive sentence versus a To have sentence makes a big difference.

Annak a fiúnak a kutyája barna. That boy's dog is black.

(You have to write a kutyája here.)

Annak a fiúnak van egy kutyája. /Annak a fiúnak van kutyája. That boy has a dog.

(Here, egy kutyája or kutyája without article is possible.)

Origin 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Ablative Postpositional Pronouns

Take some postpositions, add moving away from something and attach some personal endings.

English Postposition ... me ... you ... him/her
(from) beside mellől mellőlem mellőled mellőle
(from) under alól alólam alólad alóla
(from) in front of elől előlem előled előle
(from) above fölül fölülem fölüled fölüle
(from) behind mögül mögülem mögüled mögüle

Position 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Adessive Postpositional Pronouns

Take some postpositions, and attach some personal endings.

English Postposition ... me ... you ... him/her
beside, next to mellett mellettem melletted mellette
under alatt alattam alattad alatta
in front of előtt előttem előtted előtte
above fölött fölöttem fölötted fölötte
behind mögött mögöttem mögötted mögötte
after után utánam utánad utána

Goal 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Allative Postpositional Pronouns

Take some postpositions, add moving towards something and attach some personal endings.

English Postposition ...me ... you ... him/her
(to) beside mellé mellém melléd mellé
(to) under alá alám alád alá
(to) in front of elé elém eléd elé
(to) above fölé fölém föléd fölé
(to) behind mögé mögém mögéd mögé
towards felé felém feléd felé
(to) around köré körém köréd köré

My Cats 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

The plural of possessed nouns

You've already learned quite a bit about possession in Hungarian. You might have noticed, however, that the examples so far were missing something, namely
plurals of possessed nouns.

While usually plurals of nouns are indicated by the suffix -k (with a vowel preceding it), when we're dealing with a possessed noun, like his bosses, the plural is formed in a different way, with -i. So:

  • Péter főnöke ‘Péter's boss’
  • Péter főnökei ‘Péter's bosses

The great thing about this suffix is that there's no vowel harmony. It's simply -i and remains -i. Thus:

  • Éva asztala ‘Éva's table’
  • Éva asztalai ‘Éva's tables

Let's look at the plural forms of the words cipő and asztal that we discussed in the Tips and Notes of "Ownership". Cipő ‘shoe’ has front vowels and ends in a vowel, so its possessed forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG cipő-im my shoes
2SG cipő-id your (sg.) shoes
3SG cipő-i her/his shoes
1PL cipő-ink our shoes
2PL cipő-itek your (pl.) shoes
3PL cipő-ik their shoes

asztal ‘table' has back vowels and ends in a consonant, so its possessed forms are:

Hungarian English
1SG asztal-aim my tables
2SG asztal-aid your (sg.) tables
3SG asztal-ai her/his tables
1PL asztal-aink our tables
2PL asztal-aitok your (pl.) tables
3PL asztal-aik their tables

Ő, Ők

Be careful, ők gets shortened to ő in some possessive structures, and only the possessive ending shows the possessor:

az ő széke - his/her chair

az ő székük - their chair

az ő székei - his/her chairs

az ő székeik - their chairs

az ő háza - his/her house

az ő házuk - their house

az ő házai - his/her houses

az ő házaik - their houses

Verb practice 2 · 2023-06-21 ^

You've already learned a whole lot about Hungarian verbs! They can be intransitive (not take an object) or transitive (take an object). When they are transitive, they can have different forms based on whether their object is definite or not! And of course, we can put them in the past tense, too.

So far, you were practising these skills separately, but in this skill, you'll have to concentrate on whether you're dealing with the present or the past, and with definite or indefinite objects!

Quoting 2 · 2023-06-21 ^

This skill is about embedded clauses with verbs of believing, such as gondol ‘to believe’, and verbs of saying, such as kérdez ‘to ask’.

In English, the complement clause of believe is often introduced by that. In Hungarian, hogy has the same function (but it is preceded by a comma):

  • I believe that it is raining.
  • Azt hiszem, hogy esik az eső.

In Hungarian, however, the main clause also contains azt, the accusative form of the demonstrative az. This is necessary with the verbs gondol, hisz ‘to believe’ and válaszol ‘to reply’:

  • Mari azt gondolja, hogy esik. ‘Mari believes that it is raining.’
  • Péter azt válaszolja, hogy jön. ‘Péter answers that he is coming.’

All Mine 1 · 2023-06-21 ^

Here, you will meet possessed direct objects, objects with both a possessive and an accusative suffix. The form is that the noun is followed by the possessive marker and by the accusative marker - in that order:

házház-amház-am-at ‘my house (obj.)’

The accusative is fairly regular, too. Recall that for a word like alma ‘apple’, adding the accusative lengthens the final vowel:

almaalmá-t ‘apple (obj.)’

The same happens with possessive forms ending in -a:

ház-a ‘his/her/its house’ → ház-á-t ‘his/her/its house (obj.)’

Note that possessed direct objects (nearly) always require the definite verb form, and they often appear with a definite determiner or possessor .

Finally, if the possessor is in the first or second person singular, the accusative can sometimes be omitted:

Add a kezed! ‘Give me your hand!’

Here, it is fairly common to just use kezed instead of kezedet. But if the possessor is in the third person this is never possible.


141 skills with tips and notes

 
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