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Learning Hungarian from English

Level 25 · 147043 XP
117043 XP beyond level 25

Crowns: 468
You conquered all crowns

Skills: 78
You finished every skill

Lessons: 319
You finished every lesson

Lexemes: 2367
You have seen every word available
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Strength: 100%
780000

Created: 2015-11-21
Last Goal: 2021-10-18
Daily Goal: 50 XP
Timezone: UTC+2

Last update: 2021-10-07 01:47:29 GMT+3


141847398

XP per Skill (4 weeks)raw

Basic Phrases
148XP
Basic 1
144XP
First Names
50XP
Basic 2
97XP
Occupations
124XP
Places 1
15XP
Verbs 1 : Present Single
25XP
Accusative 1
102XP
Plurals and Accusative 1
58XP
Plurals and Accusative 2
29XP
Nationality
40XP
Adjectives 1
 
Verbs 2 Present Plural
 
Definite conjugation
14XP
Date and Time
43XP
Pronominal Objects
 
Choices 1
13XP
Numbers 1
 
Inessive Case
14XP
Superessive Case
 
Adessive Case
15XP
Household
13XP
Clothing
13XP
Colors
15XP
Choices two
 
Ordinal Numbers
30XP
Animals
 
Illative Case 1
15XP
Sublative Case 1
 
Allative Case 1
 
Preverbs
28XP
Illative Case 2
30XP
Sublative Case 2
14XP
Allative Case 2
44XP
Geography 1
15XP
Choices 3
15XP
Directional Postpositions
14XP
Adjectives 2
15XP
Preverbs 2
28XP
Elative Case
30XP
Delative Case
43XP
Ablative Case
30XP
Choices 4
13XP
Directional Postpositions 2
14XP
Directions
15XP
Places 2
14XP
Directional Conjunction
 
Directional Conjunction 2
27XP
Directional Conjunction 3
15XP
Math
12XP
Adjective Conjunction
14XP
Pronouns
22XP
Adverbs of place
39XP
Possessives 1
62XP
To have 1
54XP
Family
79XP
Possessives 2
133XP
To have 2
112XP
Choices 5
176XP
Adverbial Possessives
146XP
Body Parts
224XP
Ablative Postpositional Pronouns
273XP
Adessive Postpositional Pronouns
275XP
Allative Postpositional Pronouns
296XP
Pronouns of Source
378XP
Pronouns of Position
445XP
Pronouns of Goal
523XP
Plural Possessions
553XP
Choices 6
592XP
Past tense 1
573XP
Food
653XP
Linking words
643XP
Past tense 2
739XP
Accusative Numerals
764XP
Verb practice
727XP
Choices 7
750XP
Quoting
748XP
Possession Object
752XP

Skills by StrengthCrownsDateNameOriginal Order

  • 150005836214.07.2017
    6.246Basic Phrases0 @ 100%1124/24 ••• Practice
    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

  • 156027487211.06.2019
    6.366Basic 10 @ 100%2136/36 ••• Practice
    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

  • 156035840612.06.2019
    6.066First Names0 @ 100%236/6 ••• Practice
    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?’.

    w

  • 156035879912.06.2019
    6.246Basic 20 @ 100%3224/24 ••• Practice
    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.

    w

  • 156035929712.06.2019
    6.186Occupations0 @ 100%4118/18 ••• Practice
    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.

    w

  • 156036778712.06.2019
    6.186Places 10 @ 100%4218/18 ••• Practice
    ahol · bank · előtt · folyó · pályaudvar · régi · szálloda · város · épület · új
    10 words

    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?

  • 156036856912.06.2019
    6.246Verbs 1 : Present Single0 @ 100%5124/24 ••• Practice
    fut · hall · kiabál · lát · siet · szeret · tanul · telefonál · táncol · ül
    10 words

    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‘.

  • 156036937712.06.2019
    6.306Accusative 10 @ 100%6130/30 ••• Practice
    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

    w

  • 156037100712.06.2019
    6.546Plurals and Accusative 10 @ 100%7154/54 ••• Practice
    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’

    w

  • 156045055113.06.2019
    6.546Plurals and Accusative 20 @ 100%8154/54 ••• Practice
    angolok · bankok · eladók · fiatalok · folyók · fák · házak · iskolák · katonák · kórházak · magyarok · munkások · mérnökök · művészek · művésznők · nagyok · orvosok · piacok · pincérek · politikusok · postások · pályaudvarok · rendezők · rendőrök · repülőterek · riporterek · régiek · sofőrök · sportolók · szakácsok · szállodák · színészek · színésznők · titkárnők · turisták · tűzoltók · városok · zeneszerzők · zenészek · áruházak · énekesnők · írók · óvónők · ügyvédek
    44 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

  • 156053692714.06.2019
    6.186Nationality0 @ 100%9118/18 ••• Practice
    arab · francia · görög · holland · lengyel · német · olasz · orosz · osztrák · spanyol
    10 words

    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

  • 156053986614.06.2019
    6.246Adjectives 10 @ 100%9224/24 ••• Practice
    ember · fontos · gazdag · gyors · könnyű · lassú · nehéz · rossz · rövid · szegény · víz
    11 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.

  • 156061966615.06.2019
    6.366Verbs 2 Present Plural0 @ 100%10136/36 ••• Practice
    beszélgetnek · csinálnak · ebédelnek · futnak · harcolnak · lakik · pihennek · sétálnak · várnak · állnak
    10 words

    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)

  • 156062157715.06.2019
    6.186Definite conjugation0 @ 100%11118/18 ••• Practice
    csinálja · eszi · festi · főzi · issza · keresi · látja · meglátogatja · nézi · olvassa
    10 words

    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.

  • 156062315515.06.2019
    6.366Date and Time0 @ 100%11236/36 ••• Practice
    beszélt · csinált · csütörtök · hétfő · idén · jövőre · kedd · nap · néha · szerda · született · találkozott · tavaly · volt · végre
    15 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 ) !

    w

  • 156062341015.06.2019
    6.126Pronominal Objects0 @ 100%12212/12 ••• Practice
    engem · ismerlek · látlak · minket · nézlek · szeret · szeretlek · titeket · téged · várlak · őket · őt
    12 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.’

    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.
  • 156062485215.06.2019
    6.306Choices 10 @ 100%13130/30 ••• Practice
    egyik · ez a · hajó · is · madár · melyik · milyen · miért · másik · nincs · park · rádió · sem · táska · van
    15 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

    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.

  • 156070710316.06.2019
    6.246Numbers 10 @ 100%13324/24 ••• Practice
    egy · harminc · hat · hatvan · hetven · hány · három · hét · húsz · kettő · kevés · kilenc · kilencven · mennyi · negyven · nyolc · nyolcvan · négy · rizs · sok · száz · tíz · öt · ötven
    24 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’

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  • 156070790016.06.2019
    6.186Inessive Case0 @ 100%14118/18 ••• Practice
    bankban · folyóban · házban · miben · szobában · szállodában · városban · vízben · áruházban · épületben · üzletben
    11 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.

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.186Superessive Case0 @ 100%14218/18 ••• Practice
    asztalon · autón · buszon · folyón · hajón · min · repülőgépen · utazik · villamoson · vonaton
    10 words

    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

  • 156071029216.06.2019
    6.186Adessive Case0 @ 100%14318/18 ••• Practice
    ablaknál · asztalnál · autónál · busznál · háznál · lámpánál · minél · telefonnál · villamosnál · vonatnál · víznél
    11 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’

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.366Household0 @ 100%15136/36 ••• Practice
    erkély · fal · fürdőszoba · garázs · kapu · kert · kerítés · kémény · kép · tető
    10 words

    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 starting with there is or there are , and (important ) 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

    w

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.186Clothing0 @ 100%15218/18 ••• Practice
    cipő · farmer · férfin · gyereken · ing · nadrág · nőn · pulóver · póló · szoknya
    10 words

    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 .

    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 swater.

    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.)

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.126Colors0 @ 100%15312/12 ••• Practice
    barna · fehér · kék · lila · rózsaszín · szín · színes · szürke · sárga · zöld
    10 words

    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 . . .

    Blood is piros inside the body, but outside, it's vörös.

    color szín
    colored színes

    orange narancssárga

    ------- the fruit itself is narancs but its color is orangeyellow . . .

    red piros and vörös pink rózsaszín

    ------- the flower is rózsa, but its color is rózsaszín

    w

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.186Choices two0 @ 100%16118/18 ••• Practice
    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’

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.246Ordinal Numbers0 @ 100%16224/24 ••• Practice
    21.-29. · első · emelet · földszint · harmadik · harmincadik · hatodik · hatvanadik · hetedik · hetvenedik · huszadik · hányadik · kilencedik · kilencvenedik · második · negyedik · negyvenedik · nyolcadik · nyolcvanadik · századik · tizedik · ötvenedik · ötödik
    23 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.

  • 156071962817.06.2019
    6.426Animals0 @ 100%17142/42 ••• Practice
    esik · hova · ide · kutya · lép · oda · ugat · ugrik · állat · állatkert
    10 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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.066Illative Case 10 @ 100%1816/6 ••• Practice
    ebédlőbe · erdőbe · házba · kertbe · mibe · szobába · városba · vízbe · épületbe
    9 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 !

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.066Sublative Case 10 @ 100%1826/6 ••• Practice
    buszra · emeletre · falra · fára · mire · repülőtérre · székre · tetőre · utcára
    9 words

    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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.066Allative Case 10 @ 100%1836/6 ••• Practice
    asztalhoz · autóhoz · fához · függönyhöz · mihez · tükörhöz · vízhez · órához · üzlethez
    9 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’

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.546Preverbs0 @ 100%19154/54 ••• Practice
    be · befut · bejön · belép · bemegy · bemászik · berepül · besiet · beugrik · el · fel · ide · ki · le · oda · vissza · át
    17 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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.246Illative Case 20 @ 100%20124/24 ••• Practice
    bankba · folyóba · iskolába · kórházba · parkba · szállodába · tengerbe · áruházba · étterembe · üzletbe
    10 words

    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'

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.246Sublative Case 20 @ 100%20224/24 ••• Practice
    földre · fűre · madárra · pályaudvarra · repülőgépre · szarvasra · vonatra · vízre · órára · újságra
    10 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 .

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.306Allative Case 20 @ 100%20330/30 ••• Practice
    ablakhoz · ajtóhoz · bankhoz · falhoz · hegyhez · kapuhoz · katihoz · kerítéshez · kéményhez · péterhez · tengerhez · ágyhoz · évához
    13 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.

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.306Geography 10 @ 100%21130/30 ••• Practice
    anglia · barlang · eső · költözik · külföldi · ország · strand · tó · völgy · út
    10 words

    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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.126Choices 30 @ 100%22112/12 ••• Practice
    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’
  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.126Directional Postpositions0 @ 100%22212/12 ••• Practice
    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
  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.426Adjectives 20 @ 100%23142/42 ••• Practice
    hamis · hülye · igaz · ingyenes · kis · különböző · lehetetlen · lehetséges · nemzeti · nyitva · okos · szabad · zárva · ügyes
    14 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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.546Preverbs 20 @ 100%23254/54 ••• Practice
    be · befekszik · befordul · beköltözik · benéz · besétál · el · fel · honnan · ide · innen · ki · kinéz · le · oda · onnan · vissza · át
    18 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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.246Elative Case0 @ 100%24124/24 ••• Practice
    amerikából · angliából · bankból · bécsből · házból · iskolából · izraelből · japánból · kairóból · miből · németországból · parkból · párizsból · szállodából · vízből · áruházból · épületből · étteremből · üzletből
    19 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 .

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.306Delative Case0 @ 100%24230/30 ••• Practice
    földről · fűről · hegyről · hídról · miről · piacról · pályaudvarról · repülőtérről · térről · utcáról · vízről · épületről
    12 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

  • 156071972617.06.2019
    6.186Ablative Case0 @ 100%24318/18 ••• Practice
    ablaktól · ajtótól · háztól · iskolától · katitól · kerítéstől · megállótól · pétertől · szállodától · áruháztól · épülettől
    11 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.

  • 156079010817.06.2019
    6.126Choices 40 @ 100%25112/12 ••• Practice
    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 .

  • 156079042117.06.2019
    6.066Directional Postpositions 20 @ 100%2526/6 ••• Practice
    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
  • 156079171817.06.2019
    6.186Directions0 @ 100%26118/18 ••• Practice
    arra · arról · dél · előre · erre · erről · felé · felől · hátra · kelet · közel · merre · merről · nyugat · észak
    15 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
  • 156079391217.06.2019
    6.306Places 20 @ 100%27130/30 ••• Practice
    bíróság · kisfiú · kislány · múzeum · portás · sarok · szobor · színház · templom · térkép
    10 words

    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

  • 156079453817.06.2019
    6.246Directional Conjunction0 @ 100%28124/24 ••• Practice
    ahol · ahonnan · ahova · amerre · amerről · arra · arról · oda - ahonnan · onnan - ahonnan · ott - ahonnan
    10 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.)

  • 156087325218.06.2019
    6.546Directional Conjunction 20 @ 100%28254/54 ••• Practice
    abba · abban · abból · ahhoz · annál · arra · arról · attól · azokba · azokban · azokból · azokhoz · azoknál · azokon · azokra · azokról · azoktól · azon
    18 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....

  • 156095041519.06.2019
    6.186Directional Conjunction 30 @ 100%29118/18 ••• Practice
    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.

  • 156095200419.06.2019
    6.186Math0 @ 100%30118/18 ••• Practice
    ahány · amennyi · annyi · meg · mínusz · nulla · száz -- ezer · valahányban · valahányból · valahányszor
    10 words
  • 156095292619.06.2019
    6.126Adjective Conjunction0 @ 100%30212/12 ••• Practice
    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.

  • 156103525320.06.2019
    6.426Pronouns0 @ 100%31142/42 ••• Practice
    aki · ami · minden · mindenféle · mindenki · semmi · senki · valaki · valami · valamilyen · vele · veled · velem · veletek · velük · velünk
    16 words
  • 156103612720.06.2019
    6.306Adverbs of place0 @ 100%31230/30 ••• Practice
    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.

  • 156103783220.06.2019
    6.426Possessives 10 @ 100%32142/42 ••• Practice
    alma · asztal · bakancs · cipő · gyűrű · kifli · kiknek · kinek · ló · szék
    10 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.’

  • 156105595720.06.2019
    6.246To have 10 @ 100%33124/24 ••• Practice
    birtok - autó · katinak · kiknek · kinek · neked · nekem · neki · nekik · nektek · nekünk
    10 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’
  • 156110404721.06.2019
    6.306Family0 @ 100%33230/30 ••• Practice
    anya · apa · báty · család · gyerek · húg · nővér · szülő · testvér · öcs
    10 words

    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
  • 156118936422.06.2019
    6.366Possessives 20 @ 100%34136/36 ••• Practice
    bejárat · család · kutya · madár · mozi · múzeum · művésznő · titkárnő · éva · őr
    10 words

    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
  • 156119195222.06.2019
    6.306To have 20 @ 100%34230/30 ••• Practice
    angolok · beteg · dolgozószoba · fotel · főnök · ing · macska · sütő · takaró · tükör
    10 words
  • 156119385522.06.2019
    6.186Choices 50 @ 100%35118/18 ••• Practice
    annak · azoknak · csomag · ennek · ezeknek · főváros · pénztárca · riporter · toll · énekesnő
    10 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.)

  • 156121452122.06.2019
    6.246Adverbial Possessives0 @ 100%35324/24 ••• Practice
    esernyő · kanapé · kert · kép · polc · pulóver · szomszéd · torony · tó · utca
    10 words
  • 156121698222.06.2019
    6.306Body Parts0 @ 100%36130/30 ••• Practice
    fej · fáj · has · hát · kar · láb · mell · mellkas · szem · váll
    10 words

    Body Parts

    Body parts that come in pairs - like clothing !

    With eyes...

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

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

  • 156121791822.06.2019
    6.126Ablative Postpositional Pronouns0 @ 100%37112/12 ••• Practice
    alóla · előle · felőle · fölüle · közülük · mellőle · mögüle · őalóla · őfölüle · őmellőle
    10 words

    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
  • 156121898222.06.2019
    6.126Adessive Postpositional Pronouns0 @ 100%37212/12 ••• Practice
    alatta · előtte · fölötte · körülötte · közötte · mellette · mögötte · utána · őalatta · őmellette
    10 words

    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
  • 156121986022.06.2019
    6.126Allative Postpositional Pronouns0 @ 100%37312/12 ••• Practice
    alá · elé · felé · fölé · köré · közé · mellé · mögé · őalá · őmellé
    10 words

    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
  • 156122077722.06.2019
    6.126Pronouns of Source0 @ 100%38112/12 ••• Practice
    belőle · róla · tőle · őbelőle · őróla · őtőle
    6 words

    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
  • 156122142822.06.2019
    6.126Pronouns of Position0 @ 100%38212/12 ••• Practice
    benne · nála · rajta · őbenne · őnála · őrajta
    6 words

    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
  • 156122202522.06.2019
    6.126Pronouns of Goal0 @ 100%38312/12 ••• Practice
    bele · hozzá · rá · őbele · őhozzá · őrá
    6 words

    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
  • 156128583123.06.2019
    6.366Plural Possessions0 @ 100%39136/36 ••• Practice
    ajtói · autói · fiai · gyümölcsei · házai · kutyái · könyvei · lányai · macskái · székei
    10 words

    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

  • 156129057923.06.2019
    6.126Choices 60 @ 100%40012/12 ••• Practice
    akiknek · akinek · annak · azoknak
    4 words
  • 156135954524.06.2019
    6.546Past tense 10 @ 100%40254/54 ••• Practice
    ad · bútort · csinált · hoz · képet · látott · néz · turistát · virágot · visz
    10 words

    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.

  • 156136171124.06.2019
    6.426Food0 @ 100%41142/42 ••• Practice
    ebéd · ital · kiló · menü · reggeli · reggelizni · sajt · sült · tej · vágni · étel
    11 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

  • 156136254524.06.2019
    6.186Linking words0 @ 100%41218/18 ••• Practice
    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
  • 156136434624.06.2019
    6.426Past tense 20 @ 100%42242/42 ••• Practice
    adja · hallgatja · hallja · hozza · kapja · keresi · kéri · mondja · találja · viszi
    10 words

    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
  • 156138649224.06.2019
    6.186Accusative Numerals0 @ 100%43218/18 ••• Practice
    egyet · 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
    37 words
  • 156138695924.06.2019
    6.186Verb practice0 @ 100%43318/18 ••• Practice
    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!

  • 156138751024.06.2019
    6.186Choices 70 @ 100%44218/18 ••• Practice
    akit · amit · azokat · azt · borokat · ezeket · ezt · fiúkat · fiút · házakat · házat · kenyereket · kenyeret · kutyákat · kutyát · lányokat · lányt · mit
    18 words
  • 156138779424.06.2019
    6.066Quoting0 @ 100%4516/6 ••• Practice
    említ · említi · említjük · gondol · gondolja · gondoljuk · gondolom · hisszük · hisz · hiszem · hiszi · kérdez · kérdezi · kérdeznek · válaszol · válaszolja · válaszoljátok · válaszolom
    18 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.’
  • 156138851224.06.2019
    6.186Possession Object0 @ 100%46218/18 ••• Practice
    anya · apa · autó · barát · báty · fiú · gyerek · ház · kéz · lány
    10 words

    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.

0.022

Basic Phrases updated 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 updated 2021-03-16

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 drop 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 and 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?"

Important: 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."

For you grammarians: 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 updated 2019-02-21

Welcome to the Hungarian course!

In this skill, you'll meet your very 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 don't have to use them. The verb form tells you clearly enough which person and number is indicated. So English How are you? is Hungarian Hogy vagy? or Hogy vagytok?.

Orthography 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 written by doubling them, as in reggel ’morning’, for example.

The spelling of some Hungarian consonants is very different 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

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!

First Names updated 2021-01-25

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?’.

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Basic 2 updated 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.

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Occupations updated 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.

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Places 1 updated 2021-04-04

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?

Places 1 updated 2020-12-10

In this skill, you'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 (soon! ), and some of them using postpositions, not prepositions .

In English, we say behind the tree but in Hungarian, we say a fa mögött. (Literally: "the tree behind".)

In Lesson 3, you'll learn more nouns.

"Ott, ahol" sentences

In this skill, you will see some compound sentences - here, they mostly follow the structure "something takes place where something else does, too".
These compound sentences have two verbs; the second clause elaborates on a detail (a location) in the first sentence. So, the second clause is a subordinate clause.

In English, all you need to get this connection is to add "where" - it links the location in the first clause to the location in the second clause. This is not how it works in Hungarian. "Ahol" (~where at ) marks the location in the second clause. You need "ott" (a demonstrative word) to mark the location in the first clause - "ott", "there". You need both .

To summarize: "... where ..." will usually translate to "... ott ..., ahol ..." . ( "ott" usually won't be right in front of "ahol".)

I am singing where you are having lunch. - Ott énekelek, ahol (te) ebédelsz.

Later, you will find you can replace either "ott" or "ahol" to create more complex relations between the two clauses. It's worth mentioning that you can omit the demonstrative word - but then it will be implied at the end of the first clause which usually creates odd word order.

Word order

Word order is complicated in Hungarian. For a longer explanation, read these forum posts:

On Emphasis and Word Order in Hungarian

Structure and word order of a Hungarian sentence

Once more on Hungarian Word Order

Important advice ! "Ask not where to put the verb, ask where to put everything else - relative to the verb ! ”

Word order in questions

Questions have even 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 .

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

In other cases, it may be that the question word is part of a "block" Hány gyerek? Mennyi víz? Milyen autó? If so, place the verb after this block.

Hány gyerek van itt? Mennyi víz van a pohárban? Milyen autót vesz Péter?

w

Verbs 1 : Present Single updated 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‘.

Accusative 1 updated 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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Plurals and Accusative 1 updated 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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Plurals and Accusative 2 updated 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.

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Nationality updated 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).

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Adjectives 1 updated 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 Present Plural updated 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)

Definite conjugation updated 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 updated 2021-02-25

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 ) !

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Pronominal Objects updated 2021-04-04

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.’

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 1 updated 2021-04-04

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

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.

Numbers 1 updated 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’

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Inessive Case updated 2020-12-17

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.

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Superessive Case updated 2021-02-23

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 updated 2021-03-18

The adessive 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

-Na'l and -ne'l 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’

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Household updated 2021-01-18

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 starting with there is or there are , and (important ) 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

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Clothing updated 2021-04-04

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 .

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 swater.

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.)

Colors updated 2021-02-25

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 . . .

Blood is piros inside the body, but outside, it's vörös.

color szín
colored színes

orange narancssárga

------- the fruit itself is narancs but its color is orangeyellow . . .

red piros and vörös pink rózsaszín

------- the flower is rózsa, but its color is rózsaszín

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Choices two updated 2021-04-04

Demonstratives

In English, demonstrative pronouns 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), -val/-vel (comitative), etc., the -z assimilates to the first consonant of the suffix:

ez + -ben = ebben ‘in this’

az + -nál = annál ‘at that’

az + -val = azzal ‘with that’

Demonstratives + nouns

DuoLinguists, 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’

ezekben a házakban

azoknál a kerteknél ‘by those gardens’

Demonstratives and postpositions

Hungarian gets seriously complicated , DuoLinguists, 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’

.

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Ordinal Numbers updated 2021-03-04

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.

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Animals updated 2019-11-28

When talking about animals and their characteristics, we often make general statements like the following.

Lions are carnivores.

In English, it is possible to use the plural of a word without an article, like lions above, to express such a generic statement.

In Hungarian, generic statements are expressed slightly differently. As we've learned before, when talking about the properties of a third-person subject, we cannot use the verb to be. In addition, in Hungarian, we need an article. The English sentence above becomes:

Az oroszlánok húsevők. = literally ‘the lions carnivores’

or

Az oroszlán húsevő.

The same is true with negation. The English sentence

Dolphins are not fish.

becomes

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

Illative Case 1 updated 2021-01-30

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 alert !

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Sublative Case 1 updated 2021-04-04

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

Allative Case 1 updated 2021-04-04

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’

Preverbs updated 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

Illative Case 2 updated 2021-02-08

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'

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Sublative Case 2 updated 2021-03-20

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 .

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Allative Case 2 updated 2021-02-10

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.

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Geography 1 updated 2021-03-30

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

Choices 3 updated 2021-04-04

Demonstratives in locative cases

This lesson is about demonstrative pronouns (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’

Directional Postpositions updated 2021-02-15

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

Adjectives 2 updated 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 updated 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.

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Elative Case updated 2021-02-20

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 updated 2021-02-21

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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Ablative Case updated 2021-02-28

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 updated 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 updated 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

Directions updated 2021-03-18

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 (sublative) away from something (delative)
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

.

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Places 2 updated 2021-03-26

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

Directional Conjunction updated 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 updated 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....

Directional Conjunction 3 updated 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.

Adjective Conjunction updated 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.

Adverbs of place updated 2020-11-05

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 updated 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.’

To have 1 updated 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 updated 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

Possessives 2 updated 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

Choices 5 updated 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.)

Body Parts updated 2021-01-22

Body Parts

Body parts that come in pairs - like clothing !

With eyes...

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

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

Ablative Postpositional Pronouns updated 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

Adessive Postpositional Pronouns updated 2021-01-29

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 updated 2021-01-30

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 updated 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 updated 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 updated 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

Plural Possessions updated 2021-01-28

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, what 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

Past tense 1 updated 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 updated 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

Past tense 2 updated 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

Verb practice updated 2018-10-25

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 updated 2018-10-25

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.’

Possession Object updated 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.


72 skills with tips and notes

 
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