"Ő diák vagy tanár?"

Translation:Is he a student or a teacher?

June 30, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Why can you omit the articles in this sentence?


The indefinite article is under-, the definite article is overused in Hungarian compared to English. You can mostly omit "egy", it's implied here but you could also say "Ő egy diák vagy egy tanár?" in this case, it would be natural, other times using "egy" would mean emphasis.


Omitting indefinite article has two basic effects in my opinion. In examples like this, I feel like it "adjectifies" the noun more. Egy also means "one" in Hungarian so whether you want it or not, using egy means you kinda count the noun too. So, using egy may be a bit more like "is he one instance of a student" while omitting it is a bit more like "does he meet the criteria of studentness?"
Another even more common effect is generalizing the noun. Just like you would use "some blablablas" in English. Not that in Hungarian, quantifiers are always used with singular, which makes singular noun without any articles the most suitable solution for talking about indefinite amount. It works like uncountable nouns in English - the only exception that it works for every noun.


Ezt nem értem


I need an explanation of why there is no word for "or" in this sentence


Vagy = Or in this sentence.


Ok here's a situation that doesn't translate well. The sentence seems to imply that someone in a school is acting like a teacher, but it's assumed he/she is a student. Someone comes along and sees the student acting like a teacher and asks, "Is he a student or the teacher?"

That's what I put, and I stand by it. Is he a student or teacher is also right, but when it marked me "wrong" it said I should have said "Is he a student or a teacher." That seems unnatural to me.


I saw it more like 'they're at X college', 'oh, are they a student or a teacher?'


Same thought here at first, but 2 reasons why it's not double entendre:

  • 'He' is 3rd person singular, so omit 'vagy' if you want to say "student is acting like a teacher"!

  • Ő+vagy=>subjet is Ő not diak nor tanar. Does it make sense? (there is light in this magyar logic)


WHY CAN'T I USE GENDER NEUTRAL PRONOUNS IN ENGLISH??? Ok, It's out of my system, but "Ő" literally translated to singular 'they'. I know that they don't like this as an answer because there is a different word for the plural 'they' in Hungarian, but it is perfectly grammatically correct to say "are they a student or teacher"... I'll just keep reporting anything that doesn't accept 'they' for 'Ő'...


I do not know, but i think because the gender neutral pronouns are not canonized. Source: wikip, en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/pronouns,


So basic. I dont know how I missed that

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