When would you ask '' Where is snow'?" ? I put ''Where is the snow?'' but it was marked as wrong.
If a native English speaker could help us that would be great. I never heard "where is snow" before.
You are right in that it is an anomaly to say "where is snow." I am a native American English speaker and we would say "Where is the snow?" I suppose there could be some random situation where someone would say -where is snow- but I can't think of any. We probably use the definite article, because it is a definite thing, but I am more of a math person myself, so I couldn't tell you why.
Maybe in Hungarian mass nouns such as water and ice don't use definite articles?
Oh, they do. "Hol van a hó?" does mean "Where is the snow?"
This (article-less) sentence here asks about where snow is, where it exists, in general. It's not talking about a certain snow. Here you'd get an answer like "Fent a hegyen" - "(There is snow) up on the mountain", for instance.
Koszonom! I'm writing a blog post for my Hungarian learning, do you mind if I quote your answer?
If there's no article, would a better translation be "Where does snow exist?"? So an article-less answer would be : "Snow exists on the mountain." What do you think?
Maybe not a better translation, but certainly a valid one if you think it sounds good. :)
From a native POV of English that sounds awkward, I would be more likely to say "Where do you find snow". Where is snow is also less akward but overly simple for an average native English speaker
I think the reason why is to get us used to saying things that are weird. If we can understand why it is incorrect, we will know what to not say
Yes, I agree. If the intended meaning is to ask about where it snows, then you would say "Where is there snow?" or "Where does it snow?". If not, then it should be "Where is the snow?". In any case, "Where is snow" sounds wrong.
According to my hungarian boyfriend, the question rather can be understood as "where can we find snow" (e.g. if you are planning to go skiing)
In English you would not say, "Where is snow?" You would say, "Where is the snow?
Where is the snow? Anything alse sounds strange unless there is a better understanding on the intent behind the question.
I live in Maine, where we have a lot of snow. Here, "Where is the snow?" would mean, "I'm expecting snow, but I don't see any." "Where is there snow?" means "I want to go to a place that has snow. Do you know of one?" If you want to know where snow habitually falls, you say, "Where does it snow?" I can't think of a time when I'd say, "'Where is snow?" It makes me think of the song from Oilver -- "Where is love?"
Ok, this translates as "where is there snow?", but how would you say "where is the snow?" (I tried that and it's marked as wrong).
Hol van a hó?
The 'a' is the definite article in Hungarian and pretty much always used when you talk about a definite noun.
"Hol van a hó?" - Exactly: "Where is the snow?" In context like it was forecast and it was not snowing.
It "clicked" when I thought in Portuguese, my native language. The 3rd person singular verb "to be" in Portuguese would be "há" (Spanish "hay").
Now you would have: "onde há neve?" / "donde hay nieve?".
I guess English speakers can think of "exists": "where does snow exist?"
At the wall (in a heap in front of it): Hó van a falnál.
On the wall (sticking to it): Hó van a falon.
Talking about Jon: Hó a Falnál van.
Before reading the last example I wasn't sure if my reference went through. :) Köszönöm!
Agreed: There is no definite article to point to the subject - perhaps as the article in Hungarian (for large, pervasive conditions such as snow, rain or war) is assumed. (Just a guess).
If you check the other comments here, you will see that the article is not assumed.
There is difference in hungarian between "Hol van hó" and "Hol van a hó".
The former is a generic question, I want to know where we can find snow while the latter refers to a "specific" snow from an earlier context. Example1: forecast promised snow for today and it have not snowed at all, then I would ask "Hol van a hó". Example2: Someone comes in the building and tells me that there is snow outside, I go out and check and I do not see it, then I would ask "Hol van a hó".
It does make sense indeed, but it isn't what's asked for. We're asking where snow is there already because we're too impatient to wait for it falling.
But in this case I can sneak in the Hungarian word for "to snow", which is pretty cute:
Hol havazik? - Norvégiában.
ott nor oda is in the sentence - why would where is the snow not be correct?
Because it is not about "the" snow. That would require the definite article in the Hungarian sentence: "Hol van a hó?"
Instead this sentence means something like "Where does snow exist?" English has a weird habit of using "there is" when talking about the existence of something indefinite: "There are people here", "There is a giraffe at the zoo", or "There was a house in New Orleans". Turning this into a question may be not a very natural thing to say, but it's entirely valid.