"Often there is ice in the evening."
Translation:Este gyakran van jég.
Can "in the" be implied with most words related to the time of day? For example, can "reggel" be "in the morning" in the right context? What about "éjszaka" to mean "at night"? I've now seen both "délután" and "este" be used as "in the afternoon/evening," so I want to check and see if this applies to more than just "délután" and "este."
I've also seen "délben" and "napközben" for "at noon" and "in the daytime," respectively, so I understand that it wouldn't work for literally everything.
Natives seem to be rare, so the next best wildebeest is going to try and do some explaining. Mind you, I'm learning, too, so please apply grains of salt as appropriate.
The given sentence, "Este gyakran van jég", shows the important parts of a sentence pretty well. The first item in a sentence is usually the topic, the general thing you're going to talk about, here it's este. So in this sentence you're going to talk about what is happening in the evening.
The other important part is the focus. That is the item directly in front of the verb, here gyakran. This is the important detail you want to convey. You want to say that ice is here pretty often.
Now, for the word order: If we leave gyakran out for now, you can arrange the other three words like you want and it will always make sense, albeit sometimes only in certain context. For instance:
- Este van jég. - It's in the evening that there is ice.
- Este jég van. - There's ice in the evening.
- Van jég este. - There really is ice in the evening.
Gyakran - often - is an adverb. As such it has to stand in front of the word it modifies. Let's play around with it a bit:
- Gyakran este van jég. - It is often in the evening that there is ice.
- Este gyakran van jég. - In the evening there is often ice.
- Este gyakran jég van. - It is often ice that there is in the evening.
- Este van gyakran jég. - Sounds a bit off, but makes sense in special context. Basically you'd have to be talking about the circumstances of ice being there often.
- Jég gyakran este van. - Basically the same as the first example, but with jég as the topic now. You're generally talking about ice.
There are many ways to express this concept, but I think you're on the safe side if you put gyakran somewhere before the verb. Doesn't make much sense talking about something happening often while the oftenness is out of focus.
To close this, a little tip to make sense out of the sentences: You can put a special emphasis on the things before the verbs while reading the sentences: "Este gyakran van jég" to see what is the important part of the sentence. Or form questions: "Este hányszor van jég?" (How often is there ice in the evening?) - "Gyakran." (Often.)
Thank you so much for the very elaborate answer! It makes more sense now. As time went by, I've come to intuitively understand more things regarding Hungarian word ordering, but unfortunately I still don't have any formal knowledge of it. The only thing Duolingo really tells you is that the word before the verb is emphasized. (Don't get me wrong though, I am very grateful for this course anyway).
Yeah. Hungarian grammar is very different from the grammars of most of the European languages, but it's mostly a matter of getting used to it. I recommend reading the comments on the sentences of this course. They hold a lot of treasure. And plenty of kindergarten teachers. <.<
Word order still mystifies me. While some say this phrase emphasizes "in the evening", why not the fact that it is "ice" that occurs? As opposed to rain, or whatever. Or, emphasizing "often"? I could easily foresee a conversation revolving around "This place seems to never have ice." - "Oh, you are mistaken. Ice often occurs in the evening." So far, I can perceive no definite pattern in Hungarian word order. Often word order seems random in the evening.
Hungarian is a topical language, that means that the word order influences the emphasis. The central and important part in a Hungarian sentence is the verb. The other parts of the sentence are arranged around it. Generally the word order in a Hungarian sentence is:
Topic - focus - verb stem - rest.
Any of these spots may be empty. Otherwise there's usually one focus, and one or occasionally two topics. In this particular sentence "Este gyakran van jég", the topic is este, so it is being clear that we're generally talking about what happens in the evening. In front of the verb van there is the adverb gyakran as the focus. The important part that you want to communicate here is the frequency of the ice-occurrence. You can even hear that a bit in the way that the sentence is pronounced - the first syllable of gyakran is emphasised, and the remainder of the sentence is rather flat in tone.
There are more options how to choose the word order, often likely, sometimes a bit weird. If you read my earlier comment, I listed some. And if you have a question about a certain phrasing, I'll do my best to explain it. :)
The thing is, there isn't one right solution. There are solutions that fit a certain context and solutions that don't. There are even "solutions" that hardly fit any context. Feel as you like about it, I think this is a plus compared to being told the only working word order and then trying hard to make it clear what the important detail was. (By the way, the English version tried to be as obvious as it can get. "Often" was put in the beginning of the sentence. Which word should be emphasized, then?)
We've been told that the emphasised words come first, so why is "Este jég van gyakran" wrong? To me "evening ice" is the significant thing that happens often. Unless the presence of evening ice has already been established, in which case "often" is the significant new information: Gyakran van...
Added, as I don't think there is anything nongrammatical about it.
Still, I'm gonna say it's a lot less common thought to express.
To me "evening ice" is the significant thing that happens often.
By saying this, you actually imply something must be/must happen often, in the evening. And this implication (we know something is often true, we only don't know what it is) is quite uncommon. Why do we want to talk about "often" if we don't know what even is "often"? It would make more sense for the presence of evening ice to be already known at the point we start to talk about the frequency of the event, wouldn't it.
There can only be one new thing, if you have "gyakran" in your sentence, it's more likely to be new than other things, "presence of ice" in this particular case.
Well, yes, I agree. Your example coincides with my second statement above, in which case I would have put "gyakran" first, assuming we were already talking about ice in the evening. But the exercise capitalized "Este," thus putting it first, as the answer above shows. Therefore, my assumption was that the intent of the sentence was to indicate that it was EVENING ice that happened often.
However, in the bigger picture, I can see that adverbs will probably "often" be the emphatic element in a sentence, and therefore come first, barring a need to emphasize something else specifically. Would that be right?
Not quite. I think you should re-read the article I sent you under another comment. We have a topic-comment structure, the topic being the first element. As long as we have multiple parts of speech in front of the verb, we have separate topics and focus. The topic isn't new, quite the contrary - it's mutually known and mentioning it is like negotiation to make sure the other will know what they will receive details about. The one and only focus, in front of the verb (or the verb itself), will be the only new and/or important piece of information in the sentence.