"Az autó a szálloda előtt vár."
Translation:The car is waiting in front of the hotel.
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Is it alright I imagine postpositions as if 'szálloda' is in genitive case and as if 'előtt' is a location noun?...
I'll explain what I mean... I imagine as though there are unspoken particles (which I put in parentheses): "The car (in) the hotel('s) front waits"...
I am asking because that's the only way I can get the logic of the sentence into my head...
How do native Hungarians think of it?
I'm a native speaker, & I personally don't think of it that way, but if it's easier for you this way, go ahead. It may actually help you with the personal pronouns if they're taught in detail after possession is. (You'll see.)
What might confuse you a bit later on is that a few postpositions are used with the superessive (on the surface of) instead of the nominative. For instance:
- a szálloda előtt = in front of the hotel
- a szállodán át = through the hotel
But I guess you're supposed to have a good enough grip on the language by then to tackle this problem. :)
1) Yes, it is. 2) It does change the meaning. As Hungarian is a topic-prominent language (if I googled it right, lol), basically whatever word you want to emphasize, you put it forward and that's the topic. You can also alter the meaning with intonation and word stress. Your sentence can have two slightly different meanings depending on which word you emphasize in speech: 1. Az AUTÓ vár a szálloda előtt = The car is waiting in front of the hotel (and not the bus.) 2. Az autó VÁR a szálloda előtt = The car is waiting in front of the hotel (and not flying.) But then again, you can also say this sentence without any word stress and it would be a simple affirmative sentence, with a similar meaning to the one above. Also, "A szálloda előtt vár az autó" is also correct, in this case it means The car is waiting in front of the hotel (and not the station.)
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Hungarian has two common words for "hotel", simple as that. :)
Hungarian prides itself for being very "pure", meaning that Hungarian contains relatively few loanwords. I think szálloda is the preferred word for "hotel" within Hungary, but if you're dealing with international tourists, it's better to use the more commonly known word if you want them to find you.