"A fekete asztal az ablak mellett van."

Translation:The black table is next to the window.

July 2, 2016

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seems like with German and Hungarian, the sentence is jumbled out of order by English grammar standards. We say "the black table is next to the window", this Hungarian sentence is basically "the black table the window next to is".


Yes. While English (and German as well, mind you) relies on prepositions to get grammar done ("next to the window"), Hungarian uses suffixes and postpositions: "az ablak mellett".

Regarding the relative positions of the subjects and the verb here, the word order in Hungarian is relatively free, and jumbling these words about changes the meaning and intonation of the sentence slightly. (Even though some of the resulting word orders might sound very odd.) This sentence here has a rather neutral structure. The black table is the topic, you want to talk about that one, and "next to the window" is in the focus position, right before the verb. This is where the black table is.
You could also say "Az ablak mellett a fekete asztal van." Then you're talking about the space next to the window and that it's occupied by the black table.
Or you could go with the most-close-to-English structure: "A fekete asztal van az ablak mellett." It sounds a little odd and carries the meaning that there exists a black table, and it's there, next to the window.


Not so free, I've just started the course and already made a few mistakes because of verb positions.


why "near" is not working here?


"near" is "közel"


Sounds like güzel in Turkish, the false cognates really trip me up!


But doesn't mean güzel like something totally different?


There is a missing word "beside"


In general there shouöd be more yellow-marked (translated) words in the sentences at the first lessons... Annoying when you have never heard thr word and just have to guess. :/


You do not have to guess. Just put the mouse cursor over the word you do not know and you'll get its meaning.


That is true, except in a "translation-from-audio" exercise!


Why AT the window is not accepted?


"at the window" would be "az ablaknál"


"At" the window sounds a bit weird, as if the table was leaned against the window. "By" would be the better choice in this case.

But to be strict, mellett doesn't mean "at" or "by". Mellett means "next to" or "beside". That means, the table is not just anywhere close to the window, but at the side of it. Not directly in front (possibly blocking the window), but a bit left or right from the window.


Well, I know it's still in Beta, and perhaps that accounts for this severe grading, but having missed one letter "t" in the word "mellett" got me a fail instead of "almost correct". I think it's a touch harsh.


That is because mellet is a wholly different word, meaning "breast" in accusative. (Nominative is mell.) Duolingo always marks off if you accidentally spell a word which has a different meaning.


Mellett can be translated as "beside" as well and is in other questions

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