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  5. "Ezeket vagy azokat keresed?"

"Ezeket vagy azokat keresed?"

Translation:Are you looking for these or those?

July 2, 2016



I feel like the difference between indefinite and definite verbs should be mentioned before a definite verb pops up; the only reason I knew that's what was going on here is that I've heard of definite verbs before. If someone hadn't heard of them previously, there'd be no way to tell that's why it's keresed instead of keresel. This creates unnecessary confusion and, possibly, frustration.


Sorry about that — a few of these forms slipped in. There's a new section in the tips & notes now and we'll fix the hints!


Ah, I didn't know it was accidental. I just checked the Tips & Notes, and it's great to see an explanation in there. Thanks for solving the problem! :D


That happened to me right now and I do not know, when it is ed or el at the ending.


Is this why some verbs are suddenly ending in "od" instead of "asz" in the you form?


yes, that's correct. In general: (There are a lot of rules for this) (What vowel goes between the verb and the ending, cases where the verb is irregular, fleeting vowels, etc...)

"I" changes from -k to -m Ex: Varok - Varom; Szeretek - Szeretem "You" changes from -sz to -d Ex: Varsz - Varod; Szeretsz - Szereted "he/she/it" changes from no ending to -ja(back vowel) to -i (front vowel) Ex: Var - Varja; Szeret- Szereti

Szeretni is to like or love, I don't think we've learned that one yet.


What does it it mean, a definite or indefinite verb???


Definite verb - the object is one specific item - The table - the pink one - that one - this one - the mug - my mug - his mug, etc

Indefinite verb - the object is not a specific item - e.g. a cookie/biscuit - a ball - a ticket

Kérek szépen egy jegyet Bécsbe. - Could I please have a ticket to Vienna. - Indefinite - You don't care which individual ticket it is, so long as it goes to Vienna

Kérem a fehér sütit - The white biscuit please - Definite - There is one white cookie and you want it!


Thank you very much raphi


So why not just use articles for that? Why does the verb need to change? There has to be something more to the difference in order to affect the actual verb.


Why does English change the verb form (dropping an s) when the subject is plural? After all we know the subject is plural as it's marked for plurality too. Sometimes languages demand what seems like unnecessary concordance.

But in Hungarian, the definite/indefinite distinction can communicate a difference, as far as I understand it. First bear in mind that first and second person objects count as indefinites, while third person objects count as definite. A definite verb with no expressed subject is thus understood as referring to a third person object:

Latom = I see him/her/it Latok = I see (generally, I'm not blind)

You could say that latom means the same as latom ők, except that (if i understand correctly), ők doesn't usually refer to inanimate objects (it).

There's more to it than this, but you can see how the definite/indefinite distinction works its way into the logic of the language.


I think I have mentioned it somewhere on Duolingo but it doesn't hurt me to repeat it here.

The thing is, articles are a relatively new thing in Hungarian - by which I mean late middle ages. As you guys may have noticed, it's derived from the demonstrative pronoun/adjective "az" and it affected the way that pronoun is used, the same is true for "ez". E + {noun starting with a consonant} is still used occasionally. Also, till like 100 years ago, the formal spelling of "the" in Hungarian was always "az", regardless whether it's followed by a vowel or not. They used to put an apostrophe to imply z isn't actually pronounced, so "a' tábla" for example.

What we now know as definite conjugation, is actually older than articles. As far as I know, the distinction between using different conjugations used to be different from the current situation, too.
So, at the end of the day, the way the language has been developing, made "definite conjugation" more or less redundant. Historical reasons. Also, as ataltane mentioned, I don't think we have an urge to get away from a feature that makes "látlak-látsz-látod" more or less unambiguous. :) (By the way, there are forms that noticably disappeared, like plural first person conditional definite form, probably it has simply fallen out of use and merged with the indefinite form.)


Marton, what you're saying is interesting, if I understand you correctly. Are you saying that before articles were introduced into the language, the definite/indefinite conjugations were necessary, because that was the only way to distinguish between definite and indefinite objects?


ataltane, Most English verbs (regular ones) have no 's' on the end of verb conjugations (present indicative, anyway). It's third-person singular that is the exception. It's the only one that has a 's' on it, and it's just there because it didn't happen to get dropped. It's not at all necessary for communication.


Bastette54 - no matter how you phrase it, the point is, using singular third person singular subjects + conjugation is redundant in English. It doesn't express anything more than any other type of subject - and at the end of the day, noone really tries to use the conjugation in a nonredundant way. In German, conjugation is more or less an actual thing and the same holds.

Are you saying that before articles were introduced into the language, the definite/indefinite conjugations were necessary, because that was the only way to distinguish between definite and indefinite objects?

And I wouldn't say that either. It's not even really true, take a look at Polish (or the majority of Slavic languages) - no articles, no definite conjugation, all you have is demonstrative pronominals, and they get away with it, noone seems to mind. If I said anything, it's that "definite conjugation" has always been an organic part of the language and it's not like turning some module off.

After all, the point is pretty much not to try to make sense of everything. "Definite conjugation", whatever was the original purpose of it, is fairly useful for something that's basically legacy. It doesn't have to make sense, especially nowadays.
And it makes even less sense to judge one language by some other language. Languages are under no pressure to follow the paradigms of any other language. If I judge English with Hungarian logic: besides singular third person 's, quantifiers + plural are redundant, too, while word order, most of the time, is very ambiguous. So what? There is no guarantee you would even try to express the same in different languages.


With a definite verb you specify the object(s). The conjugation of the verb shows that you are talking about something in particular. "Szeretem azt a könyvet" - "I love that book."
"Az újságot olvasom." - "I'm reading the newspaper."

With an indefinite verb you just refer to the object(s) in general. "Egy újságot olvasok." - "I'm reading a newspaper."


Thank you very much for this answer. I start to understand the difference and will have to exercise a lot. These changing words drive me crazy.


Thanks for your informative response, James. What a challenging language! So unlike the others I've learned.


How can i access the tips and notes from the mobile app? Is it possible at all? Thanks :)


Hey! I don't think it's possible — I had a look at the French course on the mobile app and I don't see them, even though they have all kinds of fancy extras.


You'll have to use a web browser to access the tips and notes - the one on your mobile device my work. (You might have to force it to use the full web site rather than a mobile version or redirecting you to the app.)

But you can't read them from inside the app itself.


I don't know why, all of a sudden, I am having trouble with kerni - Kérek is either "I am looking for" or "I would like"?????


"Kérek" is "I ask for" literally. It's a common way to express the same thought as "I would like".
"I'm looking for" is unrelated: that would be "keresek".

Kér vs keres, quite the difference. https://forvo.com/word/k%C3%A9r/#hu https://forvo.com/word/keres/#hu Maybe if you hear them, it will stick better. They sound much less alike than they look alike.

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