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  5. "Ön nem magas, hanem alacsony…

"Ön nem magas, hanem alacsony."

Translation:You are not tall, but short.

July 3, 2016



What does "ön" mean? I thought "Te" and "Ti" meant you (singular and plural, respectively). When is "ön" used?

  • 467

ön is used to address someone in a formal and polite way. English doesn't make this distinction, but many other languages do. Maybe you're familiar with German du vs. Sie where the former is informal and the latter is formal. The same holds for French tu vs. vous and (European) Spanish vs. usted.

You would use ön or maga in a formal setting, say to address someone you're meeting for the first time, a teacher, a boss, etc., but also in a shop when you're talking to the salespeople.


How do you know whether to include the verb "to be" or not in Hungarian?


In the third person singular, you can't include the verb if the verb describes something. For example, "A nő alacsony."


Also in third person plural: "A nők alacsonyak." (The women are short.)


Please, Duo, give us a slow-speak option! A beginner cannot, repeat cannot possibly distinguish the individual word sounds! Also, Duo, please give us a detailed drill on how to pronounce each and every one of the 44 characters in the Hungarian alphabet!


I just want to clarify: magas can only mean tall (not big), but alacsony can mean both short and small?


"Alacsony" can also only mean "short" as in opposite of "tall". If you say "a short rope", that's "rövid kötél". "small" is "kicsi"


Hmm. I was sure it had shown me "small" as a drop down translation option for alacsony, which is why I was confused, but I may have just been crazy. Thank you for the clarification; I thought that was likely the case, and know "kicsi" for small.


Don't trust Duolingo unconditionally. :)


Is the stress in magas word-final? I was under the impression that it’s always word-initial in Hungarian.


You are right that in this audio this word-initial rule for the stress is not that clear. But it is there anyway, this rule has no exception.


It's not fair: previous phrase was in Hungarian Ki őn? and correct translation was Who is he? (your application says that my answer is incorrect Who are you?); now, I suggest that correct answer will be He is not tall, but short, but again it is incorrect, because your correct answer is You are ... Maybe, it'll be better to accept He is/She is as well correct as You are, because actually in English there is no difference.


"He is not tall" would be "Ő nem magas", the sentence above is "Ön nem magas".


I think that the audio for these two Hungarian sentences would be pretty much indistinguishable in this application.


[report] You are absolutely right - 'Ki ön?' cannot be translated into 'Who is he?'

  • 467

You mixed up two examples there — Ki ő? means ‘Who is she?’ or ‘Who is he?’.

Ki ön? (with a short vowel and an n) uses the formal pronoun ön which looks like third person when you look at the verb, but is used to address the speaker. I checked the translations now and they should be fine!


Ön is formal for he or she ...so how is it that you translate this as "you are not tall.."????


Please note that Ön is formal for you (singular). This personal pronome, however, goes with 3rd person (singular) conjugation. Cf. 'Lei' in Italian or 'Usted' in Spanish. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/usted

  • 1565

How would you say ¨They are not tall, but short.¨? I thought it might be the same...


That would be "Ők nem magasak, hanem alacsonyak".


I thought "maga" was the formal way of saying "you". I never heard of On...


Both are correct. I would say that "ön" is more polite than "maga", but usually both are acceptable in formal speech (though I would advise using "ön" when you want to show maximum respect).


I finally can hear the differnce betwen ö and ön :-)

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