"Nem angol vagyok, hanem magyar."

Translation:I am not English, but Hungarian.

July 3, 2016

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You should be able to say "i am not english, BUT hungarian" not im


I have a question about the word order. Normally I thought that nem comes before the verb. Does using hanem make a difference or is this order always possible?


I don't think so. Hungarian has (almost) free word order (with some rules and stuff), so it depends more on what you want to emphasize. Here the importance is on the word angol: "I'm not English, but Hungarian." The emphasis goes with whatever is right before the conjugated verb. Being at the start of the sentence is secondary.

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In English, we sometimes put the predicate before the subject, for emphasis. "English I am not!" Or even, stiffly and archly, "English I am most certainly not, my good man!" But it works, I suspect, only when the subject is a pronoun. Let me try:

--Hungarian I am! ("I" = subject.) --A man you are. ("You" = subject.)

Now I'll try a noun as a subject:

--The drill is the tool. ("Drill" = subject.)


--The tool the drill is. ("Drill" is perhaps supposed to = subject, but the sentence word order sure confuses that.)

I wonder!


It looks like the OSV (Hungarian I am) way of saying might come from Celtic. A more Germanic, V2 way to emphasise it would be "Hungarian am I" (OVS). Like in the Spongebob Squarepants theme: "Absorbent and yellow and porous is he".

Either way, both structures are falling out of use and could just confuse/irritate people if one were the preferred translation.



Nem comes before what you want to negate and since you naturally want to focus negative information (otherwise you wouldn't even share it), the verb will follow the negated part. That's the general pattern.


I was wondering because once I said "Nem éhes vagyok," but I was corrected to "Nem vagyok éhes"


You can say 'Nem éhes vagyok' and either continue the sentence with what you really are or not - in the latter case it will be implied that you are something else than hungry. Thirsty, tired, in love, whatever.


Why the subject "en" here is not used?


It is not compulsory to use it. In case you do use it, there is a slight stress on it - as if there would be someone else around to be English, and you would like to make sure you are certainly not one.


How do I know which nouns to capitalize in Hungarian?


Proper names of persons, and geographical entities, institutions, that's basically it. Names of days and months are not capitalized, nor are the names of peoples.

There are some inconsistencies though, as in other languages. The name of the celestial body is Sun/Nap, still in Hungarian it is written 'A nap süt.' (The sun is shining). Same thing with Moon/Hold and Föld/Earth.


I wrote "I am not English, but am Hungarian"... why is this wrong?


It's incorrect English grammar. But I still think incorrect English grammar should be allowed. You would either use ", but I am Hungarian", ", but I'm Hungarian" or just ", but Hungarian".


i am Canadian and Hungarian, in hungarian you use the word "hanem" but in english you would not use the phrase "i am not up, but down"


I agree it should be hungarian in english these days.


Why isn't it "nem vagyok" this time? It has been consistent done like that in all previous questions I've gotten so the sudden change is weird.


It works either way, but since this sentence is "i am not x but y", it works better if we negate x instead of "am". So in that way we negate "angol" -> "nem angol vagyok".

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