You are unpacking on holiday. You are filling the fridge - there's beer and milk and breakfast stuff - but where is the pre-cooked meal for tonight? You look again - but no, you cannot find dinner.
Put yourself in the shoes of the question-setters. They have very limited vocabulary to work with when making up questions for beginners. Those among you who are/have been language teachers will understand what I mean. This sentence makes logical sense and could be used in certain contexts (like an impoverished person begging for food in restaurants).
I am sure many of us understand what you mean and share your opinion. Insisting on realistic situations is not always necessary. Let's play and have fun. In this way our learning will be easier.
Are there Hungarian words for "can" and "cannot"? How would you translate "I do not walk" & "I cannot walk"?
I do not walk or I am not walking = nem setalok (with accents that I can't type in this forum on the e and a in setalok) and I cannot walk = nem tudok setalni (again, imagine the accents on the e and a in setalni)
As for me "I cannot walk" stands for "I am not able to walk" too. How would you translate it in this case? Nem tudok setalni would also mean I do not know how to walk.
For showing a potential action, you can use the verbal suffix -hat/-het: Nem sétálhatok - I am not able to walk.
Though sétál isn't exactly the meaning of "to walk" that you'd use here. Sétál is more around "stroll" or "going for a walk". The more general verb is megy (becomes mehet), or gyalogol (becomes gyalogolhat) for explicit footwalking.
I think there are some inconsistencies in the course. I don't see any children, is taught as én nem látok gyereket.
Yes, the course is still full of inconsistencies.
In that case it would be good to report this one.
As a native Hungarian " Nem találok semmi vacsorát" sounds very awkward, possible incorrect
I would say Nem találok semmit enni - i cannot find anything to eat
Egyáltalán nem találok vacsorát - i cannot find dinner at all
The problem here might be that semmi is already a pronoun, but Shamarth is trying to use it as an adjective for the noun vacsora. How do you feel about "semmilyen vacsorát" instead?
yes! you can say "Nem találok semmilyen vacsorát" or "Nem találok semmiféle vacsorát". And now that I think about it "semmi" does act like (is?) a noun and not compatible with "vacsora", whereas "semmilyen" and "semmiféle" act like adjectives modifying "vacsora".
So those might be the best direct translations for "I cannot find any dinner".
Similarly : I don't see any children = én nem látok semmiféle/ semmilyen gyereket.
Ah yes, wonderful. :)
Semmi is an indefinite pronoun. That means it represents a noun (or rather, the absence of a noun) instead of being a noun itself. Called "határozatlan névmás" in Hungarian, if you want to look it up. :´)
Similarly, semmilyen and semmifelé are "indefinite adjectives".
Hungarian doesn't necessarily use "any" the same way English does. It's more so implied. If you want to emphasize it with "at all" then that would be "Én egyáltalán nem találok vacsorát."
Is there a separate construction for the progressive? It marked me wrong for "I'm not finding dinner."
It is accepted now, but this "progressive" verb tense feels awkward in English, except, perhaps, as intimated above (in the comment by "birdfishy").
This is another example where literal translation is not enough -- natural English would be to say "I can't find (any) dinner". Compare "I can't see anything" which is more natural than "I don't see anything"
"I don't see anything" is also natural. If someone says, "Hey, look over there, what's going on?" "I don't see anything."
Meg as igekötő (in front of a verb) indicates completed action:
Megcsináltam - i have done it ( completed)
Csináltam - it is implied that I did not finish it:
Csináltam (de nem fejeztem be.) I was doing it but did not finish it
With an object it works a bit differently
Megcsináltam a tortát - i have finished the cake
Csináltam egy tortát - I made a cake
Both indicates completed action, the first one a specific cake, the 2nd any cake
Csinalom - I am doing it
Megcsinalom = meg fogom csinálni - i will do it
With találni - megtalálni a bit different
Megtaláltam - i have found it
Because to find something is not continuous Találtam alone does not makes sense
With an object:
Megtaláltam a kulcsot - i have found the key
Találtam egy kulcsot - i found a key
Mi ez? Találtam. What is this? I found it. ( object is implied)
Találom - again does not makes sense
Nem találom - i am not finding it This makes sense - not finding something is a continuous action, finding it is a moment in time.
Megtalálom = meg fogom találni - I will find it
Phew! Explaining your mother tongue is hard! But also fun, a process of discovery where you have to go through different examples in your head and explain it.
One more: You can use találni as think:
Úgy találom hogy ő nagyon okos. = Úgy gondolom hogy ő nagyon okos. I find/think that (s)he is very smart.
As far as I understand it: in rough terms, találok = I am finding, megtalálok = I find. Meg- changes the aspect of the verb.
I don't think in English there's any way to distinguish between the two in the infinitive, but I'm not sure if that's the case in Hungarian - someone who knows more about Hungarian may correct me...