"A turisták a szállodák előtt vannak."

Translation:The tourists are in front of the hotels.

July 5, 2016

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Could this not also mean 'The hotels are in front of the tourists' since both nouns appear to be in the nominative case? Or does word order dictate the meaning in this instance?


előtt is a postposition and stands immediately after the thing it applies to -- in this case, a szállodák előtt "in front of the hotels".


In this case, the word order is important. The two English sentences neither mean the same thing. So "A turisták a szállodák előtt vannak./The tourists are in front of the hotels." means, that the tourists are in front and the hotels are behind. "A szállodák a turisták előtt vannak./The hotels are in front of the tourists." means, that the hotels are in front and the tourists are behind.


Right, but what determines the meaning is not so much word order as the fact that the postposition appears after one noun or the other.

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