1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "How old are you?"

"How old are you?"

Translation:Hány éves vagy?

July 5, 2016



Why is "how old is he/she" hány éves while "how old are you" is hány éves vagy?


The 3rd-person singular 'to be' is van in Hungarian, but its usage differs from that of the other persons. Where you would say "he/she is" in English, it's most often just implied in Hungarian.


What is the difference between "Hány éves vagy" and "Te Hány éves vagy"? Also, is that capitalization correct for the second sentence?


The capitalization is not correct for the second sentence. Well, "Hány éves vagy?" = "How old are you?" (neutral emphasis); "Te hány éves vagy?" = "How old are YOU? (implied: not someone else)"


don't we use van instead of vagy at formal ?


The usage of van (and vannak for plural matters) differs a lot from that of vagyok, vagy, vagyunk, and vagytok. Formal yous use the 3rd person grammar in Hungarian, but not always the verb van where you normally would use vagy.


Why did mine accept just "Hány éves." From what I see here it should need the "vagy" at the end.


It depends on how you address the person. If you use the familiar te form, you need the verb at the end: "Hány éves vagy?"

But the formal ön requires a different verb form, van. And since in copula sentences of the type "[Subject] is [quality]" the verb forms van and vannak aren't used, you end up just with "Hány éves (ön)?"

To summarise, there are four ways to translate this sentence into Hungarian, depending on the number and familiarity of the people you address:

  • Hány éves vagy (te)? (singular informal)
  • Hány éves (ön)? (singular formal)
  • Hány évesek vagytok (ti)? (plural informal)
  • Hány évesek (önök)? (plural formal


Hány is "hani" in Turkish


Aha! So "éves" is an adjective!! And that answers my question! Aha ... mumble, mumble, mumble ....

Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.