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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bastette54

Plural adjectives?

Hello, I just completed lesson 7 in the "Plurals and Accusative 1" section. This was teaching the plural forms of adjectives that are modifying plural nouns.

Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought that Hungarian adjectives did not need to agree in number with the nouns. I'm pretty much a beginner, so I'm not insisting that I'm right, but this is the first time I've seen adjectives in a plural form.

Could someone explain this to me? When do you use the plural forms of adjectives with plural nouns, and when do you use the single form (with plural nouns)?

Thank you! I'm enjoying the lessons a lot. Joyce

July 7, 2016

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi
Mod
  • 798

When the adjective directly precedes the noun, it does not take the plural.

A piros alma = the red apple

A piros almák = the red apples

két piros alma = two red apples

But in other constructions, sometimes the adjective is in plural

Az alma piros = the apple is red

Az almák pirosak =the apples are red

But, as I think of it:

Ez a két alma piros = these two apples are red

Ezek az almák pirosak = these apples are red

EDIT: I edited this answer, when I added the word "directly".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Konrad127123

To clarify what's going on in the second-last line of the above comment:

If you actually specify the quantity of a noun then grammatically Hungarian treats it exactly the same as if the noun was in the singular (for noun endings, verb endings etc. etc.). So you can also have things like:

A férfi sétál. = The man is walking.

A férfiak sétálnak. = The men are walking.

A két férfi sétál. = The two men are walking.

Sok férfi sétál. = Many men are walking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi
Mod
  • 798

Agreed. Thank you Konrad for explaining the grammar. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quepastan

Thank you for the explanation. It was very helpful :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bastette54

Thanks! I did notice that about numbers, but since I was thinking of the noun as plural (since there are two of them), I used the plural form of the verb and that was a mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bastette54

Thanks! This makes a lot of sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

From what I gather (I might well be wrong, but it puzzled me too), there is only agreement when there's an implied copula between the noun and the adjective. So to calque it into English (often a useful thing to do in order to grasp a concept): red apples; apples [are] reds; red apples [are] bigs; big apples [are] reds, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi
Mod
  • 798

Plural or singular adjectives:

Like in English, the adjective precedes the noun it modifies. (This is called an attributive adjective.) In this case, the adjective is not pluralized.

A piros alma = The red apple.

A piros almák = The red apples.

Ezek piros almák =These are red apples.

Sometimes you see an adjective that comes after the noun. In English, the adjective usually comes after is/are. However, in the Hungarian translation van or vannak is dropped. (This is called a predicative adjective.) In this case the adjective has to be plural when the subject is plural.

Az alma piros = The apple is red.

Az almák pirosak = The apples are red.

Ezek az almák pirosak =These apples are red.

A német házak szépek. = German houses are beautiful.

BUT: Be careful, the rule is not about if the adjective is before or after the noun. (Even though sometimes we say it this way because it is an easier explanation.) The real rule is: is it an attributive adjective or predicative adjective.

Example: Politicians are rich. "A politikusok gazdagok" and "Gazdagok a politikusok." is the same thing grammatically, just the word order is rearranged.

Pirosak az almák. Szépek a német házak. These are also good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi
Mod
  • 798

+1 milyen/ milyenek

Milyen and milyenek works the same way as adjectives.

attributive:

Milyen autó ez? What kind of car is this?

Milyen város ez? What kind of city is this?

Milyen városokat ismersz? What kind of cities do you know?

Milyen autók ezek? What kind of cars are these?

predicative:

Milyenek a brazil sportolók? A brazil sportolók milyenek? What are the Brazilian athletes like?

Milyenek az orvosok itt? What are the doctors like here?

Milyen az orvos? What is the doctor like?

Milyen az a ház? What is that house like?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi
Mod
  • 798

Other question: the ending of plural adjectives.

If the adjective ends with a vowel:

-K : after ó ő, a, e and the word kicsi. (Note that a e will turn into á é)
olcsó, olcsók, jó, jók, önző, önzők, sárga, sárgák, fekete, feketék, kicsi, kicsik, gyenge, gyengék, drága, drágák, olcsó, olcsók, szőke, szőkék, csúnya, csúnyák, tiszta, tiszták, hülye, hülyék, furcsa, furcsák,

-AK: after i, ú, back and mixed vowel words. (For example nationalities ending with i.)
amerikai, amerikaiak, koreai, koreaiak, kínai, kínaiak... hosszú, hosszúak, lassú, lassúak, szomorú, szomorúak,

-EK: after after i, ű, front vowel words.
keleti, keletiek, jókedvű, jókedvűek, keserű, keserűek, könnyű, könnyűek, régi, régiek, nemzeti, nemzetiek, népszerű, népszerűek, gyönyörű, gyönyörűek, nagyszerű, nagyszerűek,

(Exception? különböző, különbözőek. )

If the adjective ends with a consonant:

-AK: most adjectives with mixed and back vowels
rossz, rosszak, magas, magasak, vékony, vékonyak, piros, pirosak, barátságos, barátságosak, fáradt, fáradtak, sovány, soványak, fontos, fontosak, gyors, gyorsak, új, újak, száraz, szárazak, okos, okosak, hasznos, hasznosak, csinos, csinosak, hatékony, hatékonyak, szomjas, szomjasak, unalmas, unalmasak

-OK: after -atlan/-talan, nationalities, and a few other mixed/back vowel adjectives
magyar, magyarok, angol, angolok, orosz, oroszok, olasz, olaszok, holland, hollandok, / nyugtalan, nyugtalanok, , sótlan, sótlanok, / fiatal fiatalok, nagy, nagyok, vastag, vastagok, gazdag, gazdagok, boldog, boldogok, szabad, szabadok,

-EK: all other adjectives with front vowels
szép, szépek, szegény, szegények, rövid, rövidek, meleg, melegek, hideg, hidegek, nedves, nedvesek, keskeny, keskenyek, széles, szélesek, sekély, sekélyek, mély, mélyek, erős, erősek, híres, híresek, kövér, kövérek, idős, idősek, öreg, öregek, lehetséges, lehetségesek, lehetetlen, lehetetlenek, ügyes, ügyesek, ingyenes, ingyenesek, modern, modernek, üres, üresek, tökéletes, tökéletesek, helyes, helyesek, friss, frissek, beteg, betegek, éhes, éhesek, nehéz, nehezek,

-ÖK : the words török, görög.
török, törökök, görög, görögök


Side note: there are some words that can be either an adjective or a noun. And they have different plural forms.

Ez a fiú ismerős. This boy is familiar.
Ezek a fiúk ismerősek. These boys are familiar.

egy ismerős - an acquaintance
ismerősök -acquaintances

gonosz - evil

Ők gonoszak. They are evil. (adjective here)

A gonoszok győztek. The evil ones won. The bad guys won. (noun here)

vörös - red

Azok az almák vörösek. Those apples are red. (adjective here)

Jönnek a vörösök. The reds are coming. (noun here)

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