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
When the adjective 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 construction, 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
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.
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.
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.