- What are buildings?
- What are the buildings?
- What are these buildings?
- What are those buildings?
- What buildings are these?
- What buildings are those?
I believe that the Hungarian sentence at the head of this page, 'Mik az épületek', is the Hungarian equivalent of #2. What are the Hungarian equivalents of the other five sentences?
- Mi az épület? ; Mik az épületek?
- Mik az épületek?
- Mik ezek az épületek?
- Mik azok az épületek?
- Ezek milyen épületek?
- Azok milyen épületek?
What are the buildings? I would never use this sentence in English or German What is the meaning of it?
Thank you :-). But in this case I would always use "these" and not "they" (like for people).
"They" is perfectly normal English for inanimate objects
Source: Native English speaker
Yeah, you are right. This example in this form implies that you are want to know what are the buildings at large. I mean the answer could be: they are some man built objects usually with walls and roof etc.
Judging by the hint regarding az, it is likely a more natural translation would be "what are those buildings", speaking of a specific group of buildings. Similar to when you would say "what is that building".
- Az = The
- Azok az = Those
It is "Az" and not "A" because the following word starts with a vowel.
ACTUALLY, Rose, the Hungarian sentence we are given contains the word "az". Literally, therefore, the Hungarian is saying "the buidlings". So the DL translation works.
On the other hand, English and Hungarian differ in how they use the definite article in general statements and questions. For example, where English would say "Snakes are reptiles", Hungarian (and some other European languages) would say "The snakes are reptiles". So your friend's translation is also valid -- the Hungarian sentence here could be a general question about buildings.