1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "Sehonnan sem jön autó."

"Sehonnan sem jön autó."

Translation:No cars are coming from anywhere.

July 7, 2016



Can someone point out a site that explains sem (and all its derivatives)?


That site explains the use of negatives well, but I've found a lot of errors in the example sentences. This one has less explanation, but the examples are definitely correct.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a list of the derivatives of sem, but you basically create those words out of interrogative pronouns. The basic formula is se + pronoun. (se + hogy -> sehogy, se + melyik -> semelyik, etc.)

The ones with a little difference:

Mi? -> semmi

Ki? -> senki

Milyen? -> semmilyen

The derivatives of these (semmiért, senkitől, semmilyenre, etc.)

All of the sem-words are used with double negative.


I see some issues with the site you are referencing here. It takes "se" as just a variation on "sem". While it is frequently used that way colloquially, I think it is actually a pair of "ne", an imperative for "also do not" or "don't ... either".


Hungarian (at least Duolingo Hungarian) sometimes seems to use the singular forms of nouns in ways that are plural in English. Could "No cars come from anywhere" work here as a translation, for example?


That's what I used and it was marked as correct.


Backtranslating it is: 'Sehonnan sem jönnek autók.'.

The distinction is the same between the English versions as between the Hungarian versions.


There is a difference? I'm not sure about the Hungarian but there isn't in English...

"No cars are coming from anywhere" would be natural in English.


I think so, yes.


Would "a car doesnt come from anywhere" be very wrong? How would that be translated to Hungarian? Thanks :)


I am not sure I can figure out what that sentence actually means. :) It is probably one of those sentences that only a non-native would say. :)


how embarrassing, I am a native speaker and that is what I put. Though it wouldn't be something that would be written in a formal academic composition, it is the kind of thing that is said when frustrated, and sputtering and at your wits end, waiting for a car on the road when you are hitch hiking or broken down.


also, a more rare use of a sentence structure such as "a car doesn't come from anywhere" is when a parent is arguing with their demanding teenager who wants a car as a present. So the parent will say something like, "a car doesn't come from JUST ANYWHERE." Implying, it comes from somewhere, as in it comes from the slaving, hardworking parent's pocketbook, and doesn't come falling from the sky.


Now, with that I can totally agree.
"A car doesn't come from just anywhere."
In Hungarian, they can also come from the sky, but more likely they grow on trees.
"Azt hiszed, az autó csak úgy a fán terem?" - Do you think cars just grow on trees?


I guess we can say all kinds of things when frustrated. :)
I think I would say something like "no car, not a single car ...".


"No cars are coming from anywhere" should be accepted and is a more natural way of saying this in English.


Sem isn't "not either" or "neither" as say "tampoco" sort of is in Spanish?


Yes. Or "also not".

I do not like apples, and (I do not like) oranges, either:

"Nem szeretem az almát, és a narancsot sem."
"Nem szeretem az almát, és nem szeretem a narancsot sem."


Why isn't 'from anywhere' bárhonnan?


It is only "bárhonnan" (or "akárhonnan") in a positive statement. In a negative statement, it is translated as sehonnan. I guess this is due to the fact that English does not like double negatives while Hungarian loves them.

"A car can come from anywhere." - "Bárhonnan jöhet egy autó."
"No car can come from anywhere." - "Sehonnan sem jöhet autó."


cars do not come from anywhere -ez vajon miért nem jó?


I think it is fine, I would say it,


sem: nem + is. where is 'also' in this sentence. does not 'is' means also ?


I was (apparently mistakenly) thinking "sehonnan" means "nowhere"... So how would you translate "The car came from nowhere" (like in something like "Yes, officer, that damn plane came from nowhere and hit the kindergarten teacher who was peacefully flying around those tall, dark chimneys")?

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