"Is there ice at home?"
Translation:Van otthon jég?
Any reason the following word order is wrong? Should I report it next time so more possible answers are available?
"Van jég otthon?"
Your options for "Is there ice at home?" are:
- Van otthon jég?
- Van jég otthon?
- Otthon van jég?
- Jég van otthon?
"Jég otthon van?" is not correct. The definite article is necessary: "A jég otthon van?", but then you refer to a specific piece of ice.
Hm, that's a possible sentence too, but the meaning is slightly different compared to my sentences. The emphasis is on jég since that's the word preceding the verb. You ask something like this: "Is it ice we have at home?" For example instead of another material you can cool things with.
And now I'd like to take the opportunity to make it all even more confusing. You surely noticed that in the last example sentence in my comment above jég precedes van, just like in yours. The question "Jég van otthon?" can be understood in two different ways, depending on which word you stress in speech:
- "Jég van otthon?" -- You simply ask whether there's ice at home or not.
- "Jég van otthon?" -- This means the same as your sentence.
I don't know if you're familiar with the concepts of focus and topic (I briefly explained what they are here, near the end of the page), but they are the ones to blame here. In the first version jég is the topic and there's no focus. In the second version jég is the focus and there's no topic. Only context and/or emphasis can tell you which one is meant.
"jég otthon van" sounds like you're asking whether the ice is at home (in its own home). People would understand what you mean, but it isn't good grammar.
Sorry, I am still not getting this. Why "van" now and not in other places?
Not really. This is a "there is" sentence, we are literally talking about existence. Being is pretty much an action here, not just a way to assign attributes to a substance. Therefore, it can't be emitted.
Is there a slight difference in meaning if you say "Van jég otthon?" (my version, got marked as correct) or "Van otthon jég?" (as suggested in the results)?
I think they would be hard to differentiate, the difference can't be that big that natural intonation couldn't make them sound the same.
If you are really aiming for finding a nuance, try to cover the tail of a sentence and see whether the remaining part is meaningful. If it is, then the tail part may feel a bit unnecessary or secondary. In this example, "van jég?" is meaningful on it's own and "van otthon?" lacks something so... by this logic, the second could sound more balanced :)