"Mi ez a példa?"

Translation:What is this example?

July 8, 2016

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/anniHun

In case anybody is as confused by this sentence as I was due to "what this the example": ez + a are drawn together to "this xyz"

"mi" (what) + "ez a blubb" (this blubb) + "példa (example)" --> what (is) this example

July 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom698897

Wouldn't "what example is this?" be ok? You would still get the same sense.

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

Aha! This is one of those traps where the English language stops making sense.
When you're asking "What [thing]..?" you're actually either asking "Which [thing]..?" ("What/which apple did you take?") or "What kind of [thing]..?" ("What (kind of) music do you listen to?"), both of which would require a different question word in Hungarian (melyik and milyen, respectively). So by asking "What example is this?", you imply that there is a group of examples which you pick one item from.

"What is this example?" doesn't care about a group, but shows genuine interest in the actual content of the example. It's a small difference, but an important one when dealing with foreign grammar.

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom698897

I see exactly what you mean. But I just don't think "what is this example" sounds very natural in English really. Example as a word precludes that you are looking for something specific anyway. "What is this an example of?" Argh. Trying to get Hungarian into English and vice versa is a painful process :P

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

Yeah, the sentence doesn't make a lot of sense in either language. Maybe something like "What is that sound?" would be better. (Mi az a zaj?)
My point here is just if you start to translate it as "What example is this?", you might be tempted to write "Mi példa ez?", which really doesn't work.

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mbgreen11

Could you give me an example of this in context? The meaning is still unclear to me.

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

I think I can come up with two scenarios.

A student joins a group that's learning about, say, psychology from a book. She sees a drawing in there that seemingly has nothing to do with the subject at hand, so she confusedly asks "What is this example?"

A physics teacher starts a calculation: "Suppose Superman flies at 100 km/h straight upwards, holding a bowling ball with a mass of 10 kilograms. 5 minutes after starting off the ground, he lets it go, so we..."
And the tired pupils say "What (the hell) is this example now?"

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MelAbeta

Where is the accusative in here? Why no suffix?

July 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamarth

Példa is in nominative, there's no need for accusative. Just like in English: you say "What is he" and not "What is him".

July 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca

But if példa is in the nominative (i.e. is the subject), shouldn't that make mi the object? Shouldn't it be mit, or... what am I missing?

July 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RyagonIV

This is a so-called nominal or copula sentence where both subject and object (if those terms are even applicable) are nominative. The most prominent case is with using the verb to be in English, and van in Hungarian, accordingly.

Though the English language is a bit lax on that. See "I am the man" vs. "The man is me", which I deem is more colloquial than "The man is I".

July 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AGreatUserName

Yeah, arguably the English case distinction (in modern usage) has ceased to be nominative versus accusative, with the nominative case basically only being used when preceding a verb and the accusative being used when following a verb or as a standalone. Who wants ice cream? Me. I do.

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamarth

Both are in nominative, and the question has no object. It's basically a pronoun = noun structure, like "He is a boy." / "Ő egy fiú." The pronoun ő is the subject, while the noun egy fiú is basically the predicate of the sentence, and both take the nominative. In Duo's sentence the only difference is that the pronoun is an interrogative pronoun.

July 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MelAbeta

I was wondering why it was in the accusative lesson. Maybe just to introduce a new word.

July 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AGreatUserName

Maybe so that you start to get a sense of when to use accusative ... which is much more useful than simply teaching its form.

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamarth

Oh, I see. Well, I don't know about that, I've seen it happen in other courses too. Probably there's a reason for it.

July 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sjl_

Me @ 30% of the sentences on Duolingo.

October 31, 2018
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