"I see cars in front of the school."

Translation:Én autókat látok az iskola előtt.

July 9, 2016

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Why "Én autókat az iskola elött látok" is wrong? Should I know that seeing is emphasized here?


I'm not sure which sentence you're seeing exactly, but the preferred translation "Én autókat látok az iskola előtt" emphasises the cars. The focus is on whatever is in front of the verb stem.

The sentence you're suggesting sounds a bit strained, bordering on "wrong". The usual word order in a Hungarian sentence follows the pattern "topic - focus - verb - rest". With "az iskola előtt" taking up the "focus" spot, you're left with both én and autókat as topics. Having multiple topics is a bit unusual, but possible with a good reason.

The more troublesome point here is that autókat doesn't have anything defining about it - like a definite article or a numeral. So it's a bad topic. It would much rather be in the focus position or behind the verb. Basically, your sentence is saying "Regarding me, speaking about cars in general, I see some in front of the school." It would need a lot of context to work.


Why we use here "látok" instead of "látom". As I know if it's definitive form it should end with "em/om" (e.g. szeretem, hallgatom)


Yes, but the definite form is not appropriate here. Whether you use it or not depends only if the direct object (the one with the -t suffix) is definite. So:

  • I see cars in front of the school. - Autókat látok az iskola előtt.
  • I see the cars in front of the school. - Az autókat látom az iskola előtt.


Thanks for clarifying.


Alternatively: The "Én" is not necessary in this sentence, also "autó" could be "kocsi". "Kocsikat látok az iskola előtt."


I reported "Something else went wrong" because I wrote "előtt" as one should, and it was accepted, but Duo told me to pay attention on the accents and said that the word should be written as "elött" instead.

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