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  5. "What is inside?"

"What is inside?"

Translation:Mi van bent?

July 9, 2016



What about "Mi bent van"?


It's incorrect.


Why? I'm having a hard time determining when word order is free and when it isn't.


I'll do my best to explain, though I'm not a native speaker. In a natural sounding sentence, the adverb comes just before the verb, such as in "Az alma bent van."

This order can be disrupted by what is called a focus word. Focus words include:

  • negation (nem, nincs, nincsenek)

  • questions, (ki? mi? hol?)

  • answers to questions

  • and any stressed or emphasized word.

If a sentence contains a focus word, that word must be placed immediately before the verb- consequently "kicking out" what would normally be there to a position immediately after the verb. In this case, we would say, "Az alma bent van," but what if we didn't know what was inside? We would have to ask what's inside, and questions are considered focus words, so now the question word "mi" takes the position just before the verb, and kicks out what would normally be there (the adverb) to a position after it.

Thus we get:

  1. Mi van bent?

  2. Az alma bent van

I hope this helps. Let me me know if it doesn't make sense.


Yes, maybe it's the hardest thing in Hungarian (most of the questions are about word order). And sorry, but I don't know why it is incorrect (but it is), maybe someone else can explain it.


We have seen examples where we can leave out the implicit third-person verb to be, as in "Mi ez" (What is this?) or "Péter álmos" (Péter is tired).

"Mi bent?", however, was not accepted. Should it have been? If not, what is the rationale?


Not Hungarian native but, ez and Péter are both either pronouns or holders for pronouns therefore the Hungarian language doesn't need a form of "to be", whereas in the sentence "Mi bent" there is no pronoun, so a form of to be is needed to identify a person/object.


"mi van idebent" why is it not good?


what about the order of words ?


I think is not correct, because, if I ask "What is in?"-Mi van bent/benne? , and "What is inside?"-Mi van belül?


Except "what is in" is not a grammatical sentence - "in" needs an object. "Belül" means something slightly different, but I'm having trouble articulating it.


Mi van belül? Ez miért nem jó?


Sokkal természetesebb volna "mi van odabent"-nek fordítani, de azt helytelennek minősíti.

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