"A plane flies above the artists."
Translation:A művészek fölött egy repülőgép repül.
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This is not a mistake in the exercise. I just want to understand what was wrong with my translation.
I translated the sentence: "A plane flies above the artists" to: "Egy repülőgép a muvészek fölött repül." It said my translation was wrong and should have said, "A muvészek fölött egy repülőgép repül."
All the words in the correct answer are in my translation, but are in a different order. Can anyone tell me what was incorrect about the word order I chose? I'm trying to copy the word order of similar sentences, but I don't really understand what make one of these right and another wrong.
It is grammatical and is a good translation, but it sounds a bit strange, because of what is emphasised. I suggest you read this about word order: http://www.hungarianreference.com/Misc_Grammar/syntax-sentences-word-order.aspx
Because when A is above B, you would say "A ... B fölött." (Or, in this case, "B fölött ... A.") If B were above A, you'd see "A fölött." The important thing is that "fölött" immediately follows the thing that that is underneath.
The word fölött is a "post-position" (like an English preposition, except that it comes after the thing it's modifying). In English we would say "above the artists" - "above" comes right before "the artists," so you know that something is above the artists, and not that the artists are above the other thing. It's not that different in Hungarian, except that the post-position comes after.
By the way, in the Duolingo universe, it's quite possible that artists can fly above planes. Common sense doesn't always apply. :)
Ouh, please don't throw the terms together like that.
Subject: the thing or person that does something in the sentence. A sentence always has a subject (sometimes implied), and it's always in nominative (i.e. without suffix in Hungarian). The subject in this sentence is the plane. The verb also conjugates for the person and number of the subject (in this case 3rd person singular).
Direct object: this is the object that's directly influenced by the verb. The target of the action, so to say. In Hungarian it's the noun that gets the -t suffix. (Example: "He loves the girl" - "Szereti a lányt.") In English a direct object appears right after the verb and has no preposition. A verb that takes a direct object is called "transitive". Most verbs of movement are intransitive if you're not talking about the mode of transportation itself, so there is no direct object in this sentence here.
A handy rule with Hungarian suffixes is that if the noun already has a postposition, it cannot have a rag suffix (other than -n) as well. "Művészeket fölött" is invalid. (Rag suffixes are all the noun suffixes you're learning in this course, minus the plural -k and the possessive markers. Rag suffixes define the grammatical role of the noun.)
Opps - wrote "subject" when I meant "object". I've corrected this but my excuse (apart from age) is I tried to use everyday language rather than grammatical terminology as most people understand "subject" - and these days few have the language to understand the term "object")