1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "Kik tüsszentenek?"

"Kik tüsszentenek?"

Translation:Who is sneezing?

July 12, 2016



And in this case as well, KIK - plural, so why is it only "..is .." accepted, not "...are..."?


Probably because it's much less used than "who is". Report it so that it can be added as an alternative.


When used as a question word who is always singular in English. It can refer to plural subjects, but the verb is always conjugated singularly. When who is a relative pronoun - such as "The men who are sneezing are sick." - then it can be either singular or plural. It would be incorrect to say "Who are sneezing?".


Who are those people? -- question word with plural verb. Who is those people? is not possible.

But it may not be possible with verbs other than the copula.


I suppose there will always be a few exceptions. In this case, it sounds wrong to conjugate the verb as is because we've established the plurality of the subject. In most cases where number has not been explicitly stated who must be conjugated as a singular noun. But you do bring up a good point, I think the only way it is possible to make who as a question word plural is with copula verbs. I've never really though about this before so this is very interesting to think about. Let me know if you can think of anything that might disprove what I'm guessing, I'd love to figure this out definitively.


It looks like it depends on the transitiveness/transitivity (vel non) of the verb.


In the sentence "who are those people" the subject is not "who" but "those people." (In the possible answer "those people are teachers" it's obvious that "those people" is the subject.) That's why the verb is in the plural.


The correct answer in american English would be "who are the ones sneezing" or "Who is sneezing".


Is there a rule for why this is tüsszentEnek and not tüszzentnek?


Hungarians try to avoid more than two consonants clashing together, so they will often insert vowels.
tüsszenteni - tüsszentek - tüsszentesz - tüsszent - tüsszentünk - tüsszentetek - tüsszentenek

And for low vowels: tart (to hold)
tartani - tartok - tartasz - tart - tartunk - tartotok - tartanak - tartalak (for the I-you form)


Ah, that also explains festeni then! Thanks!


maybe, but why is "are sneezing" indicated under the work "tüsszentenek"?


The problem is that you want to learn hungarian and duolingo is always correcting your english answers... Typos are not a problem in hungarian but not allowed in english!


Isn't this PLURAL???


It is. In Hungarian. English doesn't have a plural "who".


Why "Ők tüsszentenek" and not "Ők tüsszentnek"? It differs from the grammatical rules, doesn't it? I can understand that it has to be "Ti tüsszentetek" to differ from "Én tüsszentek" but not for the third person pluralis.


Mercedes, you usually cannot have three or more consonants next to each other when dealing with Hungarian conjugation (barring the imperative). If the base verb happens to end with two different consonants, you'll need to use a buffer vowel if the verb suffix happens to start with a consonant as well. Compare the conjugations of vár ("to wait") and tart ("to hold"):

várni tartani
én várok tartok
te vársz tartasz
ő vár tart
mi várunk tartunk
ti vártok tartotok
ők várnak tartanak

One exception to this regards verbs that end with '-nd' or '-ng', where you can choose whether you use the buffer vowel or not, as in "te mondsz" or "te mondasz" ("you say").

Also note that these buffer vowels are often left out in colloquial speech.


Thank you for your answer. I think that I understand what you mean but why is the suffix in "tártani" "tárt" and not "tárta" if I compare with "várni" "vár", just take away "ni" and one has the suffix, or not? But of course it would be a problem to conjugate "tártani" if the suffix would be "tárta". Is it why the suffix is "tárt"?


Mercedes, please note that a "suffix" is the bit at the end of a word. For example, the infinitive form várni has the suffix '-ni'. The vár bit is called the "root".

In Hungarian, the infinitive form is not the "most basic form" of the verb. That's why it's also not listed in a Hungarian dictionary. Instead, you'll find the present-tense ő forms there. That ő form usually doesn't have any suffixes (some have the suffix '-ik', though), and you can derive all other conjugations from the shape of that ő form.

The infinitive '-ni' suffix follows the same rule that all other verbal suffixes follow: if the root ends with two different consonants, you'll need to insert a buffer vowel. Tart becomes tartani, ért ("understand") becomes érteni, and mond ("say") will be either mondani or mondni. The infinitive form is not special.

Also note that Hungarian verb roots generally do not end with a vowel, so if you see something like kezdeni ("to begin"), you'll know that the second 'e' is a buffer vowel. So the root will be kezd.

(There are exactly five exceptions to that, which are verbs whose root consists of a consonant followed by a long vowel: ("grow"), ("shoot"), sző ("weave"), ("boil") and ("notch"). They follow a modified conjugation pattern.)


Thank you for your answer and refreshing my memory. I was only thinking about prefix and suffix and forgot root and now after your last explanation it becomes more understandable. I read the grammar parts in DL but I would like to find a book of Hungarian grammar in Swedish but I couldn't find one, så I save all the grammar from DL and I will save your answers as well. Thanks!


a little addition: tart and tár are two separate words.

tartani ~ to ... keep, hold, take, last, etc. [tart - (a) - ni]

tárni ~ (a kind of) open [tár - ni] = We are rarely used in this form, but we use it with more verbal prefixes or else.

[ajtót, ablakot] kitárni ~ to open [the window, door] (wide)

Szívét tárja valaki elé. ~ Open one's heart to somebody.

feltárni ~ (in the mine) open up; (archaeologist) excavate; (situation) reveal; (secret) disclose

etc., etc. ...


Valahol ,ahol mi èlunk ugy mondjok hogy trüsszentenek ,nagyon furta hogy màsok,masik helyen ègy mondjak.

Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.