"Nem festek székeket."

Translation:I do not paint chairs.

July 14, 2016

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is this paint in the sense of I do not cover these chairs with paint, or i am not drawing these chairs?


It can be both.


If you were putting paint onto the chairs, say, painting the chairs a different color, wouldn't you be painting onto the chairs? "Nem festek székekre," maybe?


You wouldn't say it like that just as you wouldn't say that in English for example. In English you say "I'm not painting chairs" not "I'm not painting onto the chairs". Similarly you would just say "nem festek székeket" literally: "I'm not painting chairs"


OK, thanks. I asked because there was another similar exercise where the English sentence was "I'm painting lawyers," and people wanted to know whether the painter is painting portraits of lawyers, or putting paint on lawyers (body paint, or something similar). And the agreed-on answer seemed to be that the second meaning would be expressed as "ügyvédekre festek." Is that also incorrect? (Sorry, I don't know how to search for that discussion, unfortunately I didn't click on "follow".)


Hi, that is actually correct. Hungarian tends to be much more specific vs. English, where as per your example "I'm painting lawyers" could mean both what you described above. In Hungarian, the '...re' at the end of 'ügyvéd' tells you 'onto lawyers'. Whereas using '...et' at the end of the noun as in 'ügyvédeket' would just mean 'painting lawyers.' (Those lawyers) I hope this is clear.

Actually, there is a difference between grammar just as in English when discussing persons vs. objects and it is more accurate to be specific: "székeket vs. székekre". Whereas you could say "I'm painting chairs" it could have a double meaning: it could mean I'm painting chairs as in onto a canvas (painting) or painting the chairs themselves, when you're talking about people it doesn't tend to work in the same way because you most likely wouldn't mean when "painting lawyers" that you are painting 'onto' lawyers but you're painting a painting. So, "székeket festek" actually could mean either that you're painting the chairs themselves or you're painting a painting of chairs.


I don't understand what the difference is between lawyers and chairs, as far as the grammar goes.


"ügyvédeket festek" - I paint (images, portraits of) lawyers.

"székeket festek" - I paint (images of) chairs (on canvas, etc)


"ügyvédekre festek" - I paint lawyers' bodies (or clothes), I put paint on the lawyers.

"székekre festek" - I'm putting paint onto the chairs, for example, to change the color.

Wouldn't these work the same regardless of the noun (chairs or lawyers)?



Jumping to the conclusion - there is no difference grammatically. valamire festeni suggests that you use that surface as a canvas. You don't cover it with paint wholly, you just put some paint on. Perhaps that's why you heard it as a "save the day" solution to tell {painting a lawyer on a canvas} and {painting on the lawyer itself} apart. And probably that's why Miklós didn't think of it here, since it's a more natural idea that you want to paint a chair to a certain color rather than using it as a canvas.

Fest can have many verbal prefixes and argument "layouts". Like, you could say, "pirosra festem a széket". "I paint the chair red."
But then, you could say, "A falra festem a széket." "I paint the chair onto the wall."
"Megfestem a széket." ~ I paint a chair (on a picture) until completion. (This is a telic verb if you are into linguistics.)
"Lefestem a széket." - Now this can both mean that you paint a portrait of the chair OR you cover it with paint completely. OR even that there is already a chair on a canvas and you paint right onto it so your painting covers it. Aand a couple more...


"Drawing" would be "rajzolni", not "festeni", so it's "paint chairs" in the sense you explained above.


If I understood well the question was whether "to paint" in this sentence meant to cover the chair with the paint or to paint the chair on the canvas, paper, wall... wherever. And if I understood Shamarth the meaning of the sentence could be both. Miklosh13, thanks for a new word - rajzolni - to draw.


So, how do you say "I am not painting chairs"?


It would be the same. Hungarian doesn't have the present progressive, where the verb ends in -ing. ("I am (not) doing something). So "I am not painting chairs" would also be Nem festek székeket.


After all of the conversation above regarding painting lawyers, it seems like Hungarian would express the two ideas more specifically. "I do not ever paint chairs" is a lot different than "I am not painting chairs at this time". Is there a simple way to express this difference?


I'm not sure what you mean by "the two ideas" and especially by "more specifically". Anyways, literally saying that you "never" paint chairs seems to be a simple enough way. "Soha nem festek székeket." The same way, "Most nem festek székeket", "Jelenleg nem festek székeket." If you want to talk about habits, you could say "Nem szoktam székeket festeni." (szoktam is past tense syntactically but it typically refers to nowadays habits, think of it as making a prognosis based on your former activity).


Indefinite/Definite: Ezeket az épületeket vagy ezeket a szekeket?
Épületeket festek. Nem székeket festek, hanem épületeket, de ezeket a székeket festem, miután ezeket az épületeket festem (lefestem?).

I discovered the obligatory use of definite -em ending, because the desired "festek ezeket szekeket" is wrong and must be "festem...

FUTURE necessary? Nem székeket, hanem épületeket festek, de ezeket a székeket festeni fogom, miután ezeket az épületeket festem (lefestem?).

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