"Hungarian athletes are good."
Translation:A magyar sportolók jók.
Is the "A" mandatory in this sentence, or would: magyar sportolók jók be also acceptable?
I would say you should include the article whenever the noun is described by an adjective or another noun that is also the predicate (so basically whenever you omit vannak).
- "Magyar sportolókat akarok látni." ("I want to see Hungarian athletes.") but "A magyar sportolók jók."
- "Kék kutyák kellenek." ("I need blue dogs") but "A kék kutyák szépek." ("Blue dogs are beautiful.")
- "Autók állnak a ház előtt." ("Cars are standing in front of the house.") but "Az autók gyors járművek." ("Cars are fast vehicles.")
The subjects of such sentences can be understood as both specific and general, so you can choose to include or omit the in the English translation depending on the meaning you intend to convey.
That's a great explanation. I wish we could "promote" it to one of the Tips & Notes pages where more people would see it.
What the Turkish-from-English people did is make one forum post sticky and then link lots of other posts from that which explained useful grammatical information.
Something like that could work here, too.
How come here "magyar" is used and not "magyarak"? I'm pretty confused when to put adverbs and adjectives in plural and when not.
The short version: adjectives don't get plural endings if they are directly in front of a noun, otherwise they do (when appropriate).
Here, magyar is in front of sportolók, so it doesn't get a plural ending -- but jók is not in front of a noun and so it does get an ending.
Why isn't the definite article included in the English if it is required in the Hungarian answer?