I tried 'are these the buildings ?' Is that definitely wrong or, something I should suggest be accepted?
I think that would have to be Ezek az épületek?
The accusative (-t) wouldn't make sense here if you are using a subject (these) and a predicate ([are] the buildings).
I think that's a reply to an implied previous question, such as " Which buildings do you want to visit? These buildings?" Then the accusative makes sense. But, come on Duolingo, that's a lot of mind bending and stretching!
"They want to demolish this Pruitt–Igoe complex."
"What? These buildings? They are still quite new but badly maintained."
In this context this is a sentence. ;)
– Le akarják bontani a Pruitt–Igoe lakótelepet.
– Mi? Ezeket az épületeket? Szinte még újak, csak nincsenek karbantartva!
For more about the context see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruitt–Igoe
I always wish if Duolingo had at least basic context hints. This is an ubiquitous problem. I tried quite some courses, and all of them suffered it.
Not everything said in English is actually a sentence. "These buildings?" is quite natural in some contexts. For example "You heard about the buildings the council bought .... " with a gesture to the buildings and a grimace. Response "These buildings?"
Why wouldn't "Are these the buildings" be acceptable? Az = the. Help me understand
See my earlier comment above -- the -t on the end of both ezeket and épületeket means that "these buildings" are in the accusative or object case. For a statement on its own like "Are these the buildings?", you'd need the nominative or subject case, with no final -t: "Ezek az épuletek?"
"Ezek az épületek" is a correct translation as well, since based on the English sentence it's impossible to tell if it's nominative or accusative.
Because ezek means "these" and not "those"; because the Hungarian sentence has az in it (so it could be, at best, "Are these the buildings?"); and because the words have the accusative marker -t on them, which they would not have if you are asking "Are these (the) buildings?".
You definitely can not just have these buildings unless it is an answer to something like which buildings do you mean but even then there would have to be doubt for the question form
I get the meaning of this, but why adding "az"? "Ezeket épületeket?" Is not enough?
That's right, it's not enough.
As for "why", I'm not sure that there's a good answer beyond "that's how Hungarian grammar works".
Why do we say "three girls" in English? Isn't "three girl" enough? The "three" already says that there are more than one -- you don't need to say "girlS" with an -s for "there are more than one" as well, do you?
Why is it il mio cane in Italian? Isn't mio cane enough? Like "my dog" in English -- if something is possessed, it's definite.
három lány is good Hungarian but "three girl" is not good English. Similarly, "these buildings" is good English but ezeket épületeket is not good Hungarian. The two languages' grammars simply don't work quite the same.
Thank you, I saw in another "discussion" as well. If I have to say "this apple" I always have to say " Ez az almát " and so on...
Having read all these comnents, I'm still non the wiser!!! My brain aches. Still dont get why it wasn't "is this THE building"
I think its especially difficult to pick up Hungarian if youre approaching it with an English head