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  5. "De e fölé a szekrény fölé?"

"De e fölé a szekrény fölé?"

Translation:But above this wardrobe?

July 20, 2016



Why "e fölé" for "this cabinet" in this case, and not the usual articles seen so far for demonstratives ? Is this "e(z)" with letter loss to ease the pronunciation with the following "fölé" ? If not, I'm not getting the grammar behind this one :-?


Yes, exactly, that's all it is.


Great ! 'sounds simple, but that got me confused for a little bit :) -z_f- sound didn't seem it needed easing to me


It happens before every word starting with a consonant, just like in the case of the definite article.

"Ez alatt a ház alatt" (under this house), but "a mögött az ajtó mögött" (behind that door)


a/az made sense from previous lessons ; it just wasn't obvious to me the same happens with e/ez. 'Sounds all logical now !


The first time I saw "ez" without the "z" was in a spoken sentence. That makes it pretty unlikely to transcript. C'est la vie.


I don't see any motion in "But above this wardrobe?" Something seems missing, maybe a verb to indicate motion? It rejected my entry, "But is this above the cabinet?" which also doesn't express any motion. Is it that the "e fölé" doesn't mean "is this above," it's just that thing where the article also gets the postposition?


It's "that thing where the demonstrative also gets the postposition", precisely.

ez a szekrény but e fölé a szekrény fölé.

And the motion comes from the meaning of fölé "to a position above [something]" (as I understand it).

It's sort of the destination-of-movement counterpart of fölött.

(And the origin-of-movement counterpart would be fölül "from a position above [something]".)


I don't doubt that the Hungarian expresses motion toward a position above, I was just saying that I'm not hearing that in the translation.


The "problem" is that many English prepositions and adverbs are ambiguous between location and destination-of-motion. (Causing English-speaking learners lots of problems when learning languages that distinguish them....)

For example, "I hung the picture above this wardrobe", "above" indicates destination of motion (the picture was first in my hand, then moved to a location above this wardrobe) and probably not location (i.e. while I was hanging the picture, I was located above this wardrobe).

So "above" can mean both... but it's not clear without context which of the two meanings is meant. And "to above this wardrobe" sounds a bit odd.


I said But on top of this cabinet? and got burned.


Is this a common construction? I don't remember hearing this repeating structure of "demonstrative adjective] fölé [the] [noun] fölé" before, not that I get to speak much Hungarian these days. My instinct is to use the shorter "de ez a szekrény fölé" and I am reasonably sure that is acceptable in the real world, though I haven't tried it in Duolingo yet.

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