"Te már fekszel."

Translation:You are lying down already.

July 21, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Why does this have el after the sz? Is it reflexive?


The verb is "fekszik", so the root is "feksz-", and adding the normal "-sz" would give you a double "sz". In such cases (when the root ends in -s, -sz, -z, or -dz), the alternative ending -el/-ol/-öl is used.


This is one of those irregular verbs...
The infinitive is "feküdni", yet the third person singular is "fekszik". And the third person plural can be any of these:

  • feküdnek
  • fekszenek
  • feküsznek

The second person plural is:

  • feküdtök
  • fekszetek
  • feküsztök

I think the other persons have only one version. But there is much more irregularity involved here.

I don't know why this is. But there are a few verbs like this one:

  • aludni - alszik - sleep

I cannot think of any other example right now.

A linguist can surely explain this phenomenon. I am sensing some ancient suffix in the word (-ud/-üd ???), that became part of the word itself but that reveals itself when it is missing from some derivatives of the word:

  • feküdj
  • fektet
  • fekvés etc.

But this "-ud"/"-üd" thing is not an actual suffix today, for sure.


Nyugszik and haragszik are falling in the same group, I think. Those -szik verbs are pretty ancient words and they tempt me to actually delve into etymology. But not now. It's late.


The translation here is wrong.

Either the Hungarian has to be:
Te már lefekszel. You are lying down already.
Or the English must be:
You are lying already. - Te már fekszik.

fekszik means lie, not lie down. No movement!

aláfekszik | átfekszik | befekszik | belefekszik | elfekszik | felfekszik | idefekszik | kifekszik | lefekszik | megfekszik | nekifekszik | odafekszik | összefekszik | ráfekszik | végigfekszik | visszafekszik (source: hungarian wiki; fekszik)

Notice that only the prefix changes. And all mean a certain direction or inform about what is exactly happening.
into, down, on top, out of, together, back...


English is weird. "To be lying down" can also mean "to be in a lying position", mostly used when you plan to sleep.

The prefixless fekszik can also refer to a movement if the context is there. "A padlóra fekszem" - "I lie down on the floor" or "I am going to lie down on the floor", as a movement, because of the -ra suffix on padló. Admittedly, the original sentence doesn't have any context leading in that direction, but the interpretation of someone "going to bed already" is still pretty likely in this sentence. Using a verbal prefix here wouldn't even sound too good, but if you insist on using one, I would disattach it from the verb, putting focus on már instead: "Te már fekszel le."


Or even "fekszel lefelé".

But don't worry, even "Te már fekszel." in itself can also mean that you are going to bed. Language is not so strict on logic, and we can't force it to fit our rules.
"Lefeküdtél már?" - Have you gone to bed yet?
"Mindjárt fekszem." - I am going to in a moment.

It is all about context. If I am talking to you, and you are obviously not in bed, but maybe are heading to the bedroom, and I say "Te már fekszel.", you should rest assured that I am aware of the situation and am not having a stroke. So don't lose any sleep over it.

And I agree, "I am lying down." can also mean that I am already in bed.

The thing here, with the Hungarian sentence, is that "lefekszel" may be the verb for going to bed, but it also has the built-in perfective sense (referring to an complete action as a whole). Therefore, if we want to refer to the action in progress, that you are heading to bed, we may just drop the preverb (or place it after the verb) and let context (the fact that you are still in the bathroom, standing, brushing your teeth) fill in the blanks.


I only find "to have/ going for a lie down" ("lie down" seems to be a "short nap") and then it is not even certain, as i understand the phrase, that the person necessarily lies down, since a nap can also be in a armchair.

Ich lege mich auf den Boden (nieder).
A padlóra fekszem.
It is sligthly similar, at least the verb. "Nieder" becomes optional once the direction is specified by "auf".

How detaching works in Hungarian will be interesting. meg- was the only hint of that system so far.


Oh, you ain't seen nothing yet! :)
A great adventure is lying (down) ahead of you. Good luck!


I am now curious what this sentence even can mean.

Is it strictly limited about going to bed, or does fekszik have the same or similar meanings like lie/lay (German liegen/legen) has?

But with "already" and my limited knowledge of English i can only think of resign from an official role or something like that. (and that is probably also based on the sleep meaning)

Are there alternative meanings for the Hungarian sentence?

(in German i can imagine a writer talking to himself. And then writing down his thoughts, lying them down on paper.
Or a demolition team standing in front a building. Before it goes to "sleep", teasing the building in its last erect moments. lol)

Is that based on some American dialect that lying down means already lying? Sounds more like some y'all slang to me, especially since it interferes with the usual meaning. The only explanation i find on merrian webster is not really supporting the combined use (beside going to bed):
Definition of down
1 a (1) : occupying a low position;
specifically : lying on the ground
down timber"

As i understand that you are either lying on the ground or you are down (which implies lying)
I am lying (in bed), or i am down (lying (in bed)), or i am lying down (going to bed).

Afaik Preverbs are pretty much the same in German. There are a lot of verbs that have pretty much the same list as fekszik has.

Asking a standing person "Liegst du schon?" would sound like you had a stroke.
As does
"Legst du schon?" since it is missing words to form a proper meaning or you are sort of asking if that person is ovulating.

So there are certainly some differences.


"Fekszel" simply means you are in a horizontal position on some surface. The most typical case is when we are in bed. But "fekszel" is not restricted to a bed, or to sleeping.

Now, officially, the English "lie" is intransitive. If you are lying, then you yourself are in that position. The verb "lay" is the transitive version. You do it to something else. You lay a cable, bricks, eggs, etc. There are several set phrases, idioms, phrasal verbs related to lie/lay. One of them is "lay off", meaning terminating someone's employment.

"Fekszel" has no such meaning. It could not, because it is intransitive. The transitive pair of "fekszik" is "fektet".

"Lie" - "fekszik"
"Lay" - "fektet"

There are, of course, several idiomatic meanings of both verbs, mostly achieved using various preverbs. That is one very prolific way of creating new meanings to any verb in Hungarian. But these do not necessarily correlate with the idioms or set phrases of the same verb in English.

Here are a few meanings/uses of the verb "fektet":



You're forgetting one of the main modes of verbs, reflexive. So:

  • fekszik - liegen (static), sich legen (movement)
  • fektet - etw. legen (always a movement, since it's transitive)

Just like:

  • áll - stehen (static), sich stellen (movement)
  • állít - etw. stellen
  • ül - sitzen (static), sich setzen (movement)
  • ültet - etw. setzen

And you can combine all of these with verbal prefixes:

  • lefekszik - sich niederlegen
  • átül - sich hinübersetzen
  • odaállít - etw. dorthin stellen
  • feláll - aufstehen, sich hochstellen
  • visszafektet - etw. zurücklegen
  • etc.


Maybe a German translation would be better here?

"Te már fekszel" can be translated as "Du liegst schon" (noticing that [person] is in bed/resting/lying on the floor already) or "Du legst dich schon hin", depending on the circumstances. Saying it as a question would be more likely in everyday conversation, though.


Exactly, literally:
Du schon liegst.
But also, for reasons not obvious to me:
Du schon legst.

Although fektet is the "real" word for legen... and i must now assume that not even lefektet is the word which i thought must be the translation of the English sentence. Since le=hinunter/runter is not ???=nieder/hin.

And this is of course puzzling.
I only can imagine a meaning like; you will lie soon (already). So via implied future we outmaneuver the rather static activity of lying? And that translates now to a sentence that strictly translated would need fektet?

English behaves already different, lie down is the phrase for oneself and lay down for sth or somebody else, German attaches hin oder nieder only to legen, and you have to specify the object in the sentence. And liegen is than the result.

(and there is no hin- oder niederliegen, "only": an-, auf-, drauf-, daneben-, darunter-, dazwischen..... I guess less possibilities than with legen)


I can't forget something i never knew. This course barely touched the exact use of some verbs so far. I never understood any verb could be used outside of static. Beside walk and fly of course.

Static: Fekszik - lie - liegen
Reflexiv (?): fekszik - lie down - sich legen
Transitiv (?): fektet - lay - legen

(I have no clue about the terms relexiv (outside of pronouns) and (in-)transitiv)

A - A - A
A - A. - B.
B - B - B

And this pattern might then be usual. Interesting.

So it is more similar to the English lie, but still different. Only row 1 and 3 are the same. I understood vvseys explanation that it acts like in German and that would make the 2nd row different.


Thx vvsey, May we assume you're alluding to a great adventure ahead in magyar (hungarian) or english? As a native english speaker, I still fear adventures in english, BOTH behind and ahead!


Oh yes. Hungarian is quite the obstacle course, especially if you are coming from English and rely exclusively on this course.
But adventure is what an adventurer does, and there is nothing holding us back from looking at this as a (very challenging) adventure.
Hungarian is a really fun language and if you master it you can be very proud of yourself for that great achievement.


I'll just reply here, since the thread is going to become a little chaotic. :´)

The verbs of position can be used for movements as well, of course. That might be confusing for English speakers (who have a problem with, for instance, odaáll / sich dort hinstellen / to go and stand over there), but it's perfectly fine in Hungarian. I mean, you suggested lefekszik earlier, which is just "sich hinlegen / to lie down", a movement related to lying.

Ah yes, grammatical terms. We keep throwing them around, so you should know them. There are three main types of verbs:

  1. transitive: most verbs belong to this category. It encompasses all verbs that make use of a direct object (which appears in accusative case; in Hungarian those get a -t suffix). That means, you are doing something to that object. For example, "to read" is transitive, since you can read certain things:
    I am reading a book - Ich lese ein Buch - Egy könyvet olvasok.
    The book is the direct object here. Fektet/legen/to lay is a transitive verb, because it usually requires an object that you move around.

  2. intransitive: these are verbs that don't take a direct object, most often because there is nothing that you can act on. "To sleep" is a prime example:
    I am sleeping - Ich schlafe - Alszom.
    In normal circumstances you can't add a direct object here. Fekszik/liegen/to lie is an intransitive verb, since you're doing the movement yourself and there's no other object involved.

  3. reflexive: these are kind of in the middle, since these verbs take a direct object, but that object is the same as the subject. In other words, you are doing something to yourself. In English they are marked by using a "-self" pronoun as the object, in German that's a reflexive accusative pronoun like "mich, dich, sich...", and in Hungarian you add a suffix to the verb, mostly something similar to "-odik, -edik, -ödik, -kozik, -kezik", and so on. An example:
    He washes himself - Er wäscht sich - Mosdik.

The use of the reflexive is often not parallel between the languages; German uses it a lot more than English, for instance:
I remember that (transitive) - Ich erinnere mich daran (reflexive) - Arra emlékszem (intransitive).
Fekszik/to lie (down), in the right context, can be translated as a reflexive verb in German: sich (hin)legen. There is no other object involved, so it's still the intransitive verb in Hungarian and English, but German handles it differently.


I would just add that, to the best of my knowledge, transitivity/intransitivity is not inherent in most verbs. It is more about the role they happen to play in any given sentence. So, we don't say "this verb is transitive" but, rather, "when we use this verb transitively, this is how we do it, this is what it means".
If I say
"I am reading." - that is an intransitive use of the verb.
If I say
"I am reading a book." - that is a transitive use of the verb.
I think that is how this is handled in English. Just look up any verb online, and they will list the transitive/intransitive uses.
Of course, there are certain verbs that are one or the other, most of the time. That is their nature. For example, "fall". And there are intransitive/transitive verb pairs. For example: "lie"/"lay". Maybe that's why people tend to think this is an inherent characteristic of all verbs.

In Hungarian grammar, to the best of my knowledge, the term transitivity is not used. But then we have the two types of conjugation. In Hungarian, they are called
"alanyi" - subject-related
"tárgyas" - object-related.
I don't want to say subjective and objective because that could be misleading. In this course, we are calling them
indefinite - for "alanyi", and
definite - for "tárgyas".

Their Hungarian names may shine a light on the distinction in their usage. "Alanyi" is used when the attention is on the subject. "Tárgyas" is used when the attention is on the object.

It is important to note that the indefinite and definite conjugations do NOT directly correspond with intransitive and transitive uses. A verb can have an object with both conjugations.
"Könyvet olvasok." - indefinite direct object
"A könyvet olvasom." - definite direct object

The only thing we can probably say is that the definite conjugation definitely needs an object.

And sometimes we can add objects to seemingly totally intransitive verbs, as well.

Your example: "sleep". Well, in Hungarian, you can say:
"Átalszom az éjszakát." - I sleep through the night.
"Kialszom magamat." - wow, how should I translate this... it means to sleep enough for the sleepiness to be gone.

"Fekszik" - hmmm... this is more difficult, but here you go:
"A tegnapi vacsora megfeküdte a gyomromat." - Yesterday's dinner was heavy on my stomach.

"Fektet" - even this seemingly totally transitive verb can be at least somewhat intransitive.
"Befektet" - it means "invest"

"Emlékszik" - now this one seems to be truly intransitive.

Anyway, my point is, I think it is better to talk about transitivity on a case by case basis rather than categorizing verbs as transitive or intransitive.


Thanks a lot.

Really informative and i will just have to pay attention to every verb and try not to expect that any one of them will have the same meaning mirrored. Sometimes similarities will be there, but usually this in- and transitive or subject/object based functions and reflexive abilities will often not be exactly translatable without switching preverb or verb itself to maybe an entire different one and not just the brother.

"Kialszom magamat."
Sounds like "mich ausschlafen"
I sleep myself out. Lol

""Befektet" - it means "invest""
More or less "reinlegen"?
Lay (money/work/thought?) in(to).
Does work in German for yourself, but for money we need: Reinstecken - (be)dug - stick (in).
Haha, this will be very confusing.


Confusing, but also very much fun and exciting.
I am sure there are lots of cases when the meanings are mirrored between German and Hungarian, due to the historic reasons we talked about before. But it is probably safer not to expect any and just be pleasantly surprised when there is a match.
It is even a source of humor in Hungarian to mirror-translate a compund word to German. Sometimes the hit is an existing German word.
And there are lots of loan words in Hungarian from German, also for historical reasons. Some of them may not be easily recognizable anymore.


Ah yes, thanks for the additions. I got it a little backwards. Most verbs can be used in both ways, but usually they tend to lean more one way or the other.

"Kialszik magát" is usually expressed as "sleep in" in English (which is the totally opposite direction).


That is "kialussza magát". "Kialszik" is indefinite and reflexive. But I am sure you know that. :)
"Kialszik" is what a candle can do, or a lamp when there is a power outage.

"Sleep in" to me sounds a bit like oversleeping but, yes, that is the idea. You can also "rest yourself out": "kipiheni magát", especially after too much Duolingo has "tired you out": "kifárasztott". Or some smart alec know-it-all "tired you down": "lefárasztott". :)

Oh, you can also do "bealudni" in Hungarian. That is also more or less the same as "to sleep in" or to sleep over the time you were supposed to get up.


I forgot that magát is definite. :´)


You can also say
"Kialszik magától." - (The light/candle/lamp) goes out by itself. That is, on its own, without outside help. You can use "magától" in any such situation.

And here is a bonus transitive sleep for you:

"Kialszod a krumplit a földből."

Free lingots for a good translation. :)


"Kialszod a krumplit a földből."
Kias are crumpy on field bowl.

If i had to guess:
You are sleeping waaaay too much. (Longer than potatos need to grow on the field.)
Sounds weird, but sayings like e.g. pull my leg must not sound correct and obvious for foreign speakers.


I try to list the variants

Hungarian English German
position Te fekszel. You are lying (down). Du liegst.
Te az ágyon fekszel. You are lying on the bed. Du liegst auf dem Bett.
movement Te lefekszel. You are lying down. Du legst dich hin.
Te az ágyra fekszel. You are lying down on/onto the bed Du legst dich auf das Bett.


Wow - thank you! I read the whole thread now and think I have to do it again tomorrow. I learned a lot. You are really helpful guys here!

And I am again and again smiling about all those mirror translations between German (my native language) and Hungarian. The one with "Kialszom magamat" for example is 1:1 used in German for "mich ausschlafen" (Sleep as long as it feels enough). I like those phrases everytime I unexpectedly meet them.


There must be a lot of those. Please feel free to share the funnier or more interesting ones when you find them.


OK - Although I guess that more than half of the people trying to learn Hungarian here have a German speaking origin or at least a good knowledge of German. And I don't want to be perceived in a know-it-all-better manner :)

But I will do it more often in the next weeks. Now it's your fault if I am tiring the other people this way :)


I am willing to take that risk. :)
If you like, you can start your on thread on the topic under Hungarian discussions.


What's wrong with "already you are lying down?"


It's a somewhat weird sentence. Adverbs like "already" usually refer to the word right after them, so you're talking about an "already you", which doesn't make much sense in English.

It works the same way in Hungarian also. "Already you" would be "már te" here.


What a thread, way over my head! It's enough to put me to bed! Wow, what a thread!

(Kialszom magamat ~ perhaps the best we can do is a transliteration, like "I slept soundly" or "I had a good night's sleep")


(That is not the same, even beyond the mismatch in tense - present vs past. "Kialszom magamat" means that I (am going to) have the necessary amount of sleep to wake up fresh, completely recharged. That is, you can sleep soundly for two hours and wake up still tired and sleepy.)


Why you always lying?

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