"A titkárnő felül az íróasztalra."

Translation:The secretary sits upon the desk.

July 22, 2016

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jsiehler

Miss, you could have saved us all a lot of trouble just by sitting down on a proper chair.

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/basszus-kulcs

I don't understand, why "sits down" , is "felül"? Why not "leül"?

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jsiehler

OK, now that I've thought about it a little bit, I understand more about why this item is the way it is.

Both sentences are talking about the action of getting onto the desk - not the continuous action of just sitting there. In other words, we don't want just "A tanár az íróasztalon ül / The teacher is sitting on the desk."

English normally distinguishes between the continuous action and the perfective one by using "sit" for continuous action, and "sit down" to indicate the change of state. It has to be "sit down" even when "down" seems to contradict the direction of motion (like here), because "sit up" has a different meaning.

In Hungarian (correct me if I'm wrong), either leül or felül will show the perfective action, and you can choose the one that corresponds to the direction of motion.

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vvsey

You got it!

I would say "sits on top" as the closest real English translation. But yes, the Hungarian version implies the action of moving into that position. Which is mostly missing from English, it is only implied by context. There is "into" and "onto" and a few others though that carry this meaning.
All of these le-/be-/ki-/fel-/el-/át-/rá-/ide-/oda-/etc. preverbs, when combined with a stationary verb like "sit", "stand", etc., still do indicate a moving action that results in the stationary position that the verb expresses.

  • ide-ül
  • oda-áll
  • rá-fekszik
  • be-áll

etc.

It is hard to accurately express these in English, that's why we have so many of these awkward sentences.

And yes, a desk is usually higher than a normal position of sitting. So, compared to a chair, you would "sit up onto" the desk.

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/basszus-kulcs

Thank you for this satisfactory answer! :) You deserve a Lingot.

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spiraldancing

For what it's worth, "The secretary sits up onto the desk." would be perfectly acceptable English, and would better fit the Hungarian meaning.

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It sounds odd to me :)

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spiraldancing

I do agree that it sounds odd, but if I were trying to emphasize someone moving upward to sit on something higher than butt-level, this is how I would say it.

July 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMans2

In that case, in Egnlish it would be far less awkward to say instead "The secretary climbs up onto the desk and sits". Even that is still weird in the present tense. It sounds less so in the past tense.

November 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zsuzsi97194

Not perfectably acceptable in English but I am learning Hungarian here so there is no use in perfecting the English EXCEPT when I am asked to translate HU - ENG. Then I need to know the expected DUO answer in order to be considered correct so I don't have to do the sentence over to finish the lesson..

November 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jsiehler

It's not easy to guess from the English sentence that they want felül here.

In the Hungarian sentence, presumably felül is used because the desk is something high that you have to get up onto to sit on?

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_paranoia_

I think this should be "The secretary gets onto the desk". (Similar to the usage for getting onto a bus.)

August 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fmk64

Thank you for all of you. I've removed 'sits down' entirely. Duo accepts now these variants:

The secretary sits [upon/onto/on] the desk. The secretary [sits up/gets] on[/to] the desk.

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I'd like to vote for "sits down [upon/onto/on] the desk"... as jsiehler explained up above, "sits" for many English speakers, including me, implies continuous passive location, while "sits down" is necessary for a change into a sitting position, even if that sitting position ends up being higher than the previous position.

Will you add a "[down/]" or a "[/down]" after "sits" in the first alternative, please?

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fmk64

Done and thanks!

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Thank you :)

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jagriffin1

Thanks - if you haven't already, please can you do it on the examples in the previous level too, i.e. 'the kindergarten teacher sits down onto the lamp and sings'? That's where I learnt felül as 'sits down' in the first place... :)

December 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMans2

However: one would never sit down "onto" a lamp. Only "by" a lamp.

December 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BetsyLowe

Anyone here seen "Csak Szex és Semmi Mas"? This reminds me of the opening scene.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GerSzej

all this is very interesting. But in the case of our kindergarten teacher, I am assuming that when he/she sits on a child's desk, we should use "le" and not "fel" as he/she has to get down.

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatjaJuliannova

I think 'sits upon' would be most similar in English but, it would sound a bit old-fashioned or affected now.

September 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BetsyLowe

How about "the secretary sits upon the desk" ? Too stilted?

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMans2

Nothing wrong with that at all in my opinion.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elloughton

The trouble with "climbing up" is that it implies stepping up on the feet.

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMans2

Not really explicitly so, no. They could be a very short person, and had to haul themselves up onto the desk.

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krisbaudi

Why not a cat? This would sound more normal, than such an imagination.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Langopedia

Instead of felül, the verb ráül (sits down onto the desk) should be used.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fmk64

Both 'felül' and 'ráül' are correct. We may use 'felül' in case the secretary is short and the height of the desk is above the usual and the secretary even pulls her legs onto the desk, e.g. beneath herself.

However, if she is a tall lady with long legs and the desk is short, and she just sits down on it, with her legs remaining on the floor, essentially using the desk as a high chair, then I would probably say 'leül az íróasztalra".

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zsuzsi97194

In English I would say someone sits AT a desk not upon or up on unless they're actually sitting on the desk, as informally in front of a group or class. Or as in today's news we refer to sexual harassment at work and the boss is doing something inappropriate! After all, when would you actually sit ON a desk?

So is it all changed? I don't think so because I'm doing these lessons a year after this discussion started and I am still being counted wrong on sentences. Not this one but others from the 4 part sublative group. I have to give what I think is the incorrect answer to be able to pass on to the next question without doing it over.

November 10, 2017
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