"I do not see a reporter."
Translation:Én nem látok riportert.
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First of all, as a non-native English speaker I'd like to ask if "I do not see a reporter" is synonymous with "I do not see any reporters" or not.
In Hungarian if the indefinite article is included and the verb is negated ("Nem látok egy riportert"), the sentence means I don't see a particular reporter (whose identity is not revealed).
"Nem látok riportert", "Nem látok riportereket" and "Nem látok egy riportert sem" are synonymous -- I don't see (any) reporters.
I'd tend to say can't see rather than don't see.
For me, the feeling is:
- I can't see a reporter. = I expect to see (at most) one reporter here, but there isn't one.
- I can't see any reporters. = I expect to see more than one (or at least: one or more) reporter here, but there are no reporters at all.
I think that would be "It's not a reporter that I see" and would be expected to be followed by "but [instead] a ...".
So when you do see something, but the thing you see is not a reporter.
It's a possible translation of the English sentence, but I think not a good one since the English doesn't seem to set up such a contrast.
It may be a stupid question, but I'm still struggling with it- why isnt the defivinite conjugation used? Is "a" riporter too unspecific? I read somewhere that you mostly use the definite conjugation when theres an onject in the sentence.. but is this even true? Is there a rule to this whole thing or do you know what to use when you get a "feeling for the language"?
"a reporter" - "a" is called the indefinite article. But a/az in Hungarian is the definite article and is equal to the in English.
You use the definite conjugation when there is a definite direct object. That is "the" in English (or a/az in Hungarian) and the object is direct ie in the accusative case. (There are other definitions of a direct object, but let's keep it simple :-) )