"Is the apple on the table?"
Translation:Az asztalon van az alma?
In English, it would be voice inflection that emphasizes either that there is AN APPLE on the table or the apple is ON THE TABLE. In Hungarian, there is clarity and purpose to what English takes only casually. I think this is why English speakers learning Hungarian miss these emphasis examples so often.
Clive, with Hungarian you always need to pay attention where you put your focus. With the sentence "Is the apple on the table?" you - most typically - want to find out the location of the apple. So the table, representing that location, will be in focus, which means it will be placed in front of the conjugated verb:
- Az asztalon van az alma?
In your sentence there is nothing in front of the verb, so the focus will be on the verb itself. With van that is usually a bit weird, because van essentially just means "there is" or "something exists". So with focus it'll sound like "It's existing what the apple is doing on the table." Not a very typical statement.