"I like boys."
Translation:Szeretem a fiúkat.
I am not sure exactly what that would mean, without proper context. Can you give one?
But you are right, "I like boys" and "Szeretem a fiúkat" do not necessarily match.
One context could be about someone's orientation, as in:
"Do you like boys or girls?" - "A fiúkat vagy a lányokat szereted?"
"I like boys" - "A fiúkat szeretem"
Another context could be just a general statement, like "I like apples":
"I like apples" - "Szeretem az almát" - singular
"I like boys" - "Szeretem a fiúkat" - this is in plural
"I like boys because they are strong" - "Szeretem a fiúkat, mert erősek".
I think the question is why Duolingo requires Szeretem a fiúkat with definite -em a... and rejects the indefinite Fiúkat szeretek, since the English sentence is indefinite ("I like boys", not "I like the boys").
Yes, understood. I was just having a really hard time coming up with a context where I would use "Fiúkat szeretek". The common statement for a general "I like apples, I like boys" is definitely "Szeretem az almát, szeretem a fiúkat". There is no question about that. With the definite article and the definite (transitive?) conjugation "-em".
If I can mention Spanish:
"Me gusta la manzana" - "Szeretem az almát" - "I like apples".
"Me gustan los niños" - Szeretem a fiúkat" - "I like boys".
Hungarian is acting like Spanish in this regard.
For the sentence "Fiúkat szeretek.", I don't know. The sentence is not incorrect, it is fine. It is just hard to put in context. This is the best I can come up with:
"Fiúkat szeretek tanítani, nem lányokat" - "I like to teach boys, not girls".
But that's a bit different.
So the answer to
Isn't "Fiúkat szeretek" (which Duolingo rejects) a more direct translation?
seems to be something like:
"It's more direct, but that's not how we would express that English sentence in Hungarian. And so Duolingo was correct to reject it."
Yes, let's go with that. A more direct, more literal translation. Thank you for that.
A young woman I once knew could say "I like boys" with some enthusiasm. I think she meant it more like apples, than in comparison to girls...
So if "Szeretem a fiúkat" is the translation for "I like Boys", how would one translate "I like the boys."?
Only "szeretek" not "szeretem" is given as an option when I hovered over "like" (still learning). I wondered about when to use which one since I am still figuring that one out. Should both options be presented when "like" is hovered over?
So if I use "Szeretem" instead of "szeretek" I need to use "a" for "the" even though it is not in the English version of this sentence? I have been penalized many times for omitting or inserting an "a" when it wasn't supposed to be there. How am I to know when to insert a "the"?
Sorry about the delay with this.. it's fixed now and we accept both szeretek fiúkat and szeretem a fiúkat. It's important that the verb form -em appears with a.
And, confusingly, both can mean I like boys.. In the sentence szeretek fiúkat, the more precise meaning is something like there are boys that I like; with szeretem a fíukat, it's a generic statement I like boys in general.
So, if I understand correctly, there will always be a definite article (a/az) after an "em" ending? And the reason is that that is just the way it is in Hungarian? I've been trying diligently to understand Hungarian nuances, and I am really having trouble.
If things were that easy! Here's a couple of things that should help. First, in the present tense, you should generalise the other way round: whenever the object has a(z) then the (first person singular) verb will have the -m ending.
The reason you have to look at the object is that some verbs are exceptional. They are called -ik-verbs, because they're third person singular ends in -ik, e.g. eszik ‘s/he is eating’ or iszik ‘s/he is drinking’. With these, in the first person singular you can use the -m ending even with indefinite objects, even though colloquially many speakers use -k just as straightforwardly (and we try to accept both in the course).
Finally, in the past tense, there's an additional quirk which makes things easier though: in the first person singular, there is only -m, and no -k, independently of what the object is like. You'll see this in a later skill.
I still dont understand why this sentence has an article at all? Why not just szeretem fiúkat?