"It's not people running on the streets, it's zebras and giraffes."
Translation:Nem emberek futnak az utcákon, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok.
I'm curious: How would I structure the sentence to be more like "It's not people which are running on the streets, but zebras and giraffes"?
The best guess I've come up with so far is: "Nem emberek az, akik futnak az utcákon, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok." Part of me wants to doubt that, though, simply because you're shifting from talking about people — which would use akik — to animals, which I don't believe would use akik (which could be wrong).
An additional question I have is if it would be okay to place "az" before "nem emberek." Provided that "nem emberek az" is even correct, I'm assuming "az" is best after "nem emberek," but I'm just curious to know if it's technically correct to place it first. I still don't know very much about Hungarian syntax aside from the basics, so I like trying different things, even if one order might be better than another.
How would this be written?
Are you sure you are not Hungarian? Can you please check your birth certificate? :)
I have to say, you did pretty good! Your logic is perfect, there are only a couple of minor issues. Let's get them out of the way first.
Nem "az", hanem "azok". "Nem emberek azok".
You are saying literally, "Not humans (are) those". So, not "that" ("az"), but "those" (azok).
OK, that was actually the only mistake. Let's see the rest:
"Nem emberek azok, akik futnak az utcákon, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok". Perfect.
"Azok nem emberek, akik futnak az utcákon, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok". Perfect.
You can also swap "futnak" and "az utcákon", with a minimal change in the meaning. If any.
"Nem emberek azok, akik az utcákon futnak, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok". Perfect.
"Azok nem emberek, akik az utcákon futnak, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok". Perfect.
"Azok, akik az utcákon futnak, nem emberek, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok". Also perfect.
On your doubt with "akik", I didn't even understand the issue at first reading. Now I get it. Because they are indeed animals, should we use "amik" instead? Again, I did not even notice this issue myself. And I gues most people would not notice, either. There may be a rule for this, I don't know. It may be just a question of logic. Since we are just realizing that those are not people, which one is the correct one: "akik" or "amik"? My best guess would be that it doesn't matter, pick as you like. I think it is more like what you assumed first for them to be. It is like the problem with "she" and "he":
"Who is she?"
"Actually, ___ is a man!"
Fill in the blank. Will it be "he" or "she"?
We can further play with this sentence:
"Azok zebrák és zsiráfok, amik(!) az utcákon futnak, nem emberek."
"Azok zebrák és zsiráfok, amik az utcákon futnak, és nem emberek."
"Azok zebrák és zsiráfok, amik az utcákon futnak, nem pedig emberek."
I am sure there are more variations. Like...
"Akik/amik az utcákon futnak, (azok) nem emberek, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok."
Perhaps I was Hungarian in a past life. ;)
facepalms for forgetting to use azok Right, thanks for that correction. >.<
Thank you so much for confirming that both options are correct! Regarding placing "az utcákon" before "futnak," that's probably how I would have written it personally, but I placed "futnak" first simply because that's how it was in the original sentence. I didn't figure putting it after was incorrect, but I felt like leaving it be. :D
"Azok, akik az utcákon futnak, nem emberek, hanem zebrák és zsiráfok" — That's an interesting alternative! The ones you listed at the bottom are also rather interesting. It's cool exploring the possible variations a sentence might have. That's one thing I like about Hungarian: the vast number of ways to structure something.
Thanks for this great response! ^_^
My real pleasure. I am learning so much about Hungarian myself. I think we covered this sentence, say, 90 percent. But do tell if you come up with another variation. :)
That's the thing about helping people learn your native language: You always learn a thing or two about your language that you never realised. Will do! ^_^