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"A fiú nem ott áll, ahol a lány."

Translation:The boy does not stand there where the girl does.

July 29, 2016

6 Comments


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

The point of the sentence is to tell the listener that the boy is (possibly) standing somewhere, but not where the girl is.

In Hungarian, the nem needs to come right before what's being negated.

But the nem can't be directly attached to an entire clause. This is just how Hungarian works. You can say A fiú nem itt áll (The boy is not standing here / it's not HERE that the boy is standing) and you can say A fiú nem ott áll (it's not THERE that the boy is standing) and you can even say A fiú nem a kör közepén áll (it's not IN THE CENTER OF THE CIRCLE that the boy is standing). But you can not try to drop a whole clause in there and say "A fiú nem ahol a lány áll." or "A fiú áll nem ahol a lány van" or something; those are nonsense garbage sentences even though they may seem sort of logical.

The Hungarian solution is to attach the nem to a stand-in word, which stands for the clause that comes later. Here, ott is the stand-in word. The logic of the sentence is something like this: "It's not THERE that the boy is standing, and by 'there', I mean 'where the girl is'".

This kind of sentence structure is pervasive in Hungarian, so you'll see lots of variations on it.


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

Suppose you want to say "I didn't get what I ordered" (as in, "I got not what I ordered but something else instead). "what I ordered" is the thing that needs to be negated. But you can't attach nem to that whole expression. So you do it this way:

Nem azt kaptam, amit rendeltem.

Azt stands for the clause ("that I ordered"), so that it can be negated; the clause itself comes later, after a comma and with a relative pronoun (amit) joining them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ftc45

Got it. Thanks for the in depth reply


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

typo: the first quote should have "get" (I didn't GET what I ordered)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ftc45

Why is the ott necessary in this sentence?


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

From a previous explanation: The Hungarian solution is to attach the nem to a stand-in word, which stands for the clause that comes later. Here, ott is the stand-in word. The logic of the sentence is something like this: "It's not THERE that the boy is standing, and by 'there', I mean 'where the girl is'".

This kind of sentence structure is pervasive in Hungarian, so you'll see lots of variations on it.

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