Translation:Birds are flying above that square.
If it means "that" and modifies a noun, it will come with another "a(z)".
Here, for example, the first "a" (before "fölött") must be "that" because there is another "a" (before "tér").
If it doesn't modify a noun but stands by itself, well, it can only be "that".
So ordinarily it would have been "az a" but because the first mellett comes between them, "az" has to become "a"?
Because fölött starts with a consonant, yes.
"under that square" would be az alatt a tér alatt, for example, with az at the beginning because alatt starts with a vowel. But a fölött a tér fölött "above that square" with a because fölött starts with a consonant.
az "that" with postpositions follows the same rules as az "the" with nouns, turning into a before a consonant (compare a tér "the square" and az alma "the apple"; or az a tér "that square" and az az alma "that apple").
You can see all four possible combinations:
- a fölött a tér fölött "above that square"
- az alatt a tér alatt "below that square"
- a fölött az alma fölött "above that apple"
- az alatt az alma alatt "below that apple"
That makes sense, thanks! But I will have to practice it a lot because it's easy to forget.
Thank you. This is super helpful. One question - IF you wished to say Birds are flying over the square (instead of that square) it would be Fölött a tér madarak repülnek. ? (removing the double fölött) Or would you need to change the word order to start with the birds? Thank you!
A tér fölött madarak repülnek.
Postpositions always come after the word they're referring to.