"Jókat kérek, nem újakat."

Translation:I want good ones, not new ones.

July 31, 2016

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On the whole, good advice in English or Hungarian.


Can all adjectives be used like nouns in phrases like this? Or do you have to learn which ones are 'compatible'?


Hungarian makes little distinction between adjectives and nouns at all. You can use any adjective as a noun like this to refer to an object with that quality (egy zöld - a green one) or a person (az angol - the Englishman; egy magas - a tall person).


Shouldn't "I am asking for good ones, not new ones" be correct? Should I report it?


It's definitely not wrong, at least. If you use kérek in Hungarian, think "I would like to have".


Why is this not "I am looking for good ones, not new ones"? Why "asking" or "want" and not "looking for" in this case?


English occasionally does weird stuff when it doesn't have the proper word for a concept. :)

"To look for" is usually translated as keres, and kér is "to ask for". Those verbs looking so similar doesn't help much with keeping them apart. The central difference between the meanings of these two is this:

  • kér - please give it to me
  • keres - please tell me where it is


Thank you! I've been confused about that for a while.


Thanks for asking this! Like I responded to RyagonIV below, I have been confused by this for a while now.


Is 'I would like' incorrect here?


It should be accepted, I believe. While "kérek" is not in conditional, it's more polite than "want"


Would "I like good things, not new things" make sense? The current translation sounds really awkward in English. I would actually use things not ones if I was ever saying this


Well, this is clearly in relation to something. That is, it needs context. For example, I am going to buy a bunch of books. And I don't care if they are new or old, I just want good ones. I want good ones, not new ones.

With things, it would be "Jó dolgokat kére, nem új dolgokat." But that's a different statement.


‘Ted, have I taught you nothing?’

‘Again, does this apply to whiskey?’


Do note that the statement doesn't necessarily mean the person refuses new things, or that new things can't be good. But that what the person wants is things selected because those are good, and not solely because those are new.

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