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