"A könyv az asztal mellett a földre esik."

Translation:The book falls to the ground next to the table.

August 3, 2016

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This sentence really highlights the inconsistency of this Hungarian course.for me If it's the book NEXT to the table it falls TO the ground......however If it's the book BY the table it falls ONTO the ground.......and not visa versa. How are we to know? I find myself just going over and over old ground simply because of these inconsistencies. Hajó.....can be a ship or a boat Hegy....can be a mountain or a hill Üzlet....can be a shop or a store Etc, etc, etc A car can STAND or PARK on the street. We don't lie ONTO the ground in English and we don't play ON trees we play in them........... sure add both answers, but please add them. I have reported these discrepancies everyday for months. but I'm still struggling to move forward because of them. I know these people are volunteers, and should be encouraged, but I'm seeing more and more new sentences being added with flying óvónő's, and/or elongated nonsensical construction, while these older translations are still full of inconsistencies and errors. I would simply like to spend 30/45 min a day working on this Hungarian course, but I'm just going over and over the same old, same old, and for far too long. I know that I can't be the only one suffering with this frustration. Happy studying to all :)


You are so right!


It's an awkward English sentence, that is for sure!
The book, next to the table, falls to the ground.


I have trouble picturing the scene. If the book is next to the table before it falls to the ground, where is it, exactly? Floating in the air? I guess it could be on a chair or something. But it would have made more sense if the sentence was more like, "The book, which is on the table next to the flowers, falls to the ground."


But the thing is, it is NOT "the book next/by the table". What is next or by the table is the falling! It "falls next to the table (onto the ground)".
I know this is one of the hardest things to grasp for English speakers, but it is very important to realize. "Az asztal mellett a földre" does NOT belong to "a könyv". It belongs to the verb "esik", an it is in front of the verb to grab the emphasis. It is just a "coincidence" that is also behind "a könyv". But the sentence could be like this:
"Az asztal mellett a földre esik a könyv."


Should "floor" be accepted as well as "ground?" In a different exercise, I wrote "onto the ground" for "földre" and it was accepted, but also said, "Another correct response: ... onto the floor ..." So I think this should be reported, but I'm checking here first.


Yes, "floor" would be good.


still not accepted. April 24 2018. One year later


It was added as accepted (in June 2019)


For the want of that second t in mellett I got the entire sentence wrong? it's a typo... and no place to report it.


I've noticed that Duo is usually generous about typos except when the typo results in another word... this has been true in the other courses I've used here, not just Hungarian.


I second that. And that word with just one "t" means something completely different. So it is an accidental hit on another existing word.


"Mellet" does not exist as Hungarian word. There is only mellett.


Mellet is the accusative form of the word mell, meaning breast or chest.


The present continuous "is falling" requires some kind of slow motion. The simple present "falls" is the only natural choice for such a short movement.


I still don't understand why "falls" is not accepted in this case. How am I supposed to know when to use present indefinite and not present continuous? Any logic?


There's no reason not to accept it.


I put the book falls to the ground next to the table and it wasn't accepted. I can see why present continuous might be favoured to suggest a present event rather than a past one but falls is still present tense. Moreover, in English, the model answer reads badly. We would refer to the direction of travel first and then locate it in relation to the table.


I think your version is good and should be accepted.


I understand: the book beside the table falls on the ground, since az asztal mellett comes right after the book.


It is not "the book beside the table". You are trying to interpret a Hungarian sentence using English logic.
It is "falling (to the ground) beside the table".


Ok. I was wondering about this too and you've answered it. But then, how would I say "The book beside the table is falling to the ground" in Hungarian? I would like to know both versions so I can distinguish them. Whilst that might sound implausible, maybe use "the curtain beside the table is falling to the ground" (which distinguishes it from the curtain away from the table (that is not falling to the ground)).



First of all, "a könyv az asztal mellett" is fine, as long as it is alone. The cohesion within the phrase is weak. It will only work as long as there is no stronger outside force to tear it apart. Like in our sentence here. We have a verb after it and, all of a sudden, it is not "the book beside the table" anymore but rather a book that falls to the ground beside the table.

Because that verb grabs the word or words in front ot it, makes it its own, makes it the word in focus: "az asztal mellett a földre esik".

This phenomenon will mostly happen when the phrase is followed by a verb. In other cases it may pass.

For example:
"A könyv az asztal mellett poros." - "The book beside the table is dusty."
It is okay. There are better ways to say this, but it is okay. Not with verbs though. They will break up that phrase.
"A könyv az asztal mellett szárad." - "The book is drying beside the table."

That is, verbs that are not themselves emphasized. If the verb itself is emphasized, then that destructive force is not tearing up the phrase:
"A könyv az asztal mellett kinyílik." - "The book beside the table is opening."
Verb with a preverb intact, it has the emphasis, the sentence works with this word order.

There are many many sentences like this in this course, and one can clearly see the confusion this is causing all English natives.
Here is one famous example:
"Ezek a cápák a mély tengerekben vadásznak."
There is a long discussion there on this topic.

Anyway, back to your question. How can we say it differently. There are various ways:

"a könyv az asztal mellett" - the book beside the table - works when no outside force breaks it up

"az asztal mellett levő könyv" - the book being beside the table - safe to use, it clearly shows the connection

"az asztal melletti könyv" - same
That "-i" in "melletti" makes it work like an adjective.

Or, if you want to make it easy, just simply change the word order:

"az asztal mellett a könyv" - beside the table the book.

It will work in most cases, and make your life easy. People will not likely misunderstand you.

But your safest way is

"Az asztal melletti könyv a földre esik."
"Az asztal mellett lévő könyv a földre esik."


Thank you very much for your comprehensive answer. This does clear up some more confusion I've been having caused by me not even knowing I had a problem understanding the word order.


vvsey - you wrote: az asztal mellett a könyv - beside the table the book."

That sounds like a word-for-word translation of the Hungarian.

If you wanted it to sound more like English, could you say, "The 'beside the table' book"? Or even "the beside-the-table book"? That is, you are distinguishing this book from another one (the on-the-table book)? This is also a weird word order for English, but at least I understand what it means.


A new post here caused me to re-read everything. Every time I re-read things I understand things a little better. But then I have more questions. Are you still about vvsey (I will accept answers from anyone though of course)? On the link that you posted you gave the following example... ========================================== Let's take another sentence, with a very similar structure: "This man eats in the restaurant" - "Ez a férfi az étteremben eszik." Does this mean that the man is in the restaurant? Does this mean that he is a "restaurant-man?" I don't think so. I only read that this man, when he eats, he does it in the restaurant. ==========================================

Duo has been accepting both simple present and present continuous as translations.
"Ez a férfi az étteremben eszik." - This man eats in the restaurant "Ez a férfi az étteremben eszik." - This man is eating in the restaurant.

The latter translation assumes that the man is in the restaurant now and eating. So maybe Duo shouldn't be accepting present continuous form as correct translations in these cases.


There's a distinction to be made between what the words say and any imputation which might arise from those words. The sentence alone says, "This man is eating in the restaurant" (present continuous) or, alternatively, "this man eats in the restaurant," (simple present). Both are correct but the imputation to be derived from each could be rather different. With present continuous it sounds like no more than a statement of current fact. With simple present there's the suggestion that the man does it as a matter of habit. Habits, in Hungarian, are often preceded by, for example in first person present, szoktam. Szoktam enni az étteremben. I usually eat in the restaurant.


Um I think since it said Mellett and not mellé that this is The book next to the table falls to the ground. If it fell next to the table, it should be az asztal mellé, no?


It is not "the book next to the table". That is the English logic of making up a sentence. This sentence is about something falling next to the table. I could even reorder the words like this:
"Az asztal mellett a földre esik a könyv."
Now, "mellett" is about the location of the action. Where is this whole business taking place? Next to the table. That is where the book is falling. And the destination? The ground. Which of course is also next to the table.
Actually, both "melllett" and "mellé" could be true, but there is a difference. Let's see... there must be a broken pipe upstairs because water is dripping from the ceiling next to the table. It is next to the table where it is taking place. And with "mellé", I could be across the room throwing a book trying to make it land on the table. I miss, it is "mellé". The book fell "az asztal mellé", it landed next to the table. The falling did not happen next to the table, but it landed there.

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