"The old building is a bank."

Translation:A régi épület egy bank.

August 5, 2016

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A régi épület bank van - I thought this would be correct. The app doesn't give grammar info so I've not idea when and when not to use "van" or "egy"


Basically if the second phrase describes the first no van is needed - when you'd use "what". But you do need it for "where" or "how".


Az öreg épület egy bank. Correkt or not?


Correct, but "öreg" makes it a bit personal. As if you are talking about an old friend.


Why isn't a régi épület bank a proper answer?


It is fine but it does sound a bit more natural with "egy".


And what if i omit egy? How does it change the sense nuance?


I am not sure there is even a nuance. But if I want to push it and find a tiny bit of difference, I would say "egy bank" identifies it as "a bank", while if we just say "bank", then it ALMOST sounds like an adjective. So, it would refer to the functionality of the building, as a characteristic of it. What it is used for. What it serves as.

"A régi épület egy bank." - The old building is a bank.

"A régi épület bank." - The old building serves as a bank. It functions as a bank.

Does this make sense?

Let's assume that the building has served as a bank for a hundred years. But various banks came and went during the years. So it has always served as a bank in the last hundred years, but it changed owners/tenants several times. And of course it is a bank now, as well.
"Az elmúlt száz évben mindig bank volt, és most is (egy) bank."

Maybe the same tiny difference exists with professions, and probably many other sentences:

"Én tanár vagyok." - I serve/work/function as a teacher. My profession is teacher.

"Én egy tanár vagyok." - I am a member of the group of people who function as teachers. I am an instance, a specimen, of the definition of "teacher".

But this distinction may not actually exist at all, or not consciously. You may be better off just learning something like "we do not use 'egy' with professions". If you know a little Spanish, you may lean on that knowledge when deciding when to use "egy", as there are some similarities between the two languages in this regard. And also in the use of definite articles.


I left out the "egy" too and was marked wrong, Whist I appreciate your excellent explanation above, I do believe that it is splitting hairs to the nth degree. I would never even have considered the translation as the building merely serving as a bank, having perhaps served as something else at another time. Clearly, the way Hungarians and Brits think is somewhat different !


Clearly, the way Hungarians and Brits think is somewhat different !

Very different. Eventually such thinking will come naturally. (I'm not sure that it is exactly hair splitting)


I also like vvsey's explanation.

Btw, "A régi épület bank" is among the accepted solutions. Maybe you made some other mistake?


I am sure that you are right Judit and I really hope to be able to understand (in good time) their thought processes. To be honest, this is one of the main reasons why I am studying Hungarian - to really challenge my brain and seeing if it can still function well enough to tackle a language which is so vastly different from my own, especially in terms of grammar and vocabulary. I make many mistakes along the way, but am enjoying the challenge immensely - just wish my hearing was a bit better !

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