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  5. "The judge is looking for law…

"The judge is looking for lawyers and finds actors."

Translation:A bíró ügyvédeket keres és színészeket talál.

August 5, 2016



"A bíró keres ügyvédeket és talál színészeket." In some of my answers, I seem to be getting it wrong because my word order is not correct. I really struggle with word order in Hungarian. Does the verb usually go at the end? Is there any advice a Hungarian can give me on this issue? Thanks in advance.


No, the verb does not usually go to the end. It is a matter of what is important in the sentence, what gets the emphasis. That moves forward. Think of this sentence like this:

"It is lawyers that the judge is looking for, and it is actors that she finds".

See? Verb at the end! :)


I live in Hungary. Would a Hungarian understand me if my word order was different?


Well, they could potentially misunderstand you, depending on how you mix up the order.


(W/Sh)ould the sentence "A bíró keres ügyvédeket és talál színészeket." be acceptable as a translation, though?


Technically maybe, but it would be weird to me. This sentence seems to inherently definitely emphasize the direct objects. And, for that, they need to be before the verbs. That is their natural position in this sentence. The sentence just does not make much sense otherwise.


Szívesen. :)

This sentence: "A bíró keres ügyvédeket és talál színészeket."

It is just weird. It sounds like a job description for a judge. What he does is he looks for lawyers and finds actors. That's just what he does.

Or, if I forgot who this lucky person was, I could ask: Who is this person? Is it the judge? Then the answer could be:

"(Igen), a BÍRÓ keres ügyvédeket és talál színészeket."

The judge is the one. Emphasis on the subject, it gets positioned right in front of the verb(s).

But it is still weird, with this context.

Now, we could twist this sentence and add one more subject:

"A BÍRÓ keres ügyvédeket és az ÜGYÉSZ talál színészeket."

"ügyész" - prosecutor

So, one person is looking, another person is finding. Emphasis, again, on the subjects. Hence the word order.


There's something I don't get. Why my answer "A bíró ügyvédeket keres még színészeket talál" is incorrect? The question sounds like that the judge is looking for lawyers and (but, instead of lawyers..) finds actors. So, wouldn't még or pedig be better choices than ès?


Actually, not.

"És" is a good choice here.

Note though, you are using the wrong word: "még". You want to use "meg". "Meg" and "még" are two very different words. "Meg" means "and", "még" means "still", "yet".

So, let's talk about "meg".
The word "meg" can be used in the place of "és", but only in a normal listing of things, not when contrasting things. Here, we have a judge looking for one thing but instead finding something else. There lies the contrast. You cannot use "meg".

Let's have a completely different sentence with a very similar structure:

"A kertész füvet nyír és fát ültet." - The gardener mowes lawns and plants trees."
Now, this is two activities that are listed side by side, they are not in contrast. It sounds like a job description. We can use "meg".

"A kertész füvet nyír meg fát ültet." - perfect.

Unfortunately, "pedig" is also wrong here. See my answer to esjalistas on that.


I'd like to note that "A kertész füvet nyír meg fát ültet" might sound a bit lame, an unwanted kind of casual. Only use "meg" this way if you are very sure about what you are doing.


I have more or less the same question. Would "A bíró úgyvédeket keres, színészeket pedig talál" not be acceptable?


No, not really.
That sentence sounds like, okay, this is what she does with lawyers, and this is what she does with actors. When it comes to lawyers, what she does is she looks for them and, when it comes to actors, what she does is she finds them.

But this is NOT what this sentence is about. The meaning of "pedig" is something like "whereas", "on the other hand". And the meaning we are looking for is "but instead". We can more or less cover that meaning with a simple "and", or a "but", but not with an "on the other hand". Right?

Let's see...
"A bíró elítéli az ügyvédeket és felmenti a színészeket." - The judge sentences the lawyers and releases the actors.
Now, this is a sentence where we could use "whereas" or "on the other hand". Therefore, we can use "pedig":

"A bíró az ügyvédeket elítéli, a színészeket pedig felmenti." - The judge sentences the lawyers and, on the other hand, he releases the actors.
There are several ways these sentences could be put together, but I hope the difference is clear.

Finally, one more thing. When "pedig" is used like above, in the second position in the second clause, we can substitute "meg":

"A bíró elítéli az ügyvédeket, a színészeket meg felmenti."

Note though, the use of "meg" is, kind of, less sophisticated.


színészeket is being graded as spelled wrong in this lesson even with correct accent marks but there is no way to report it. My sentence is green, so accepted but the word is underlined as wrong.


Which lesson is this?


is this way also acceptable: A bíró keres ügyvédeket és színészeket talál


It sounds inconsistent about what piece of information is important. What could be the focus of "A bíró keres ügyvédeket"? Is it the subject? In that case, "és színészeket talál" sounds irrelevant and uncalled for. It must be the verb itself then - so it must be the verb itself in "és színészeket talál" too. But then, one sentence has the subject as the topic and the other the object - so again, it's inconsistent.


It seems to me that the conjunction should be pedig and not és because sentence seems to be contrasting whom he was looking for with whom he found.


The only way I could imagine that is:
"A bíró színészeket talál, pedig ügyvédeket keres."
"The judge finds actors even though she is looking for lawyers."


Could you use "de" instead of "és"?


I don't know. They are very similar syntactically. Two things are true at the same time. "de", just like "but", expresses a special attitude towards the two facts that "és" does not - with "de", you imply you don't expect the two things to be true at the same time or the two facts "work against each other" in some sense.

So it doesn't sound the same but it's a matter of attitude towards the mentioned facts anyway - here, it may sound more reasonable as the two statements arguably work against each other or cross expectations.

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