"János can't see."

Translation:János nem lát.

August 8, 2016

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“nem” means both “do not” and “cannot” in Hungarian?


nem just means "not" or "no".

The translation is literally "János [John] doesn't see". But doesn't see what? If it were in the definite conjugation - látja - the assumed object would be "it", and thus, "János doesn't see it". However, this is the indefinite conjugation, i.e. it doesn't refer to any specific thing in particular. János just generally doesn't see. This kind of implies that János is blind; hence, János can't see.

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