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"Péter hears cooks here often."

Translation:Péter gyakran hall itt szakácsokat.

August 11, 2016



How on Earth are we supposed to guess this word order? and I understand the Hungarian use of emphasis.........


Word order is flexible here. What was your answer? Maybe it was correct and the contributors just didn't add it yet.


Thanks and you are right, it was more frustration on my part :) I think I put the verb 'Hall' at the end, which I'm sure can't be wrong.


My problem is more with the English sentence "Péter hears cooks here often.". Would anyone ever say it like this? I just want to move "often" three places ahead.


Yes the English sentence sounded strange to me too, but I thought it might have been to help with the Hungarian translated word order for the sentence, but it clearly wasn't.

  • Péter often hears cooks here.
  • Péter hears cooks here often.

Both sound OK to me.

The first one might be used when you want to emphasise that he hears cooks (and not singers) here often; the second if you want to emphasise that he hears cooks often (and not just rarely).

I'm not sure what the more neutral (less marked) word order would be, but I think it might be the one with the adverb at the end, i.e. the second sentence (Duo's version).


Interesting, thank you.


Yeah, placing "often" at the end of the sentence seems to emphasise it in English (focal emphasis, not topical) and in the Hungarian example, gyakran is right before the verb (which is where the focus goes), so this does seem to match ... even though it took me a couple of seconds to understand the English sentence. I misinterpreted "cooks" as a verb and I was like "Peter hears cooks ... WHAT? ... oh ..."


In English, both of your versions could be either neutral or possess emphasis. Hearing the statement would indicate the emphasis immediately, if any, by which word is pressed, but in print it isn't knowable without context.


Is this order correct? "Péter gyakran itt szakácsokat hall"


That's one of the few places where "itt" can't go. Unfortunately I can't explain it, but it definitely isn't natural.

So now that I declared that I have no explanation, I'll try to find one. If someone knows better, correct me please:

"Gyakran" refers to the word that follows it. It can be any of the words in this sentence, you just have to put it after "gyakran". But by doing so, this word you chose will inevitably be in the focus of the sentence. The focus of the sentence is always followed by the verb (unless the verb itself is in the focus, of course).

In other words, if you want "itt" to come after "gyakran" (thus emphasising it), only the verb can follow it: "Péter gyakran itt hall szakácsokat."

I have to add that "gyakran" doesn't have to precede the emphasised word if this word is in the first position of the sentence directly before the verb (so still in the focus):

  • Péter gyakran itt hall szakácsokat.

is the same as:

  • Itt hall gyakran szakácsokat Péter.

I hope it was understandable. If not, tell me what's unclear, and I'll try to explain it better.


Thank you @Shamarth, for your thoughtful response.

So it seems to me (but I'm not sure enough to report it) that "Péter itt szakácsokat gyakran hall" might be correct?


Yes, that's a correct sentence. :)


Hogy lehet szakácsokat hallani, most már tényleg. Már nem tudom hányadszor bukom el, csak azért mert hihetetlenül értelmetlen és magyartalan mondatokat raknak be. Gondoltam, ha megcsináltam az angolt, akkor megcsinálom visszafelé angolról magyarra is gyakorlásképpen, de ennek így nem sok értelme van.


This just sounds weird and that's it. Duolingo should aloud different order of words in answer, cause none language isn't the same


Why is this wrong? Péter gyakran szakácsokat itt hall.


Okay, so you wanted to emphasize "itt", so you placed it in front of the verb. And "Péter" is the subject, so you left it in front. That is fine. But what business do those other words have being before the verb? Makes no sense. They need to be after the verb.
And, on top of that, "gyakran szakácsokat" ("often cooks" - cooks being a noun) sounds extra special weird. "Often", when it is before the verb, is usually associated with the emphasized word, if not emphasized itself. So, normally it could be:
"gyakran hall"
"gyakran itt hall"
"gyakran szakácsokat hall".
There are other possibilities, but this is the main point. "Often" is a word that kind of needs attention. In your sentence, "gyakran szakácsokat" is in an unemphasized position, pointlessly before the verb.


Actually, I was trying to emphasize "cooks", since in "Peter often hears cooks here", the remarkable/important thing seemed to me to be "cooks", just as "birds" seems like the important thing if the sentence had been "Peter often hears birds". I put "gyakran" after "Péter" because I have seen gyakran, ritkán, ma, most, soha at the beginning right after "Péter", so I thought these words of "when" or "how often" went at the beginning. One of your examples ""gyakran szakácsokat hall" is exactly what I wrote except that I stuck "itt" in front of "hall". That was just a guess on my part - I couldn't figure out where to put the "itt". If I had moved "itt" to the end, would my sentence have been OK? Or is the verb typically after the gyakran/ma/most/ ritkán word?

Thanks for your speedy reply. Hungarian word order is mind-boggling for an English speaker.


Very simply put, if you want to emphasize something, you have to place it right in front of the verb. The verb is the main organizing force in the sentence. That is the foundation. You lay it first, then you build the sentence around it. To ask whether the verb goes after something is like asking whether the foundation goes under the house.
That exactly what you wrote except you did not thing was enough to ruin that concept. You placed "itt" in front of the verb, so now "itt" is the emphasized word.

So, if I understand you correctly, what you wanted to say is something like:
"What Péter often hears here is cooks."
You can do that, no problem, but then you need to put "szakácsokat" right in front of the verb, and throw everything else out of the way.

For starters, please read these discussions on word order, hopefully they will shed some light on this confusing concept:

I recommend reading the added comments, too, they contain more useful discussions.

Good luck to you!


So....it sounds like the answer to my question is yes, this would be OK:
"Péter gyakran szakácsokat hall itt" because "szakácsokat" would then be immediately in front of the verb.

Thank you for the detailed links! Looks like a very thorough discussion of word order. I'll check out these links this weekend when I have more time.


Yes, that is correct, it is a valid sentence.
You are welcome, good luck, and keep asking if something is not clear.


Isn't "Peter often hears cooks here" a more English word order?


Péter hall szakácsokat itt gyakran - this is what I wrote, but it was marked wrong. I thought that since "often" is a key to what Péter hears that it should be early in the sentence. Why is this wrong?

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