"The river next to the city is very long."
Translation:A folyó a város mellett nagyon hosszú.
No, mellett needs to come right after a város in order for it to mean "next to the city". The word mellett applies to whatever it comes after. So your sentence beginning with A folyó mellett... is talking about something next to the river.
Yes, "mellett" must stay right after "város". That is the only way we can tell that the verb "város" is NOT the subject of this sentence. Otherwise we would have two nouns in the same role. "Folyó" and "város".
But the same is true in the English sentence. You have "the river" and you have "the city". You can not remove "next to" from "the city".
But you can shuffle these elements of the sentence, without causing too much trouble:
A - "A folyó" - the river
B - "a város mellett" - next to the city
C - "nagyon hosszú" - (is) very long
A-B-C, A-C-B, B-A-C, B-C-A, C-A-B, C-B-A, they are all good.
But what belongs together must stay together.
You could say "A város melletti folyó nagyon hosszú." "város melletti" here is a postposition adjective meaning "next to the river".
So "A város melletti folyó nagyon hosszú" means exactly "The river next to the city is very long"
So you can add "i" to postpositions (mögött, mellett, fölött, etc) to make postposition adjectives to express things more easily.
For example: "a fal mögötti város" = "the city behind the wall" ; "a város fölötti felhő" = "the cloud above the city" ; etc.
Is it still grammatically correct to write: "A varos mellett a folyo nagyon hosszu"? That's the B-A-C combination from vvsey's post but it was refused as correct answer. Also for hungarian natives, if a correct sentence, how does it sound compare to "A város melletti folyó nagyon hosszú"? Any preference? Thank you in advance!
Sorry for the late reply. Yes, "A város mellett a folyó nagyon hosszú" is correct as well. I would say both sound roughly the same. For me " a város melletti" sounds perhaps a bit better, but it's probably just personal preference.
Well, it could work, but the sentence sounds pretty colloquial. Better would be "A folyó, amely a város mellett van, nagyon hosszú." A more direct English translation of this would be "The river that is next to the city is very long", adding an additional clause. (Note the two instances of "is" here.)
Also watch that the postposition mellett is spelt with double-t. Mellet is the accusative form of "breast".
Well, no. You need to leave out van here, at the least.
"A városnál" means "by the city", technically, and not "next to the city". But I guess in this case the difference is negligible.
I am still stumbling over when to include the verb of being and when it is assumed. Thanks.
It takes a bit of getting used to. :)
Van and vannak are left out if you have a sentence of the shape "[Object] is [quality]". Like here, where you say "The river is long."
- A fű zöld. - Grass is green.
- Péter orvos. - Péter is a doctor.
- A házad nagyon kék. - Your house is very blue.
- Ezek a tanárok nagyon okosok. - These teachers are very smart.
Van and vannak have to be used if you're talking about extrinsic qualities of the object, i.e. where or when something is, or the existence of an object.
- Itt vannak a buszok! - The buses are here!
- Mikor van a parti? - When is the party?
- Fehér tigris van. - There is a white tiger. / White tigers exist.
- Nagy házam van. - I have a big house. (lit. "A big house of mine exists.")