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"Tourists do not go to those beaches; there are few hotels."

Translation:Azokra a strandokra nem mennek turisták; kevés a szálloda.

August 17, 2016



What is the "a" after "kevés" doing?


You'll see this kind of sentence with both kevés and sok reasonably often, so it's a good idiom to recognize.


Ah, well I'll try to remember it then! Köszönöm a választ! :D


Hotels are few and far between.

  • Few are the hotels
  • Few is the number of the hotels

Actually, with a little generalization, this is an extremely common structure. The subject is last, and what we state about it is before it. That statement can be a verb or an adjective or anything.

You will surely remember this one:

"Esik az eső." - It rains. Literally, "falling is the rain", "falls the rain". This one with a verb.

"Kevés a víz." - "Little is the water". There is little water. This one with an adjective.

Just a few more, with their literal translations:

"Hosszú az út." - "Long is the road."

"Vad a szél." - "Wild is the wind."

"Kevés az idő." - "Little is the time."

"Kevés az oroszlán." - "Few are the lions."

"Fúj a szél." - "Blowing is the wind."
"Esik a hó." - "Falling is the snow."
"Fáj a fejem." - "Hurting is my head."
"Jön a nyár." - "Coming is the Summer."
"Szépek a felhők." - "Beautiful are the clouds."
"Eltűntek a házak." - "Gone are the houses."
"Szép ez az ország." - "Beautiful is this country."
"Kevés a vacsora." - "Little is the dinner."
"Szűk ez a város." - "Tight is this city."
"Jó a kedvem." - "Good is my mood."
"Itt jön a nap." - "Here comes the Sun."
"Elfogyott a pénz." - "Gone is the money."
"Felkelt a Nap." - "Has risen the Sun".
"Múlik az idő." - "Passes the time."

I could go on and on...

I will let you translate this one:

"Happily jumping is Yoda."

To put it in perspective with the other structures you have seen before, let's take one example:

"Szép felhő" - beautiful cloud - adjective + noun
"Szép felhők" - beautiful clouds - singular adj. + plural noun
"A felhő szép." - The cloud is beautiful.
"A felhők szépek." - The clouds are beautiful. Adj. after the noun, so it is plural.

"Szépek a felhők." - The clouds are beautiful.

So, suddenly it is clear that this is just a reversal of the normal word order of "A felhők szépek." Important stuff first, that's all. The adjective is still plural.

This is not to be confused with

"A szép felhők" - The beautiful clouds.

Especially in the singular, the word order is very important here:

"Kevés a szálloda." - "Few are the hotels." - There are few hotels.
"a kevés szálloda" - the few hotels


It makes more sense now, thanks for explaining and listing all of these examples! :D In reality a lot of the things I come across in Hungarian make sense; they're just so drastically different from English that it's kind of hard to see that. I'm sure I'll get more used to thinking in a "Hungarian mindset" once I really start using the language.

Thanks again! ^.^


First we see the differences, then we start to see sense and start noticing the similarities, right?
Good luck, and szívesen, as usual.


I just got a sentence that's a good example of this!

A postás mérges és szomorú: vizesek az újságok.


"Hull a hó (és hózik)".



"Kék az ég és zöld a fű".
"Itt van Johnny!" - Here's Johnny!

This structure is everywhere.


Brilliant explanation! Thank you.


Fabulous explanation! Spend those lingots!


It's basically just another way that the definite article a is used for a general statement about a whole class of things. "Hotels are few" would be another way of reading that part of sentence; it doesn't sound good that way in English, but maybe it explains the structure a little better. ("Hotels are scarce" would be a better-sounding way to say it in English)


I met this via the word bank and, realising that I usually need to leave four words unused, I chose to put my second "a" in front of "turisták", for the same reason: it is talking generally about tourists.

I did appreciate all the discussion about what the "a" is doing after "kevés".


Why can't -hoz be used here for 'to the beaches'?


With -hoz it sounds about like "Tourists do not go toward those beaches" sounds in English.


Ah, I see. Thank you!


Why not azokhoz...?? What is the exact difference between -ra and -hoz? Thank you in advance.


A beach is considered a surface, which you go "onto" - "-ra". So is a square, a street, an airport, etc.

Contrast this with going to be next to something. Go to the tree, go to the car, go to the door, etc. You will NOT be on top of those, you will be at/near/next to them. These are "-hoz" cases.


What's wrong with the word order "turisták nem mennek..."?


Your whole sentence is "Azokra a strandokra turisták nem mennek; kevés a szálloda."

or Turisták nem mennek azokra a strandokra, kevés a szálloda.

Actually, both versions are good.


Tourists are not going straight to the beach since they're apparently interested in finding out first if there are hotels available, this is why I chosed (wrongly!) -hoz instead of -ra (Azokhoz a strandokhoz...etc.), intending 'to the vicinity of the beaches'.


I thought of it differently; more as a general statement that tourists don't go to beaches that don't have hotels nearby.

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