"Are those old tourists?"

Translation:Azok idős turisták?

August 19, 2016

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Regi vs idos? is one just for living or more polite or something else?


"Régi" is not to be used for age. It is used mainly with objects, but you can also say "a régi barátnőm" - "my old girlfriend", meaning long-running or previous. From previous times.

"Idős" is mainly used for the age of people. It is polite. Think "elderly".

The less polite word for age is "öreg". "Old".

  • 1662

What about öreg? Doesn't that mean old, as in age?


Why not, "azok az idős turisták"?


That az, as the definite article, makes the statement specific: "are those the old tourists?" For the non-specific case, leave out the az.


Can someone expain why "Azok turisták idős?" is wrong?


I'm no native speaker of Hungarian, but my understanding is that the change in word order changes the sense in a way similar to the following:

  • Azok idős turisták? → Are those old tourists?
  • *Azok turisták idős? → Are those tourists old?

Note that the second sentence has bad grammar in a couple ways.

  • Attributive adjectives (adjectives directly modifying a noun) should come before the noun, not after.
  • Adjectives that come after the noun they modify are predicative (they include the "to be" sense), and must be inflected to match the plurality of the noun.
    • idős turisták = "old tourists"
    • turisták idősek "tourists are old"
  • Also, the initial azok ("those") can be a pronoun, referring to "those [people or things]" all on its own. Alternatively it can be a determiner, a kind of modifier or adjective of its own, which modifies another noun.
    As a pronoun, like in the Hungarian sentence on the top, we have the Hungarian sentence structure of [NOUN 1] + [NOUN 2], where we're saying that #1 = #2, your basic "this is that" kind of sentence.
    As a determiner, like in the malformed Hungarian sentence on the bottom, the word azok must modify another noun, and since "those" is a definite modifier, we know that we need to add the definite article a or az.
    • azok a turisták

Putting the above together, we would have the following as the correct Hungarian sentences, with their English translations:

  • Azok idős turisták? → Are those old tourists?
  • Azok a turisták idősek? → Are those tourists old?

Hope this helps!
(And if I've botched the Hungarian, someone please let me know and I'll edit to fix!)

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