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  5. "Nem a mellett az asztal mell…

"Nem a mellett az asztal mellett tanulok, hanem e mellett."

Translation:I am not studying at that table, but at this one.

August 22, 2016



This is the strangest grammar yet.


It is, innit? If I repeat it a million times I think I got it, it feels natural, and then it goes away.


"AT" that table for "mellett" (beside, next to)??? This was marked wrong in previous lessons. Now I don't know, what is correct.


At that/this table literally means annál/ennél az asztalnál. I am sitting and eating at his table = Ennél az asztalnál ülök és eszem.

I am sitting beside (or next to) this table and eating = E mellett az asztal mellett ülök és eszem. Both "E mellett az asztal mellett" and "Ennél az asztalnál" have the same meaning.

at = nál, nél

Beside, next to = mellett

I hope it helps you.


Why all those repetitions? I don't get it? Do people really speak that way?


Beside was marked wrong in my translation. What you describe, is what i learned as yet. But this translation now must be wrong, because mellett is translated with at that and not with beside, next to or by.


I think the context is the issue. "Mellett" is usually translated as "beside," "next to," or "by." And if you think of it literally, when someone is sitting at a table, they are actually next to it, right? They're not on top of it, they're not under it, or behind it, or in any of the other relative positions. But in English you don't usually say, "I sat next to the table and ate breakfast." That makes it sound like you're sitting in a chair, which happens to be next to a table, but you're holding the food in your hands and are not using the table at all.

It's just standard to say "sit at a table" in English. So I think that's why the other translations (by, beside, next to), which work fine in many other exercises involving "mellett," are still valid for those contexts. But I agree with the team that in this case, we should say "at." (I've seen the same situation with some translations of words that have "-nál/nél" endings.)


I am disappointed that this is such a simple sentence. How about making it a bit more challenging and throwing in something about "emelet" (floor)? SOmething like "the tables on this floor are next to the chairs, not the other tables, but on those other floors the chairs are not next to the other chairs, but the tables"... Sorry, I couldn't help myself...


Yes, that's how I feel too, a lot of the time


People usually complain about the opposite problem, that the sentences in this course are too complex.


Those comments were pure irony. :D



Három mellett! :(


I meant to ask: in the tips and notes, at the very bottom, there is a comment about what happens to ez and az when a postposition immediately follows it. It looks like "e" and "mellett" are one word: "emellett." But "mellett" is in italics, so maybe that makes it harder to see that there's a space between them. I was surprised to see "e mellett" in this sentence after thinking they would merge into one word.


yes I was also expecting them as one word - anyone have an explanation for this? does it also happen with any different postpositions?


There is a tipo (missing space between "Ez/Az" and "mellett") in the tips and notes.

Correctly, we write them separately. Helyesen külön írjuk.

Next to this house = E mellett a ház mellett

Above that garden = A fölött a kert fölött

There is a garden Next to this house. E mellett a ház mellett van egy kert.

There is a garden Next to that house. A mellett a ház mellett van egy kert.

When we write them in one word, the "emellett, amellett" are adverbs.

Their meaning are Moreover; furthermore (azonkívül; továbbá, ráadásul)

I'm too tired to go for a walk. Besides, it's raining. Túl fáradt vagyok, hogy sétálni menjek, emellett (ráadásul) még esik is.


very enlightening, thank you!!


You're all talking about the English grammar, right?


It's funny, because just now I was about to write, "You're talking about the Hungarian grammar, right?" And then I found this comment I made a month ago. The English sounds OK to me now (it didn't before). The person could be on a mobile phone, trying to tell someone who's meeting them where they're sitting.

So does the Hungarian sentence have poor grammar, and if so, how?


Could this also be a valid answer: I do not learn by this table, but next to it.


The English you suggest is not idiomatic, for two reasons:

  1. When you are seated next to a table so that you can make use of the table, English says 'at' the table. See some of the other comments on this page. (Like 'an' in German, not 'bei' or 'neben'.)

  2. It appears that Hungarian does not always make a distinction between 'study' and 'learn'. English makes a distinction (and it is not the same distinction that is made in German between 'studieren' and 'lernen'). In contemporary English, you use 'study' for any attempt to learn something, whether that attempt is successful or not. (Therefore 'I am studying German', whereas German would say 'ich lerne' instead of 'ich studiere').

In contrast, in contemporary English you say 'I have learned' only when you have mastered what you have been studying. So, for example, 'I have studied Chapter 5 for two hours, but I have not yet learned everything in the chapter.' (Not 'I have learned the chapter for two hours ...'.)

Here's a valid English sentence: 'You have been studying at this table for hours, but have you learned anything?'


Don't get this at all.


A Hungarian friend told me yesterday that he never uses this kind of expression, never ever.


Why not: "Nem annal az asztalnal tanulok hanem ennel. "" ...?! ...

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