I have to say, most of the sentences so far in this lesson have been unusually good, straightforward and non-confusing. Keep it up!
Btw, what lesson is this? Unfortunately, it cannot be determined just from the discussions.
Cellar and basement aren't the same thing in English...nor in Hungarian, according to my dictionaries.
True - and "pince" is actually "cellar" ie a place where stuff is stored. Lots of Hungrian houses have cellars (although often not attached) - but I've yet to see a "basement" ie an inhabited room below ground level. So perhaps they should disallow basement!
Basement = alagsor.
I don't think there is much of a difference between 'basement" and "cellar" in casual usage, at least not in American English.
Not true in all regions of the US! A cellar is strictly for storage, dark, possibly dirt floor, unpainted or even unfinished walls, think wine cellar, root cellar...whereas a basement is a finished room, possibly where the ping pong or pool table is, playroom for kids, laundry, etc... Definitely not the same thing at all!!!
I guess it's regional. I lived in a house in PA with a finished basement, and we called it "the cellar" all the time.
The English is somewhat ambiguous.
It could mean 'We go [down the stairs] [to the basement]'. That is, we go down to the basement, using some stairs or other.
But it could also mean 'We go [down the stairs to the basement]'. That is, we go down the specific stairs that lead to the basement. (Whether we take these stairs all the way to the basement is another matter.)
How does Hungarian distinguish these two cases?
"pincébe" means to go into the cellar. So in this case the Hungarian is saying go down the stairs and as a result go into the cellar.
If it was going down the cellar's stairs it would (probably) use a possessive "pince lépcsőjén" - on the stairs of the cellar
You could, but you would rather make a compound noun of it: pincelépcső. The cellar stairs. :)
I guess 'downstairs' is close enough here that it should be accepted. However, there is a difference in English between 'down the stairs' and 'downstairs'. The latter is more like a direction rather than a specific reference to stairs. So, for example, I could take the elevator downstairs. my friend lives downstairs, etc.
Nothing. Cellars are nice. :)
Also cellars are the more direct translation of pince.
"Downstairs" is a bit of a funny word, since it is rather a direction/location than an actual object. "Downstairs" just means "on a lower floor", whichout specifically referring to stairs. You could also take the elevator or a slide downstairs.
But the Hungarian sentence is specifically mentioning that we use the staircase by using lépcsőn.