"A diákok asztalain sok könyv van."

Translation:There are many books on the students' desks.

August 24, 2016

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There are many books on the students' tables. I think that is also correct, isn't it?


It's perfectly fine, but the course team didn't include that construction in the answers, probably because they weren't familiar with it, or maybe weren't sure how to use it?


why not "the students' tables?'


That's fine. Feel free to report it.


I believe so far "desk" was "íróasztal", here the students transform a "normal asztal" to a desk?


Hungarian is not so strict on this, as both are "asztal". Since we are talking about students, and books, it is reasonable to assume desks.


Sure. Every íróasztal is an asztal, so you're free to just call it asztal for short. Works the same in German with "Schreibtisch" and "Tisch", but not in English where you use two different base words, "desk" and "table".

But I think "tables" is accepted as an answer, and you're free to translate it with íróasztalain, too.


Wouldn't "the students' tables" be "a diákok asztalaik"?


Usage of asztalaik: (examples)


az ő asztalaik (!)

a diákok asztalai (!)

a diákoknak az asztalai (!)

de! a diákoknak vannak asztalaik



az ő asztaluk (!)

a diákok asztala (!)

a diákoknak az asztalai (!)

de! a diákoknak van asztaluk


This whole possessive topic is not the easiest in Hungarian to explain. But to try to establish a rule for learners of Hungarian, we can probably say this: you only use the "-k" ending if there is no noun, or there is only "ő", immediately before the possessed. You can see this pattern in the above examples.

Check here for more info:


Köszönöm szépen a tisztázást! :D


Hmmm, interesting. :) And very good! :)
Szívesen, és nagyon örülök, hogy sikerült ezt tisztázni. :)


az ő asztalaik (!)

a diákok asztalai (!)

So, if the possessor is obviously plural (because -k is on the end of asztalai ), then the possessor can be expressed as a singular (ő )? Is this only for the 3rd person pronoun? And if the possessor is in the plural (diákok ), then the possessed item can be singular?

Are these both examples of plural possessors owning multiple objects, that is, "their tables" and "the students' tables"?


Not exactly like that. If the possessor is a noun, then there is no "-k" on the possession. That is, it acts like the third person singular. If the possessor is either not mentioned or it is the personal pronoun, then there is a "-k" on the plural possession.
Bottom line, check the possessor:

1- not mentioned:
Asztaluk, asztalaik

2- personal pronoun "ők":
Az ő asztaluk, az ő asztalaik

3- a noun:
Péterék asztala, asztalai

If you check the comments at similar sentences, you will find several examples where this is explained in a bit more detail. And yes, it is only the third person plural that is such a special case.
As a little cheat, you can note that there can be no more than one "-k" ending in a possessive structure. Thus, the possessor and the possession will not both have a "-k" ending. The personal pronoun, for example, will lose its "-k" ending.


Diákok asztalain :in the tables the students

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