"John has a nice watch."
Translation:Jánosnak van egy szép órája.
Can someone give any clues to placement of the word van in an answer sometimes before the noun and sometimes at the end of a sentence. Are there any rules to getting it right? I seldom seem to do so and it changes a lot in these answers
It is a matter of emphasis most of the time, but there are of course some rules, too. Sometimes the difference is small, other times it is more significant.
Here, you can think of it as an answer to a certain type of question.
yes or no, existence: Does János have a nice watch? Yes, he does:
Jánosnak van egy szép órája.
"multiple choice": What does János have? He has a nice watch:
Jánosnak egy szép órája van.
If you look closely, you see that what is emphasized is closer to the front of the sentence.
But how can I know which emphasis is correct here since I don't have any context? It marks one of those two as being wrong, but I don't see how I can guess which is the intended emphasis based on the provided English sentence. Most of the time I just have to guess and hope for the best.
Both variants should be accepted. If they're not, please go ahead and report the sentence.
And how do we know which meaning Duo wants from the English given us to translate?
does the word "ora" mean "clock" or "watch" in hungarian? In previous examples the word "karora" has been used for watch, what is the difference?
Óra can refer to either clock or watch. If you want to specify, you can say karóra (arm clock) and conversely falióra (wall clock). Or toronyóra (tower clock), whatever you fancy.