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  5. "Szép, fehér madarak repülnek…

"Szép, fehér madarak repülnek át a tengeren."

Translation:Beautiful, white birds are flying across the sea.

September 3, 2016



Shouldn't it be "Szép, fehér madarak átrepülnek a tengeren."? Why the difference?


I agree: can anyone explain??


There's a kinda weird rule for the emphasis in Hungarian. If there is a noun without any numeral or article at the head of the sentence, it pulls focus.

  • A szép madarak átrepülnek...
  • A szép madarak repülnek át...
  • Egy szép madár átrepül...
  • Egy szép madár repül át...
  • Nehány szép madár átrepül...
  • Nehány szép madár repül át...
  • Szép madarak repülnek át...

These all sound good and natural, but with

  • "Szép madarak átrepülnek..."

there's something amiss. I'm not exactly sure where this rule is coming from, but I guess if you mention something in the forefront of the sentence without a marker, there must be something special about it, so some focus is in order.

Oh, yeah: hocus focus. :)


This is a condition I didn't know about - it's the fourth I have come across, I think. There are a lot of rules in this area. I am going to try and condense it. I don't think everything would be covered in this one module.


Why does it need to be tenger-en? The birds aren't in or on the sea, just flying above and going across.


That's just how the át particle normally works: it wants the thing that's being crossed to have the -n ending.

In Hungarian, "the sea" has to have some kind of grammatical marker on it to show what its role in the sentence is. It's not the subject and it's not renaming the subject, so it won't be nominative. It's not a direct object (so we wouldn't use the accusative -t) or an indirect object (so a dative -nak/-nek ending wouldn't be appropriate). It's ... the thing that's being crossed by the át-verb. The -n ending does the job of making that positional role clear.


My guess is Hungarian sees it as "flying across/over on the sea" - it kinda makes more sense than English does.


Why is it not átrepulnek but repülnek át???


I've made the same question upstairs...


Yeah I know, but you did not get an answer, did you? Anyway, I hope someone will clarify this one of these days. That would be great.


What is "albatross" in Hungarian?


Simply albatrosz. :)


What's wrong with "over" the sea?


"over" doesn't carry the same connotation. "across" implies from one side to the other. "over" simply means where, with no destination implied.


So is the particle separated because the birds are pretty and white? Had it been plain birds átrepül would be the verb?

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