"Ott voltam."

Translation:I was there.

September 6, 2016

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What would be the Hungarian version for "There I was..."; This is often used to begin a long, often alcohol fueled, first-person narative (lie) between friends at the local bar? I was wondering whether there was an idiom in Hungarian to cover this.


Ott voltam is good for this. Just to get your listener in the mood for a story, you might want to begin with Képzeld... ("picture/imagine it" or "Get this...")


Does this also mean "I have been there"?


I would say no. For that kind of statement, like "I have been to Budapest", I would reverse the word order:

"Voltam ott."

Or use a different verb:

"Jártam ott."
"Jártam Budapesten."

"Járni" is a generic word for walking or going but it is also used for these "Have you been..." sentences.


Nagyon szívesen!
On a second thought, you can also say "Ott voltam" for I have been there, with a specific emphasis. Emphasis on "voltam".

"Ott VOLtam".

You can of course always play around with emphasis and get different meanings, just like in English. But the

"Voltam ott"

version naturally provides the right emphasis for "I have been there".


Is definite conjugation always used with past tense?


No it is not. The past has definite and indefinite forms for the most part just like the present does.

However, the 1st person singular doesn't show any difference between definite and indefinite in the past. All the other persons do.


Thanks a lot. My mother tongue is german, but nevertheless I learn so much from you all!

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