"A házaknak barna ajtajuk van ebben a városban."

Translation:The houses have brown doors in this city.

September 10, 2016

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This sounds really weird in English. The prepositional phrase needs to be put right after "houses": The houses in this city have brown doors.


The Hungarian sentence is not as weird but it could also be rearranged and may sound better that way:
"Ebben a városban a házaknak barna ajtajuk van."
"A házaknak ebben a városban barna ajtajuk van."


Well, the English sentence suggests something like that the houses move from city to city, and depending on where they're located at any given moment, they have different colored doors - like somehow the city magically determines door color. Does it suggest something similar in the Hungarian sentence?


That is very interesting to know, thank you.
No, I don't think the Hungarian sentence suggests that. Probably because the word order is more flexible anyway, so people don't find it that peculiar. But, of course, in the appropriate context ("The History of the Wandering Houses"), it could be understood that way.


We learned ajtó for "door", right? Is ajta just slightly different way to say door, or does the -juk ending change the vowel?


There are a couple of words ending on -ó or -ő that can change that vowel to -a or -e, respectively, when given a 3rd-person possessive suffix or any of the plural possessive suffixes. It's often optional, but the irregular form generally sounds better:

  • az ajtó (the door) - az ajtaja/ajtója (its door)
  • a szülő (the parent) - a szüleim/szülőim (my parents)
  • a tető (the roof) - a tetejük/tetőjük (their roof)
  • az idő (the time) - az ideje (his time)

But it's always ajtóm, ajtód, ajtónk, and ajtótok.


To me it sounds like "this" could be emphasized so that the meaning is that unlike other cities the houses here all have brown doors and the residents are proud of it.


Since the 'juk' postfix suggests that we are talking about one door/house (as it has been noted in the past) why could not the sentence be translated as 'In this city the houses have a brown door' (not necessarily the front door, either).


Kolosz, in English you generally use the plural form of the possession, even if each of the owners only has one of those.

  • I am wearing a hat.
  • We are wearing hats. (Everyone is wearing one hat each.)
  • We are wearing a hat. (Sounds like we're sharing a single hat.)
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