"No, he is not tall, but short."

Translation:Nem, ő nem magas, hanem alacsony.

September 15, 2016



why not: nincs magas, hanem alacsony

September 15, 2016


Nincs means something is not there, so it is used to negate a noun. But for negating verbs, we use nem.

September 15, 2016


what about "Nincs jol"?

September 17, 2016


Think of "nincs" as "nem van". That is what it stands for, basically.

"Magas" is an adjective, and a predicate in itself. It stands after a noun. In that case, we do not use "van". (Hopefully you have seen some of the discussions on this topic.)
So, we can't have a "van", yet, "nincs" would introduce an implicit "van". That is not good. "Nincs" can't be used here. Only the "nem" part of "nem van" is allowed. Which is the word "nem" itself.

With "Nincs jól", the word "jól" is an adverb, not an adjective. With adverbs, we do use "van".

Let's look at the positive versions, to make it clearer:

"Ő magas." - He is tall. "Magas" is an adjective, is the predicate of the sentence, no "van".
"Ő jól van." - He is well. "Jól" is an adverb, it cannot really be a predicate by itself, it needs an added verb. "Jól van" is the predicate (the thing that we are stating).

So, if we negate these two sentences, what happens?

"Ő magas." -> "Ő nem magas." - a very clear case.

"Ő jól van." -> "Ő nem jól van". - some people do say it like this, actually.
But you can also do "Ő nem van jól." - which is not right, you can't say "nem van", you must replace it with "nincs".
So that is how we end up with

"Ő nincs jól." - He is not well.

September 21, 2016


thank you very very much! nagyon szépen köszönöm!

September 22, 2016


It's more like a set phrase. It means "he's not feeling well".

September 18, 2016


What is the equivelant of she in hungarian as he is ő

October 16, 2016


Technically it could go either way. As complicated as Hungarian is, the third person pronoun does not distinguish. Some words in Hungarian do use nő endings to indicate that the noun is female, such as barátnő, which is a word you could use to mean "girlfriend".

October 17, 2016


Fun fact, every occurrence of magas in this lesson is wrong. Mag means "seed", and magas would mean "seedy". Magos is the word you're looking for here.

September 24, 2016


Are you sure? it seems that "magvas" means "seedy"

October 20, 2016


Aerilin, you're not correct.



magas (comparative magasabb, superlative legmagasabb)

high tall

March 23, 2017
Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.