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  5. "A nagymama ad süteményt ebéd…

"A nagymama ad süteményt ebéd után."

Translation:Grandmother gives me cake after lunch.

September 16, 2016



I think a more natural translation is "The grandmother serves cake after lunch."... does this have the same meaning?


Yes. Although serves can have different meanings.


Well, "ad" does not necessarily mean that she serves (felszolgálja, tálalja) the cake. Maybe she just gives a piece of it in the kitchen.


In English, "She gives (noun)" means that she is giving TO the (noun), so "gives cake" means that the grandmother is giving something to the cake (maybe decorations or a frosting). "Give" has an implicit "to" attached to it. Very subtle and annoying. Probably you want "The grandmother gives away cake after lunch" which allows you to not specify to whom the cake is given.


Right, gives cake to us or gives us cake. This "us", or "me", part is understood in Hungarian, most of the time. The target only needs to be named if it is someone else, not the first person. Like she gives cake to the guests.


Ah, so "The grandmother gives us cake after lunch." You are not allowed to drop "us" in English without sounding foreign.


Right. In Hungarian, it is allowed. As I said, most generally with the first person:

"Adj (nekem) egy ceruzát" - Give me a pencil.

But if the context makes it clear, it can be omitted with other persons, as well:

"(Én) adok (neked) levest, és a nagymama ad (neked) süteményt." - I give you soup and the grandmother gives you cake.


And you wouldn't say "The" unless you're talking about dolls or something.


I wouldn't have said the noun following give is always the recipient. You can give blood, give a damn, give way. And certainly if you name the recipient later with an explicit "to", the noun following " give" isn't the recipient (e.g. "She gives the present to us").

A lot of verbs in English can have both a direct object and an indirect object, and allow the indirect object to either be mentioned with a preposition or just jammed between the verb and the direct object. Another example is "send", e.g. " She sent a letter to us" or "She sent us a letter". As far as I can tell, if you only have one noun following the verb it's always interpreted as a direct object, not the indirect. You can say "She sent a letter", but not " She sent us".

To my thinking, "give" is exactly the same. There's an "implicit to" when you have two nouns following ("grandmother gives us cake"), but when you have only one following the noun is the thing being given, not the recipient.

"Grandmother gives cake" is admittedly an unusual sentence, but I don't think it's grammatically incorrect.


You raise some interesting points. I think in English, "give", like "put", when used non-idiomatically, requires both a direct and indirect object. The exceptions you list are all idiomatic and would likely not translate directly to other languages. There's probably a name for verbs like this.


That's interesting, as I would have said put doesn't have an indirect object at all, but rather needs to be used with some sort of indication of position or motion. "Put it down, put it over there, put it on the table". Even the idiomatic "I put it to you" can't be *"I put you it", using an indirect object between the verb and the direct object. In fact the Cambridge article you linked has put as an example under "Verbs followed by a direct object and a prepositional phrase of time or place", not " Verbs with a direct and indirect object" (where "give" is).

I think under some contexts it can feel less weird to use "give" without an indirect object, without it being such an idiomatic phrase. Imagine a charity saying "We depend on your donations, or if you would like to give your time that would be greatly appreciated as well."

Basically my point is that "give" is in the same class of verbs as all the others taking an indirect object: ask, make, buy, find, offer, etc. Some of those are easy to think of uses without the indirect object, others sound very strange. I'm willing to accept that "Grandmother gives cake" is in the "very strange, to the point of being regarded as incorrect" category. But the reason it's incorrect is merely because give is rarely used that way, not because if it were used it would mean "grandmother gives (an unmentioned object) to cake"; it very clearly would mean "grandmother gives cake (to un unmentioned recipient)", exactly as the Hungarian sentence does.


There can be implied objects though, allowing you to use give non-idiomatically without an indirect object. Two examples off the top of my head - what does Santa do on Christmas Eve? He gives gifts; and if you ask a teacher on the day of finals what hes doing he might say hes giving a test. In both places the indirect objects are implied, because they should be obvious - santa brings gifts to everyone whos good, and a teacher would pretty much always give a test his entire class.

Giving blood is also debatably not idiomatic. It might be better said as donating, but isn't donating just a form of giving? So its not idiomatic so much as imprecise.


There is no dative 'nekem' in the Hungarian sentence. How can the translation be .... gives me....


Is süteményt = Kuchen and torta = Torte?


sütemeny = Kuchen , Gebäck, bis Keks. torta= Torte mit Creme, Sahne, Deco, ect.


That's a good clarification for German speakers. In English, sütemény is literally "baked good", but people rarely use that phrase in common speech. Cake is one of literally dozens of kinds of süti, and technically only certain kinds of cake would qualify, so it's use in this sentence is a bit of a stretch for me. Ignoring having a perfectly literal translation, in this case I would translate sütemény as "treat" or "dessert". Of course, if could actually be cake, but it's doesn't have to be.

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