Translation:The children are not wearing skirts, but pants.
It's valid, yes. :)
The difference between using -ban and -on is just what you want to have as the subject. They're pretty much equal:
- A gyerekek szoknyában vannak. - The children are in skirts.
- A gyerekeken szoknya van. - Skirts are on the children.
Also note that van changes its conjugation depending on the respective subject, even though these two sentences mean the same.
As far as I'm aware, any article of clothing can be used with either variant. There are also a few more ways to express wearing something, foremost with the verbs visel - to wear, and hord - to carry: "A gyerekek szoknyát viselnek/hordanak."
Köszönöm Szepen. You are helpful, as always! A couple more questions and I'll leave you alone.
- Is there a preferred way to express wearing clothing?
- Is there really any difference (besides grammar) between using the -on case vs the -ban case?
I apologize if these questions are ridiculous, but Hungarian is so different from any other language I learned I just want to make sure.
You're always welcome to ask questions. That's why this course is there in the first place. :D
I think which way you use to express wearing clothes is a matter of personal taste. I prefer the -ban variety, but any of those is fair game. Like vvsey said above, you can also use visel and hord to express that you generally wear some kind of clothing, while the variants with -ban, and -on are more focussing on what clothes you're wearing right now.
And no, the difference between using -ban and -on to express wearing is only of grammatical nature. You can use them equivalently.
The conjugation of the verb follows the number of the subject. In "A gyerekeken nem szoknya van", the children are not the subject. They have the -n suffix, so they're a spatial object (defining where the subject is). Szoknya, having no suffix, is the subject here, and because it's singular, you use van.
If you make the children the subject, you also use vannak, like in "A gyerekek nem szoknyában vannak". Now gyerekek has no objectifying suffix and szoknya becomes the spatial object.
Things that usually come in pairs - singular: Cipőban vagyok - I'm wearing shoes.
Multiple people each wearing one clothing item - singular: A nőkön ruha van - The women are wearing dresses.
So, yeah, usually it's singular, unless you're talking about wearing multiple of the same items. Like... Sálak van rajtam - I am wearing scarves.
What structure would that be?
Anyway, the " ... van rajta" way of describing what somebody is wearing is indeed very much in the present. So, that is why the progressive tense is better here.
"I wear skirts" - "Szoknyát hordok/viselek." - habitual
"I am wearing a skirt" - "Szoknya van rajtam." Or "Szoknyában vagyok."
This is more of a usage thing, not a grammatical rule, of course.
And if you add a generalizing word to it, like "usually", it will become habitual either way:
"I usually wear skirts." - "Általában szoknya van rajtam."