1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hungarian
  4. >
  5. "A macska kiugrik az ingek kö…

"A macska kiugrik az ingek közül."

Translation:The cat jumps out from between the shirts.

September 30, 2016



Why is my answer wrong? : The cat jumps out off the shirts. Does somebody say in English: jumps out from among the shirts?


In English we definitely could say "the cat jumps out from among the shirts", it sounds a little awkward but isn't incorrect. It would sound more natural to say "from between the shirts." The problem with your answer is probably that it doesn't express "közül" and that it sounds like the cat was on top of the shirts instead of hidden in them.


I think both "from between" and "from among" can be equally natural. It depends how the shirts are distributed. If they're in a disorderly heap on the floor, within which the cat had ensconced itself, then I would probably say "from among."


If you want to be strictly correct you should only use 'between' if there are two of something, and use 'among' if there are more than two.


There's definitely a relationship between "between" and "twoness," but it's a bit more subtle than the old English teacher's saw would have it. It's really more about sets of mutually pairwise relationships than quantities strictly equal to two. Here's Merriam-Webster's take (see "Between vs. Among"). "Between" relating to more than two goes back to Old English.

I naturally think of this sentence as occurring in a closet with the shirts hanging in a row on the rod. So, yes, the cat jumps out from "among" all the shirts, but, concretely, it jumps out from between the two shirts most immediately adjacent to it. I think this is a reasonably logical explanation for why "from between" can seems somewhat more natural. "From among" can be natural to, but for me, at least, it's not as immediate.


"the cat jumps out of the shirts" should be correct in my opinion...


Well, DL's English sentence is closer to the Hungarian here then your proposed sentence is. And there is probably a Hungarian sentence that is closer to your proposed sentence.

To see what I mean, consider
1. The cat jumps out of the basket.
2. The cat jumps out of the baskets.
3. The cat jumps out from among the basket.
4. The cat jumps out from among the baskets.

Of the above, 1 makes sense if the cat is in one basket.
2 makes sense only if the cat is in more than one basket at the same time. For example, if the cat is in a small basket that is itself in a larger basket.
3 does not make sense. It cannot be 'among' only one basket.
4 makes good sense. There are several baskets. The cat is not in any one of them, but they are all around him.

Your sentence would make sense only if the cat was in more than one shirt at the same time, which is not what the DL Hungarian sentence is saying.


In my vision it is the laundry (of many shirts) where the cat jumps out :) Thanks for your explanation, for me DL's EN-HU is still problematic in many senses - hope that it will be improved soon! :)


I had the same vision.


Why is not the present continuous accepted?: "The cat is jumping out from among the shirts"


I suppose the DL authors have not yet programmed the continuous as a correct answer.

On the other hand, the ki- prefix gives the verb a perfective aspect -- that is, suggests that the cat has successfully completed its jump, rather than being in the middle of jumping.


The cat is still in the middle of the jump. It's present tense after all. Usually the "perfective aspect" suggests that the action is either going to be succesfully completed, or that it's a one-time thing, something that doesn't happen on a regular basis. It's pretty similar to the perfective vs. imperfect tenses in Spanish or French.

  • Iskolába megyek. - I go to school. (regularly)
  • Ma nem megyek el iskolába. - I am not going to school today. (one-time thing)


So are you saying that "The cat jumps out from among the shirts" is, in fact, not as good a translation as "The cat is jumping out from among the shirts" because the ki- prefix is making it clear it's one-time action, while "The cat jumps" could describe a recurring habit of a particular feline?


RyagonIV, I'm having trouble with your answer. Are we talking about one-time vs. habitual action, or are we talking about completed vs. incompleted action? (I thought the perfective was more about the latter.)

Perhaps if you gave us two sentences using the cat example at the top of this page, rather than the school example, I would see your point better.

Now suppose you are narrating a story in the present tense: "My brother and I were walking by the laundry. Suddenly a cat jumps out from among the shirts." What would the Hungarian look like in this case? The jumping is a one-time action, but the action is completed.

Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.