Is there a better way to say "move there to the river?" I would just eliminate "there" from the (English) sentence, but that might not capture the full meaning of the Hungarian.
It's just because they want you to learn that there is an "oda" in the sentence which is pretty important. If you said elköltöznek, ideköltöznek, visszaköltöznek, etc etc.. it would have a different meaning. If you wanna eliminate the "there" you will have to say "elköltözni" like "A lányok elköltöznek a folyóhoz." - The girls move to the river. There you go, now you have no there. xdd
Besides the direction/target, it also gives the sentence a certain sense of purpose. They don't just move to the river, they move to the river to be at the river.
That makes sense, thanks. I do understand that the preverb has an important function in Hungarian, although I've never been sure exactly what it does. And I don't know how to convey that meaning in English. "The girls move there to the river" sounds like something you might hear in a song lyric, but it's weird in everyday speech.
In my opinion the oda preverb is not so important in this case beacuse 'költöznek' implying itself a direction (a lányok a folyóhoz költöznek means the same). It is more important, for example, in the case of megy-Megyek a folyóhoz and odamegyek a folyóhoz means pretty different things
Why not the girls move in with the river
See the earlier sentence Kati odaköltözik a péterhez
Where is the difference
'The girls move in with the river' does not make sense in English. On the other hand, 'The girls move in with Peter' does make sense, It means that the girls move to Peter's home and share the space with him. (He must be quite charming!)