"A vonat a harminchetedik megállóban áll."

Translation:The train is standing at the thirty-seventh stop.

October 6, 2016

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Is the noun megálló related to the verb áll(ni)?


Yes, very much so. "Megállni" is "to stop", "to come to a stop". Hungarian uses the verb "állni" - "to stand", with the preverb "meg-". "Meg-" is a very versatile preverb. It does not have a particular meaning, but it adds that sense of completion to the verb. The end result of the action will be a stopped (standing/stationary/not moving) position or state.

There is "to stop", when someone or something stops, and there is "to stop sg/sy", when the stopping is affecting a direct object:

megállni - to stop
megállítani valamit/valakit - to stop sg/sy

And "megálló" is "stopping (place)", that is the gerund(?) form.

A stopping bus stops at the stop. - Egy megálló busz megáll a megállóban.


Huhuh, language theory time. :D
Álló is the present participle of áll. The present participle turns a verb into an adjective describing what is happening right now. "A nevető ember" - "the laughing man". The present participle takes the same form as the gerund in English, though, so it's easy to mix up.
The gerund, on the other hand, turns a verb into a noun. "Reading is good", for instance. If Hungarian has a gerund, it's the realisation with the -ás/-és suffix: "Az olvasás jó."


Aaah, thank you! I know I am lacking in that field. :)
Even the language theories are different, surprise, surprise.
You can also create other types of words from verbs in Hungarian, but the terminology and logic is different. Btw, disclaimer, I am not a linguist.

Let's pick another verb: to read: "olvasni".

That is already wrong, that is not a verb in Hungarian. It is not referred to as a verb.

  • verb - ige
  • noun - főnév
  • adjective - melléknév
  • adverb - határozószó

olvasni - "főnévi igenév" - "noun-ish verb-name something", translate it for yourself if you want. :) It combines the characteristics of the noun and the verb. This is the infinitive. This is not an "ige", this is a "főnévi igenév".

olvas, olvasok, olvastál, etc. - these are the real "igék". Verbs.

Another type is "melléknévi igenév" - "adjective-ish verb-name something", combining the characteristics of the adjective and the verb. There are three types:

olvasó - "folyamatos melléknévi igenév" - continuous whatever, this is your present participle. "Az olvasó fiú" - the reading boy.

olvasott - "befejezett melléknévi igenév" - completed whatever, this is your past participle. "Az olvasott könyv" - the read book - the book that is/was read.
This form usually matches the first person singular indefinite past form.

olvasandó - "beálló melléknévi igenév" - your translation is as good as mine - I don't know if there is a one-to-one match here. You can do this with the "-able" suffix, but only with the meaning of "to be done". So, not a permission but an obligation. "Az olvasandó könyv" - the book that is to be read. "Readable" doesn't really work here. But think about "accounts payable", it works there.

Yet another type is "határozói igenév" - "adverb-ish verb-name something", combining the characteristics of the adverb and the verb.

olvasva - "határozói igenév" - this is your adverbial participle, if that makes sense. "Könyvet olvasva" - (while) reading a book, or having read a book. (Wiki calls this "reading" a gerund, I am not sure if it is true, after your clarification.)

Any actual nouns that are created from verbs in Hungarian are just called noun (főnév). So, "olvasás" - "reading", is just a noun in Hungarian, having been created using the suffix "-ás". It has no verb characteristics left, at all.

The theory goes on, these were just the basics...


"Beálló melléknévi igenév" is cute. "Instanding sidename-y verb-name!" :V (Okay, maybe a bit too literal.)
It's often called "future participle" in literature which conveys the meaning okayish and has a nice symmetry with present and past participles.

I'm still struggling with making sense of the adverbial participle, since what I've seen of it so far makes not a lot of difference to the past participle. Though your example gives it a bit more of a gerundish meaning. Hm. .. The deeper I delve into grammar theory, the more I understand but the less sense it makes. That's what you get for trying to apply logic to something as chaotic as natural languages, I guess. xD
Calling this "reading" a gerund is correct; it's definitely not a participle. (The "calling" here is a gerund as well, by the way.) I might go out on a limb here now cause I'm not too firm in Hungarian grammar yet, but I think you could express "while reading the book" with an -ás form, too: a könyv olvasása közben


Very interesting topic indeed. But we will probably have to start our own blog very soon. :)
So, this gerund thing. It is a little bit confusing. You are saying that the gerund is a verb turned into a noun. So, it is practically a noun. Right?
"Reading is good." Just like "Icecream is good." - Works just like a noun. Okay.

But how about this "reading a book", or "calling it a gerund"? It seems like your "gerund" is taking a direct object.

In what universe does a noun take a direct object? :D

I cannot substitute a real noun in these phrases because it will be obviously wrong. "Icecream a book". Makes no sense, unless you turn the noun into a verb.
So, either the gerund can have two different roles, or one of them is not a gerund.
I will let you or someone else decide the question. :)

"While reading a book" - gerund taking a direct object, very much unbefitting a noun.
"Reading of a book" - gerund as a possessed noun, just fine. Very noun-like behavior.

In Hungarian, "olvasás" is clearly and truly a noun. It cannot take a direct object.
"Egy könyv olvasása" - "olvasás" is the possessed noun.

"While reading the book" - yes, it matches "a könyv olvasása közben". But the types of the words are different. To really match the Hungarian version, I would say:

"During the reading of the book." - Here, "reading" really acts like a noun, in a possessed role.

I don't mind calling all of these roles a gerund, I am just trying to point out the differences according to Hungarian logic.
So, we have:

  • a reading man - present participle
  • reading a book - gerund(?), with a direct object
  • reading is good - gerund, acting as a true noun

Maybe that is why it is called a gerund, not a noun. Because it is not exactly a noun.

What say you?

There is one more way, making a compound structure:

"könyvolvasás" - book-reading.

This is very common in Hungarian, these compounds are sometimes hyphenated, sometimes separate, let's not go into that. The Hungarian is still a noun, the English is still a gerund, I guess (?).

Btw, these "... igenév" words, as I mentioned above, are called such because they take on the characteristics of both types. For example, the "melléknévi igenév" can have both adjective-like and verb-like features:

"egy olvasó fiú" - a reading boy
Milyen fiú? What kind of a boy? "Olvasó" acts as an adjective.

But, as an "igenév", it can also take a direct object:

"egy könyvet olvasó fiú" - a book-reading boy. Or "a reading-a-book boy". Very much a verb-like behavior.

I better stop now. :)


Well, you're very right in your arguments. Especially that the gerund is confusing. :D
My definitions may not be the best, generally. A bit too brief and incomprehesive. Sorry. Ahem. It also doesn't help a lot that the gerund is responsible for different functions in different languages.
The English gerund can have a direct object if the base verb can take one. You can say "Reading is good" just as well as "Reading books is good". (Mmh, icecream books.) Or "I enjoy driving" vs. "I enjoy driving my car". It isn't a full noun, but not truly a verb anymore either, so I guess this is why it has a special name. Multifunctional grammar, whee!

"During (the) reading of the book" is a much better translation of that phrase, I agree. I just wanted to show that it's also possible to express it with a noun, but I shouldn't mix up words and languages.


Agreed on all, especially on the confusing multifunctionality, and thanks for this very informative conversation! Until next time. :)


thank you ryanIV


thank you vvsey


I'd read your blog :-) !


--------- back to business: trains don't stand. they might be standing (chuff, chuff, chuff ) while waiting, but they're not standing while they're stopped. this sentence should be translated as: the train stops at the thirty-seventh stop. it can stop IN the stop (if it's covered ) or in the STATION (if all the other stops were called "stations" too ) . . .

Big 15 feb 18


But the train isn't "stopping" there. Rather it "is stopped", maybe.

"Stopping" is an action of coming to a halt somewhere. In Hungarian that would be expressed with "megáll (a megállóban)". On the other hand áll implies that it is resting there, unmoving.


I think "the train is at the thirty-seventh station" would be fine, although I don't have a huge problem with "stands at". It's English, just not very colloquial.

[deactivated user]

    The train stops - a vonat megáll

    The train is waiting - a vonat áll/várakozik, but we prefer to go with the shorter word.


    In English my answer would be correct. When a train stands as in 'parks' it is also referred to as 'stationed'. My answer was: The train is stationed at the thirty-seventh stop.


    That sounds fine to me.


    How about the train is parked as opposed to standing. When applied to buszes and cars all means parked.


    Can áll also be used for stopped and not parked? Like, the cars stand at the red light? Az autók a piros fénynél áll.


    the train stops at the 37th stop,Could you kindly explain if this is wrong,why is it wrong.


    I think there's a difference in meaning. The Hungarian sentence states that the train right now is standing still at/on/in the station. Your sentence implies that the train tends to or is currently slowing down for a stop at the station.

    Maybe the difference isn't that important, then your sentence could be accepted too.

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