is cipo only dress-shoes or is cipo a general term for footwear? Are boots and sandals and sneakers also cipo?
The terms cipő and bakancs are both singular -- why does the "correct" answer insist on using the plural in English?
Because unlike English, Hungarian uses the singular to refer to things that come in pairs.
- Elhagytam a zoknimat. -- I lost my socks. Both of them.
- Elhagytam egy fél pár zoknit. -- I lost one sock. Literally: I lost half a pair of socks.
In Hungarian it's incorrect to use the plural when it's only one pair you're talking about. For instance you can't say (well, you can, most people do not care, but it's still incorrect) "fáznak a füleim". The correct form is "fázik a fülem", even if most likely both of your ears are cold.
But it's true that the sentence above can be translated to English using the singular, so your version should be accepted as well.
Very useful detail, thank you! Simply the fact that one must say egy fél pár zokni to indicate a single "sock" makes it clear that the dictionaries I have to hand are apparently deficient -- zokni cannot indicate a single sock, cipő cannot indicate a single shoe, etc., but only a pair of socks, shoes, etc.
From that logic, if one says négy cipő in Hungarian, would that mean "four pairs of shoes" → "eight shoes" in English?
I think once you start dealing with numbers greater than one (pair), you better specify "pár", to avoid confusion.
"Van egy cipőm" - usually means a pair of shoes. If not, you clarify.
"Van négy pár cipőm" - is the usual way to say four pairs of shoes.
For four pieces of shoes, you could say "négy darab cipő", "négy páratlan cipő", "négy cipő, aminek nincs párja", etc.
The point is, you clarify the ambiguous situation.
Only that in another sentence (What are these black socks like?) they somehow insist on "zoknik" ("Milyenek ezek a fekete zoknik?"). Can you explain this? Is it one of those rare examples which implies several pairs? Is it totally impossible to use the singular form here?
The Hungarian sentence does imply several pairs, while the English sentence is ambiguous. So in case it's an English to Hungarian translation, the singular form should be accepted.
This is very helpful, thank you! However there is a sentence here in the course that insists on translation in singular... the sock is in the shoe... a zokni a cipoben van. Is it a mistake? Shouldn’t it be translated as the socks are in the shoes?