"Nem festek eleget."

Translation:I do not paint enough.

November 12, 2016

This discussion is locked.


I'm a little confused. Is "eleget" in the accusative? The object of "festek?" That seems odd to me - as an English speaker, I would consider "enough" to modify "paint." It's a description of how I paint, how much I paint. But in this sentence, it's like "eleget" is a thing, something that someone paints (or doesn't).

"I don't paint apples." "I don't paint children." "I don't paint enough." Hard to wrap my head around that.


"Nem festek eleget." means exactly what "I do not paint enough." means. Yes, in Hungarian, it is in the accusative. But that's just it, that is how Hungarian does this thing.
As for me, I think the "enough" in the English sentence is also the object of "paint", in the lack of a noun that it could refer to. But I am no authority on that.
A different situation would be if there were a qualifier in the sentence.
I do not paint nicely enough. - Nem festek elég szépen.

Compare these sentences:

This much is enough - Ennyi elég.
Give me enough money - Adj (nekem) elég pénzt.
Give me enough - Adj (nekem) eleget.
This money is enough - Ez a pénz elég.
This is enough money - Ez elég pénz.
This is enough - Ez elég.
I do not paint enough portraits - Nem festek elég portrét.
I do not paint enough - Nem festek eleget.


Bastette54, please also see my reply below, in response to smurr22's comment.


I read that, yes! I can understand smurr22's confusion over this, because I think we might think of it differently in English. Maybe a linguist or someone well-educated in languages would be able to recognize "enough" in the English sentence as an object, but it wasn't obvious to me. I was thinking of it as the modifier (adjective) of the understood but unspoken noun. Since different languages have their own way of constructing sentences, I wouldn't say that the Hungarian is wrong, but it was hard for me to grasp it, at least a year ago.


Yes, it can be confusing to English speakers, with the accusative not marked at all in most cases. It is like trying to explain all those different English verb tenses to Hungarians.
Anyway, it is definitely a direct object in Hungarian, and it needs an accusative ending.
And my argument is that it is also a direct object in English, in the role of a pronoun.


"Enough" could be parsed as the direct object. However, from a native-speaker point of view, it is an adverb, modifying the verb "paint". This can be illustrated by comparing "I do not paint enough" and "I do not paint sufficiently / adequately / satisfactorily". Alternatively, consider the parallel construction "I do not walk enough", where "enough" cannot be an object (direct or indirect).

Nota bene: This is purely a statement about English grammar. I have no argument regarding the Hungarian part of speech for eleg, which is clearly used as a nominalized adjective in this case. :) I merely wish to point out that, from a native English-speaking perspective, the Hungarian Nem festek eleget comes across more like "I don't paint enough things", where we need an explicit noun in the English to resolve the initial impression of "enough" on its own here as an adverb.


Have a lingot for examples that made me think in a productive way. :)

All in all, Hungarian has adverbial kind of objects that are on the fence. "I do not walk enough" would be translated as "Nem sétálok eleget" so it's the same structure, still accusative. Although... you can say "I have walked a mile" or something but sure thing, we generally don't think of this "not enough" as "not enough distance covered".
There is also "kicsit" which is like "a bit", the opposite of "nagyon" (~very) actually. "How much do you..." questions also translate to "Mennyit ..." in Hungarian.
Accusative can also be used to describe a period in time in certain situations. "I played for 5 hours" - "5 órát (/5 órán át) játszottam". For past, "eleget" can also mean something happened enough times...

Having said that, I think it's fair to state accusative has some adverbial uses in Hungarian.


Consider "You do not paint enough people." There "enough" is an adjective rather than an adverb, no?

So it is easy to see how (in Hungarian, but perhaps also in English), you can parse the same word different ways:
1. You do not paint often enough. (adverb)
2. You do not paint enough stuff. (adjective)
3. You do not paint enough. (pronoun? adjective used as a noun, which some languages allow?)


I would rather say: " I don't have enough paintings." - Nincs elég festményem. or simply I don't paint too much/often. - Nem festek gyakran.


If I have anymore sentences about painting I'm going to scream!!


I agree with Bastette54. In this sentence, enough should not get the accusative ending. If by enough, they mean to be satisfied or to accomplish some sort of goal or skill-level it should be stated. This cannot be inferred from the sentence. Yes, one might say this in English in an informal conversation, but enough is not an object. Although, I greatly appreciate vvsey's comments. I often learn more from vvsey's comments than from the lesson. There are 8 valuable, useful things to know how to say right there. Thank vvsey! By the way, is that ET (circa 1981) as your photo-identifier?


Smurr22, first of all, thank you for saying I look like E.T. I hope you look like The Sleeping Beauty. :)

On "enough" being, or not being, an object, this is a really interesting issue. I never would have thunk such an issue would arise here.
To me, "enough" is "a sufficient number/amount". As in:

How many did I give you? I gave you two. I gave you five. I gave you a lot. I gave you a sufficient amount. I gave you enough.

In which of these would you say the part after "I gave you" is modifying the verb?
I would say: in none of them. I say the part that comes after "I gave you" is the direct object of the verb. Without exception.

With the particular case of "enough", I think there is an un-mentioned "thing", that is understood. And I think that would make the word "enough" a pronoun. A pronoun is something that can take the place of a noun. And, as such, I think, it can also be the direct object of a sentence. And take the accusative ending in languages that mark the accusative.

Now, I may not be the ultimate expert on English Grammar, but I have never heard of such a thing as "enough" modifying a verb. Check google, or check a good grammar book. Mine says this, roughly:

"Enough can be used several ways in a sentence.:

  • It can qualify an adjective or adverb (warm enough, quickly enough)
  • It can be used as a determiner with a noun (enough bread)
  • and it can be a pronoun (enough of this, that is enough)

Our sentence, above, is clearly the third case, to me. Enough is used as a pronoun.

"Like most other 'determiners', enough can be used as a pronoun alone, without a noun. Enough is enough. That's enough, thank you."

Finally, it says: "Enough can be used as a complement of the verb be when the subject is a pronoun. ..."

Nowhere does it mention anything like "enough" modifying a verb. I don't think there is such a thing. Otherwise, how would you explain the difference between these two sentences:

"I don't drink enough water."
"I don't drink enough."
In the first sentence, it clearly modifies the noun "water". How about in the second one? It suddently changes affiliation and becomes the modifier of the verb? I don't think so. Instead, as it stands without a noun, it takes over the role of a noun, acting like a noun itself. Hence, it is a pronoun.
Just like in our sentence above: "I do not paint enough."

Please argue with me and tell me I am wrong, if you think so. But my belief in the above is firm enough. :)

PS. My ultimate guide on English Grammar is "Practical English Usage" by Michael Swan.


Well stated, vvsey. My reaction is that in English "enough" can be an adjective, a pronoun, or an adverb:
1. We ran out of pictures to sell because you did not paint enough pictures.
2. We ran out of pictures to sell because you did not paint enough.
3. You drink a lot but you do not paint enough.

In 1 I feel the word as an adjective and in 3 as an adverb. A sentence like 2 I feel ambivalent about. You did not spend sufficient time painting (adverb), or you did not produce a satisfactory number of pictures (pronoun).

Re the DL sentence we are given here, by itself and out of context, "I do not paint enough", my first reaction is to treat "enough" as an adverb. I'm not sure why.

In may be because this sentence is a general statement in the present tense. If the sentence had been "I have not painted enough", I would be more inclined to accept "enough" as a pronoun.

But even that sentence depends on context. For example, in the sentence "I've played lots of computer games this month but I have not painted enough" I would feel "enough" as an adverb.


ion1122, thank you for that. While I think I see where you are coming from, I still maintain my view that "enough" is simply the direct object and not an adverb.
If it were an adverb as you say, then it could answer to questions like "How?". Moreover, it could have its own modifiers:

How do you paint? I paint slowly. I paint happily. I paint enough. In fact, I paint VERY enough.

If "enough" were an adverb, then the above sentences would be perfectly fine. But they are not. Because "enough" is not an adverb.
It is just that "enough" can assume various roles depending on how it is used (discussed above in detail), and there is some "cross-contamination" there between these distinct roles.

"I paint fast enough."
"I paint enough."
In the first sentence, "enough" modifies an adverb. So in the second sentence "enough" must be an adverb itself. Well, that's where I disagree. In my opinion, in the second sentence, "enough" stands for "a sufficient amount/number". Hence, it is a pronoun. And that's independent of whatever verb tense we happen to use.

We may just need to settle on disagreeing on this point. Which is fine with me. :)

Or we could invent a new word: "enoughly". And that would indeed be a real adverb. ;)


In my sentence 3, do you see "a lot" as an adverbial phrase, or as a noun preceded by the indefinite article?


I see it as a pronoun, ie. something that stands in for a noun. I paint many. I paint five. I paint a lot. All the same to me, grammatically. And all of them would be in the accusative in Hungarian.

Yet, I sense what you mean. But I still feel it is just "cross-contamination". If you said "I paint a lot of the time", that would be different. Because then "a lot (of)" is not a pronoun anymore. And you may say "I paint a lot" is short for that. Yet it is really not, in my opinion.
We could do the same with "enough". I paint enough vs. I spend enough time painting (or I paint "enough of the time"). One is an object, the other is not.

Btw, this is a really interesting conversation!


Various dictionaries disagree with your statement that "enough" is not an adverb.

The adverbs of degree ("very", "too", "enough") generally cannot modify each other. That's why you won't find many instances of "very enough" or "too enough" etc. in the wild.


OK, I give it to you (thanks), "enough" can be an adverb.
But that just means I just need to extend my understanding of what an adverb can do.
But the rest still stands: I think the "enough" in our sentence here is a pronoun, not an adverb.

Typical examples (from M-W) of "enough" as:

  • Adjective:
    "enough food for everyone"

  • Adverb:
    "he is qualified enough"
    "she sang well enough"

  • Pronoun:
    "had enough of their foolishness"
    "enough were present"

To me, "enough" here means "a sufficient amount/number", which clearly makes it a direct object. At least in Hungarian it does.

Apparently, there are various types of adverbs.
The words "slowly", "beautifully", "effectively" are adverbs, and can be used with "paint", modifying that verb. They answer to the "How?" question.
And "very" and "enough" are also adverbs, yet, they cannot be used the same way. They are rather used to qualify adjectives, adverbs (and maybe other types of words).
"I paint very slowly"
"I paint fast enough".

And "enough" can also be a pronoun, where it stands in for a noun (phrase), having an implied "amount" in there somewhere, hence pronoun.

"I do not paint enough." = "I do not paint a sufficient amount".

This is very clear to me, according to my logic.
And, in my mind, this definitely makes "enough" here a direct object.


I see you guys had interesting discussions about the topic and I painfully miss native presence.

I think it was a bit misleading to include this sentence among nothing special direct object sentences. Which it isn't in Hungarian either. It can actually mean both "not enough paintings" and "not enough time spent painting", the second being more likely/common to my impression. So the debate, although it was very interesting to read and also instructive, was kinda pointless. The accusative does have adverbial uses in Hungarian.
Last but not least, let me provide you examples of both meanings.

Ebben a hónapban 20 festményt rendeltek - ha nem festek eleget, ki leszek rúgva. (~20 paintings have been ordered this month, if I don't paint enough, I will be sacked.)
Mostanában nem festek eleget, ezért lassabban haladok ezekkel a rutinfeladatokkal. (I don't paint enough lately, that's why I'm slower with these routine tasks.)

You could even combine the two and say something like "I can't paint enough paintings because I haven't spent enough time painting and I'm out of practice." :)


do not= don't , so "don't" why can't acceptable?


"I don't paint enough" is accepted if you mean that.

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