"The police officer does not see a boy."
Translation:A rendőr nem egy fiút lát.
Does it sound more natural with the verb "lát" in the end of the phrase or before "egy"?
The meaning is different.
- "A rendőr nem egy fiút lát" -- The policeman sees something and it's not a boy (or if you stress egy: the policeman doesn't see only one boy but more of them)
- "A rendőr nem lát egy fiút" -- There's a boy somewhere and the policeman doesn't see him.
Perhaps, "A rendőr nem látja a fiút." is more suitable for the second case, i.e. in which a boy is somewhere and the policeman does not see him. It implies that either only the reader or both the reader and the policeman had former knowledge about the existence of the boy, so IMO a definite article has to be used here.
Well, yes, if the policeman has former knowledge of the boy, you're absolutely right. But if he doesn't and nor does the speaker, he/she just sees a boy who's hidden from the view of the policeman, "a rendőr nem lát egy fiút" could work. I suppose... idk, it's hard to come up with a situation where this sentence might be used.
Or maybe if there's a group of children the policeman must watch over, and one of them disappears. The policeman is worried, because he nem lát egy fiút.
If the speaker sees a boy that is hidden from the view of the policeman, he has a former knowledge of the boy already. So the indefinite article would be inappropriate, even in English. (Either a definite article or a number has to be used.) In your second example you used "egy" as a number ("one"), not as an indefinite article ("a"), as the officer is aware that the boy he cannot see is a member of the group. (In order to avoid any confusion and overcomplicate the matter, the definite conjugation would be more straightforward here. "A rendőr nem látja az egyik fiút.")
Should "egy" be required in this sentence? It counted "A rendőr nem fiút lát" wrong