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  5. "A fákhoz mentek vagy az órák…

"A fákhoz mentek vagy az órákhoz?"

Translation:Are you going to the trees or the clocks?

February 17, 2017



There's nothing wrong with this translation, but what an odd question. I'm not usually in a situation where I'd have to make a choice between these two things.


Yes, it is sad, that we have to learn a lot more of useless, overcomplicated and crazy sentences, than skills for a simple conversation.


Why not: Did they go to the trees or to the clocks?


Because the verb in the sentence is in the present tense.


Mentek is also the 3rd-person plural past tense of megy, so that translation is alright. :)

én mentem
te mentél
ő ment
mi mentünk
ti mentetek
ők mentek


I guess in that case, the translation would be "Did you go to the trees or to the clocks?"


Let me quote the last line of my comment again: "ők mentek". :)

Mentek can either mean "you (pl) go" or "they went". The same thing also happens with any regular e-stem verb in indefinite conjugation:

  • kér-tek - you ask for; kér-t-ek - they asked for.
  • szeret-tek - you love; szeret-t-ek - they loved.

"You went" would be mentél (singular) or mentetek (plural).


Oops. OK, never mind! :)

I don't quite understand why you isolated the 't' of "-tek" in the 3PP examples. I have a feeling that knowing that might be helpful to me, though.


The -t- in my examples is the past-tense suffix. Depending on the verb, you add -t or -ott/-ett/-ött at the end to indicate that it's a past-tense conjugation, and then add the respective personal suffix to that past-tense suffix.

For instance, the past-tense stem of kér is kért, and just as kér means "he/she asks for", kért is also used as the 3rd-person singular indefinite conjugation, this time of the past tense, and means "he/she asked for". And just like you add suffixes to kér to conjugate in the present tense, you add (mostly similar) suffixes to kért to conjugate in the past tense.

I'll give you some examples of some unrounded front-vowel (e-stem) verbs. Present tense conjugation on the left side, past tense on the right side:

kér - group I (ends on a single soft consonant). This one gets the simple -t past-tense suffix.

  • én kérek - kértem
  • te kérsz - kértél
  • ő kér - kért
  • mi kérünk - kértünk
  • ti kértek - kértetek
  • ők kérnek - kértek
  • én-téged kérlek - kértelek


  • én kérem - kértem
  • te kéred - kérted
  • ő kéri - kérte
  • mi kérjük - kértük
  • ti kéritek - kértétek
  • ők kérik - kérték

fest - group II (ends on two consonants, except -nd or -ng, or ends on -ít). This one gets the -ott/-ett/-ött past-tense suffix.

  • én festek - festettem
  • te festesz - festettél
  • ő fest - festett
  • mi festünk - festettünk
  • ti festetek - festettetek
  • ők festenek - festettek
  • én-téged festelek - festettelek


  • én festem - festettem
  • te fested - festetted
  • ő festi - festette
  • mi festjük - festettük
  • ti festitek - festettétek
  • ők festik - festették

szeret - group III (ends on a single hard consonant or -nd or -ng). This is a mixed group; it gets mostly the -t suffix except for 3rd-person singular.

  • én szeretek - szerettem
  • te szeretsz - szerettél
  • ő szeret - szeretett
  • mi szeretünk - szerettünk
  • ti szerettek - szerettetek
  • ők szeretnek - szerettek
  • én-téged szeretlek - szerettelek


  • én szeretem - szerettem
  • te szereted - szeretted
  • ő szereti - szerette
  • mi szeretjük - szerettük
  • ti szeretitek - szerettétek
  • ő szeretik - szerették

Of course, there are some exceptions to it, but in total, past-tense conjugation is a lot more regular than present-tense conjugation, since in the past tense the verb stem always ends on two consonants, of which the latter is always a 't'.

I have to correct myself a bit: the "you do"-"they did" similarity does not account for "any" regular e-stem verb, but rather only for group-I and group-III verbs:
kértek (you ask for) - kértek (they asked for) and
szerettek (you love) - szerettek (they loved), but
festetek (you paint) - festettek (they painted).

It also reminds me that I wanted to make an overview of Hungarian conjugation and upload here somewhere. I'm about half done with it. :´)


thank you!!! it was needed!


I wrote: are going to the trees or to the clocks? and it was not accepted


It looks like you forgot the subject in your sentence. Mentek can translate as "you go" (with a plural "you"), or as "they went".


Why wouldn't the sentence require "az órákhoz?' to the clocks - Or the answer should be accepted "to clocks" - Which is correct? and more importantly, why?


Harold, the Hungarian sentence does say "az órákhoz".


....or to the clocks uncorrect? Your translations are so full of redundancies, why not accept mine?


Kolosz, saying "to the clocks" is fine as well. Please report it. There are many ways to translate these sentences.


What is above is what I wrote and it was marked wrong. Can it truly be that it’s not corrected three years on?

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