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Basics of Hungarian Grammar

We don't have genders in our grammar. So there is no "he" and "she", and no gender for words either. This is why Hungarian people occasionally say "he" for a girl or vice versa.

Unlike in several major languages, the first letters of certain words are not capitalised (as in German, or "Monday", "I", "English" in English). The only capitals are for names/places, etc., and for the first letter of a sentence.

The order of words is not fixed, in contrast to English. Usually the sequence of the words reflects decreasing importance. For example:

holnap = tomorrow
moziba = to the cinema
megyek = I (will) go

Holnap moziba megyek. = [default]
Holnap moziba megyek. = I will go to the cinema tomorrow.
Moziba megyek holnap. = I will go to the cinema tomorrow.
Megyek holnap moziba. = I will go to the cinema tomorrow.
Elmegyek moziba holnap. = I will go to the cinema tomorrow. (It's sure.)
Én megyek holnap moziba. = I will go to the cinema tomorrow.

There is also the same order for questions:

Holnap moziba megyünk. = We will go to the cinema tomorrow.
Holnap megyünk moziba? = Will we go to the cinema tomorrow?
Holnap moziba megyünk? = Will we go to the cinema tomorrow?
Megyünk holnap moziba? = Will we go to the cinema tomorrow?
etc.

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Generally personal pronouns are used only for emphasis, since the subject is known from the inflection:

I read = olvasok = én olvasok
you read = olvasol = te olvasol
he/she reads = olvas = õ olvas

 

The Hungarian language is "additive" which means that we meld some letters to the end of the word. Some examples for inflection:

table = asztal
on table = asztalON
to table = asztalHOZ
onto table = asztalRA,
etc.

Plural is indicated by adding a "k" at the end of the word. To make pronunciation easier, sometimes a vowel is inserted:

tables = asztaloK.

We don't use plural for units and multiple things with their quantity given:

100 forint, 10 kg, 2 asztal, etc.

Please note that Hungarian is a very rich language. We have lots of synonyms for a word. For example, there are appr. 200 different words describing the breed and the colouring of a horse.

We create "new" words by adding some of them also (compounds), just like "public transport" = "tömeg+közlekedés" but it is not so elaborate as in the German language. If a new expression is put together from at least three words and it would be longer than 6 syllables, a hyphen is compulsory: ideg-összeroppanás (nervous break-down).

A nice grammatical example: "fiaiéiból" where:

fi (archaic for "fi"" - boy) = son
fia = someone's son
fiai = someone's sons
fiaié = something belonging to/owned by someone's sons
fiaiéi = more items owned by someone's sons
fiaiéiból = from the above mentioned items

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