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Passing the ECL Hungarian Language Proficiency Test

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Language learning is all fun and games…until you reach a plateau. 

You may start asking yourself “But where am I going with this?” And you wouldn’t be the only language-learner doing so. 

When learning a language, it’s normal to lose motivation every now and then. That’s why it’s important to set goals and milestones for yourself; there’s no better way to keep yourself motivated and pumped through all those hours hunched over books. 

Do you know what else makes a great motivator? Tangible progress! The most effective way to monitor your progress, test your mettle, and find room for improvement is through a Hungarian language proficiency test. 

This article is the guide for preparing for the ECL Hungarian language exam. 

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, stick around. We’ll give you tons of information about this test, including how it works and what you can expect to see on it. And if you’ve already decided you want to take the ECL Hungarian exam, keep reading for tips on how to prepare and succeed! 

A note before we start: If you’re not sure what level of Hungarian you’re at, we recommend taking a free online test first. This will allow you to see where you’re at, without spending the money you would on an official test. If you’re not satisfied with your score on the free test, don’t fret: HungarianPod101.com is here to help you sharpen your Hungarian skills! 

Now, let’s start with a quick comparison of the two main Hungarian exams.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. ECL vs. Origó
  2. The ECL Listening Test
  3. The ECL Reading Test
  4. The ECL Writing Test
  5. The ECL Speaking Test
  6. Tips on Preparing for the ECL
  7. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Will Help You Ace Your Exam

1. ECL vs. Origó

Currently, there are two official Hungarian proficiency tests available for foreigners: the ECL and the Origó. Both exams are a great way to test your knowledge if you want to live and work in Hungary, or even if you’re just curious about how far you’ve come in your Hungarian studies.

You can register for both exams online:

  • The registration deadline is usually one month before the exam date (but double-check on the website). The sooner you register, the better! 
  • You’ll need to pay a fee before you take the test. This is usually between 30,000 and 35,000 Ft (around €90-100), though this can vary based on the level you’re taking.

The Origó and ECL language tests are similar in that they’re both monolingual Hungarian exams. They’re both accredited, and they both have four sections: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. Do note that Origó allows candidates to take the oral and written tests on the same day or on different days. In order to pass either test, you must: reach at least forty percent on each section AND reach at least sixty percent overall. 

1- Origó

Origó is named after the language center of a Hungarian university in Budapest: ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University) Nyelvi Centrum. Origó offers tests for other languages, as well, and creates its own tests and exercises. You can easily apply for any exam on the official website, though you can only take the tests in Budapest. The Origó website also features samples (displayed in Hungarian) to give you a better idea of what to expect.

The structure and components of Origó exams are fairly similar to those of the ECL exams. Here, we’ll cover the unique components of the Origó test:

  • There is one candidate in front of two examiners.
  • The conversation is guided.
    • You’ll talk about a given topic based on an image. The severity of this topic differs based on the exam level you’re taking.
    • You’ll roleplay (act out a situation).
  • You’ll need to interpret an excerpt (only at the C1 level).

2- ECL

The abbreviation “ECL” stands for “European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages.” 

It’s an international examination system that offers standardized tests in the languages of EU countries. ECL offers Hungarian language exams for four levels: A2 (waystage), B1 (threshold), B2 (vantage), and C1 (effective operational proficiency). For these, you can find sample sheets containing examples of exercises that you might encounter when you sit for the exam. You can take the ECL test in Pécs, Hungary.

From now on, what you’ll be reading applies to the ECL Hungarian language aptitude exam.

A Guy in a Blue Shirt Who’s Happy about His A+ Grade

2. The ECL Listening Test

Duration15 to 35 minutes (depending on the level)
MaterialsAudio files (there will be two)
TasksAnswer questions and complete exercises related to the audios
Question TypesMultiple choiceShort answerMatching Completing sentences & chartsPlacing words where they belong
Additional NotesYou will hear the audios twiceThe audios’ complexity varies by levelFocus on the core meaning for the best results

As you saw in the table, the complexity of the audios you’ll hear vary based on level. This means that you need to study your vocabulary accordingly! The higher the level, the broader and more diverse your vocabulary should be. For example, at the A2 level, you’ll need to know generic, everyday words and phrases; at the C1 level or higher, you should know words and phrases in a range of fields and topics.

The best way to expand your vocabulary is to test yourself from time to time. Aim to learn a few new words every week or month, and occasionally write your own tests to see how much you know! 

In the meantime, here are some examples of questions likely to appear on the listening test: 

  • “What color is the car?” (Milyen színe van az autónak?) [A2]
  • “Where do the students meet?” (Hol találkoznak a diákok?) [A2]
  • “In what show did the actress appear last year?” (Múlt évben milyen műsorban szerepelt a színésznő?) [B1]
  • “What interested her/him in books other than images as a child?” (Mi érdekelte gyerekként a mesekönyvekben a képeken kívül?) [C1]

If you keep the things we mentioned in mind and practice a lot, you should be fine during the exam. Don’t hesitate to hear what an actual A2-level audio sounds like.

A Girl Holding Her Head and Studying

3. The ECL Reading Test

Duration60 to 90 minutes (depending on the level)
SectionsTwo sections
MaterialsTwo texts, one shorter and one longer
TasksAnswer questions and complete exercises based on the texts
Question TypesFill-in-the-blankShort answerMatching
Additional NotesThere will be 20-30 questions or blanks on your sheet (but fewer questions the higher the level is).

Again, the complexity of the texts and exercises varies based on the level you’re taking. At the A2 level, you should be able to comprehend the general meaning of short, simple texts on familiar, general topics like public notices, travel brochures, and timetables.

Here’s an example of something you may read:

  • “In Hungarian cities, you have to board buses and trams through the front door. It is possible to buy a ticket from drivers of buses and trams.”
    A magyar városokban az első ajtón kell felszállni a buszra, a villamosra. A busz vagy a villamos vezetőjétől is lehet jegyet vásárolni.

The B1 level differs only a bit from the A1. On this level, you have to understand the general meaning of texts on a variety of topics. You should also understand essential details of simple passages on familiar topics such as job advertisements, instructions for use, personal letters, and domestic bills.

If you pass a B2 exam, it means that you can understand specific information about a certain topic and recognize the tone and purpose of passages taken from newspapers, magazines, regulations, formal letters, reports, etc.

If you take a Hungarian exam at the C1 level, you must demonstrate the ability to comprehend information and ideas, to recognize the tone of the speaker, and to identify the purpose of different types of texts written for the general reader.

Example:

  • “To what causes can the shorter length of the earlier Kipling-edition be attributed?”
    Milyen okokkal magyarázható a korábbi Kipling-kiadás kisebb terjedelme?

You can read more about these requirements yourself on the official ECL website.

As with the listening section, your vocabulary should be adequate for the level you plan on testing for. However, in this case, you probably have it easier as the words are actually written down, so you don’t have to guess what word you heard in order to make sense of the text.

A Woman in a Red T-shirt Holding Her Head in Front of a Computer

4. The ECL Writing Test

Duration35 to 75 minutes (depending on the level)
SectionsTwo exercises
Materials
TasksWrite two pieces of text
Essay TypesYou may be asked to write texts in the following formats:
Letters of invitationOrdinary messagesPersonal lettersEmails (formal and informal)Internet blog or forum commentsReports (official and personal)EssaysMagazine articles
Additional NotesThe length of the texts you’re supposed to write vary from level to level:
A1: 50 words per written pieceA2 and up: An additional 50 words per level (C2 will have 200 words)

There are four key areas you should focus on while writing:

  • Grammar
    • Do you know whether to use á or a?
    • How are your sentence structures looking?
  • Spelling
    • Practice, practice, practice, to ensure that your spelling is impeccable! 
  • Handwriting
    • The examiners won’t be able to read or correct your work if it’s illegible. 
  • Layout & Aesthetics
    • Make sure that your text is well-organized and neatly put-together. 
    • A paper full of crossed-out words and scribbles may cause confusion! 

Here’s an example of a task you might get for a B2-level ECL exam:

  • “Your Hungarian friend is going to visit you and your family and inquires about your eating habits. Reply to him/her in an email.” (ca. 150 words)
    Az Ön magyar barátja meg fogja látogatni Önt és a családját, és az étkezési szokásaikról érdeklődik. Válaszoljon neki e-mailben! (B2)

For this exercise, you’ll be given guidelines for how to compose the email.

Students Taking an Exam

5. The ECL Speaking Test

The ECL oral test comprises two or three candidates having a conversation in front of two examiners. 

The examinees start by introducing themselves. This part is not assessed, but it helps ease the candidates into the exam and loosens the tension a bit. Then comes the guided and assessed conversation between the examinees. They have to talk about a certain topic based on a picture and act out a situation. The topic can be about anything—depending on the level again—from your daily routine, to holidays and issues concerning health.

It’s advised to sometimes disagree with your partner and to provoke each other a bit, rather than agreeing on everything. This way, you can show the examiners that you have a wide range of vocabulary and that you have the tools needed for a debate. However, it’s essential to respect the other person’s opinion and to remain polite throughout the conversation. 

Another crucial thing to watch is how much you speak. It almost doesn’t matter what you say, just say something. If you stay silent most of the time, the examiners won’t have anything to assess. Thus, they might give you a percentage at the end that doesn’t reflect your actual knowledge.

Multiple-choice Exam Sheet

6. Tips on Preparing for the ECL 

Studying for a Hungarian language exam is just about the same as studying for any other exam. However, in the case of Hungarian, you might want to pay special attention to spelling; Hungarians tend to write and pronounce words differently than an English-speaker is used to. Therefore, you might want to do as many mock tests regarding Hungarian grammar and spelling as you can.

Another way you can practice is by watching Hungarian talk shows, series, or movies. There’s no better way to learn all the slang you can expect to hear in day-to-day Hungarian conversations. This is also a very fun way to learn and study! 

An important part of any language is speech. Although you can hear people talking in movies and series, it might be a good idea to invest in some CDs and listen to a few songs as well. Or, you can buy a Hungarian book and listen to the CD it comes with multiple times until you understand the conversations fully.

You can practice your Hungarian alone in your room in front of a mirror, or even with online tutors, but the best way is to talk with a native speaker. In today’s world, there are many apps you can download to meet and talk with people from all over the world. Now may be the time to try one! 

Do you plan on visiting Hungary anytime soon? Try to make a friend there! They can be your penpal, though you can also call each other from time to time. 

What matters is that you practice the language.

Language Skills

7. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Will Help You Ace Your Exam

Now that you know everything about ECL and a little bit about the Origó Hungarian language proficiency test, you can decide if you want to jump straight in or practice some more first. Either way, you can count on us to provide you with all the learning tools and support you need.

We’ve given you a basic summary about ECL and its contents, with a few examples. Now, you can decide whether ECL is something that would work for you, or if you should delve into Origó a bit more. One thing is for sure though: they’re not going to be much different. But if you feel like Origó would work better for you, go for it. All that matters is that you feel comfortable and are confident in your knowledge.

If you have any questions about either Hungarian exam, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. We’re all in this together, right?

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Santa Claus Day in Hungary: Have You Been Naughty or Nice?


Nothing brightens a bleak winter like the festivities of Christmastime: colorful lights, Christmas markets, warm drinks, time with loved ones, and the excitement of children who just can’t wait to see what St. Nicholas brings them (And perhaps nothing makes winter more terrifying than the anticipation of Krampus’s arrival in your town!).

In this article, you’ll learn all about the Hungarian Santa Claus Day, from its main characters to how it’s celebrated each year. 

Let’s get started!

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1. What is Santa Claus Day?

Santa Claus Holding a Present

Each year on December 6, Santa Claus Day (also known as St. Nicholas Day) brightens young children’s spirits all over the country.

Santa Claus Day in Hungary has several parallels to Christmas in the U.S. and other countries, though Hungarians celebrate Christmas as a separate holiday. This holiday is held in commemoration of Saint Nicholas (called Szent Miklós in Hungarian), well-known in Hungary as the patron saint of pálinka (“fruit brandy”) distillers, the town of Kecskemét, sailors, and merchants.

Many European cultures have some version of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, and the Hungarian version, Mikulás, was introduced in the 1850s. Mikulás is depicted being dressed in red robes, a miter, and a staff, quite similar to the Santa Claus of the U.S. and other countries. Interestingly, the name Mikulás was replaced with Télapó (“Father Winter”) during the communist era, due to the original name being considered too Christian.

The Hungarian version of Santa Claus also has two helpers: an angel and a demon-like figure named Krampusz (“Krampus”). We’ll talk about the latter in a bit!


2. Santa Claus Day Traditions and Celebrations

Someone Giving Someone Else a Present

The evening before Santa Claus Day, children clean their shoes and place them in front of the window. According to tradition, Mikulás will leave tasty treats inside the shoes for the good children. Gifts may include a narancs (“orange”), csokoládé (“chocolate”), peanuts, or candies.  On the morning of Santa Claus Day, Hungary is filled with children’s excitement and wonder as they wake up to find these precious gifts in their shoes!

Even among adults, it’s common to megajándékoz valakit valamivel (“gift somebody with something”) on this day. This can be playfully done by putting the gifts in someone’s shoes to surprise them, or by simply wrapping the gift and handing it to them. 

Throughout the Christmas season, one can find ‘Santa Claus’ roaming the busier streets of Hungary, which adds depth and joy to children’s view of the holidays. In addition, parents will often ask their friends to dress as Santa and come over to visit the children. You can imagine how exciting this event is for the little ones! 

You may be wondering about Christmas Eve. Do children receive presents on this day, too? 

Yes! But instead of expecting gifts from Santa Claus, children look forward to seeing what Jesus brought them. 


3. Krampus 

As mentioned earlier, Santa Claus is said to have a demon-like partner named Krampus. Are you familiar with the Krampus story? 

Krampus is often depicted as a type of half-man and half-goat creature. In popular culture, he’s often claimed to be the son of a Norse goddess named Hel, though his actual origins are disputed. The character of Krampus is thought to have been introduced through the old pagan traditions. 

While children may look forward to gifts from St. Nicholas on Santa Claus Day, they also dread the arrival of Krampus. All year long, parents remind their children to behave or else Krampus will come and get them. He may kidnap them in a basket and drop them in the river, take them down to hell with him, hit them with a virgács (“birch-rod”), or simply leave coal in their shoes. Not surprisingly, this tradition has been banned by religious organizations as well as government officials over the years—but somehow, it always finds its way back into the holiday season.

In Austria and Germany, there is a Krampus parade (Krampuslauf, or “Krampus run”), during which several men dress up in disturbing Krampus costumes, have a few drinks, and then proceed to chase people all over town while brandishing switches. 


4. Essential Vocabulary for Santa Claus Day

A Reindeer Pulling a Sled along a Snowy Winter Scene

Let’s look at some of the vocabulary words from this article!

  • Narancs – “Orange” [n]
  • Csokoládé – “Chocolate” [n]
  • Földimogyoró – “Peanut” [n]
  • Szakáll – “Beard” [n]
  • Mikulás – “Santa Claus”
  • Krampusz – “Krampus”
  • Rénszarvas – “Reindeer” [n]
  • Mikulás csomag – “Santa Claus pack” [n]
  • Cipőt pucol – “Clean the shoes”
  • Virgács – “Birch-rod” [n]
  • Szánkó – “Sled” [n]
  • Szent Miklós – “Saint Nicholas”
  • Zsák – “sack” [n]
  • Megajándékoz valakit valamivel – “Gift somebody with something”

Remember that you can find the pronunciation of each word and phrase on our Santa Claus Day vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about this iconic European holiday with us, and that you took away some valuable cultural information. How does Santa Claus Day compare with winter holidays in your country? Let us know in the comments! 

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn even more about Hungarian culture, check out the following blog posts on HungarianPod101.com:

If you’re serious about learning Hungarian, make sure to create your free lifetime account today. With our audio and video lessons, free vocabulary lists, and tons of other useful features, you’ll be speaking Hungarian in minutes and fluent before you know it. Learn Hungarian in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way possible!

Happy Santa Claus Day! 😉

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The 10 Most Useful Hungarian Sentence Patterns to Know

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Sentence patterns are important in any language because they allow you to easily express yourself, even with a limited vocabulary. This applies to Hungarian, too. No matter how complicated the language may be, even Hungarian can be easy with the right sentence patterns.

In this article, we’re introducing ten basic Hungarian sentence patterns that are used in everyday Hungarian conversations. If you memorize these simple Hungarian sentence patterns, you’ll be able to generate hundreds of natural sentences and phrases to converse with ease and confidence. Over time, you’ll be able to form any sentence in Hungarian, no matter how complicated.

We’re going to show you Hungarian sentence structures for things like linking two nouns, using adjectives to describe nouns, expressing your needs and desires, asking for permission, and more.

If, by the end of our list, you still have questions about how to make Hungarian sentences, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. At HungarianPod101.com, we aim to help you at all times and ensure that you live up to your own language-learning expectations. However, never forget to practice what you’ve learned after reading any of our articles—practice makes perfect.

Ready to start? Let’s kick it off by revealing how to say “sentence pattern” in Hungarian: mondat minta.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B
  2. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns: A is [Adjective]
  3. Expressing “Want”: I Want (to)…
  4. Expressing “Need”: I Need (to)… / I Have to …
  5. Expressing “Like”: I Like (to)…
  6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something: Please…
  7. Asking for Permission: May I…? / Can I…?
  8. Asking for Information About Something: What is…?
  9. Asking About Time: When is…?
  10. Asking About Location or Position: Where is…?
  11. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Full Potential

1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B

Sentence Patterns

The simplest sentence you’ll ever find in any language is the “something is something” structure, using two nouns and an auxiliary verb. However, “A is B” can be considered an imperfect sentence pattern in Hungarian. This is because, in assertive sentences that are in the present tense, there’s no visible auxiliary verb. 

You probably already knew that Hungarian tends to leave out words and refer to them with suffixes, so you shouldn’t struggle too much with this. You’ll understand even better after reading some of the examples below. 

1- John a bátyám.

English: “John is my brother.”

  • “my brother” = bátyám

Here, the auxiliary “is” does not have a Hungarian equivalent. In Hungarian, it’s more like saying “John my brother.” 

2- A bátyám egy taxisofőr.

English: “My brother is a taxi driver.”

Like in the previous example, there’s no Hungarian auxiliary for “is.” “My brother” is bátyám still and “taxi” is written the same way in both languages. 

Now, about “driver.” Normally, this is vezető in Hungarian, but in this context, sofőr sounds more natural. If you know a little bit of French or use the English word “chauffeur” instead of “driver,” they are indeed the same word. Even their pronunciation is similar.

3- Ez a karóra ajándék volt a feleségemtől.

English: “This watch is a present from my wife.”

Now this one has something new. It’s in the past tense, which means that an auxiliary comes into the picture. In this case, it’s the word volt (“to be”) in the past tense. You might have noticed that the English tense here is present. However, in Hungarian, you have to use the past tense to make it clear that you didn’t just get this watch from your wife, but that this happened sometime in the past. 

Now let’s look at a language breakdown:

  • “this” = ez
  • “watch” = karóra
  • “is” (past tense) = volt
  • “present” = ajándék
  • “my wife” = feleségem
  • “from” = -től (suffix)

By the way, if you would like to learn even more relevant vocabulary, you can study our vocabulary lists about Gift Words for the Holiday Season and Hungarian Terms for Family Members

4- A tanárom nagyszerű előadó.

English: “My teacher is a great lecturer.”

  • “my teacher” = tanárom
  • “great” = nagyszerű
  • “lecturer” = előadó

5- A fiam egy kis ördög.

English: “My son is a little devil.”

  • “my son” = fiam
  • “a” = egy
  • “little” = kis
  • “devil” = ördög

Pretty straightforward, huh? Now you already know one of the most basic sentence patterns in Hungarian. Only nine more to go…

Bearded Man Thinking while Holding a Pencil to His Head and Reading a Book

2. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns: A is [Adjective]

Another easy Hungarian sentence pattern is “something is [adjective].” For this, all you need is a basic understanding of how to form sentences in Hungarian (like the one above), and some vocabulary. We recommend our vocabulary list on the 50 Most Common Hungarian Adjectives to get started! 

Now, there’s not much difference between the English and Hungarian gradation of adjectives. “Very” is nagyon in Hungarian; you simply put this word before an adjective to give it more weight. Let’s see some examples of this basic Hungarian sentence structure.

1- Gyönyörű vagy.

English: “You are beautiful.”

  • “you are” = vagy
  • “beautiful” = gyönyörű

2- Nagyon gyönyörű vagy.

English: “You are very beautiful.”

This is the exact same sentence, but “very” is added to the phrase for emphasis. 

3- Ez finom.

English: “This is delicious.”

  • “this” = ez
  • “delicious” = finom

4- Ez nagyon finom.

English: “This is very delicious.”

Now let’s see how to form a question in Hungarian:

5- Vicces lány. / Vicces lány?

English: “She is a funny girl.” / “Is she a funny girl?”

6- Nagyon vicces lány. / Nagyon vicces lány?

English: “She is a very funny girl.” / “Is she a very funny girl?”

As you can see, there’s no inverted sentence pattern in Hungarian. Questions are only indicated by intonation and, in writing, a question mark.

Now, let’s see a more challenging Hungarian sentence using this pattern:

7- A szituáció, amibe tegnap este kevertem magam az exemmel, nagyon kínos volt.

English: “The situation I got myself in yesterday night with my ex was very awkward.”

  • “situation” = szituáció
  • “yesterday” = tegnap
  • “night” = este 
  • with my ex” = exemmel (here, we indicated which suffix refers to what; the e after ex is a linking letter and sound)
  • “very” = nagyon
  • “awkward” = kínos 

8- A film, amit tegnap este néztünk, ijesztő volt.

English: “The movie we watched last night was scary.”

  • “movie” = film
  • we watched” = néztünk (like above, we indicated which suffix refers to what)
  • “yesterday night” = tegnap este
  • “scary” = ijesztő
  • “was” = volt (the past tense of “to be,” or lenni)
Blond Woman Studying with a Notebook and an Exercise Book

3. Expressing “Want”: I Want (to)…

Now we’re getting to the real deal: expressing emotions, and more specifically, desires—and strong ones, at that. This is because the pattern we’re about to introduce is not the polite “I would like to…” This is “I want.” 

It’s important to point out that this polite-impolite contrast also exists in Hungary. If you would like to be more polite, use “I would like (to)…” which is Szeretnék… 

We’ll show you some examples for this one at the end of the section, but first, let’s look at “I want (to)…”

1- Ezt akarom.

English: “I want this.”

  • I want” = akarom (the o is a linking letter and sound for easier pronunciation)
  • “this” = ez (the t is attached as a suffix for objects)

2- Akarok kérdezni valamit.

English: “I want to ask a question.”

Hungarians do not “ask a question.” They just “ask,” because for them, asking for something (such as a favor), is a completely different word. Therefore, the word “question” isn’t even in the sentence. They just say “I want to ask something.” Even the “something” could be left off.

  • “to ask” = kérdezni
  • “something” = valamit (here, the t is, again, a suffix for objects; valami is the word for “something” as a subject)

3- Hozzád akarok menni.

English: “I want to marry you.”

4- Jó ember akarok lenni.

 English: “I want to be a good man.”

5- Veled akarok menni a bálba.

English: “I want to go to the ball with you.”

In this sentence, let’s say that the emphasis is on “you.” Therefore, I want to go to the ball with you and nobody else. This is important in regard to Hungarian word order.

  • I want” = akarok (o is a linking letter and sound)
  • “to go” = menni
  • “to the ball” = a bálba
  • “with you” = veled

And now, a few examples of more polite Hungarian phrases:

6- Szeretnék rendelni egy salátát.

English: “I would like to order a salad.”

  • “I would like to” = szeretnék
  • “to order” = rendelni
  • “a salad” = egy salátát

Want to learn how to order food in Hungarian? We have you covered! 

7- Szeretnék újra találkozni veled.

English: “I would like to meet you again.”

  • “I would like to” = szeretnék
  • “to meet” = találkozni
  • “again” = újra
  • “you” = veled (translates to “with you” in English; Hungarians do not meet people, they meet with people)
Words Written on Scattered White Cards against a White Background

4. Expressing “Need”: I Need (to)… / I Have to …

Expressing your needs is even more crucial than expressing your desires. Let’s see some simple Hungarian sentences for letting someone know what you need. 

1- Szükségem van egy tollra.

English: “I need a pen.”

  • “I need” = szükségem van (translates to “I have a need” in English)
  • “a pen” = egy toll (-ra is added as a suffix that’s required in an “I need something” phrase)

2- Gyakorolnom kell. 

English: “I need to practice.”

“I need to do something” is translated in Hungarian as “it is a must.” Therefore, “I need to practice” is roughly translated as “It is a must that I practice.” Long story short, “need to” is simply kell in Hungarian, and the actual verb gets all the suffixes that refer to, for instance, the number of persons.

3- Találnom kell valakit, akiben bízhatok.

English: “I need to find someone I can trust.”

  • I need to find” = találnom kell
  • “someone” = valakit (in the sentence, it has the suffix t because it’s an object; “someone” as a subject is valaki)

4- Most már mennem kell.

English: “I have to go now.”

5- Ki kell mennem a mosdóba.

English: “I have to use the restroom.”

In Hungarian, you do not have to “use” the restroom, you have to “go” there. Thus:

  • “I have to go out” = ki kell mennem
  • “to the restroom” = a mosdóba
Sentence Components

5. Expressing “Like”: I Like (to)…

By the end of this section, you’ll know the typical Hungarian sentence pattern for expressing yourself and the things you like. 

1- Kedvellek.

English: “I like you.”

As simple as that. You can say this to anybody you like or fancy. It’s just one word (in Hungarian, at least). 

2- Szeretem a kenyeret.

English: “I like bread.”

3- Szeretek főzni.

English: “I like to cook.”

  • “I like to do something” = szeretek …-ni

After szeretek (“I like to”), Hungarians use the infinitive form of a verb. In this case, főzni is the Hungarian infinitive of “to cook.”

4- Szeretek fényképezni.

English: “I like to take photos.”

Hungarian people do not “take photos,” they “photograph.” Yes, this is because they have a single word for expressing the act of “taking photos.” That is fényképezni, the infinitive form of the verb.

5- Szeretek könyveket olvasni a jövőről.

English: “I like to read books about the future.”

  • “about the future“= a jövőről

6- Szeretem a naplementét tengerpartról nézni.

English: “I like to watch the sunset on the beach.”

Students Taking Notes during a Lecture

6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something: Please…

This is one of the most useful Hungarian sentence patterns we’ll cover in this article. If you know the right way to ask for someone to do something, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll do it for you. In this section, we’ll show you how to ask this question politely! 

Before we start, let’s look at the word for “please” in Hungarian. When using this word with someone you know, it’s kérlek. If you’re asking a stranger or someone who’s older than you, it’s kérem. Also keep in mind that when addressing strangers or those who are older than you, verbs are to be conjugated in the third person singular form, as opposed to the second person singular.

1- Kérlek, ülj le!

English: “Please sit down.”

2- Kérlek, figyelj rám! / Kérem, figyeljen rám!

English: “Please listen to me.”

  • “listen” = figyelj! (informal) / figyeljen! (formal)
  • “to me” = rám

3- Kérlek, álljatok sorba! / Kérem, álljanak sorba!

English: “Please stand in line.”

  • “stand” (instructing two or more people) = álljatok! (informal) / álljanak! (formal)
  • in line” = sorba

4- Kérlek, add ide a sót! / Kérem, adja ide a sót!

English: “Please pass the salt.”

In Hungarian, “pass” works as “give.” In this scenario, you want the salt to be passed to you, so the phrase can be translated as “give it to me” in Hungarian.

  • “Pass (the salt)” or “Give (the salt) to me” = Add ide! [informal] / Adja ide (a sót)! [formal] 
  • “the salt” = a sót (“salt” as a subject is , but in this case, it bears the object suffix -t)

5- Kérlek, ne hazudj nekem! / Kérem, ne hazudjon nekem!

English: “Please don’t lie to me.”

  • “Lie to me.” = Hazudj nekem! (informal) / Hazudjon nekem! (formal)
  • “Don’t lie to me.” = Ne hazudj nekem! (informal) / Ne hazudjon nekem! (formal)

From these two examples, you can see that “don’t” is simply ne in Hungarian imperative sentences, so forming prohibitory sentences is easy as pie.

7. Asking for Permission: May I…? / Can I…?

Asking for permission politely is just as essential in any culture and language as asking for something. Let’s see some easy Hungarian sentences for doing this.

1- Bejöhetek?

English: “May I come in?”

2- Kérhetek tőled? / Öntől egy szívességet?

English: “May I ask you a favor?”

  • “a favor” = egy szívesség (in the -et at the end, e is a linking letter and sound for easier pronunciation, and the t is the object suffix)

Also, Hungarians ask a favor from you: tőled (informal) or öntől (formal).

3- Szabad (vagy) egy szóra?

English: “Can I have a word with you?”

In informal contexts, we can say Szabad vagy egy szóra? In this case:

  • “available” = szabad 
  • “you are” = vagy 
  • “for a word” = egy szóra

Therefore, the phrase “Can I have a word with you?” is essentially “Are you available for a word?” in Hungarian. 

When asking the above question in a formal context, you shouldn’t use the word vagy (“you are”), though. Instead, it’s just left out.

4- Kaphatok egy kis vizet?

English: “Can I get some water?”

5- Megkaphatom a telefonszámodat? / Megkaphatom a telefonszámát?

English: “Can I get your phone number?”

  • “phone number” = telefonszám
  • “your phone number” = telefonszámod (informal) / telefonszáma (formal)

In the example sentence, the letters -at are at the end of the word for “your phone number”; the a is a linking letter and sound, and the t is the suffix for objects. That’s the reason telefonszámod becomes telefonszámodat (informal) or telefonszámát (formal).

Asking for permission is indicated by the following suffixes in Hungarian: -hat/-het.

A Girl in a Blue Shirt Holding a Book Open with a Pen in Her Hand

8. Asking for Information About Something: What is…?

Asking for information is another must when learning a language, especially when you’re new to a country or are a tourist there.

1- Mi ez?

English: “What is this?”

2- Mi a neved?

English: “What is your name?”

  • “your name = neved 

“Name” as a stand-alone word is név in Hungarian, but in this case, the accent dropped for easier pronunciation. The e is a linking letter and sound.

3- Mi volt a meglepetés a születésnapodon?

English: “What was the surprise on your birthday?”

  • “what was…?” = mi volt…?
  • “the surprise” = a meglepetés
  • on your birthday” = születésnapodon

4- Mi a pálinka?

English: “What is pálinka?”

FYI, pálinka is a Hungarian fruit brandy.

5- Mi volt a kedvenc tárgyad középiskolában?

English: “What was your favorite subject in high school?”

  • “What was…?” = Mi volt…?
  • your favorite subject” = kedvenc tárgyad
  • in high school” = középiskolában
A Black-haired Asian Guy with Glasses Holding Colorful Folders

9. Asking About Time: When is…?

Now we’ll go over some basic Hungarian sentences for asking about the time.

1- Mikor van a születésnapod?

English: “When is your birthday?”

2- Mikor van a megbeszélés?

English: “When is the meeting?”

3- Mikor van a ballagási ünnepség?

English: “When is the graduation ceremony?”

There’s another way to say “ceremony” in Hungarian: ceremónia. It’s very similar to the English spelling, so it may be easier for you to remember.

  • “graduation ceremony” = ballagási ünnepség

4- Mikor érkezik a repülőnk?

English: “When is the arrival time for our flight?”

5- Mikor aludtál utoljára legalább nyolc órát?

English: “When was the last time you slept at least eight hours?”

10. Asking About Location or Position: Where is…?

Yet another crucial thing to know when visiting a country is how to ask for directions. Let’s see how it works in Hungarian.

1- Hol van a mosdó?

English: “Where is the restroom?”

  • “where is” = hol van
  • “restroom” = mosdó

2- Hol van a lift?

English: “Where is the elevator?”

  • “elevator” = lift

3- Hol van a szülővárosod?

English: “Where is your hometown?”

  • your hometown” = szülővárosod

4- Hol van a legközelebbi metróállomás?

English: “Where is the closest metro station?”

  • “closest” = legközelebbi
  • “metro station” = metróállomás (in Hungarian, it’s one word)

5- Hol van a helyes srác, akit egy perce még láttam?

English: “Where is the handsome guy I saw just a minute ago?”

  • “handsome” = helyes
  • “guy” = srác
  • “a minute ago” = egy perce
A Graduation Ceremony

11. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Full Potential

Now that we’ve familiarized you with the basic Hungarian sentence structures, what do you think? They really are easy, right? You may have even noticed that Hungarian sentence structures aren’t too different from those in English. 

In addition, you’ve likely learned enough about sentence patterns to hold a basic Hungarian conversation. Patterns tend to recur, so after learning these Hungarian sentence patterns, you shouldn’t have much difficulty making yourself understood or asking for directions in a new city.

However, as we emphasized at the beginning, you have to practice—and keep practicing—as you continue your studies. Doing so will improve your communication for more fluent conversations.

Join the HungarianPod101 family so that you’re never alone in your studies. If you encounter an obstacle, you can come straight to us instead of looking through hard-to-read diagrams or articles elsewhere. HungarianPod101.com is a great way to be part of an actual family, as a common goal brings us all together. Language-learning is a hell of a fun thing to do, especially when done together with others.

Before you go, do you remember how to say “sentence pattern” in Hungarian?

Let us know the answer in the comments, and also let us know what you thought of this article. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might still have!

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100 of the Most Important Adverbs in Hungarian

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Do you want to learn about Hungarian adverbs and adverbial phrases, but you don’t even know how to say “adverb” in Hungarian? (It’s határozószó.) You’ve come to the right place, because we have the solution.

The HungarianPod101.com team has composed a list of adverbs in Hungarian for you to make sure that studying the basics is super-easy. Hungarian is a challenging language, but with a solid base, you’ll get the hang of using Hungarian adverbs in no time.

The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the basic Hungarian adverbs. These are the adverbs of time, place, manner, and frequency. Because we took the time to make this list in the first place, you might have guessed that adverbs play a crucial role in every language—and on a lower level, in every sentence that uses them. They’re essential in acquiring the details of a situation as they give a vivid description of certain actions and how they happened.

Hungarian often plays with different suffixes attached to the same stem, which emphasizes what the speaker actually means. For example, kertben and kertből (both technically meaning “garden”) carry different meanings, although only the suffix attached to the word changed. The suffix you find attached to a word can vary depending on the sounds of the word, while still carrying the same meaning. 

English, on the other hand, is much easier as it often uses separate words to indicate the circumstances of an action. For example, in the case of “in the garden” and “from the garden,” “the garden” did not change in either of the cases.

It might seem scary and complicated at first, but if you bear with us, you’ll be an expert of Hungarian adverbs by the end of this article. Let’s begin!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. What is an Adverb?
  2. Hungarian Adverbs of Time
  3. Hungarian Adverbs of Frequency
  4. Hungarian Adverbs of Place
  5. Hungarian Adverbs of Manner
  6. Hungarian Adverbs of Degree
  7. Placement of Adverbs in a Sentence
  8. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Your Hungarian

1. What is an Adverb?

Top Verbs

Adverbs are crucial when we want to give details about certain situations.

An adverb is a word that modifies, changes, or qualifies multiple kinds of words. These can include verbs, adjectives, clauses, other adverbs, or really, any other kind of word or phrase. The only real exceptions are adjectives and determiners that modify nouns.

By default, adverbs give details about how, when, where, in what manner, or to what extent, something happens.

In the case of Hungarian adverbs, there’s no one way or ending that’s specific to adverbs as a whole. This is because every type of adverb has different possible endings, which we’ll elaborate more on later in each section of this article.

Blue ABC Blocks, a Pencil, and Some Writing

2. Hungarian Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time in Hungarian are numerous. There are also a lot of variants, so there’s no one way to form them.

However, one way to recognize them is by watching the suffixes of the words. Some words that end with one of the following suffixes have a great chance of being a Hungarian adverb of time, but beware. Many of the suffixes can be applied to adverbs of place as well.

  • -ban
  • -ben
  • -an
  • -en
  • -án
  • -ra
  • -re
  • -hoz
  • -hez
  • -höz
  • -tól
  • -től
  • -a
  • -ig

However, you have to pay close attention because there are words that appear to be adverbs, but actually belong to a different word class.

1- Today (Ma)

“I read an article today.”

Ma elolvastam egy cikket.

2- Yesterday (Tegnap)

“I went to school yesterday.”

Tegnap iskolába mentem.

3- The day before yesterday (Tegnapelőtt)

“She met the love of her life the day before yesterday.”

Tegnapelőtt találkozott élete szerelmével.

4 -Tomorrow (Holnap)

“I will be home tomorrow.”

Holnap otthon leszek.

5- The day after tomorrow (Holnapután)

6- Last year (Tavaly)

“She traveled to Mexico last year.”

Tavaly Mexikóba utazott.

7- The year before last year (Tavalyelőtt)

8- This year (Idén)

“He turns twenty this year.”

Idén húsz éves.

9- Next year (Jövőre)

“I will host the Christmas party next year.”

Jövőre én tartom a karácsonyi bulit.

10- Then (Akkor)

“He was very angry at them back then.”

Akkor nagyon mérges volt rájuk.

11- Soon (Hamarosan)

“They will arrive soon.”

Hamarosan megérkeznek.

12- Later (Később)

“We will talk later.”

Később beszélünk.

13- Late (Későn)

“You handed in your homework late.”

Későn adtad be a házi feladatodat.

14- Before (Előtt)

“He threw up before the party already.”

Már a buli előtt hányt.

15- After (Után)

“They kissed after their first date.”

Az első randijuk után csókolóztak.

16- Now (Most)

“She can’t talk now.”

Most nem tud beszélni.

17- Suddenly (Hirtelen)

“He hit the break suddenly.”

Hirtelen lefékezett.

18- During (Közben)

“There was silence during her speech.”

Csend volt a beszéde közben.

19- Right away (Tüstént)

“Clean that up right away!”

Tüstént takarítsd azt fel!

20- A long time ago (Régen)

“We met a long time ago.”

Régen találkoztunk.

21- Too soon (Túl hamar)

“You two woke up too soon.”

Ti ketten túl hamar keltetek fel.

22- In the afternoon (Délután)

“Let’s meet at the bus stop in the afternoon.”

Találkozzunk délután a buszmegállóban!

23- Before noon (Délelőtt)

“Breakfast is to be eaten before noon.”

Reggelizni délelőtt szokás.

24- Currently (Jelenleg)

“I am not currently in a relationship.”

Jelenleg nem vagyok párkapcsolatban.

25- Anytime (Bármikor)

“You can call me anytime, I’ll listen.”

Bármikor felhívhatsz, meghallgatlak.

Guy on Metro Sitting and Reading a Book

3. Hungarian Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency are still considered time adverbs in Hungarian, but we thought it would be easier for you to learn the adverbs of time in Hungarian if they were logically separated.

1- Never (Soha)

“You never listen to me.”

Soha nem figyelsz rám.

2- Always (Mindig)

“You are always late.”

Mindig elkésel.

3- Rarely (Ritkán)

“They rarely meet.”

Ritkán találkoznak.

4- Seldom (Ritkán)

“He seldom thinks about us.”

Ritkán gondol ránk.

5- Often (Gyakran)

“She swims often.”

Gyakran úszik.

6- Usually (Általában)

“We usually go dancing on weekends.”

Általában táncolni megyünk a hétvégéken.

7- All the time (Állandóan)

“He talks all the time.”

Állandóan beszél.

8- Hardly ever (Szinte soha)

“We hardly ever speak.”

Szinte soha nem beszélünk.

9- From time to time (Időről időre)

“You could clean your room from time to time.”

Kitakaríthatnád a szobádat időről időre.

10- Every now and then (Időnként)

“I bake cookies every now and then.”

Időnként sütiket sütök.

4. Hungarian Adverbs of Place

Most adverbs of place in Hungarian end with one of the following suffixes:

  • -ból
  • -ből
  • -ról
  • -ről
  • -on
  • -en
  • -ön
  • -ban
  • -ben
  • -ba
  • -be
  • -ra
  • -re
  • -hoz
  • -hez
  • -höz
  • -ig

Adverbs of place are used when one wants to give details about where an action took place. Here are the most important of these adverbs in Hungarian.

1- Here (Itt)

“The animal shelter is here.”

Itt van az állatmenhely.

2- There (Ott)

“The park is there.”

Ott van a park.

3- From afar (Messziről)

“He caught her eye from afar.”

Messziről elkapta a tekintetét.

4- Far away (Távol)

“The lake is far away from the camp.”

A tábortól távol van a tó.

5- Opposite (Szemben)

“There is a cute shop opposite the school.”

Az iskolával szemben van egy aranyos bolt.

6- This way (Erre)

The restaurant is this way.”

Erre van az étterem.

7- That way (Arra)

“Go that way.”

Menj arra!

8- Around (Körül)

“Around houses, there are fences.”

A házak körül kerítés van.

9- Everywhere (Mindenhol)

“There are trees everywhere.”

Mindenhol fák vannak.

10- Nowhere (Sehol)

11- Somewhere (Néhol)

12- Inside (Bent)

“It is warm inside.”

Bent meleg van.

13- Outside (Kint)

“Why don’t you kids play outside?”

Miért nem kint játszotok, gyerekek?

14- Above (Fentebb)

“The reference can be found above.”

A hivatkozás fentebb található.

15- Down (Lentebb)

“One story below, the kids are being noisy.”

Egy emelettel lentebb hangoskodnak a gyerekek.

16- From above (Fentről)

“She is watching us from above.”

Fentről néz le ránk.

17- Upstairs (Fent)

“I left my glasses upstairs.”

Fent hagytam a szemüvegemet.

18- Downstairs (Lent)

19- Home (Itthon / Otthon)

“After six o’clock, we are at home.”

Hat óra után otthon vagyunk.

20- From here (Innen)

“He is from here, too.”

Ő is innen származik.

21- From there (Onnan)

“The storm is coming from there.”

A vihar onnan jön.

22- From the side (Oldalról)

“He approached the dog from the side.”

Oldalról közelítette meg a kutyát.

23- From nearby (Közelről)

24- To the front (Előre)

“Go to the front.”

Menj előre!

25- To the back (Hátra)

Is your language able to express place with adverbs consisting of just one word?

Guy in Checkered Shirt Smiling While Others Are Behind

5. Hungarian Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner in Hungarian are usually formed using the endings: 

  • -an
  • -en
  • -n
  • -ul
  • -ül
  • -l

You can see these patterns in the following list.

1- Slowly (Lassan)

“She walks slowly.”

Lassan sétál.

2- Quickly (Gyorsan)

“We need to decide quickly.”

Gyorsan kell döntenünk.

3- Carefully (Óvatosan)

“Put the bag down carefully.”

Óvatosan tedd le a táskát!

4- Dangerously (Veszélyesen)

“She likes to live dangerously.”

Szeret veszélyesen élni.

5- Quietly (Halkan)

“The girls are talking quietly in the corridor.”

A lányok halkan beszélnek a folyosón.

6- Silently (Csendesen)

7- Loudly (Hangosan)

“The kids play loudly outside.”

Kint hangosan játszanak a gyerekek.

8- Happily (Boldogan)

“I would happily marry you.”

Boldogan hozzád mennék.

9- Sadly (Szomorúan)

“He was staring into the void sadly.”

Szomorúan bámult a semmibe.

10- Easily (Könnyen)

You learn easily.”

Könnyen tanulsz.

11- With difficulty (Nehezen)

“She managed to get an ‘A’ with difficulty.”

Nehezen sikerült ötöst szereznie.

12- Really (Igazán)

“You really could have told me this.”

Ezt igazán elmondhattad volna.

13- Freely (Szabadon)

“You can speak freely here.”

Itt szabadon beszélhetsz.

14- Simply (Egyszerűen)

15- Stupidly (Hülyén)

“You dressed stupidly.”

Hülyén öltöztél fel.

16- Falsely (Tévesen)

“She was falsely accused.”

Tévesen vádolták meg.

17- Wonderfully (Mesésen)

“He played the role wonderfully.”

Mesésen játszotta el a szerepet.

18- Practicably (Praktikusan)

19- Sleepily (Álmosan)

“She came out of her room sleepily.”

Álmosan jött ki a szobájából.

20- Gladly (Örömmel)

“I would gladly go with you to the prom.”

Örömmel mennék veled a bálra.

21- Cleverly (Ügyesen)

“We solved the problem cleverly.”

Ügyesen oldottuk meg a problémát.

22- Smartly (Okosan)

23- Angrily (Mérgesen)

“He threw away his book angrily.”

Mérgesen dobta el a könyvét.

24- Wrongly (Rosszul)

25- Well (Jól’)

6. Hungarian Adverbs of Degree

More Essential Verbs

Adverbs of degree in Hungarian express the strength, level, or quantity of something.

1- Very (Nagyon)

“The park is very nice.”

A park nagyon szép.

2- Rather (Inkább)

“She’d rather travel in summer.”

Inkább nyáron utazna.

3- Entirely (Egészen)

“The house was burnt entirely.”

A ház egészen leégett.

4- Enough (Elég / Eléggé)

“You are fast enough.”

Elég gyors vagy.

5- So – ([Oly]annyira)

“Your support is so important.”

A támogatásod annyira fontos.

6- [Way] too (Túl[ságosan])

“You are walking (way) too slowly.”

Túl(ságosan) lassan sétálsz.

7- Pretty (Kellően)

“This was pretty awkward.”

Ez kellően kínos volt.

8- Extremely (Rendkívül)

“The water was extremely cold.”

Rendkívül hideg volt a víz.

9- Barely (Alig)

“You barely looked at me.”

Alig néztél rám.

10- Just (Épp / Éppen / Épphogy)

“He was just leaving.”

Épp távozni készült.

11- Utterly (Teljesen)

“It is utterly impossible to get in that way.”

Arra teljesen lehetetlen bejutni.

12- Fully (Egészen)

“Close the door fully, please.”

Kérlek, egészen csukd be az ajtót!

13- Greatly (Nagymértékben)

“Our income has greatly decreased.”

Nagymértékben csökkent a bevételünk.

14- Awfully (Borzasztó[an])

This hotel is awfully expensive.”

Ez a hotel borzasztó(an) drága!

15- Almost (Majdnem)

“She has almost finished writing.”

Már majdnem befejezte az írást.

Blond Woman on Her Laptop with a Notebook in Front of Her

7. Placement of Adverbs in a Sentence

There’s not a set word order in Hungarian. The construction of sentences is based on these three rules:

1. Priority of word: The important words, the ones you want to emphasize, are at the beginning of a sentence.

For example:

  • “The trees are in the woods.” (A fák az erdőben vannak.) 

This means that the trees are in the forest and nowhere else.

  • “There are trees in the woods.” (Az erdőben fák vannak.) 

This means that there are trees in the forest, generally.

2. Priority of negation: Negating words are always at the beginning.

For example:

  • “I am not going to eat the apple.” (Nem eszem meg az almát.)
  • “Do not go away.” (Ne menj el!) 

3. Focus of the sentence: The focus of the sentence is usually the word before the verb.

You can see the final rule in action in the sections and example sentences above. Most of the time, the adverbs are before the verbs, which makes sense since the aim of adverbs is to give details about the actions that take place.

8. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Your Hungarian

Now that you know the basic types of adverbs in Hungarian, you’re one step closer to composing a sentence with details about a certain situation. It’s important to keep practicing, as the great variety of suffixes might confuse a beginner. However, after just a few exercises and paying close attention to the sounds in a word, you’ll soon be able to attach the appropriate suffixes to Hungarian adverbs.

Joining the HungarianPod101 family is a great way to polish the knowledge you’ve just acquired today. Sign up now and be part of a group of hundreds of students who are thirsty for knowledge, just like you.

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Hungarian Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Hungarian

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Hungarian! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Hungarian keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Hungarian Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Hungarian
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Hungarian
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Hungarian on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Hungarian Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Hungarian Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Hungarian

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Hungarian

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Hungarian language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Hungarian websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Hungarian teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Hungarian

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Hungarian. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Hungarian, so all text will appear in Hungarian. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Hungarian on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Hungarian language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Hungarian.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Magyar with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Magyar” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Hungarian – Magyar.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Hungarian.”

4. Expand the option of “Hungarian” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Hungarian.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Hungarian,” and add the “Hungarian” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Hungarian Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Hungarian will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Hungarian keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Hungarian” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Hungarian” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Hungarian Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Hungarian can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Hungarian keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

1. When your keyboard is set to Hungarian, to type accents, you’ll have to use:
0 → ö
– → ü
= → ó
[ → ő
] → ú
→ ű
; → é
‘ → á
` → í
And to be able to type their uppercase version, use Shift + the same keys.
The only difference when typing consonants is that the letter Y will be at the English Z key if you don’t use the QWERTY keyboard.

2. You can get the: 
– exclamation mark by pressing Shift + 4
– question mark by pressing Shift + ,
– apostrophe by pressing Shift +1
– quotation marks by pressing Shift + 2

2- Mobile Phones

  • On most mobile keyboards, in order to get access to accented letters, press the selected letter until accented options appear.

7. How to Practice Typing Hungarian

As you probably know by now, learning Hungarian is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Hungarian typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a HungarianPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Hungarian keyboard to do this!

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A Simple Guide to Hungarian Verb Conjugation

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Have you ever wondered what the most important thing is when trying to learn a new language? That’s right, verbs. And to be able to use them, you need to familiarize yourself with their conjugations. This applies to Hungarian even more so, because it’s a complicated language and Hungarian verb conjugation can be tricky. 

For example, the Hungarian lenni conjugation is quite challenging, as the spelling of the word completely changes from one verb tense to the other. But fear no more! Here at HungarianPod101.com, we’re going to walk you through it.

Our goal is for you to have the chance to learn about conjugation in Hungarian in the easiest and most comprehensible way. In this article, you’ll get to know the basic Hungarian verb conjugation rules, and see how they look for yourself. 

If you want to maximize the amount of information you retain from this lesson, it might be wise to check out a few Hungarian conjugation tables to see how it works more clearly. We also recommend that you do a little Hungarian conjugation practice to really learn how to apply these rules.

We hope you’re ready to learn about conjugation in Hungarian, because we’re thrilled you’ve chosen us as a companion for this challenging journey. If you’re brave and persistent enough, you’ll get the hang of Hungarian conjugation in no time. 

So, let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. What is Conjugation?
  2. Hungarian Determined and Undetermined Conjugations
  3. Hungarian Infinitive Conjugation
  4. Hungarian Verb Conjugation Concerning Tenses
  5. Hungarian Verb Conjugation Moods
  6. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Brings Out the Best in You

1. What is Conjugation?

Top Verbs

To be able to start learning about how to conjugate Hungarian verbs, it’s very important to get this question out of the way.

So, what does “conjugation” mean? Why is it so crucial when speaking Hungarian? 

Well, first of all, verbs are the core of a sentence in every language. Second, in order for your sentences to make sense, and for you to say what you actually mean to say, it’s essential to use the right Hungarian verb tenses and conjugations.

By definition, conjugation is “the variation of the form of a verb in an inflected language by which the voice, mood, tense, number, and person are identified.”

Consequently, Hungarian verbs can be:

  • First, Second, or Third  Person
  • Singular or Plural
  • Undetermined or Determined 
  • Realis Mood, Conditional Mood, or Imperative Mood
  • Present Tense, Past Tense, or Future Tense

In the case of Hungarian—an agglutinative language—conjugation is done by attaching suffixes to the end of the verbs. And these suffixes indicate, among other things, if the verb is in first, second, or third person. Thus, Hungarian does not use personal pronouns (like English) unless someone wants to emphasize the subject.

  • “They cook.”
    Főznek.

The Hungarian verb suffixes also give away whether we’re talking about one person or multiple people (singular or plural).

  • “She sleeps.” 
    Alszik.
  • “We drive.”
    Vezetünk.

Below, you can see all the possible Hungarian verb endings regarding persons and their number.

I (én): -m, -k                                                            we (mi): -juk, -jük, -unk, -ünk

you (te): -d, -sz, -l                                                   you (ti): -játok, -itek, -tok, -tek, -tök

he/she/it (ő/az): -ja, -i, -ik                                       they (ők): -ják, -ik, -nak, -nek

Book Open to the Middle against a Dark Background

2. Hungarian Determined and Undetermined Conjugations

Hungarian conjugations can be undetermined or determined. Or, in other words: definite and indefinite

This type of Hungarian conjugation is used to differentiate between objects. In sentences where the Hungarian indefinite conjugation is used, the object in question is unknown—or, if you will, indefinite. On the contrary, when the definite conjugation is used, the object that is being talked about is a known, particular thing or person.

For a beginner, this concept can be quite overwhelming, as it’s rather hard to decide which one to use at first.

1- “Read” (olvasni)

Definite: “I’m reading (the book).” — Olvasom a könyvet.

Indefinite: “I’m reading (something).” — Olvasok.

2- “See” (látni)

Definite: “They see the rose.” — Látják a rózsát.

Indefinite: “They see a rose (unknown rose).” — Látnak egy rózsát.

3- “Write” (írni)

Definite: “I’m writing the article (a specific article).” — Írom a cikket.

Indefinite: “I’m writing (an article/something).” — Írok (egy cikket).

4- “Love” (szeretni)

Definite: “I love the girl.” — Szeretem a lányt.

Indefinite: “I love a boy.” — Szeretek egy fiút.

5- “Ask” (kérni)

Definite: “I ask for the salt.” (As in: “Pass me the salt.”) — Kérem a sót.

Indefinite: “I ask for a ball.” (As in: “Buy me a ball.”) — Kérek egy labdát.

6- “Cook” (főzni)

Definite: “I’m cooking the pasta.” — Főzöm a tésztát.

Indefinite: “I’m cooking (something).” — Főzök (valamit).

7- “Paint” (festeni)

Definite: “I’m painting the walls.” — Festem a falakat.

Indefinite: “I’m painting a portrait.” — Festek egy portrét.

What you have to keep in mind is the following:

In Hungarian definite conjugation, verbs have definite suffixes attached to their stem; likewise, indefinite conjugation requires indefinite suffixes attached to the stems.

If you take a look at the examples above, you can see that the suffixes changed depending on whether the subjects knew the object or not.

  • “They see the rose.” (Látják a rózsát.)
    In this case, the object is a specific rose, one that “they” know and are able to recognize.
  • “They see a rose.” (Látnak egy rózsát.)
    In this case, the object is not a specific rose; it’s one that “they” do not know and are not able to identify.

Here, in the same Hungarian conjugation chart as above, you can see suffixes of both definite and indefinite conjugation of every person and number. As you can see, in the first person singular, there is no indefinite ending.

I (én): -m, -k                                                            we (mi): -juk, -jük, -unk, -ünk

you (te): -d, -sz, -l                                                   you (ti): -játok, -itek, -tok, -tek, -tök

he/she/it (ő/az): -ja, -i, -ik                                       they (ők): -ják, -ik, -nak, -nek

Books and Notes

There are cases when it’s not easy to decide which Hungarian conjugation type to use. For example, if you can’t find any articles (neither definite nor indefinite ones) in a sentence.

Use Hungarian indefinite conjugations:

1. If there is no article.
“They are watching a movie.” (Filmet néznek.)

2. In the case of undetermined pronouns.
“Anything they give me is fine.” (Bármit adnak, megfelel.)

3. In the case of an unknown noun that is in plural form.
“I cut vegetables.” (Zöldségeket vágok.)

Use Hungarian definite conjugations:

1. In the case of demonstrative pronouns.
“I invited that guy.” (Meghívtam azt a srácot.)

2. In the case of actual names, or known people.
“We tricked Sam.” (Megtréfáltuk Samet.)

Hungarian verb conjugation endings (if you use a definite or an indefinite ending) are of high importance. This is because a person often appears uneducated if they don’t use the -m ending for -ik verbs in the first person singular present form.

Hungarian -ik verbs are the citation form of a verb, also known as the spoken form of a word when it stands alone (like in dictionaries). They’re called the -ik verbs because their last syllable is -ik.

  • “I’m sleeping.”
    Alszom. (Alszok.)

“Pseudo -ik verbs” exist in Hungarian too, and in their case, the -m ending is impossible. Moreover, it’s ungrammatical.

8- “Flow” (Folyni)

  • “The water flows.”
    Folyik a víz.
  • “I flow.”
    Folyom.

Does your language have definite and indefinite conjugation as well?

Books on Top of Each Other

3. Hungarian Infinitive Conjugation

The infinitive form is the basic verb form in Hungarian, just like in most languages. The reason for this is that this form of verbs has no suffix at all, and thus are the simplest.

In Hungarian verb conjugation, the infinitive form is in:

  • Present tense
  • Third person singular
  • Indicative mood and uses 
  • Indefinite conjugation

Take for example:

  • “To speak” (beszélni)
  • “To love” (szeretni)
  • “To sing” (énekelni)
  • “To wait” (várni)
  • “To smile” (mosolyogni)

In some cases, a linking vowel is needed for the Hungarian infinitive verb to be pronounced correctly.

  • “To help” (segíteni)
  • “To move” (mozdítani)
  • “To hear” (hallani)

There are some irregularities regarding infinitives, as well:

Hungarian InfinitiveHungarian Citation FormEnglish Infinitive
ennieszik “to eat”
inniiszik“to drink
mennimegy“to go”
vinnivisz“to bring” / “to carry”
jönnijön“to come”
hinnihisz“to believe”
tennitesz“to put” / “to do”

Do you know when and how to use the Hungarian infinitive? If not, keep reading.

The infinitive form is mostly used when the action we want to express is the subject or object of the sentence, but the noun form of the same expression could easily be used too.

  • “Winning is great.” — Győzni nagyszerű. (A győzelem nagyszerű.)
  • “Eating is needed.” — Enni szükséges. (Az evés szükséges.)
Blonde Girl Reading a Book

4. Hungarian Verb Conjugation Concerning Tenses

In Hungarian, there are only three tenses: Past, Present, and Future. Each of them has their own way of conjugating.

First, let’s take a look at the Hungarian present tense conjugations, as there are two types of these.

Present:

“Simple present” does not have suffixes. It’s formed with the basic Hungarian conjugation, as follows:

  • “To sit” (ülni)

This verb can only be conjugated with indefinite endings. You might want to scroll back up to review them in the Hungarian verb conjugation table.

I sit — (én) ülök                                                         we sit — (mi) ülünk

you sit — (te) ülsz                                                      you sit — (ti) ültök

he/she/it sits — (ő/az) ül                                            they sit — (ők) ülnek

Do you still remember? As mentioned earlier, Hungarian does not use personal pronouns (like English) unless someone wants to emphasize the subject. This is why the personal pronouns are in parentheses above.

The kind of “present” tense that works similarly to the English “present continuous,” (“verb + -ing” form), is formed by attaching –ó or –ő to the end of verbs. They work as adjectives and come before the noun they refer to.

Here are some examples:

1- “Reads” – olvas + –ó = olvasó » “reading”

  • “The guy reading seems smart.” 
    Az olvasó srác okosnak tűnik.

2- “Sits” – ül + = ülő » “sitting”

  • “The girl sitting is pretty.” 
    Az ülő lány csinos.

Past:

The past tense, which is usually formed as “verb + -ed” in English, looks like “verb + -t/-tt” in Hungarian. Hungarian words with -t or -tt suffixes also work as adjectives.

  • “The ship sunk.” 
    A hajó elsüllyedt.
  • “The sunken ship is at the bottom of the ocean.” 
    Az elsüllyedt hajó az óceán fenekén van.
  • “He drank a lot.” 
    Sokat ivott.
  • “The drunken beverage was coke. 
    A megivott ital kóla volt.

Meg- in the second example sentence is a prefix often used before verbs. The stem of the verb is inni, which is in past tense—in this case, (-tt)—with a linking vowel (“o,” which also appears in the first example).

Future:

One way to indicate future tense in Hungarian is by means of a future participle. This is a specific form of a verb that plays a similar role in the sentence as an adjective or adverb. The future participle is formed as “to be …-ed” in English, and with the suffixes -andó and -endő in Hungarian. It expresses an obligation that has to be done at some point in the future.

  • “The meat to be cooked is on the kitchen counter.” 
    A megfőzendő hús a konyhapulton van.
  • “The distance to be swam is not that long.” 
    A leúszandó táv nem olyan nagy.

Again, le- here is a prefix to the verb úszni. Also, Hungarian uses the adjectives “big” and “small” for distance, rather than the English words “long” and “short.”

Note that the true future tense in Hungarian is not formed using the aforementioned future participles. Instead, it’s constructed using the appropriate conjugation form of the auxiliary verb fogni and the infinitive form of the verb. 

  • “I will go to the market tomorrow.” 
    Holnap el fogok menni a piacra.
  • “He will surely get accepted to the university.” 
    Biztosan fel fogják venni az egyetemre.
Instructions Manual

5. Hungarian Verb Conjugation Moods

Below you can find the moods Hungarian has as well as the tenses they’re used in:

  • Indicative/Realis Mood: present, past, future
  • Imperative/Subjunctive Mood: present
  • Conditional Mood: present, past

Indicative:

This mood is mainly used to indicate that something is a statement or a fact, like in declarative sentences.

  • “I sleep.” (Alszom.)
  • “I ate an apple.” (Ettem egy almát.)
  • “They will be.” (Lesznek.)

Imperative:

Usually, commands and requests are expressed using the imperative mood. And unlike in French, for example, Hungarian imperatives exist in all persons and numbers. In addition, unlike in English (which uses regular full-stops), there’s an exclamation mark at the end of each imperative sentence at all times.

The imperative mood is usually formed with a -j suffix. However, if the word ends with a sibilant (-s, -zs, -sz, -z), the -j will, in most cases, transform into the last sibilant of the word’s stem.

  • “Leave me alone.” (Hagyj békén!)         “Dig.” (Áss! [Ás + -j])
  • “Go away.” (Menj el!)                             “Pull me out.” (Húzz ki! [Húz + -j])
  • “Don’t shout.” (Ne kiabálj!)                     “Let’s play.” (Játsszunk!)
  • “Let’s start.” (Kezdjünk!)                        “Believe me (both of you).” (Higgyétek el!)

Conditional:

By using the present conditional mood, one expresses events that have little chance of happening in the present or the future.

Suffixes used: -na, -ne, -ná, -né (and their conjugated forms, depending on the person and the number).

  • “If she kissed me, I would faint.” (Ha megcsókolna, elájulnék.)

Meg- and el- are Hungarian verb prefixes in this sentence.

The past conditional is used for those events that could have happened in the past, but did not. 

Auxiliary verb: volna (the conditional form of the verb “to be,” or lenni in Hungarian).

  • “If they hadn’t met me, they would have never gotten here.” (Ha nem találkoztak volna velem, sosem jutottak volna idáig.)

Do you know the ad Hungarian conjugation in conditional form?

6. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Brings Out the Best in You

More Essential Verbs

By now, you’ve not only learned the basics of how to conjugate Hungarian verbs, but also about the different tenses and moods in Hungarian. You’ve even gotten the hang of Hungarian definite and indefinite conjugation!

Now all that’s left to do is a little Hungarian verb conjugation practice. Read more of our articles, and you’ll be the master of Hungarian verb conjugation in a fortnight.

The reason for this is that with the help of this guide, you’ve managed to acquire the basics. So now you have a firm foundation on which you can build the whole process of Hungarian language-learning. It’s going to be a tough journey, but if you join us at HungarianPod101.com, you’ll never have to face hardships alone.

Don’t hesitate to sign up and be a part of this great community of language learners. With us, studying has never been so much fun.

What have you learned from this article? Do you know how many verb tenses there are in Hungarian? Let us know in the comments.

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The Hungarian Verb: “To Be” & More Basic Hungarian Verbs

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Do you want to improve your Hungarian or start from scratch? You came to the right place! Our tutors at HungarianPod101.com make sure that learners of all levels succeed in studying this challenging but beautiful language. The key to success is verb usage, as verbs serve as the core of any sentence. This makes mastering the basic Hungarian verbs—from the Hungarian verb “to be” and beyond—essential.

The aim of this article is to familiarize you with the most common Hungarian verbs that people in Hungary use often. You’ll also learn how to conjugate Hungarian verbs. 

We’re going to cover the basics in writing, but the pronunciation of a word is just as important as the spelling. Thus, we’ve collected the 25 most commonly used verbs of any language along with their pronunciations in Hungarian—you can listen to the words on that page as you go through this article for a smoother time mastering this topic. We hope you’re ready to start because it’s going to be a wild ride. Hungarian is known for being a challenging language—you might have heard of the Hungarian irregular verbs or -ik verbs. You’re going to learn about them too! Let’s begin.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Hungarian Verb Types Based on Final Syllables
  2. Action Verbs
  3. Linking Verbs
  4. Helping Verbs
  5. Verb Usage
  6. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Your Hungarian

1. Hungarian Verb Types Based on Final Syllables

Top Verbs

In some languages, such as French and Spanish, verbs can be grouped based on their ending syllables. The same is true for Hungarian verbs.

In citation form, which is the spoken form of a word when it stands alone, there’s a group of words called “Hungarian -ik verbs.” They’re called this because their last syllable is -ik in the third-person singular indefinite present form, which you can see in the example sentences. However, the actual word listings will be in the infinitive form.

1. Be angry – Haragudni

“She is angry.”

Haragszik.

2. Climb – Mászni

“He climbs.”

Mászik.

3. Play – Játszani

“He plays.”

Játszik.

4. Eat – Enni

“The dog eats.”

A kutya eszik.

5. Drink – Inni

“The hunter drinks.”

A vadász iszik.

6. Lay – Feküdni

“He is laying.”

Fekszik.

7. To starve – Éhezni

“My colleague is starving.”

A kollégám éhezik.

8. Crawl – Kúszni

“The baby crawls.”

A baba kúszik.

9. Swim – Úszni

“My daughter swims.”

A lányom úszik.

10. Sunbathe – Napozni

“The lady sunbathes.”

A hölgy napozik.

11. Smoke – Cigarettázni

“My mom smokes.”

Az anyukám cigarettázik.

12. Sail – Vitorlázni

“My cousin sails.”

Az unokatestvérem vitorlázik.

13. Surf – Szörfözni

“My classmate surfs.”

Az osztálytársam szörfözik.

14. TravelUtazni

“She travels a lot.”

Sokat utazik.

15. Garden – Kertészkedni

“He often gardens.”

Gyakran kertészkedik.

16. Lie – Hazudni

“My little sister lies a lot.”

A húgom sokat hazudik.

17. Be bored – Unatkozni

“He is bored.”

Unatkozik.

Woman in White Shirt Taking Notes

Hungarian verb conjugation endings are crucial as, for example, a person might appear uneducated if they don’t use the -m ending for the first-person singular present form when dealing with -ik verbs:

  • I’m sleeping.

Alszom. (Alszok.)

Amongst Hungarian verbs, there are so-called “pseudo -ik verbs” as well. When dealing with these verbs, the -m ending isn’t possible, and moreover, is ungrammatical.

18. Flow – Folyni

“The water flows.”

Folyik a víz.

19. Use mobile phones – Mobilozni

“He often uses mobile phones.”

Gyakran mobilozik.

20. Opens – Nyílni

“The door opens to the right.”

Az ajtó jobbra nyílik.

In this sentence, “the door” is az ajtó, “opens” is nyílik in the third-person singular indefinite present form, and “to the right” is jobbra.

Does your language have such groups based on word endings?

2. Action Verbs

Action verbs are some of the most basic Hungarian verbs that every beginner should learn. They’re the most commonly used Hungarian verbs when building a sentence. 

In the following section, you’ll see the Hungarian infinitive verbs listed. Their suffix is -ni or, in special cases, -ani/-eni. These special cases are when there’s two consonants at the end, OR a long vowel + t. In the example sentences, you’ll encounter the conjugated forms of these action verbs.

Is your memory good? Let’s see how many of these words you remember after reading this Hungarian verbs list.

Guy Pointing at Lightbulbs Blue Background

Action/Physical Verbs

21. Run – Futni

“He runs to the bridge.”

A hídhoz fut.

22. Get – Kapni

“I get many books.”

Sok könyvet kapok.

23. Make – Készíteni

“You make great shoes.”

Nagyszerű cipőket készítetek.

In this case, “you” is in the second-person plural form, which is indicated in the conjugation of készítetek, which means “make.” “Great” is nagyszerű and “shoes” is cipőket.

24. Look – Nézni

“He is looking at a picture.”

Egy képet néz.

25. Tell – Mondani

“We tell jokes.”

Vicceket mondunk.

26. Work – Dolgozni

“They work hard in the kitchen.”

Keményen dolgoznak a konyhában.

“They work” is dolgoznak, “hard” is keményen, and “in the kitchen” is a konyhában. In Hungarian, the affixes -ban and -ben stand for the English word “in,” just like here, in the case of konyhában.

27. Ask – Kérdezni

“They ask a lot.”

Sokat kérdeznek.

28. Try – Próbálni

“He is trying to be good.”

Próbál jó lenni.

29. Move – Mozogni/Mozdulni

“They often move.”

Gyakran mozognak.

30. Pick – Kiválasztani

“She picks the team members.”

Ő választja ki a csapattagokat.

Here, “she” is ő, “picks” is választja ki, and “the team members” is a csapattagokat. In Hungarian, “team member” is one word (csapattag), where csapat stands for “team” and tag means “member.”

31. Stop – Megállítani

“The driver stops the bus.”

A vezető megállítja a buszt.

32. Build – Építeni

“They are building a house.”

Házat építenek.

33. Wash – Mosni

“She washes her clothes.”

Kimossa a ruháit.’

34. Paint – Festeni

“We are painting the walls.”

Festjük a falakat.

35. Stare – Bámulni

“They are staring at the dog.”

A kutyát bámulják.

36. Hurt – Bántani

“He hurts people’s feelings.”

Megbántja az emberek érzéseit.

37. Draw – Rajzolni

“She draws cars.”

Autókat rajzol.

38. Bake – Sütni

“They often bake together.”

Gyakran együtt sütnek.

“They” is not a word in this sentence. The affix indicates it in sütnek, which means “bake.” “Often” is gyakran and “together” is együtt.

39. Cook – Főzni

“We cook every day.”

Minden nap főzünk.

40. Be dizzy – Szédülni

“They are dizzy.”

Szédülnek.

41. Cut – Vágni

“She is cutting paper.”

Papírt vág.

42. Pray – Imádkozni

“He prays every night.”

Minden este imádkozik.

43. Talk – Beszélni

“You always talk.”

Mindig beszéltek.

44. Write – Írni

“We write her every month.”

Minden hónapban írunk neki.

45. Dig – Ásni

“My dad digs in the garden everyday.”

Az apukám minden nap ás a kertben.

In this sentence, “my dad” is az apukám, “digs” is ás, “in the garden” is a kertben, and “everyday” is minden nap.

46. Avoid – Kerülni

“He is avoiding her.”

Kerüli őt.

47. Slap – Megpofozni

“She slaps him.”

Megpofozza.

48. Change clothes – Öltözik

“She is changing clothes.”

Átöltözik.

49. Trust – Bízni

“He trusts them.”

Bízik bennük.

50. Cheat – Csalni

“She cheats in games.”

Csal a játékokban.

51. Fight – Harcolni

“They are fighting.”

Harcolnak.

52. Send – Küldeni

“He often sends letters.”

Gyakran küld leveleket.

“We always send a message.”

Mindig küldünk üzenetet.

53. Torture – Kínozni

“They are torturing him.”

Kínozzák őt.

Torturing in Hungarian can also refer to mental torture.

Man in Blue Shirt Thinking in Front of a Laptop

Mental Verbs

54. Know – Tudni/Ismerni

“We know.”

Tudjuk.

“He knows this girl.”

Ismeri ezt a lányt.

55. Think – Gondolni

“She thinks about him.”

Gondol rá.

56. Want – Akarni

“I want to fly.”

Repülni akarok.

“I want” is akarok in Hungarian, and “to fly” is repülni.

57. Admire – Csodálni

“I admire her perseverance.”

Csodálom a kitartását.

58. Expect – Számítani

“They are expecting two people.”

Két emberre számítanak.

59. Understand – Érteni

“We understand everything.”

Mindent értünk.

60. Like – Kedvelni

“You like her.”

Kedveled őt.

Here, “you” is in the singular form, which is indicated by the affix in kedveled, which means “like.”

61. LoveSzeretni

“I love you.”

Szeretlek.

62. Remember – Emlékezni

“I remember my childhood well.”

Jól emlékszem a gyerekkoromra.

“I remember” is emlékszem, “my childhood” is a gyerekkoromra, and “well” is jól.

63. Dream – Álmodni

“I dream about you a lot.”

Sokat álmodom rólad.

64. Envy – Irigyelni

“She envies her.”

Irigykedik rá.

65. Mourn – Búslakodni

“They are mourning.”

Búslakodnak.

66. Appreciate – Becsülni

“He appreciates a good talk.”

Becsül egy jó beszélgetést.

67. Fear – Félni

“He fears birds.”

Fél a madaraktól.

68. Care – Törődni

“They care about each other.”

Törődnek egymással.

“They care” is törődnek and “about each other” is egymással.

69. Forget – Elfelejteni

“I forget easily.”

Könnyen felejtek.

“She never forgets.”

Ő sosem felejt.

70. Forgive – Megbocsátani

“I always forgive you.”

Én mindig megbocsátok neked. 

71. Grieve – Gyászolni

“We are grieving.”

Gyászolunk.

72. Detest – Gyűlölni

“I detest Mondays.”

Gyűlölöm a hétfőket.

73. Hate – Utálni

“She hates mornings.”

Utálja a reggeleket.

Asian Girl Behind a Pile of Books

3. Linking Verbs

Like English, the Hungarian language has linking verbs. Following is a list of common Hungarian verbs with the purpose of linking the subject with a word that provides information about the subject itself.

74. Look – Tűnik

“You look happy.”

Boldognak tűnsz.

75. Smell – Szag van

“It smells strange.”

Furcsa szag van.

“They smell bad.”

Rossz szaguk van.

Szag/Illat take up affixes based on the subject. Szag is used for bad smells, while illat is used to describe nice smells.

76. Taste –Íze van

“It tastes like fish.”

Hal íze van.

77. Sound – Hangzik

“It sounds good.”

Jól hangzik.

78. Appear – Látszik/Tűnik

“She appears angry.”

Mérgesnek tűnik.

79. Remain – Marad

“He remains calm.”

Nyugodt marad.

80. Turn – Fordul

“Things turn out alright.”

A dolgok jóra fordulnak.

81. Become – Válik

“It becomes weird.”

Furává válik.

4. Helping Verbs

More Essential Verbs

Auxiliary verbs in Hungarian are mostly impersonal and are placed next to an infinitive verb as personal Hungarian verb suffixes.

Hungarian Modal Verbs

82. Can – -hat/-het

“She can go to the mall.”

Elmehet a plázába.

83. Must – Muszáj

“You must go.”

Muszáj menned.

84. Will – Fog

“He will fly.”

Repülni fog.

85. Should – Kellene

“We should go home.”

Haza kellene mennünk.

“We” is indicated in the affix of mennünk, which means “go.” “Should” is kellene and “home” means haza.

86. Would – -na/-ne/-ná/-né

“Peter would lie.”

Péter hazudna.

“I would choose if I could.”

Választanék, ha tudnék.

87. Might – Lehet, hogy

“She might come home.”

Lehet, hogy hazajön.

Hungarian Auxiliary Verbs

In Hungarian, there’s no equivalent of the auxiliaries “be” and “have,” as there are only three Hungarian verb tenses: past, present, and future. However, Hungarians use the auxiliary “do” as follows:

88. Do – Szokott

“She usually doesn’t speak a lot.”

Általában nem szokott sokat beszélni.

Here, “she” is only indicated and is not a standalone word. “Usually” is általában, “does not” can be translated as nem szokott, “speak” is beszélni, and “a lot” is sokat.

Does your language have the same auxiliary verbs as English?

5. Verb Usage

Negative Verbs

If you want to learn a little bit about Hungarian verb conjugation rules, you’re in the right section! 

One factor that plays a major role in Hungarian verb conjugation is “person.” All six “persons” have different endings depending on whether it’s a definite or indefinite conjugation. The Hungarian verb endings in the following section apply to present tense:

I (Én): -m, -k We (Mi): -juk, -jük, -unk, -ünk
You (Te): -d, -sz, -l You (Ti): -játok, -itek, -tok, -tek, -tök
He/She/It (Ő): -ja, -i They (Ők): -ják, -ik, -nak, -nek

Hungarian definite and indefinite conjugation is used to differentiate between objects. The following example, the word “read,” is conjugated in the present tense:

89. Read – Olvasni

Definite: 

  • “I’m reading (a specific book).” 

Olvasom (a könyvet).

Indefinite: 

  • “I’m reading (something).”

Olvasok.

Verb conjugation in Hungarian also depends on Hungarian verb tenses, which consist of past, present, and future. The present tense doesn’t have any particular suffixes. On the other hand, the past tense does.

The past tense has two kinds of suffixes depending on whether there’s a consonant before the “past tense suffix” (then the word ends with -t) or a vowel (ending is -tt). The suffixes of the “persons” stick to the word after.

First-person singular, past tense

  • “I said it.”

Mondtam. 

Third-person plural, past tense

  • “They ran.”

Futottak. 

The future tense can be formed two ways: 

1) -ni + fog (+ a time adverb) 

“She will study (later).” 

(Később) tanulni fog.

2) a verb in present tense + a time adverb

“I will read tomorrow.” 

Holnap olvasok.

If you would like to know more about Hungarian conjugation, you might want to consider searching for Hungarian verb conjugation tables online, especially if you’re interested in the conjugation of Hungarian irregular verbs, like the verb “to be.” Note that HungarianPod101 also has additional learning materials on this topic for both beginners and advanced learners.

In addition, from the examples above, the basic Hungarian sentence pattern is obvious. Hungarian has an S – V – O word order, just like English.

90. Kiss – Csókolni

“Peter kissed Mary.”

Péter megcsókolta Marit.

Four People Over a Laptop

List of Hungarian Irregular Verbs:

91. To be – Lenni

“I am.”

Én vagyok.

“She will be.”

Ő lesz.

92. Come – Jönni

“I’m coming.”

Jövök.

“You were coming.”

Jöttél.

93. Believe – Hinni

“I believe in miracles.”

Hiszek a csodákban.

94. Carry – Vinni

“He is carrying a box.”

Egy dobozt visz.

95. Buy – Venni

“They buy a bouquet.”

Csokrot vesznek.

96. Put – Tenni

“I put my phone down.”

Leteszem a telefonomat.

97. Go – Menni

“She goes to the mall frequently.”

Gyakran megy a plázába.

98. GorgeFalni

“We often gorge doughnuts.”

Gyakran falunk fánkot.

99. Sip – Kortyolni

“I’m sipping my coffee.”

Kortyolom a kávémat.

Negative Verbs

6. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Your Hungarian

You now have 100 Hungarian verbs under your belt! 

Now that you’re familiar with the most common Hungarian verbs and even know how to conjugate them, you can see that there’s a pattern that can easily be learned. If you get the hang of the conjugation of Hungarian irregular verbs and are able to distinguish -ik verbs, you’re good to go.

With the help of this list, you’ve acquired the basics, so now it’s time to get to the next level. Join the HungarianPod101 family and let us help you perfect those language skills!

However, if you don’t feel confident enough in your Hungarian knowledge, or think you don’t know by heart how to conjugate Hungarian verbs just yet, joining our family is a great idea all the same. Our app can help you with everything!

Don’t hesitate to sign up for our courses. With us, language-learning has never been easier.

Do you know how to conjugate the Hungarian verb “to be?” Let us know in the comments!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Hungarian

Your Ultimate Guide for Learning Hungarian Pronouns

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Are you a total beginner or a confident rookie in the Hungarian language? Would you like to test your knowledge or improve your skills? We at the HungarianPod101.com family offer you all the materials you need to take your Hungarian to the next level! A good way to strengthen your foundation is to gain a clear picture of Hungarian pronouns and how they work. They can be very confusing due to the number of suffixes involved, so we’ve collected the basic Hungarian pronouns for you with explanations and examples: 

  • Hungarian personal pronouns
  • Hungarian demonstrative pronouns
  • Hungarian interrogative pronouns
  • Hungarian indefinite pronouns
  • Hungarian relative pronouns

Phew, that’s a lot! 

Using pronouns in Hungarian is one of the most basic grammar essentials for new learners—pronouns in any language should come very early in one’s studies. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to adequately express yourself when communicating with others. This is especially true for mid-European languages like Hungarian, which heavily rely on the proper use of pronouns.

Even though we’ve already collected the most useful Hungarian pronouns on our website, we know that context is key when learning such a complex language. 

Enjoy your lesson!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Hungarian Personal Pronouns
  2. Hungarian Demonstrative Pronouns
  3. Hungarian Interrogative Pronouns
  4. Hungarian Indefinite Pronouns
  5. Hungarian Relative Pronouns
  6. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Hungarian

1. Hungarian Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

The most important thing for Hungarians is knowing whom or what the conversation is about. For this reason, you’d better make sure you know which pronouns to use. So let’s begin with the Hungarian personal pronouns! As soon as you define the subject of a sentence, Hungarians will be more likely to understand you!

We have good—and not-so-good—news for you! Although there’s no such thing as gender differentiation in Hungarian pronouns or words (as is the case in every Slavic language), Hungarian pronouns aren’t as simple as their English equivalents. But at least you don’t need to worry about Hungarian gender pronouns!

1- Singular

This starts off easy – the singular Hungarian personal pronouns are the following:

én (“I”)                        Én szeretem a kutyákat. 

                                    I like dogs.”

te (“you”)                     Te szereted a kutyákat. 

                                     “You like dogs.”

ő (“he”) / (“she”)            Ő szereti a kutyákat. 

                                       “He/She likes dogs.”

2- Plural

You’re still with us, right? Let’s check out the plural Hungarian personal pronouns, which are similar to and in line with those in other languages.

mi (“we”)                      Mi szeretjük a kutyákat. 

                                      “We like dogs.”

ti (“you”)                     Ti szeretitek a kutyákat. 

                                     “You like dogs.”

ők (“they”)                     Ők szeretik a kutyákat. 

                                       “They like dogs.”

Do you like dogs? Or are you a cat person? Okay then, the next sections will be about cats, we promise!

You can also find your favorite animal’s name on our animal vocabulary list.

3- Accusative case

When the object of the action becomes the subject, we start using the object forms. Here, you might get a glimpse of the differences between English and Hungarian pronouns. 

Subject and Object Pronouns Table

engem (“me”)                     Engem karmolt meg a cica. 

                                           “The cat scratched me.”

téged (“you”)                     Téged karmolt meg a cica? 

                                          “Did the cat scratch you?”

őt (“him”) / (“her”)             Őt karmolta meg a cica. 

                                           “The cat scratched him/her.”

minket (“us”)                     Minket karmolt meg a cica. 

                                           “The cat scratched us.”

titeket (“you”)                     Titeket karmolt meg a cica? 

                                           “Did the cat scratch you?”

őket (“them”)                     Őket karmolta meg a cica? 

                                           “Did the cat scratch them?”

Megkarmol means “to scratch,” with a target. Without a target, it’s just karmol. As a true cat-lover, we’re sure that you’ll love having this verb in your memory bank! 😉

4- Formal forms

Hungarian is a very polite language. Anyone who is significantly older than you, or is in a much higher hierarchical position than you are, should be addressed as:

Singular

ön (“you”)                     Ön hogy érzi magát ma reggel? 

                                      “How do you feel this morning?”

maga (“you”)                     Maga szereti a szőlőt? 

                                           “Do you like grapes?”

Plural

önök (“you”)                     Önök hogy érzik magukat ma reggel? 

                                          “How do you feel this morning?”

maguk (“you”)                     Maguk elolvasták a könyvet? 

                                            “Have you read the book?”

It’s recommended to use ön and önök in formal situations, as maga and maguk are more old-fashioned and considered a little bit rude depending on the situation.

5- Possessive form

Hungarians can be very possessive, and they don’t like to share their food (Japanese people, watch out!). But they love it when you share food with them… 

They like to make it very clear what belongs to whom, so trust us when we say that these few words might save your life once! The Hungarian possessive pronouns are:

enyém (“mine”)                    Ez a kolbász az enyém. 

                                             “This sausage is mine.”

tiéd (“yours”)                        Ez a kolbász a tiéd. 

                                              “This sausage is yours.”

övé (“his”) / (“hers”)             Ez a kolbász az övé. 

                                              “This sausage is his/hers.”

miénk (“ours”)                        Ez a kolbász a miénk. 

                                               “This sausage is ours.”

tiétek (“yours”)                       Ez a kolbász a tiétek. 

                                               “This sausage is yours.”

övék (“theirs”)                       Ez a kolbász az övék. 

                                              “This sausage is theirs.”

Kolbász is probably going to be one of the first words you’re going to learn when you spend some time in Hungary. It’s their traditional sausage made during the ritualistic family gathering where they slaughter the pigs.

For more restaurant- and food-related phrases, you can check out our relevant vocabulary list

6- Reflexive pronouns

When the action is reflected back to the subject, Hungarian reflexive pronouns should be in your possession. These might be some of the most important Hungarian pronouns!

magam (“myself”)                                          Megvágtam magam. 

                “I’ve cut myself.”

magad (“yourself”)                                        Megvágtad magad?                     

                           “Have you cut yourself?”

maga (“himself”) / (“herself”) / (“itself”)        Megvágta magát! 

                                 “He’s cut himself/herself!”

magunk (“ourselves”)                                     Vigyázni fogunk magunkra. 

                                         “We will take care of ourselves.”

magatok(“yourselves”)                                    Vigyázni fogtok magatokra? 

                                               “Will you take care of yourselves?”

maguk (“themselves”)                                       Vigyázni fognak magukra. 

                                                  “They will take care of themselves.”

Megvág is the word for “to cut,” with a target (like in the case of the cat’s scratching earlier in this article). Similarly, in the case of not having a target, it’s simply vág.

Hungarians can be very protective, so you might hear the expression Vigyázz magadra! a lot. It means “Take care of yourself!” and is often said when people are worried about their loved ones. The word vigyáz means “to look after” or “be careful,” so Vigyázz magadra! means something like “look after yourself” and “take care of yourself” at the same time.

Book - Heart

2. Hungarian Demonstrative Pronouns

When it comes to objects, it’s good to know how to refer to them based on whom the object is closer to. Let’s learn some Hungarian demonstrative pronouns to help you out with this!

ez (“this”)                                                      Ez meg mi? 

“What is this?”

az (“that”)                                                       Az micsoda? 

“What is this?”

ezek (“these”)                                                   Ezek lámpák? 

         “Are these lamps?”

azok (“those”)                                                   Azok körték? 

          “Are those pears?”

ilyen (“such”)                                                  Miért ilyen kevés tejet vettél? 

                                                          “Why did you buy such a small amount of milk?”

olyan (“that”)                                                   Olyan ruha volt rajta. 

                       “She wore a dress like that.”

ennyi (“so much”)                                            Ennyi vizet kell hozzáadni? 

                                          “Do you have to add so much water?”

annyi (“so many”)                                           Annyi virágot hoztak, hogy nem tudtuk hova tenni. 

                                                             “They brought so many flowers that we couldn’t figure out where to put them.”

For more home items, check out our vocabulary list!

3. Hungarian Interrogative Pronouns

Basic Questions

In order to ask about people or objects, you’re going to require some Hungarian interrogative pronouns as well, so let’s see the most useful ones! If you’re a crime or thriller series fan, you’ll love these Hungarian pronouns!

mi (“what”) – singular                                    Mi ez?

“What is this?”

mik (“what”) – plural                                      Mik azok? 

“What is this?”

melyik (“which”) – singular                            Melyik ajtón ment ki? 

“What is this?”

melyek (“which”) – plural                               Melyek a használt edények? 

                  “Which plates are used?”

ki (“who”) – singular                                        Ki tette ezt? 

                  “Which plates are used?”

kik (“who”) – plural                                           Kik tehettek ilyesmit? 

                                         “Who could have done such a thing?”

kit (“whom”)                                                     Kit kérdeztél meg? 

                “Whom did you ask?”

kié (“whose”)                                                   Kié ez a bögre? 

              “Whose mug is this?”

hol (“where”)                                                   Hol a családom? 

                  “Where is my family?”

mikor (“when”)                                                 Mikor találkozunk? 

                  “When do we meet?”

miért (“why”)                                                     Miért nem vagy itt? 

                           “Why aren’t you here?”

4. Hungarian Indefinite Pronouns

Improve Listening

Let’s talk numbers here! What should you say when there are more people or things involved? Or no one? Everyone? Don’t worry, we’re just getting started with the indefinite pronouns. Let’s begin! But be aware: The grammar of Hungarian pronouns just gets crazier from here.

mindenki (“everyone”) / (“everybody”)                               Mindenki szereti a cicákat. 

                                                         “Everyone likes cats.”

senki (“no one”) / (“nobody”)                                               Senki nem szereti a hörcsögöket.

                                                               “No one likes hamsters.”

bárki (“anyone”) / (“anybody”)                                              Bárki örökbe fogadhat egy kutyát. 

                                                                    “Anyone can adopt a dog.”

valaki (“someone”) / (“somebody”)                                        Valaki megetette a nyulamat. 

”                                                                            “Someone has fed my rabbit.”

minden (“everything”)                                                              Minden a te hibád! 

                                                                       “Everything is your fault!”

semmi (“nothing”)                                                                      Semmi nincs rendben! 

                                                                “Nothing is alright!”

bármi (“anything”)                                                                     Bármi jó lesz. 

                                                               “Anything will do.”

valami (“something”)                                                                  Valami baj van? 

                                                                         “Is something wrong?”

5. Hungarian Relative Pronouns

Red Apple

Hungarian interrogative pronouns change when they become relative. They extend with an a at the beginning. Let’s see some examples below of Hungarian relative pronouns:

ami (“what”)                                                   Ami nekem nem tetszik…

     “What I don’t like…”

amik (“what”) – plural                                     Utálom azokat az almákat, amik sárgák. 

                              “I hate the apples which are yellow.”

As you can see above, in English, we differentiate between the singular “what” and plural “which” forms. Hungarians make this difference by adding a -k after ami. They use ami in singular forms and amik in plural forms.

aki (“who”)                                        A lány, akit szerettem, elköltözött. 

“The girl I loved moved out.”

akik (“who”) – plural                       Viccesek, akik jó humorral rendelkeznek. 

                              “The ones who have a great sense of humor are funny.”

amelyik (“which”)                             Azt az almát kérem, amelyik piros. 

“I want the apple which is red.”

amelyek (“which”) – plural                Azokat a lovakat szeretem, amelyek feketék. 

   “I love the horses which are black.”

amilyen (“the kind of which”)                Olyan vagy, amilyen az apád volt. 

           “You are just like your father was.”

amekkora (“the size of which”)              Akkorát kérek, amekkora a Petinek van! 

          “I want the size of what Peti has.”

amennyi (“the cost [amount] of which”)                Annyim van, amennyi ez a kabát. 

                                                      “I have as much as the cost of this coat.”

ahányadik (“the sequence of which”)           Annyi éves vagyok, ahányadik a piros hajó a sorban. 

                                                            “I am as old as the red boat’s rank in the line.”

6. Conclusion: How HungarianPod101.com Helps You Master Hungarian

It’s essential to master Hungarian language pronouns to master this beautiful language. After going through our list and doing a bit of practice, we highly recommend that you check out our resources about introducing yourself in Hungarian and saying hello in Hungarian.

If you’re already interested in learning Hungarian pronouns, we take your interest seriously. We always welcome dedicated people, so if you’re interested in continuing your journey in one of the world’s most difficult languages, don’t hesitate to join the HungarianPod101 family! We have all the essential learning materials you need to get confident using the Hungarian language.

We hope that you enjoyed our Hungarian pronouns article. Please let us know in the comments which one seems to be the craziest of all! We’ll be glad to answer any questions you still have.

Happy Hungarian learning!

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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

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eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

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도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

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은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

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The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Hungarian Word Order

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If you’ve read our previous articles, you probably know everything about the very core of Hungarian: basic nouns, adverbs, and verbs. Moreover, you’re probably familiar with the spelling and pronunciation of words. If you somehow missed the articles covering these topics, head over to HungarianPod101.com as soon as possible.

Today, we’re going to introduce you to another crucial topic: Hungarian word order. It’s pretty clear why you need to learn about sentence structure in Hungarian (or any language, really). In some languages—Hungarian among them—the meaning of your sentence changes based on the order of the words. That’s why you need to know the Hungarian language word order and be very careful when forming sentences. 

In this article, you’ll get to know the most common word order in Hungarian, if there is such a thing at all, and you’ll also become familiarized with exceptions so that you’ll be prepared for anything. You’ll know where to put each word or phrase, even if there are five prepositional phrases in a single sentence!

Remember, if you don’t understand something at first, there’s no shame in reading the section—or even the whole article—again. If you still don’t seem to be caught up with the material and have a question about Hungarian word order, you’re not a lost case! Just reach out to us at HungarianPod101.com. Ready? Let’s jump into it. Or should I say: Ugorjunk is bele!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hungarian Table of Contents
  1. Overview of Word Order in Hungarian
  2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object
  3. Word Order with Modifiers
  4. How to Change Sentences into Yes-or-No Questions
  5. Translation Exercises
  6. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Full Potential

1. Overview of Word Order in Hungarian

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In Hungarian, basic word order in sentences usually follows the S-V-O pattern. However, there’s no set word order. The Hungarian sentence structure is based on the following three rules:

1 – Priority of the Word

The important words, the ones you want to emphasize, are at the beginning of a sentence. In speech, these words might be stressed as well.

For example:

A madarak a kalitkában ülnek. — The birds are sitting in the cage (and nowhere else).

A kalitkában madarak ülnek. — There are birds sitting in the cage (in general).

A madarak ülnek a kalitkában.— The birds are sitting (and not doing anything else, like standing) in the cage.

2 – Priority of Negation

Negating words are always at the beginning of a Hungarian sentence.

For example:

Nem fogom elmondani neked. (“I am not going to tell it to you.”)

Ne dobd el! (“Do not throw it away.”)

3 – Focus of the Sentence

The focus of the sentence is usually the word before the verb.

Let’s take a look at a few of the sentences from earlier in this context.

A madarak a kalitkában ülnek. — The birds are sitting in the cage and nowhere else.

Ne dobd el! — The focus here is the negating word, which is the most important word in this sentence.

Since there are no set rules for Hungarian word order, the Hungarian sentence structure is quite flexible.

There aren’t many distinguishable features between Hungarian and English in terms of sentence structure. As we said before, English uses the S-V-O order, too, and sometimes it puts the emphasized word at the beginning of a sentence as well.

For example:

“I told her the story.” AND “To her I told the story.” 

The latter means that the person told the story to “her” specifically. Here, the person the story was told to is more important than the fact that the story was told at all.

Elmeséltem neki a történetet. Elmeséltem is “I told,” neki is “her” (or “him”), and a történetet is “the story.”

AND

Neki elmeséltem a történetet. You can see that in this case, neki which is “her” (or “him”) is at the beginning of the sentence.

We’re going to delve into this more in the following section.

Two White Birds Sitting on a Branch

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object

In the section above, we mentioned that in Hungarian grammar, word order generally follows the S-V-O pattern.

Now, we’re going to go even deeper. First, we’ll discuss what each part of the S-V-O pattern means, and then put what we learned in this section into practice. Sounds good? Let’s jump into it then.

1 – What are the Subject, Object, and Verb?

A- Subject

The subject is one of the major parts of speech used to build a sentence. Subjects are especially of high importance in negative, interrogative, and declarative sentences. A subject is the “doer,” also known as the agent of the action that’s described in a given sentence. Thus, they’re usually noun phrases (such as a noun or a pronoun).

Examples:

  • “the father” = az apa
  • “she” = ő
  • “the Hungarian language” = a magyar nyelv

In Hungarian, the subject is often left out of the sentence and is implied by the verb’s suffix:

  • She wears skirts.”  

(Ő) szoknyákat hord.

As you can see, “she” is ő, and both are subjects. But in the Hungarian sentence, ő can be left out.

  • You speak a lot.” [more people] 

(Ti) sokat beszéltek.

  • We love cars.” 

(Mi) szeretjük az autókat.

B- Object

The object is the part of a sentence that’s being acted upon by the subject. In other words, an object is a noun or a noun phrase, just like a subject, that’s affected by the action of a verb.

  • “She wears skirts.”

Szoknyákat hord.

Skirts are being worn by her.

  • “We love cars.”

Szeretjük az autókat.

Cars are being loved by us.

  • “They eat bacon.”

Szalonnát esznek.

The bacon is being eaten by them.

C- Verb

The verb is the core of any sentence. It expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being that’s inflected for tense, voice, mood, aspect, and agreement with the subject. It generally has a full-descriptive meaning.

  • “She wears skirts.”

Szoknyákat hord.

Skirts are being worn by her.

  • “We love cars.”

Szeretjük az autókat.

Cars are being loved by us.

Szalonnát esznek.

The bacon is being eaten by them.

2 – The Basic Word Order 

S-V-O = Subject-Verb-Object

But this Hungarian word order can change depending on the focus of the sentence (i.e. what we want to emphasize).

Examples:

  • “Mom helps me.” 

Anya segít nekem. (S-V-O)

  • “Mom me helps.” 

Anya nekem segít. (S-O-V)

The latter one could mean that Mom helps me, but she doesn’t help others.

Example Sentences

  • “I like her.”

Kedvelem őt.

Exceptions example: 

When the object is emphasized, it can appear at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Her I like.” OR “I like her.” (And nobody else.)

Őt kedvelem

We hope that with the explanations and example sentences, you can better understand the Hungarian word order rules.

Now, try translating: “I understand Hungarian word order now.”

Students Sitting on the Grass in Front of a School and Studying

3 – Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

  • “When you came here.”

 Amikor idejöttél.

“When” is amikor, “here” is ide (it functions as a verbal prefix in this Hungarian sentence), and “you came” is jöttél. You’ll notice that “you” is not included in the sentence because, as mentioned above, the pronoun is indicated by the suffixes in jöttél.

  • “When did you come here?” 

Mikor jöttél ide?

In this case, “when” is mikor. The a got dropped from the front because the sentence is a question this time. You may also have noticed that the verbal prefix becomes a “suffix” in Hungarian questions; it separates from the word and is placed after it.

It’s also worth noting that in Hungarian, there’s no specific word order for questions. Questions are simply indicated by question marks, or in speech, by intonation. Your intonation rises at the end of a sentence if it’s a question.

  • “It is where you put it.”

Ott van, ahova tetted.

  • “Where did you travel last summer?”

Hova utaztál tavaly nyáron?

“Where” is hova (in a declarative sentence, it would be hol), “did you travel” is utaztál, and “last summer” is tavaly nyáron.

  • “And that is how you should do it.” 

És ez az, ahogyan csinálnod kellene.

  • “You offended him in what way?” 

Hogyan sértetted meg?

The prepositions mentioned above (where, when, how, etc.) usually go after the subject and before the verb. However, they normally get placed at the front if they’re part of a question.

What’s the order when there’s more than one prepositional phrase (e.g. Time + Place + Manner)? Let’s see some examples to help you understand.

  • “I study Hungarian every day at home with HungarianPod101.”

Minden nap tanulok otthon magyarul a HungarianPod101-nal.

The order of the phrases depends on where the emphasis is.

  • “I study Hungarian every day at home with HungarianPod101.”

A HungarianPod101-nal minden nap tanulok otthon magyarul.

  • “I study Hungarian every day at home with HungarianPod101.” 

Otthon minden nap tanulok magyarul a HungarianPod101-nal.

  • “I study Hungarian every day at home with HungarianPod101.” 

Minden nap magyarul tanulok otthon a HungarianPod101-nal.

Bottom line: Multiple phrases work like simple words when it comes to Hungarian word order. What we mean by this is that the more important the prepositional phrase, the closer it will be to the beginning of the sentence. It all comes down to importance.

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3. Word Order with Modifiers

First of all, it’s best if we clarify what a modifier is. A modifier is a word or a phrase that’s used with another word or phrase to limit or add to its meaning.

For example (modifiers are in bold):

  • priority mail = elsőbbségi levél
  • safety barrier = biztonsági korlát
  • doctor on duty = ügyeletes orvos

Modifiers are often adjectives, adverbs, and relative clauses (the coffee that I ordered).

1 – Adjectives

A- Absolute Adjectives

Attributive: The adjective comes before the noun/pronoun.

  • “The green apples are in the box.” (A zöld almák a dobozban vannak.)
  • “The disturbing images are off the screen.” (A felkavaró képek lekerültek a képernyőről.)
  • “The Hungarian dancers are very talented.” (A magyar táncosok nagyon tehetségesek.)

Predicative: The adjective comes after the noun/pronoun.

  • “Ravens are black.” (A hollók feketék.)
  • “Her sibling is smart and kind.” (A testvére okos és kedves.)
  • “This pie is very tasty.” (Ez a pite nagyon ízletes.)

B- Comparative Adjectives (comparing at least two nouns/pronouns)

  • “Peter is younger than Julie.” (Péter fiatalabb mint Júlia.)
  • “My ruler is shorter than yours.” (Az én vonalzóm rövidebb mint a tiéd.)
  • Rabbits are cuter than dogs.” (A nyulak aranyosabbak mint a kutyák.)

2 – Adverbs 

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. 

  • “She dances gracefully.” (Kecsesen táncol.)
  • “He swims quickly.” (Gyorsan úszik.)
  • “The dwarves went home singing.” (A törpék énekelve mentek haza.)
  • “The teacher replied, smiling.” (A tanár mosolyogva válaszolt.)

3 – Relative Clauses 

As indicated by its name, even in Hungarian, these are clauses and not simple words or short phrases.

  • “I drank the coffee that I ordered.” (Megittam a kávét, amit rendeltem.)
  • “I read the book (that) you lent me.” (Elolvastam a könyvet, amit kölcsönadtál.)

But what if there are more modifiers? Well, let’s see some examples, because we’re all about putting knowledge into practice.

  • “I happily drank the coffee that I ordered.” (Boldogan ittam meg a kávét, amit rendeltem.)

Here, you can see that “happily” (boldogan) modifies “drank.” For this reason, in Hungarian, boldogan comes before ittam because ittam is what it modifies. Likewise, “that I ordered” can only come after kávét because “coffee” is being modified.

  • “Peter’s shoes are newer than Julie’s black scarf.” (Péter cipője újabb mint Júlia fekete sálja.)

Can you follow the same line of thought here? Try to explain why the order looks like this in Hungarian.

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4. How to Change Sentences into Yes-or-No Questions

Do you want to know how to change a sentence into a question, perhaps by changing the word order and/or adding particles in Hungarian? We’ve got your back! It’s very easy, because, as mentioned in the earlier sections, questions are mostly indicated by either a question mark (in writing) or intonation (in speech).

  • “You study every day.” (Minden nap tanulsz.)
  • “Do you study every day?” (Minden nap tanulsz?)

In speech, you would raise your intonation at tanulsz.

  • “You drank a lot.” (Sokat ittál.)
  • “Did you drink a lot?” (Sokat ittál?)
  • “You told her you love her.” (Megmondtad neki, hogy szereted.)
  • “Did you tell her you love her?” (Megmondtad neki, hogy szereted?)
  • “Did you tell her you love her?” (Neki mondtad meg, hogy szereted?)
  • “She was here a second ago.” (Egy perce még itt volt.)
  • “Was she here a second ago?” (Egy perce még itt volt?)
  • “Was she here a second ago?” (Itt volt még egy perce?)

Does word order change in your language, too, based on emphasis?

5. Translation Exercises

In this section, we would like to show you how to build up long sentences in Hungarian, step-by-step. 

Try translating the following English sentences into Hungarian:

Step 1. A simple S-V-O sentence in English

“You drank tea.”

Step 2. Adding prepositional phrases

“You drank tea five minutes ago.”

“Five minutes ago” is öt perccel ezelőtt or öt perce.

Step 3. Adding modifiers to the sentence

“You drank cold tea five minutes ago.”

Step 4. Transforming the sentence into a yes-or-no question

“Did you drink cold tea five minutes ago?”

Answers:

  • “You drank tea.” (Teát ittál.)
  • “You drank tea five minutes ago.” (Öt perce ittál teát.)
  • “You drank cold tea five minutes ago.” (Öt perce ittál hideg teát.)
  • “Did you drink cold tea five minutes ago?” (Hideg teát ittál öt perce?)

Don’t forget that the word order is flexible, depending on what you want to emphasize.

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6. Conclusion: HungarianPod101.com Helps You Reach Your Full Potential

Now that you’re through with this article… What do you think of the Hungarian sentence patterns? Are they easy? Was the article understandable? 

Don’t forget that practice makes perfect. In the last section, we showed you an example of a possible exercise you could do to test your knowledge, but there are many more you could try out. Just join the HungarianPod101 family, and we’ll be there to help you with everything!

So, let’s see what you’ve learned today about the structure and word order of a Hungarian sentence. First, we explained what the most common word order in Hungarian is: S-V-O, just like in English. Easy peasy.

Then, we checked out examples of multiple kinds of prepositional phrases and where they go in a sentence. Also, we examined where they usually are if there are multiple phrases in the sentence.

Next, we revealed to you what modifiers are and where their usual place is in a typical Hungarian sentence. Later, you learned how easy it is to make a question in Hungarian with just intonation and a single question mark. Don’t forget, Hungarian does not use the same method as English (i.e. it does not use auxiliary verbs to form questions).

Last but not least, we brought you some translation examples to put what you’ve learned into practice because application is the best way to remember something. 

We hope you enjoyed this little lesson with us. If you would like to read more articles, go to our blog. But if you would like to learn more actively, subscribe and become a part of our family. You’ll get access to videos, podcasts, flashcards, and much more.

P.S. Do not forget to practice!

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