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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!

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