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Lesson Transcript

Simone: Hi everyone, I'm Simone and this is Absolute Beginner, season 1, lesson 13: An Innocent Little Hungarian Question.
Gergo: And this is Gergo.
Simone: In this lesson, you are going to learn how to use the verb “to have, to be” and ask questions like “do you have a ...?”
Gergo: Right. Without further ado, here is the dialogue.

Lesson conversation

Balázs: Ööö, Anne.
Anne: Tessék.
Balázs: Van barátod?
Anne: (smiling) Nincs barátom. Neked van barátnőd?
Balázs: Nincs.
Anne: Miért kérdezed?
Balázs: Csak úgy.
English Host: Let's listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Balázs: Ööö, Anne.
Anne: Tessék.
Balázs: Van barátod?
Anne: (smiling) Nincs barátom. Neked van barátnőd?
Balázs: Nincs.
Anne: Miért kérdezed?
Balázs: Csak úgy.
With Translation
Balázs: Ööö, Anne.
Balázs: “Er... Anne!”
Anne: Tessék.
Anne: “Yes?”
Balázs: Van barátod?
Balázs: “Do you have a boyfriend?”
Anne: (smiling) Nincs barátom. Neked van barátnőd?
Anne: “I don’t have a boyfriend. Do you have a girlfriend?”
Balázs: Nincs.
Balázs: “No, I don’t.”
Anne: Miért kérdezed?
Anne: “Why are you asking?”
Balázs: Csak úgy.
Balázs: “No reason.”
Simone: A bit of romance developing in Hungary? I wonder where it will go...
Gergo: Let’s hope it goes all the way to marriage, because that would mean we have season 23 on the way. And it would help the economy too.
Simone: Right, I remember the state encouraging people to have more children in Hungary.
Gergo: It is a thing they’re doing. There are just way too many pensioners at the moment, and young people are less and less willing to get married or have three kids nowadays.
Simone: That is following the western trend very closely.
Gergo: Unfortunately. There are fewer and fewer Hungarians every year.
Simone: I’ve just heard that the number is now below 10 million.
Gergo: Hmm. We’re totally communicating the wrong message here. Let’s go to vocab.
Gergo: tessék
Simone: “please”
Gergo: tessék
Gergo: tessék
Gergo: barát
Simone: “friend/boyfriend”
Gergo: barát
Gergo: barát
Gergo: barátnő
Simone: “girlfriend”
Gergo: barátnő
Gergo: barátnő
Gergo: miért
Simone: “why”
Gergo: miért
Gergo: miért
Gergo: kérdez
Simone: “ask”
Gergo: kérdez
Gergo: kérdez
Gergo: Csak úgy.
Simone: “No reason.”
Gergo: Csak úgy.
Gergo: Csak úgy.
Simone: All right, this is it once again, the vocab section. The first word we had was?
Gergo: Please repeat: Tessék. With this intonation, it means “yes, it’s your turn to speak.”
Simone: This word has so many meanings...
Gergo: Yes. For example, if you just mumble something to me, I can say...
Simone: (mumbles)
Gergo: Tessék? This time it means “excuse me?” or “come again?”
Simone: Much more interesting is the question of boyfriends and girlfriends.
Gergo: In this lesson, there are quite a lot of those. We’ve heard, please repeat: barátod...
Simone: “Your boyfriend.”
Gergo: And barátom.
Simone: “My boyfriend.”
Gergo: These words can either mean boyfriend or just friend, depending on the context. Obviously, when Balázs is asking Anne, he probably doesn’t mean “do you have any friends.”
Simone: Probably not.
Gergo: We also heard barátnőd, which means “ your girlfriend.” Most of the time, from guys, it means romantic involvement, but girls can also just use this to refer to any female friends.
Simone: Now that we’ve cleared that up, what’s next?
Gergo: This is very useful, please repeat: Csak úgy.
Simone: Its meaning is as close to nothing as possible.
Gergo: Yes. If you want to avoid any kind of question that starts with “why” you can just use this to deflect. It means something like “no reason,” “just because”. Let’s try it!
Simone: Yes, Anne is saying: Miért kérdezed? “Why are you asking?”
Gergo: Csak úgy!
Simone: Very helpful.
Gergo: Well, Balázs may not be very good at flirting. But enough of all this, let’s go to grammar.
Simone: OK.

Lesson focus

Simone: In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to ask and answer the question “ do you have a … ?” Gergo, can you repeat the key question for this section?
Gergo: Please repeat: Van barátod? Van is the third person singular form of “to be.” “Is” essentially. Barátod means “your friend.”
Simone: This sounds simple enough.
Gergo: Yes, the trick is to find the right suffix and attach it to the noun.
Simone: It is always about these suffixes.
Gergo: Well, you chose Hungarian. Fear not, we’ll give you some ready-made examples. What’s the first one, Simone?
Simone: “Do you have any siblings?”
Gergo: Repeat: Van testvéred?
Simone: Now try this “Do you have a car?”
Gergo: Van autód?
Simone: Now, what’s the simplest way to answer. "Yes, I do."
Gergo: Just repeat: Van.
Simone: And if you don’t have that thing?
Gergo: You have to say nincs.
Simone: Yes, I remember talking about this word in the previous lesson. Now, how would you say a full sentence like “We have a table.”
Gergo: Please repeat: Van asztalunk. Not really different, as far as the word order goes.
Simone: “I have a boyfriend.”
Gergo: Good for you. But in Hungarian, and now pay close attention to avoid bar fights: Van barátom.
Simone: Balázs will be happy to know that Anne doesn’t have one, though.
Gergo: Now, when Anne is throwing the question back, saying “do you have a girlfriend?” she says Neked van barátnőd?
Simone: What’s the extra word?
Gergo: Neked gives extra emphasis to “you” in the sentence. “Do you have a girlfriend?” It carries the meaning of “how about you?”
Simone: Which means, it would be weird to start a conversation like that.
Gergo: It isn’t impossible, but most of the time it is only in the follow-up question.
Simone: How would you say: “Do you have a dog?”
Gergo: Please repeat: Neked van kutyád?
Simone: Good enough. Are you tired yet?
Gergo: Are you trying to finish the lesson? Because I can just lie and say that I am.
Simone: (smiling) Haha. All right, see you guys next time!
Gergo: Sziasztok!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Van barátod? Neked van barátnőd?


HungarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 10:32 PM
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Hi Jessica!

Answering your questions:

Formal questions:

- Van barátja?

- Van testvére?

- Van egy kis ideje?

- Van autója?

"itthon" is used when you are at home. e.g: I'm having lunch at home now.

"otthon" is used when you talk about your home, you're somewhere else. e.g: I left my keys at home.


Team HungarianPod101.com

Friday at 10:24 PM
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Van otthon valaki? "Is there anyone at home?"

what is the different between otthon and itthon?

Friday at 05:42 PM
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can you give more example for formal way to say below sentance

informal formal

Do you have a boyfriend? Van barátod?

Do you have any siblings? Van testvéred? Van testvére?

Do you have a moment? Van egy kis időd?

Do you have a car?" Van autód?

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 04:27 AM
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Szia Fabio!

"Why not?" magyarul így hangzik: "Miért nem?"

Thanks for your comment.


Team HungarianPod101.com

Wednesday at 01:36 AM
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Hogy van magyarul hogy "Why not"?

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:29 AM
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Hi Marlute,

You can say:

Tegnap a városodban voltam!

If you have other questions, please send a comment!


Team HungarianPod101.com

Monday at 03:50 AM
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How do I say: I was in your town yesterday?

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 12:34 AM
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Hi Oscar!

Van (3rd person form of lenni, or "to be") or "to be" is used in many different ways.

1. "to be"

Orvos vagyok - "I am a doctor."

Iskolában vagy? - "Are you at school?"

Ő fáradt. - "He is tired."

From the third example you can see, that in third person singular we don't say the verb "to be."

However, consider these:

2. "have" and "there is"

Van otthon valaki? "Is there anyone at home?" (literally: "is home anyone?")

Van barátom. "I have a boyfriend."

Van barátod? "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Van barátja. "He/she has a boyfriend."

In these sentences the verb "van" is in third person and it does not mean "to be" but something like "have" and "there is."

Did I answer your question? :)


Team HungarianPod101.com

Oscar Hermawan
Monday at 07:38 PM
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How to say or ask he/she has?

As I learn this lesson, "van" is used for both 1st and 2nd person singular, but not with 3rd person.


HungarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:38 PM
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Hi ssherno,

Thank you for your comment! It's great to have you here!