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Lesson Transcript

Simone:Hi everyone, welcome back to HungarianPod101.com This is Lower Beginner, season 1, lesson 14, Do You Know That Hungarian Person? I’m Simone.
Csaba:And I’m Csaba.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to cover a bit more about definite conjugation. In a way, this is a continuation of our last lesson.
Csaba:That’s right, and the dialogue takes place on the street.
Simone:As usual, it’s between Anne and Balázs.
Csaba:They use the informal language.
Simone:Let’s listen to the conversation.
Simone:This is the dialogue for this lesson and I have a feeling you’ll have a lot of grammar to explain.
Csaba:I will, but only after noticing how much confidence the students have in Anne. Always talking to her in Hungarian.
Simone:Don’t you think it might just be their bad English?
Csaba:Well, if not “bad” than maybe inexperienced? Most of the post-’89 educated students will speak some English. But it is true that not many had chances to try their language abilities on actual foreigners.
Simone:I see, and what about the older generation?
Csaba:Well, very few of the elderly speak any English. Middle-aged people also had to spend long hours studying Russian and German instead. These two were preferred to English in Hungary for a long time.
Simone:So, your best bet if you want to speak English is young people.
Csaba:Why would you do that? We gave you enough Hungarian already...
Simone:(laughs) All right, that’s our message for the day: Use your Hungarian. Let’s go to the vocab.
Simone:What is the first expression we have to learn?
Csaba:Srác is the first word we have. It means “guy, dude.”
Simone:Give us a sentence with that. How do you say: “Hi guys!”
Csaba:Sziasztok srácok.
Simone:“Hi guys!”
Csaba:Sziasztok srácok. Remember however that this excludes women. For girls, you can say csaj.
Simone:“Girl, chick.” How do you say “hi girls” then?
Csaba:Sziasztok csajok.
Simone:“Hi girls!”
Csaba:Sziasztok csajok.
Simone:What’s next?
Csaba:You can say halihó when you want to draw attention to yourself.
Simone:Say it like you were entering the room and you wanted me to pay attention to me.
Simone:This sounds somewhat cutesy.
Csaba:And it is. If you are going into the immigration office, you probably don’t want to be this cute.
Simone:Ok, so what do I say there?
Csaba:Just “good afternoon” or Jó napot will do.
Simone:I’ll remember that. What else do you want to mention?
Csaba:One last word today. Anne uses the word suli.
Csaba:Suli. This actually is an informal way of calling your school. Suli.
Simone:What is the normal word for “school?”
Csaba:Iskola. 2X
Simone:But you don’t use it?
Csaba:Well, unless you are in a very formal situation, you’d probably say suli instead.
Simone:All righty. One sentence with this please.
Csaba:A suli bezárt.
Simone:“School’s out.”
Csaba:A suli bezárt.
Simone:Thanks. Now let’s go to the grammar.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to start working on the definite present tense conjugation of verbs.
Csaba:Right. Do you remember from our first few lessons of this season that Hungarian has definite and indefinite conjugation?
Simone:Of course. We learned indefinite conjugation before. This is used when the object following the verb is indefinite. Just like in “I see a dog.”
Csaba:Yes. Now we’re going to learn the definite conjugation. When you say something like...
Simone:...“I see the dog.”
Simone:So how do we do this?
Csaba:I’ll pick a verb from this lesson. Lát.
Csaba:Now, you say the person, I say the Hungarian.
Simone:“I see.”
Csaba:Látom. 2X
Simone:“You see.”
Csaba:Látod. 2X
Simone:“He/she sees.”
Csaba:Látja. 2X
Simone:“We see.”
Csaba:Látjuk. 2X
Simone:“You see.” Plural.
Csaba:Látjátok. 2X
Simone:“They see.”
Csaba:Látják. 2X
Simone:As usual, you can read the full conjugation table with all the vowel variants in the lesson notes.
Csaba:And we strongly suggest you get into those!
Simone:That’s right. Let’s hear a couple of examples now. “I see the guy.”
Csaba:Látom a srácot.
Simone:“I see the guy.”
Csaba:Látom a srácot.
Simone:How do you say: “Do you know Peter?”
Csaba:Ismered Pétert? Here, the base word is ismer or “know/is familiar with.”
Simone:Repeat again, please:
Csaba:Ismered Pétert?
Simone:Let’s answer now. “I don’t know Peter.”
Csaba:Nem ismerem Pétert.
Csaba:Nem ismerem Pétert.
Simone:All right. So basically we go back to the tables and try our luck with verbs from the dictionary.
Csaba:Exactly. You have a good chance of producing grammatically correct conjugated verbs, unless you pick -ik verbs or verbs ending in -s, -sz, -z.
Simone:And we’ll cover those later. Anything else?
Csaba:Right. There is a strange anomaly in verb conjugation. That is, if the subject is “I” and the object is “you,” both singular and plural, then the ending changes.
Simone:So in sentences like “I see you.”
Simone:The ending is -lak.
Csaba:Or -lek.
Simone:Wait a minute. So “I love you” will be something similar.
Csaba:And I’m guessing some of our listeners know that already. Szeretlek.
Simone:Say that again.
Simone:Since the ending itself contains the meaning “I you,” you don’t need anything else into the sentence.
Csaba:This is true in all cases.
Simone:Well, I think that is enough for now.
Csaba:I agree. Go look at the conjugation table and refresh your knowledge of vowel harmony as well. That is essential for doing all of this.


Simone:Until next time, see you!


Please to leave a comment.
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HungarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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When you were little, did you like going to "suli" (school)?

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:27 PM
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Kedves Gian Piero,

You are completely right!

Sometimes we don't say out loud the object, however, we understand that he/she was talking about "that".

It is not natural to precise the object each time, when it can be understood through the context.

If you have any doubts or questions, please don't hesitate!

Sok sikert!?


Team HungarianPod101.com

Gian Piero Savio
Thursday at 06:41 PM
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Szia Dorottya, thanks!

OK, no problem when a definite object appears explicitely in the frase like in your examples:

Látom a vonatot. ( I see the train)

Látjátok azt a felhőt ? (Do you see this cloud ?)

where we must use the definite conjugation!

But In the dialog we have:

Nem látod?

Ismerem a suliból,...

Megkérdezem kit keres.


Nem tudom!

without the object (őt-him)!

So, I was right: we use the definite conjugation also when clearly there is only an IMPLICIT definite object!


Gian Piero

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:52 PM
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Szia Gian Piero,

Thank you for the comment and the interesting question !:sunglasses:

To answer your question, the verb lát is conjugated in the following way in indefinite







The meaning is that they see (something) or that in general they have no problem with their eyes.

Ex. Én jól látok. ( I can see well- I have no problems with my eyes.)

Látok valamit. ( I see something. But I don’t know what.)

If you use lát in a definite conjugation,







It means that they actually see THAT thing.

Ex. Látom a vonatot. ( I see the train)

Látjátok azt a felhőt ? (Do you see this cloud ?)

The same logic is true for megkérdezem (őt-him) and keresel (engem-me).

Does this answer your question ?

If you need more precision, please do not hesitate to send us a comment !

Good luck,


Team HungarianPod101.com

Gian Piero Savio
Monday at 01:13 PM
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Szia Csaba! About Lower Beginner Season 1 Lesson 14:

Why "Nem látod?" instead of "Nem látok?" ? it is indefinite!

The same with "Ismerem...", "Megkérdezem...", "Keresel..." why definite if there is no object ?

Or is it enough that there is an IMPLICIT object ?


Gian Piero

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 02:33 AM
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Hi Raph!

No problem!

Hajrá! :)


Team HungarianPod101.com

Saturday at 03:14 AM
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Thanks for clarifying ! And thanks for pointing out my mistake - I'll review my notes on the definite/indefinite, I must have gotten something wrong

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 07:59 PM
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Hi Raph,

An excellent observation. You are right in every assumption and the translations as well. It just so happens to be that Hungarian people use the definite form when the finish the sentence "I like xyz."

"I like the wine" is what we say when we mean "I like wine."

Nonetheless the question means you're on the right track and have a good understanding of the idea. :)

This part however is not true: "I understand that definite/indefinite 1st person present are actually the same (-om, -em, -öm), so that doesn’t change much, but I’d like to make sure I get this correctly."

Consider this:

Szeretek egy lányt.

"I love a girl."

Öntök egy teát.

"I pour a tea."

Adok egy sört.

"I give you a beer."

(You can safely translate the second and third examples to "I'll pour..., I'll give...")

The indefinite conjugation is -ok, -ek, -ök. :)

Keep up the good work,



Team HungarianPod101.com

Thursday at 09:58 PM
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Hi !

quick question about the lesson notes ; on page 6 example 4, the following sentence is given as example of definite present conjugation :

"Szeretem a bort"

I believe this translates to "I like/love wine" ; so isn't that actually an indefinite, i.e. "I like wine in general" ? As opposed to "I love this wine" i.e. "this one in that bottle", for an actual definite case ?

I understand that definite/indefinite 1st person present are actually the same (-om, -em, -öm), so that doesn't change much, but I'd like to make sure I get this correctly.

thanks !

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 09:46 PM
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Hi Lisa,

Good job. "Me neither" - én sem.


Team HungarianPod101.com

Tuesday at 02:08 AM
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not usually, only sometimes.

(Google translate) = "általában nem , csak néha."