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Lesson Transcript

Simone:Hi everyone and welcome to HungarianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner Hungarian season 2, lesson 15, A Thorny Hungarian Grammar Question. I’m Simone.
Csaba:And I’m Csaba.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to explain a bit more about definite conjugation.
Csaba:Yes, and the conversation takes place in a classroom.
Simone:And is between Anne and a student.
Csaba:They use the informal language. Language instructors often choose to use the informal language with the students. There is so much interaction in a language class that it seems easier to use that.
Simone:Ok, let’s listen to the conversation.
Simone:Csaba, I was thinking: maybe you should talk about student life in Hungary.
Csaba:Well, what do you want to know? It isn’t easy, contrary to what a lot of people think. Starting from high school, students are flooded with information.
Simone:That explains all the brilliance in geography and other sciences that kids show!
Csaba:Right. I think it is safe to say than on average we are required to learn more information than many Western European countries.
Csaba:I’d say that we get way too little practice on writing skills, building paragraphs and putting down arguments on paper. This comes in university, which is way too late.
Simone:Well, you can’t have everything I suppose. Let’s go to vocabulary.
Simone:All right, what is the first one we’ll talk about?
Csaba:The first word we learn is pedig.
Simone:“Even though, but.”
Csaba:Right. In this lesson we hear: Pedig mindig elolvasom a könyvben.
Simone:“But I always check it in the book.”
Csaba:The first half of this phrase is in the context. “I don’t understand the grammar, even though I always check the textbooks.”
Simone:Pedig gives emphasis to this second half. Can you give us another example?
Csaba:Pedig én akkor is megyek.
Simone:“I’ll go anyway.”
Csaba:Pedig én akkor is megyek. Means “I’ll go anyway” and implicitly: “but you suggested otherwise,” or “the weather is bad” or something else that would prompt me not to go.
Simone:I see. Let’s move on.
Csaba:The next one is shorter. Nincs mit.
Simone:“Not at all,” or “no problem.”
Csaba:This is used as an answer to “thank you.”
Simone:Repeat again.
Csaba:Nincs mit.
Simone:Ok, let’s move on.
Csaba:We had two verbs that should be familiar, but this time with a prefix. Elolvas.
Csaba:We have already taught you olvas, or “read.”
Simone:What’s different now with the prefix el-?
Csaba:Elolvas, compared to olvas, means “read thoroughly, finish reading something.”
Simone:How do you say “I have read your email?”
Csaba:Elolvastam az emailedet.
Simone:Again, please.
Csaba:Elolvastam az emailedet.
Simone:And elmagyaráz was something similar, right?
Csaba:Right. Elmagyaráz is “explain.” But the focus is on the result and the effort. When I’m done explaining, you will have understood.
Simone:An example, please.
Csaba:Elmagyarázom a nyelvtant.
Simone:“I’ll explain grammar.”
Csaba: Elmagyarázom a nyelvtant.
Simone:“I’ll explain grammar.”
Csaba:All right. Let’s do that, actually.
Simone:In this lesson we’re going to learn to conjugate verbs that end in -s, -sz, -z. All in definite, of course.
Csaba:Right. You should remember that we had three main types of verbs back when we learned indefinite conjugation. Regular, -ik and -s, -sz, -z verbs.
Simone:I remember.
Csaba:I’m proud of you. Then you also remember that the conjugation was different for all of those. Not completely, but there were differences.
Simone:I’m with you.
Csaba:The good news here is that -ik verbs conjugate just like regular ones when they are definite.
Simone:That is one less table you have to worry about!
Csaba:But it still leaves us with -s, -sz, -z verbs and we’re going to cover just those.
Simone:Good. How shall we do this?
Csaba:Well, I am thinking that we start with me telling you an example, and then we analyze.
Simone:Ok, shoot.
Csaba:In this lesson we had elolvas.
Csaba:I’ll go with the full conjugation now. Elolvasom.
Simone:“I read.”
Simone:“You read.”
Simone:“He/she reads.”
Simone:“We read.”
Simone:“You read.” Plural.
Simone:“They read.”
Csaba:All right. As usual, we strongly recommend that you consult the lesson notes for the conjugation table. But, as a rule, I can say that wherever we had a -j sound in the ending with regular verbs, that -j will assimilate and become an -s, -sz or -z.
Simone:So if the ending had a -j sound, that sound will become a -s, like in the case of elolvas.
Csaba:Elolvas ends in -s, so the ending will assimilate with that.
Simone:See, every time I feel like there is nothing left for Hungarian to throw at me, it seems that I’m wrong!
Csaba:You’re sending out the wrong message (laughs). This is all a lot less complicated than it sounds.
Simone:All right. Let’s hear an example.
Csaba:Let’s use the other word now. Elmagyaráz.
Csaba:A tanár elmagyarázza a problémát” x 2
Simone:“The teacher explains the problem.”
Csaba:Instead of saying elmagyarázja, the ending assimilates and becomes elmagyarázza.
Simone:I get it. You just check the table for all the -js and change them.
Csaba:There you go.
Simone:How much of the verb conjugation is left?
Csaba:We’re really knee-deep into it and there is just an amount left.
Simone:That’s the most non-committal sentence I’ve ever heard.
Csaba:(laughs) Listeners, don’t be disheartened. There are extra exercises in the lesson notes and we’ll continue with more next time. But not with verbs, I promise.


Simone:Good. Until then, see you!


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HungarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What do you think about the  Hungarian "nyelvtan" (grammar)? Is it "nehéz " (difficult) for you?

HungarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:02 AM
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Szia Oli,

"el" prefix can be used with many verbs,

for example:

eltenni, elrakni - to put away

elhagyni - to leave someone

but the examples you mentioned are used with "meg" prefix:

megírni - to finish (complete) writing

megtanulni - to learn something

megfőzni - to cook

Thanks for your comment!


Team HungarianPod101.com

Thursday at 09:14 PM
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The explanation of the 'el' prefix was very useful, I was wondering which other verbs it can be used for? So far I've learnt elolvasni, elmondani, elmagyarázni. Can it also be used in for example elírni (to finish writing), eltanulni (to learn thoroughly) or even something like elfőzni - csirke kell elfőznie (something like 'chicken must be cooked thoroughly')?