of 22 /22
Hungarian noun phrase 1 Hungarian noun phrase Hungarian language Closeup of a Hungarian keyboard Alphabet ő ű cs dz dzs gy ly ny sz ty zs Grammar Noun phrases Verbs T-V distinction History Sound correspondences with other Uralic languages Other features Phonetics and phonology Vowel harmony Orthography Old Hungarian script Hungarian Braille Hungarian names Hungarian and English Hungarian pronunciation of English English words from Hungarian Regulatory body v t e [1] This page is about noun phrases in Hungarian grammar.

Hungarian Noun Phrase

Embed Size (px)


Hungarian Noun Phrase

Text of Hungarian Noun Phrase

Page 1: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 1

Hungarian noun phrase

Hungarian language

Closeup of a Hungarian keyboard


•• ő ű•• cs•• dz•• dzs•• gy•• ly•• ny•• sz•• ty•• zs


•• Noun phrases•• Verbs•• T-V distinction


• Sound correspondences withother Uralic languages

Other features

•• Phonetics and phonology•• Vowel harmony•• Orthography

•• Old Hungarian script•• Hungarian Braille

•• Hungarian names

Hungarian and English

•• Hungarian pronunciation of English•• English words from Hungarian

•• Regulatory body

•• v•• t• e [1]

This page is about noun phrases in Hungarian grammar.

Page 2: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 2

SyntaxThe order of elements in the noun phrase is always determiner, adjective, noun.

Grammatical markingWith a few important exceptions, Hungarian does not have grammatical gender or a grammatical distinction betweenanimate and inanimate.

PluralityHungarian nouns are marked for number: singular or plural.However, Hungarian uses the plural form sparsely for nouns, i.e. only if quantity is not otherwise marked. Thereforethe plural is not used with numerals or quantity expressions. Examples: öt fiú ("five boys"); sok fiú ("many boys");fiúk ("boys").In phrases that refer to existence/availability of entities, rather than their quantity, the singular is used in Hungarian(unlike in English): Van szék a szobában "There are chairs in the room", Nincs szék a szobában "There aren't chairsin the room". (The singular may be considered as partitive here.) Also, product names are usually written out in thesingular, e.g. Lámpa "Lamps".Hungarian also uses a singular noun when the possessor is plural but the thing possessed is singular, e.g. a fejünk("our heads", where each person has one head).The plural noun marker is the suffix -ok/(-ak)/-ek/-ök/-k.Before possessive suffixes, the plural k appears as ai or ei, e.g.:• (lakás vs) lakások ("flats/apartments")• (lakásom vs) lakásaim ("my flats/apartments")When used predicatively, adjectives are also marked for number (see adjective marking). The suffix is -ak/-ek/-k.

Pairs of body parts

Hungarian uses paired body parts in the singular, even if the pair is meant together, and even if several people's pairsof body parts are meant. One piece of a pair is described as: "egyik lába" ("one of his legs"). As can be seen, pairs ofbody parts are considered as one in Hungarian.

láb – leg Singular possessor Plural possessor

Singular possession lábalit. "his/her leg"in fact: his/her legs

lábuklit. "their leg"in fact: their legs

Plural possession lábaihis/her legs

lábaiktheir legs

Note the number of the noun in the following examples:

Tánc közbenösszegabalyodott a lába.(lit. "his/her leg")

His/her legs got tangled up during the dance (with his/her own ones).

Tánc közbenösszegabalyodott a lábuk.(lit. "their leg")

Their legs got tangled up during the dance.

1. People's own legs got tangled up – or –2. People's legs got mutually tangled up with each other's, affecting at most one leg per person – or –3.3. People's both legs got tangled up whether with their own, their partner's or other people's legs. In other words,

there remained probably no leg without having gotten tangled up.

Page 3: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 3

Note: if one wants to emphasize the third case (the involvement of people's both legs and their multiple relations),the actual plural number (Tánc közben összegabalyodtak a lábaik, lit. "their legs") might also be used, but the above(singular) option can fully suffice in this case, as well.

Apparent plural endings and homonymy

The letter k also occurs at the end of certain words which thus may appear plural. Examples include emlék ("a [pieceof] memory"), farok ("tail"), köldök ("navel"), könyök ("elbow"), sarok ("corner"/"heel"), pocok ("vole"), püspök("bishop"), érsek ("archbishop"), szemöldök ("eyebrow"), zsák ("sack") etc. – The name of the mole used to bevakondok but this form took on a plural meaning and the word is mostly used today as vakond.Homonymy may occur between a word in the singular and another in the plural. Examples:

Homonymous word Meaning as a singular form Meaning and parsing as a plural form

farok "tail" "bottoms", "buttocks"far + ‑ok

(not usually used in the plural)

pacák "bloke", "chap" "blots", "blotches"paca + ‑k

(cf. a/e/o/ö lengthening before suffixes)

telek "lot" (real estate) "winters"tél + ‑ek

(cf. vowel-shortening)


Forms for "you"Beside te (plural ti), which are used informally, there are polite forms for the second person pronouns: ön (pluralönök) and maga (plural maguk). Ön is official and distancing, maga is personal and even intimate and some peoplethink it has rude connotations. (There are some older forms for you, like kend, which is still used in rural areas.) Seein more detail: T-V distinction for Hungarian.The polite 2nd person forms ön and maga take the grammatical forms of the 3rd person, e.g. for verbs and possessivesuffixes. For example te kérsz (second person, informal), but ön kér or maga kér (second person, formal), just like őkér (third person).

Impersonal usageHungarian does not have a distinct impersonal or generic pronoun (cf. English "one"), but there are two ways ofexpressing this:• The 3rd person plural (cf. English "they"), for example Azt mondják, hogy a lány bolond. ("They say the girl is

crazy.")• The phrase az ember (lit. "the human"), for example Az ember nem is gondolna rá. ("You'd never think of it.")

Page 4: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 4


ArticlesHungarian has definite and indefinite articles. The definite article, a, changes to az before a vowel. The indefinitearticle is egy, an unstressed version of the word for the number "one". Articles are invariable (i.e. not marked fornumber, case, etc.)

Demonstrative determinersThe demonstrative determiners (often inaccurately called demonstrative adjectives in English) are ez a/ez az ("this")and az a/az az ("that").

NumeralsHungarian numbers follow an extremely regular, decimal format. There are distinct words for 1 to 9, 10, 20, 30, 100,1000 and 1000000. The tens from 40 to 90 are formed by adding -van/-ven to the digit. When the numbers 10 and 20are followed by a digit, they are suffixed with -on/-en/-ön/-n (on the oblique stem). Compound numbers are formedsimply by joining the elements together. Examples:• öt ("five")• tíz ("ten")• tizenöt ("fifteen")• ötvenöt ("fifty-five")• százötvenöt ("one hundred and fifty-five")As in English, a number can function as a determiner or as a stand-alone noun. As a noun it can take all the usualsuffixes.Suffixes used only on numerals and hány ("how many?"):• -odik/(-adik)/-edik/-ödik for ordinal numbers, e.g. ötödik ("the fifth")• -od/(-ad)/-ed/-öd for fractional numbers, e.g. ötöd ("a fifth")• -os/(-as)/-es/-ös for adjectival numbers (numeric adjectives), e.g. ötös

The numeric adjectives do not have an exact equivalent in English. They are used when English uses a constructionsuch as "bus number 11": a tizenegyes busz, "room 303": a háromszázhármas szoba.

Quantity expressionsSuffixes used specifically with numerals, hány ("how many?") and other quantity expressions:• -szor/-szer/-ször for how many times, e.g. ötször ("five times"), sokszor ("many times")• -féle and -fajta for "kind(s) of", e.g. ötfajta ("five kinds of")• -an/-en/-n for numeric adverbsThe use of the adverbs suffixed with -an/-en/-n is best illustrated by examples: Sokan voltunk. ("There were a lot ofus.") Öten vannak. ("There are 5 of them.") Ketten mentünk. ("Two of us went.")

Page 5: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 5


Possessive suffixesIn Hungarian, pronominal possession is expressed by suffixes applied to the noun. The following suffixes are usedfor singular nouns:

Singular Plural

1st person -om/-am/-em/-öm/-ma(z én) házammy house

-unk/-ünk/-nka (mi) házunkour house

2nd person (informal) -od/(-ad)/-ed/-öd/-da (te) házadyour (singular) house

-otok/(-atok)/-etek/-ötök/-tok/-tek/-töka (ti) házatokyour (plural) house

3rd personand

2nd person (formal or official)

-a/-e/-ja/-jea(z ő) házahis/her/its housea(z ön) házayour (formal) house

-uk/-ük/-juk/-jüka(z ő) házuktheir housea házuk / az önök háza (!)your (fml, pl) house.

The following suffixes are used for plural nouns:

Singular Plural

1st person -aim/-eim/-imaz (én) házaimmy houses

-aink/-eink/-inka (mi) házainkour houses

2nd person (informal) -aid/-eid/-ida (te) házaidyour (singular) houses

-aitok/-eitek/-itok/-iteka (ti) házaitokyour (plural) houses

3rd personand

2nd person (formal or official)

-ai/-ei/-ia(z ő) házaihis/her/its housesa(z ön) házaiyour (formal) houses

-aik/-eik/-ika(z ő) házaiktheir housesa házaik / az önök házai (!)your (fml, pl) houses

The háza, házai type (i.e., like the one with a singular possessor) is used in the 3rd person plural except when nopronoun or only the ő is present before it, e.g. a szülők háza "the parents' house". In other words, the plural -k of the3rd person suffix is left from the noun if there is a lexical possessor preceding it.The definite article is usually used. It can be omitted in a poetic or literary style. It may also be omitted at thebeginning of the sentence in colloquial speech.The possessor can be emphasized by adding the subject pronoun, e.g. az én házam ("my house"). In this case thedefinite article must be used. For the 3rd person plural, the 3rd person singular pronoun is used, e.g. az ő házuk (notaz ők házuk).

Page 6: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 6

Words with -j

Certain consonant-final stems always use the suffixes with -j for a singular noun with a 3rd person singularpossessor, e.g. kalap ("hat"): kalapja ("his/her hat"). This group also uses the -j for a singular noun with a 3rd personplural possessor, e.g. kalapjuk ("their hat"). The -j is also inserted for a plural noun (with a possessor of whicheverperson and number), e.g. kalapjaim ("my hats"), kalapjaid ("your (sg. fam.) hats"), kalapjai ("his hats"), etc.The two most common types are the following:

Type his/her xxx their xxx myyour


xxx's Other examples

Without -j(see above)

háza házuk házai etc (all words withc cs dzs sz z s zs j ny ty gy h)

× × ×

Mostlywith -j

× (kalapuk) × hang, papír, program

kalapja kalapjuk kalapjai etc.

There is much variance, but in general, the -j variant is usually safer than the variant without -j, except with thespecific endings listed above. (Usually the variant without -j is more traditional and the one with -j is more recent.)Where a form applies the j, the other forms will apply it too. An exception is the uncommon type of barát ("friend")where the -j type is incorrect with a plural noun: barátja ("his/her friend"), barátjuk ("their friend") but barátaik("their friends"), without j The most common other examples of this type are előd 'predecessor' and utód 'successor'.

Word endings and suffix types

Several endings (c, cs, dzs, sz, z, s, zs, j, ny, ty, gy, h, i.e., affricates, spirants, palatal/ized sounds and h) only allowthe variant without -j in both singular and plural, as shown in the charts above. – On the other hand, the words thatalways take the -j variant form a rather small group: only those ending in f or ch.For the other endings, there are no clear-cut rules (so these forms are to be learnt one by one), only regularities exist.Words with a long vowel or another consonant preceding the ending consonant often take the -j variant, as well asinternational words do (e.g. programja, oxigénje, fesztiválja "his/her program, oxygen, festival"). Vowel-droppingand vowel-shortening stems always use the variant without -j, just like most words using -a as linking vowel (e.g.házat, házak "house": háza "his/her house").

• The endings v, l, r, m, g, k usually take the variant without -j (e.g. gyereke, asztala "his/her child, table"), but a minority among them take

it (e.g. hangja, diákja "his/her voice, student" but again könyve, száma "his/her book, number").

• For words ending in n, p, t, the regularities are basically similar, but there is wide variance. Words ending in -at/-et (a suffix), however,

usually take the variant without -j.

• The majority of words ending in b, d use the -j suffix (e.g. darabja, családja "his/her/its piece, family" but lába, térde "his/her leg, knee").

Apparent possessive suffixes and homonymy

Certain words (with or without suffixes) have endings which are identical with a possessive suffix. Examples:

Page 7: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 7

Homonymous word Interpretation without the possessive suffix Interpretation with the possessive suffix

Parsing Meaning Parsing Meaning Person Number

szám (base form) "number"/"song" száj + ‑m "my mouth" 1st singular

hullám (base form) "wave" (n) hulla + ‑m "my corpse"

állam (base form) "state" (as in politics) áll + ‑am "my chin"

áram (base form) "current" (as in water/electricity) ár + ‑am "my price"

perem (base form) "(b)rim" per + ‑em "my lawsuit"

karom (base form) "claw" kar + ‑om "my arm"

erőd (base form) "fortress" erő + ‑d "your strength" 2nd

kacsa (base form) "duck" kacs + ‑a "its tendril" 3rd

váza (base form) "vase" váz + ‑a "its framework"

fánk (base form) "doughnut" fa + ‑nk "our tree" 1st plural

apátok apát + ‑okplural

"abbots" apa + ‑tok "your [pl.] father" 2nd

falatok falat + ‑okplural

"pieces/bites of food" fal + ‑atok "your [pl.] wall"

szemetek szemét + ‑ekplural

"pieces of trash" szem + ‑etek "your [pl.] eye[s]"

sütőtök (base form) "pumpkin" (lit. "baking pumpkin") sütő + ‑tök "your [pl.] oven"

áruk áru + ‑kplural

"wares, products" ár + ‑uk "their price" 3rd


• For the szemét → szemet(ek) change, see Oblique noun stem.

• For the apa → apá(tok), hulla → hullá(m) change, see Oblique noun stem.

• For the plural marked with "[s]" in "your [pl.] eye[s]", see Pairs of body parts.

• For the different link vowels after words taken as absolute or relative stems (like fánk and sütőtök here), see The accusative suffix after other


A homonymy is also possible between the same possessive ending of two unrelated words, if one ends in aconsonant and the other in a vowel: falunk may be parsed as falu + ‑nk ("our village") or fal + ‑unk ("our wall").A similar kind of homonymy may arise with vowel-dropping words (see the dolog/dolg- type under Oblique nounstem). Examples:

Lexeme with vowel-dropping stem Lexeme with regular stem

Nominative Nominative withpossessive suffix

Nominative Nominative withpossessive suffix

alom(litter [of animals])

alma(his/her/its litter)


almája(his/her/its apple)


érme(his/her medal)


érméje(his/her coin)

halom(pile, stack)

halma(its pile/stack)


halmája(his/her halma)

karizom(arm muscle)

karizma(his/her arm muscle)


karizmája(his/her/its charisma)

Page 8: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 8


karma(its claw[s])


karmája(his/her/its karma)

Note that the first person singular possessive form of hal (fish) is not the above halom but exceptionally halam, cf. alink vowel.Examples:

A kiskutya bepiszkította az almát. (The puppy soiled its litter OR the apple.)Bedobta az érmét a folyóba. (He/she threw his/her medal OR the coin into the river.)A macskának fontos a karma. (Its claws OR the karma is/are important for a cat.)

Finally, another kind of homonymy may arise between a noun with a possessive suffix and a verb: hasad "yourstomach (belly)" or "it tears/rips", árad "your price" or "it floods", fogad "your tooth" or "he/she/itreceives/accepts"/"he/she/it bets".

Possessive construction with 2 nounsThere are 2 possible forms for a possessive construction with 2 nouns. In both of them the noun which is possessedtakes the 3rd person possessive suffix.1. The possessor is an unsuffixed noun, e.g. István lakása ("István's flat/apartment")2. The possessor is a noun suffixed with -nak/-nek and the possessed noun is preceded by a/az, e.g. Istvánnak a

lakása ("István's flat/apartment")The first form is used as default and the second is used to emphasize the possessor or for clarity. It also enables thepossessor to be moved within the sentence, e.g. Ennek a lakásnak sehogy se találom a kulcsát ("I can't possibly findthe key of this flat/apartment.") Note the sehogy se találom ("I can't possibly find") wedged in between the parts ofthe possessive structure.If the 3rd person plural possessor is a lexical word, not a pronoun (thus the plurality is marked on it), the possessionwill be marked like the 3rd person singular: a szülők lakása (not a szülők lakásuk) ("the parents' flat/apartment"). Inother words, the plurality of the 3rd person plural possession is only marked once: either on the possessor (in thecase of lexical words) or on the possession (in the case of pronouns), cf. az ő lakásuk (above).

Possessive pronounsThe following pronouns are used to replace singular nouns:

Singular Plural

1st person az enyém a mienk/a miénk



a tied/atiéda magáéaz öné

a tietek/a tiéteka magukéaz önöké

3rd person az övé az övék

Note: Where two variants are given, the one with a long vowel is more literary.

The following pronouns are used to replace plural nouns:

Page 9: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 9

Singular Plural

1st person az enyéim a mieink



a tieida magáéiaz önéi

a tieitekamagukéiaz önökéi

3rd person az övéi az övéik

-é/-éi to replace possessed nounThe suffixes -é/-éi are used to express possession when the noun is not stated:• Istváné: "Istvan's", for singular noun: "the thing belonging to Istvan",• Istvánéi: "Istvan's", for plural noun: "the things belonging to Istvan".Hence comes the unusual vowel sequence: fiaiéi, which means "those belonging to his/her sons". Fia- (his/her son)-i- (several sons) -é- (belonging to) -i (several possessions).The suffixes are also used to form the question word kié ("whose?").

Positional suffixesHungarian follows a strict logic for suffixes relating to position. The position can be "in", "on" or "by". The directioncan be static (no movement), movement towards or movement away. Combining these gives 9 different options.

Interior Surface Adjacency

Static position -ban/-beninlakásbanin the flat/apartment

-on/-en/-ön/-nonlakásonon the flat/apartment

-nál/-nélby, atlakásnálby/at the flat/apartment

Movement towards -ba/-beintolakásbainto the flat/apartment

-ra/-reontolakásraonto the flat/apartment

-hoz/-hez/-höztolakáshozto the flat/apartment

Movement away -ból/-bőlout oflakásbólout of the flat/apartment

-ról/-rőlofflakásróloff the flat/apartment

-tól/-tőlfromlakástólfrom the flat/apartment

Note 1: -nál/-nél is also used with the meaning "at the home of" (cf. French chez, German bei).Note 2: -ban/-ben is usually pronounced in the spoken informal speech without the final n except when followed bya word beginning with a vowel, thus coinciding with the into-forms.

Page 10: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 10

Town/city namesFor town/city names, the rules for selecting the right group are as follows:1. Towns outside the historical Kingdom of Hungary (i.e., towns that don't have a native Hungarian name) use the

-ban/-ben group2. Most towns within Hungary use the -on/-en/-ön/-n group3. Approx. fifty towns within Hungary use the -ban/-ben group

• This group includes all town names ending in -n, -ny and -város ("city/town"), most with -m, -i and some with-r. For example Sopronban, Debrecenben; Gárdonyban; Dunaújvárosban; Esztergomban, Komáromban,Veszprémben; Zamárdiban; Egerben, Győrben

A few towns within Hungary traditionally use a different ending, -ott/-ett/-ött/-t, for position, see locative case for examples. This locative,

however, always can be replaced by one of the above suffixes. Those towns that can also use the -on/-en/-ön/-n group (e.g. Pécsett or Pécsen) use

-ra/-re and -ról/-ről for movement. Győr, however, where the alternative form is with -ban/-ben, uses -ba/-be and -ból/-ből for movement.

Differentiating place names with suffix groupsThe difference of the two suffix group may carry a difference in meaning:

"Interior" cases:inessive, illative, elative

(in, into, out of)

"Surface" cases:superessive, sublative, delative

(on, onto, off)

•• towns/cities in other countries than Hungary•• certain towns/cities in Hungary•• counties, provinces•• countries

•• most towns/cities in Hungary•• islands

The below cases may exemplify the above tendencies but in actual usage they are not always followed so strictly asdescribed:• Tajvanon means "on (the island of) Taiwan" but Tajvanban is "in (the country of) Taiwan" (here the usage is

parallel to English) – Note: Tajvanon may also refer to the country• Tolnán means "in (the town of) Tolna" but Tolnában is "in the county of Tolna" – Note: Tolnában may also refer

to the town• Velencén means "in the Hungarian town of Velence" but Velencében is "in the Italian city of Venice (in

Hungarian: Velence)" – Note: Velencében may also refer to the Hungarian town

Insider and outsider usage

There may also be difference between "insider" and "outsider" usage: one may prefer the suffixes expressing the"interior" relation and the others those expressing the "surface" relation (the difference extends to the suffixes ofstatic position and those of the two kinds of movement).In some cases, the local usage is encouraged based on traditional usage in literature and linguistic history, e.g.Csíkszeredában[2] (instead of Csíkszeredán) as well as Nagyszombatban (instead of Nagyszombaton, which lattereven coincides with the form "on Holy Saturday"). In other cases, the "outsider" usage is considered more receivedor even normative, for example:

General/outsider usage



Insider usage Sátoraljaújhelyben(interior)


Page 11: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 11

Cases and other noun suffixes

A note on terminologyThe concept of grammatical cases was first used in the description of Ancient Greek and Latin grammar, which arefusional languages. Over the centuries the terminology was also used to describe other languages, with very differentgrammatical structures from Indo-European languages. Some linguistsWikipedia:Avoid weasel words believe thatthe concept does not fit agglutinative languages very well. Rather than using the "case" paradigm and terminologyfor describing Hungarian grammar, they prefer to use the terms "(case) suffixes" and "endings".Wikipedia:Citationneeded Despite these opinions, nowadays the term "case" is used by most Hungarian linguists.The criterion for an ending to be a case (according to today's generative linguistic grammars of Hungarian) is that aword with that ending can be a compulsory argument of a verb. This difference is usually unimportant for averagelearners of the language.However, it is useful to know that only actual cases can follow other suffixes of the word (such as the plural or thepossessive suffix) and the other noun endings can only be added to absolute stems. For example, lakás-om-mal exists("with my flat/apartment"), but *lakás-om-ostul doesn't.

Case endings

lakás - flat/apartment

Suffix Meaning Example Meaning of the example Case name

∅ subject lakás flat/apartment (as a subject) Nominative case

-ot/(-at)/-et/-öt/-t direct object lakást flat/apartment (as an object) Accusative case

-nak/-nek indirect object lakásnak to the flat/apartment Dative case

-val/-vel (Assim.) with lakással with the flat/apartment Instrumental-comitative case

-ért for, for the purpose of lakásért for the flat/apartment Causal-final case

-vá/-vé (Assim.) into lakássá [turn] into a flat/apartment Translative case

-ig as far as, up to lakásig as far as the flat/apartment Terminative case

-ként as, in the capacity of lakásként in the capacity of a flat/apartment, as a flat/apartment Essive-formal case

-ul/-ül by way of (less frequent) lakásul by way of a flat/apartment Essive-modal case

-ban/-ben in lakásban in the flat/apartment Inessive case

-on/-en/-ön/-n on lakáson on the flat/apartment Superessive case

-nál/-nél by, at lakásnál by/at the flat/apartment Adessive case

-ba/-be into lakásba into the flat/apartment Illative case

-ra/-re onto lakásra onto the flat/apartment Sublative case

-hoz/-hez/-höz to lakáshoz to the flat/apartment Allative case

-ból/-ből out of lakásból out of the flat/apartment Elative case

-ról/-ről off, about, concerning lakásról off the flat/apartmentabout/concerning the flat/apartment

Delative case

-tól/-től from, away from lakástól (away) from the flat/apartment Ablative case

Assimilation works with -val/-vel and -vá/-vé: the initial sound of these suffixes will change to the preceding sound,if it is a consonant other than v, e.g. lakás + -val appears as lakással. (In words ending in a vowel or v, there is nochange, e.g. sáv|val "with the lane", hajó|val "with the ship".)

Page 12: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 12

Accusative suffixAfter -l, -r, -j, -ly, -n, -ny, -s, -sz, -z and -zs, the accusative suffix is usually added directly to the noun rather thanusing a link vowel, e.g. lakást. For the other consonants, a link vowel is used.

-l, -r, -j, -ly, -n, -ny,-s, -sz, -z, -zs

asztalt, embert, bajt, súlyt, telefont,lányt,lakást, buszt, pénzt, rizst etc.

Other consonants(-b, -c, -cs, -d, -dz, -dzs, -f,

-g,-gy, -h, -k, -m, -p, -t, -ty, -v)

darabot, lábat, ebet, köbötpadot, holdat, ebédet, ködötetc.

The accusative suffix after other suffixes

As shown in the above chart, -ot/(-at)/-et/-öt/-t is the accusative suffix for nouns with no other suffix. However, ifthe accusative suffix is added to a relative stem, that is, to a noun which already has another suffix (i.e. a plural orpossessive suffix), -at/-et is used. Examples:

Absolute stemwith accusative

Relative stemwith accusative

Back ablakot ("window") ablakomat ("my window")ablakokat ("windows")ablakaimat ("my windows")


gyümölcsöt ("fruit") gyümölcsömet ("my fruit")gyümölcsöket ("fruits")gyümölcseimet ("my fruits")

Sometimes the quality of the link vowel of the accusative can differentiate between otherwise homonymous words:


in the nominative

The word as an absolute stemwith accusative

The word as a relative stemwith accusative

fánk fánkot ("doughnut"):fánk ("doughnut") + -ot (acc.)

fánkat ("our tree"):fa ("tree") + -nk ("our") + -at (acc.)

sütőtök sütőtököt ("pumpkin"):sütőtök ("pumpkin") + -öt (acc.)

sütőtöket ("your/pl. oven"):sütő ("oven") + -tök (your/pl.) + -et (acc.)

Accusative without marking

The accusative can be expressed without the -t morpheme after the first and second person singular possessivesuffixes. For example:• Látom a kalapod∅. or Látom a kalapodat. "I [can] see your hat."• Látod a kalapom∅. or Látod a kalapomat. "You [can] see my hat."The accusative personal pronouns engem ("me") and téged ("you") are also used without the -t suffix (engemet andtégedet are rather infrequent).The third case where the accusative remains unmarked is the infinitive, e.g. Szeretek kirándulni ("I like hiking", lit."I like to hike"). (When the same meaning is expressed with a derived noun, the accusative -t appears: Szeretem akirándulást.)

Page 13: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 13

Apparent accusative endings and homonymy

The letter t also occurs at the end of certain words which thus may appear accusative. Examples include eset("case"), falat ("a bit of food"), hét ("week"), kabát ("coat"), kert ("garden"), kötet ("volume" [of books]), lakat("padlock"), lapát ("shovel"), part ("shore", "bank", "coast"), párt ("party"), sajt ("cheese") etc.Telling them apart:

Ending Function Examples Notes

-et part of the stem füzet "exercise book" (nom.) If it occurs after a word with ö or ü in it, it is more likely to be part of thestem because such words usually take ö as linking vowel before the -t, e.g.köd+öt, öt+öt. (Exceptions include föld+et, könyv+et, tüz+et and fül+et.) Sokötet is more likely to be a word on its own than a suffixed form of thehypothetical noun stem *köt (because its accusative would be probably*köt+öt).

accusative suffix hegy+et "mountain" (acc.)

Homonyms: szelet "slice" (nom.) vs. szél+et (shortening the base) "wind" (acc.)

-at part of the stem lakat "padlock", bocsánat"pardon"

traditionalaccusative suffix

ágy+at "bed" (acc.), haj+at"hair" (acc.), háj+at "fat" (acc.),vaj+at "butter" (acc.)

in the case of a handful of words

Homonyms: állat "animal" (nom.) vs. áll+at "chin" (acc.), falat "a bit of food" (nom.) vs. fal+at "wall" (acc.), fogat "team of horses"(nom.) vs. fog+at "tooth" (acc.)

Consonant+ t

part of the stem sajt "cheese" (nom.)

accusative suffix baj+t "trouble" (acc.), faj+t"species" (acc.), zaj+t "noise"(acc.)

Homonyms: párt "[political] party" (nom.) vs. pár+t "couple" or "pair" (acc.)

-át, -ét lengthened form ofwords ending in aor e

anya "mother" → anyá+t (acc.),mese "fairy tale" → mesé+t(acc.)

lengthening the a/eof the precedingpossessive suffix

láb+a "his/her leg" → lábá+t(acc.), kez+e "his/her hand" →kezé+t (acc.)

part of the stem lapát "shovel", pecsét "stamp"


• Without a possessive suffix: apát may be "abbot" (nom.) or "father" (acc.).• With a possessive suffix: sörét may be "pellet" (nom.) or "his/her beer" (acc.); szemét may be "waste/garbage" (nom.) or "his/her

eye[s]" (acc.); menyét may be "weasel" (nom.) or "his/her daughter-in-law" (acc.).

-ót accusative of aword ending in ó

takaró+t "blanket", metró+t"underground/subway"

accusative of aword ending in o

allegro → allegró+t, Oslo →Osló+t

mostly foreign words in Hungarian

part of the stem kompót "preserved fruit" spenót"spinach"

in the case of a handful of words

Page 14: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 14

-ot the accusative of aword ending in aconsonant

rab+ot "prisoner", pad+ot"bench"

the most common case

the wrongly speltaccusative form ofwords ending in o

*allegrot, *Oslot (they should bewritten like above, with longfinal ó before t)

mostly foreign words in Hungarian

part of the stem bot "stick", állapot "state" or"condition", gyapot "cotton"

these three words and their compounds

Homonymy may also arise between accusative nouns and verbs, e.g. választ may mean "answer" (n, acc.) or "s/hechooses/elects" and nevet may mean "name" (n, acc., from név) or "s/he laughs".The accusative of terem ("room"/"hall") is termet (see vowel-dropping) instead of the regular teremet (which couldcome from tér with vowel-shortening, meaning "my square", acc.). On the other hand, teremt means "s/he creates".Termet is another homonymy as it may be another word in the nominative ("stature"). – This latter bunch ofexamples shows eloquently that knowing stem types and recognizing them are essential for interpreting a Hungarianword correctly.

Other noun endings

Suffix Meaning Example Meaning of theexample

"Case" name


of(morphologically identicalwith the nominative or thedative case)


of the flat/apartment Genitive case

-képp(en) as, by way of lakásképp,lakásképpen

by way of aflat/apartment, as aflat/apartment

Formal case

-onként/(-anként)/-enként/-önként/-nként per, by lakásonként per flat/apartment, byflat/apartment

Distributive case


together with (restricted inuse)


together with theflat/apartment

Sociative case

-ott/(-att)/-ett/-ött/-t in (only for some Hungariantown/city names)

(Győr)ött/(Pécs)ett in Győr/in Pécs Locative case

-onta/(-anta)/-ente/-önte every xxx (only fortime-related words)

(nap)onta daily Distributive-temporalcase

-kor at (only for time-related words) (hat)kor at six Temporal case

Notes:• For more examples of the endings, refer to the article List of grammatical cases.• The special status of the genitive case can be illustrated with the following example: "the key of the

flat/apartment" is a lakás kulcsa or a lakásnak a kulcsa (nominative or dative case). The case marking is on thepossessed object rather than the possessor.

Page 15: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 15

Incorrect classificationsThe following endings are sometimes counted as cases, but are in fact derivational suffixes, see Adjectives andadverbs

Suffix Meaning Example Meaning of the example "Case" name

-an/-en/-n (rövid)en briefly "Modal-essive case" #1

-lag/-leg lakásilag as far as a flat/apartment is concerned "Modal-essive case" #2

-szor/-szer/-ször (három)szor three times "Multiplicative case"

Slight noun irregularities

a/e/o/ö lengthening before suffixesWords ending in a, e, o or ö become lengthened before most suffixes:

Nominative Suffixed forms


almát almák* almám* almának almával almáért almává almáig almául

almában almán almánál almába almára almához almából almáról almától


körtét körték* körtém* körtének körtével körtéért körtévé körtéig körtéül

körtében körtén körténél körtébe körtére körtéhez körtéből körtéről körtétől

Oslo Oslót Oslók* Oslóm* Oslónak Oslóval Oslóért Oslóvá Oslóig Oslóul

Oslóban Oslón Oslónál Oslóba Oslóra Oslóhoz Oslóból Oslóról Oslótól

Malmö Malmőt Malmők* Malmőm* Malmőnek Malmővel Malmőért Malmővé Malmőig Malmőül

Malmőben Malmőn Malmőnél Malmőbe Malmőre Malmőhöz Malmőből Malmőről Malmőtől

The asterisk means that almák/körték (the plural) and almám/körtém (the possessive forms) can be suffixed further,e.g. almákat, almáknak etc., almámat, almádat, almáját etc., almáimat, almáidat, almáit etc., almámnak, almádnak,almájának etc.Those cases with small letters can be formed, but they are not meaningful, unless figuratively (e. g. Oslók lit. means"Oslos", but naturally Oslo doesn't have plural, although the case technically can be formed; Oslóul means "as anOslo", which is also dubious).The suffix -ként is an exception as it doesn't lengthen the a/e, e.g. almaként, körteként. Compounds don't lengthenthe vowel, either, e.g. almalé, körtelé ("apple/pear juice").Otherwise, this rule extends to all nouns and adjectives, e.g. Coca-Cola → Coca-Colát, Coca-Colának etc.Short o and ö endings only occur with foreign words (like Oslo and Malmö above) since Hungarian orHungarianized words lengthen these vowels at the end of the word, e.g. euró, metró, videó, sztereó, fotó, diszkó etc.

Page 16: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 16

a link vowelCertain back-vowel nouns, e.g. ház ("house"), always use the vowel a as a link vowel where the link vowel is usually-o/-e/-ö, except with the superessive case -on/-en/-ön/-n.The link vowel -o/(-a)/-e/-ö occurs with the following suffixes:• -ok/(-ak)/-ek/-ök/-k for noun plurals, e.g. házak ("houses")• -om/(-am)/-em/-öm/-m for 1st singular possessive, e.g. házam ("my house")• -od/(-ad)/-ed/-öd/-d for 2nd singular possessive, e.g. házad ("your (singular) house")• -otok/(-atok)/-etek/-ötök/-tok/-tek/-tök for 2nd plural possessive, e.g. házatok ("your (plural) house")• -ot/(-at)/-et/-öt/-t for accusative case, e.g. házat ("house")• -onként/(-anként)/-enként/-önként/-nként, e.g. házanként ("per house")• -ostul/(-astul)/-estül/-östül/-stul/-stül, e.g. házastul ("together with the house")• -odik/(-adik)/-edik/-ödik for ordinal numbers, e.g. nyolcadik ("the eighth")• -od/(-ad)/-ed/-öd for fractional numbers, e.g. nyolcad ("an eighth")• -os/(-as)/-es/-ös for adjectival numbers, e.g. nyolcas ("number eight")• -onta/(-ante)/-ente/-önte for distributive occasions, e.g. nyaranta ("every summer", from nyár "summer")Theoretical:• -ott/(-att)/-ett/-ött/-t for positionThis irregularity sometimes help differentiate between otherwise homonymous verbs and nouns:


Meaning as ana stem noun

áll chin fog tooth fal wall hal fish tár storage/magazine vár castle zár lock

Meaning as anormal verb





he opens sth. up hewaits


Plural form ofthe a stem noun

állak chins fogak teeth falak walls halak fish[pl.]

tárak storages/magazines várak castles zárak locks

1st person singularof the verb

állok Istand

fogok I catch falok Idevour

halok Idie

tárok I open sth. up várok I wait zárok Iclose

The case of nyúl is similar ("rabbit" or "he reaches out") except that it becomes short in the plural as a noun (nyulak,cf. the hét type) and remains long as a verb (nyúlok). Beside árak (the plural of the a stem word ár, "price") árok alsoexists ("ditch"). Finally, beside vágyak ("desires"), vágyok may also occur as a verb ("I desire") although it isexpressed as vágyom in standard Hungarian (cf. -ik verbs).

Oblique noun stemSome nouns have a second stem which is used with certain suffixes. This is most commonly derived from the mainstem by shortening or elision of the final vowel. A few nouns insert the letter "v" to derive the oblique stem.It is used with the following suffixes:

Page 17: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 17

Nominative base/stem(given for comparison)




Plural hetek dolgok tavak

Possessive 1st person singular hetem dolgom tavam

2nd person singular heted dolgod tavad

3rd person singular hete dolga tava

1st person plural hetünk dolgunk tavunk

2nd person plural hetetek dolgotok tavatok

3rd person plural hetük dolguk tavuk

Accusative hetet dolgot tavat

Distributive hetenként dolgonként tavanként

Sociative hetestül dolgostul tavastul

Distributive-temporal hetente × ×

Superessive (héten) dolgon tavon

Derived adjective hetes dolgos tavas

Note: as with other nouns, the plural and the possessive forms (the first seven rows) are independent of cases so theycan take the suffixes of other cases than the nominative: hetek|ből, dolgom|hoz, dolgaimhoz etc. The forms in thelatter five rows (which have suffixes of certain cases) cannot have more suffixes attached.

Stem with -on/-en/-ön/-nFor -on/-en/-ön/-n, the vowel-shortening base uses the nominative stem, e.g. héten, but the other types(vowel-dropping and -v- bases) use the oblique stem, e.g. dolgon, tavon, as it is shown in the examples above.Also, the back-vowel nouns which use an a link vowel have o as the link vowel instead, e.g. házon ("on the house").As noted above, when it is added to tíz ("ten") and to húsz ("twenty") to form compound numbers, e.g. tizenegy("eleven"), huszonegy ("twenty-one"), these vowel-shortening bases use the oblique stem.

Differentiating -an/-en from -on/-en/-ön/-n

The suffix -an/-en, used with numbers and adjectives, is not to be confused with the above suffix -on/-en/-ön/-n.Their vowel can only be a or e, even on words which would normally use o or ö: cf. ötön (on the number five) andöten (numbering five), haton and hatan (for the latter form, see Quantity expressions).

Order of noun suffixesWhere more than one type of noun suffix occurs, the plural suffix is first (normally -k but -i with possessives). Thepossessive suffix follows this and the case suffix is last.

Page 18: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 18

Pronominal forms

Demonstrative pronounsThe demonstrative pronouns are ez ("this") and az ("that"). They can take the full range of case endings. For mostsuffixes, preservative consonant assimilation occurs.

Subject and object pronounsPronouns exist in subject (nominative) and object (accusative) forms.Because the verb suffix is marked for both subject and object, the pronouns are not usually used, i.e. it is a pro-droplanguage. The pronouns are used for contrast or emphasis or when there is no verb.

Singular Plural

Subject Object Subject Object

1st person én engem mi minket or bennünket






titeket or benneteketmagukatönöket

3rd person ő őt ők őket

Hence, the English pronoun "you" can have no fewer than thirteen translations in Hungarian.

Cases with personal suffixesFor the other forms which are listed above as cases, the equivalent of a pronoun is formed using a stem derived fromthe suffix, followed by the personal suffix. For example, benned ("in you") or for emphasis tebenned ("in you") hasthe stem benn- which is derived from the front variant of the position suffix -ban/-ben ("in").Note: When the stem ends in a long vowel, the 3rd person singular has a ∅ suffix.maga and ön do not use these forms. They are conjugated like nouns with the case suffixes, e.g. magában, önben.Suffixes that use a back vowel stem:

Suffix Stem -am/-m -ad/-d -a/-ja -unk/-nk -atok/-tok -uk/-juk Meaning

-NÁL/-nél nál- nálam nálad nála nálunk nálatok náluk by/at me etc.

-RÓL/-ről ról- rólam rólad róla rólunk rólatok róluk off me etc.about me etc.

-RA/-re rá- (!) rám rád rá ránk rátok rájuk onto me etc.

-HOZ/-hez/-höz hozzá- (!) hozzám hozzád hozzá hozzánk hozzátok hozzájuk to me etc.

-on/-en/-ön/-n rajt- (!) rajtam rajtad rajta rajtunk rajtatok rajtuk on me etc.

Suffixes that use a front vowel stem:

Page 19: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 19

Suffix Stem -em/-m -ed/-d -e/-je -ünk/-nk -etek/-tek -ük/-jük Meaning

-val/-VEL vel- velem veled vele velünk veletek velük with me etc.

-tól/-TŐL től- tőlem tőled tőle tőlünk tőletek tőlük (away) from me etc.

-ÉRT ért- értem érted érte értünk értetek értük for me etc.

-nak/-NEK nek- nekem neked neki nekünk nektek nekik to me etc.

-ban/-BEN benn- (!) bennem benned benne bennünk bennetek bennük in me etc.

-ból/-BŐL belől- (!) belőlem belőled belőle belőlünk belőletek belőlük out of me etc.

-ba/-BE belé- (!) belém beléd belé belénk belétek beléjük into me etc.

No personal forms exist for the other suffixes: -vá/-vé, -ig, -ként, -ul/-ül, -képp(en), -stul/-stül,-onként/(-anként)/-enként/-önként/-nként, -ott/(-att)/-ett/-ött/-t, -onta/(-anta)/-ente/-önte, -kor. Their personal variantscan be only paraphrases (e.g. addig ment, ahol ő állt "he went as far as him" > "… as far as where he stood").

Postpositions with personal suffixesMost postpositions (see there) are combined with personal suffixes in a similar way, e.g. alattad ("under you").Note: The personal forms of stand-alone postpositions are paraphrases, e.g. rajtam túl "beyond me", hozzám képest"as compared to me".Personal suffixes at the end of postpositions:







See also the section Overview of personal endings: typical sound elements.Note:• In the same way as for the cases with personal suffixes, when the postposition (stem) ends in a long vowel, the

3rd person singular has a ∅ suffix (see the bolded forms in the last row).•• Postpositions in bare (unsuffixed) forms are capitalized.

Postpositions with three-way distinction

…under/belowme etc

…over/aboveme etc

…nextto/beside me


…in frontof me etc

…behindme etc

…between me(& others) etc

…aroundme etc

…(from/to)my direction


From… ALÓLalólamalóladalólaalólunkalólatokalóluk






× FELŐLfelőlemfelőledfelőlefelőlünkfelőletekfelőlük

Page 20: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 20

(At/in…) ALATTalattamalattadalattaalattunkalattatokalattuk





KÖZÖTT orKÖZTközöttem orköztemközötted or köztedközötte or közteközöttünk orköztünkközöttetek orköztetekközöttük or köztük

KÖRÜL (!)körülöttemkörülöttedkörülöttekörülöttünkkörülöttetekkörülöttük


To… ALÁalámaládaláalánkalátokalájuk








Postpositions without three-way distinction

after meetc

instead ofme etc

without meetc

through/by me etc(figurative)

againstme etc

because ofme etc

for my purposeetc

"according tome",

in my opinionetc

towards me etc(figurative)







VÉGETT (neverused as a pronoun)



Derived postpositions with possessive suffixesThese below are declined like words with possessive suffixes plus cases:

for/to me etc by my help etc in my case etc on my part etc







Részére and számára are often interchangeable. To express sending or giving something (to someone), usuallyrészére is preferred. On the other hand, to express the affected party of some perception or judgement (good, bad,new, shocking, unacceptable etc. for someone), only számára can be used, as well as when expressing goal,objective, intention, or other figurative purposes.

Page 21: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Hungarian noun phrase 21

Placeholders in HungarianSee Placeholder names in Hungarian

Duplication with demonstrative determinersWhen the noun has a plural suffix, a "case" suffix or a postposition, this is duplicated on the demonstrative. As withthe demonstrative pronouns, for most suffixes, preservative consonant assimilation also occurs. Examples:

Basic form with definite article With demonstrative determiner

a lakások ("the flats/apartments", subject) ezek a lakások ("these flats/apartments", subject)

a lakást ("the flat/apartment", object) ezt a lakást ("this flat/apartment", object)

a lakásban ("in the flat/apartment") ebben a lakásban ("in this flat/apartment")

a lakással ("with the flat/apartment") ezzel a lakással ("with this flat/apartment")

a lakás alatt ("under the flat/apartment") ez alatt a lakás alatt ("under this flat/apartment")

As peripheral phenomena, there also exist non-duplicating forms, like e, ezen, eme, azon and ama (the latter tworeferring to distant objects), but they are poetic or obsolete (cf. ";yonder"). For example: e házban = eme házban =ebben a házban ("in this house"). Ezen and azon are used before vowel-initial words, e.g. ezen emberek = ezek azemberek ("these people"). The duplicating forms (as in the chart above) are far more widespread than these.

External links• HungarianReference.com's section on noun cases [3] Guide to Hungarian noun cases (currently inaccessible)• (Hungarian) Galla után szabadon – új magyar automatikus nyelvtan [4]: jokes on stem words appearing as those

having certain suffixes (used as a source in this article)

References[1] http:/ / en. wikipedia. org/ w/ index. php?title=Template:Hungarian_language& action=edit[2] http:/ / adatbank. transindex. ro/ vendeg/ htmlk/ pdf3367. pdf[3] http:/ / www. hungarianreference. com/ Nouns/[4] http:/ / futyi. transindex. ro/ ?cikk=54

Page 22: Hungarian Noun Phrase

Article Sources and Contributors 22

Article Sources and ContributorsHungarian noun phrase  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=581970273  Contributors: Abondolo, Adam78, Babajobu, Belovedfreak, Dc197, Download, FilipeS, FlorianBlaschke, Gargaj, MZMcBride, Madacs, Mister C4, OrenBochman, Peter Isotalo, Raoulduke25, Rev-san, Sardanaphalus, That Guy, From That Show!, V79benno, Walrus heart, Woohookitty,Zigomer trubahin, 29 anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and ContributorsFile:Specialkeys hungarian keyboard.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Specialkeys_hungarian_keyboard.jpg  License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.5 Contributors: Cserlajos, Javier Carro, Man vyi, Qorilla, Tacsipacsi, Tomchiukc

LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/