Past Conditional

We will proceed like this: we discuss past conditional in this entry. In the next entry I’ll write is about irregular verbs and then if-clauses.

P A S T   C O N D I T I O N A L

Past conditional expresses a condition in the past :). The Hungarian past conditional is easy to form if you know how to form the indicative past tense.

All you need to do is to conjugate the verb in past tense and put the auxiliary verb VOLNA after it. ‘Volna’ is the 3rd PS conditional form of the substantive verb.

néztem + volna = I would have watched

Two examples for high and deep verbs:

Indefinite / Definite:
néztem / néztem volna
néztél / nézted volna
nézett / nézte volna
néztünk / néztük volna
néztetek / néztétek volna
néztek / nézték volna

Indefinite / Definite:
raktam / raktam volna
raktál / raktad volna
rakott / rakta volna
raktunk / raktuk volna
raktatok / raktátok volna
raktak / rakták volna

The auxiliary verb volna and the main verb CANNOT BE SEPARATED!

I would have seen the movie.
Láttam volna a filmet. > CORRECT
Láttam a filmet volna. > INCORRECT

H O W   W O U L D   I   H A V E   B E E N?

It is an important question because there is no compound tense in Hungarian! English has compound tense: I have seen, I had seen…

The conjugation for VAN/LESZ is the same and that’s how you form the conditional past for them:

lettem volna – I would have been
lettél volna – you would have been
lett volna – he/she/it would have been
lettünk volna – we would have been
lettetek volna – you would have been
lettek volna – they would have been

So it’s just the past tense of lesz + volna!

Next time irregular verbs. Bye! 🙂


Vocabulary – Polite Expressions And Wishes In Conditional

P O L I T E   E X P R E S S I O N S

Szeretnél inni valamit? -Köszönöm, szeretnék.
Would you like to have a drink? – Thank you, I would.

Szeretném megkérdezni, hogy…
I’d like to ask if… / Can I ask if…

Elnézést, meg tudná mondani…
Excuse me, could you tell me…

Elnézést, meg tudná mondani, mennyi az idő?
Excuse me, could you tell me the time?

Elnézést, meg tudná mondani, hol van az állomás?
Excuse me, could you tell me where the station is?

Lennél / Volnál szíves eloltani a cigarettát?
Would you be so kind as to put out the cigarette?

Lenne / Volna szíves eloltani a cigarettát? (polite form)
Would you be so kind as to put out the cigarette?

And we should talk about this, too:

Nem bánná, ha rágyújtanék? -Nem.
Would you mind my smoking? -No, I wouldn’t.

In this case there’s no problem with ‘mind’. However, Hungarian does not always translate it with the equivalent verb: bán. Sometimes we just put the verb in conditional mood, while English uses ‘mind’.

Becsuknád az ablakot? –Igen, be.
Would you mind closing the window? –No, I wouldn’t.

As you see, the Hungarian answer is YES, while the English one is NO because Hungarian just asks:

Would you close the window? –Yes, I would.


English: If only / I wish + past simple or perfect
Hungarian: Ha / Bárcsak + present or past conditional

I wish he came at last. – Bárcsak jönne már!
I wish he had come. – Bárcsak eljött volna!

If only I understood what she’s saying in Hungarian.
Ha érteném, mit mond magyarul! OR
Bárcsak érteném, mit mond magyarul!

Vocabulary – Welcome

Welcome is a word Hungarian expresses in several ways.

If someone arrives:
Welcome! – Isten hozott! / Üdvözöllek! (informal)
Welcome! – Isten hozta! / Üdvözlöm! (formal polite)

You’re always welcome in my house.
Mindig szívesen látlak a házamban.

To be welcome – Szívesen lát valakit (= to see someone with pleasure)

If you answer to someone saying thank you:
-Thank you for helping me. –You’re welcome.
-Köszönöm, hogy segítettél. –Szívesen! / Nincs mit!

Vocabulary – Tessék!

It is a general and versatile exclamation. It comes from the verb tetszik. Actually, it is the imperative 3rd PS indefinite form of tetszik. Its meanings can be:

If someone is knocking at the door:
Come in!Tessék!

If you give somebody a gentle order:
Please sit down. – Tessék csak leülni!

-May I come in? -Bejöhetek?
Please. – Tessék!

If you didn’t understand something:
I beg your pardon?Tessék?
> In this case it is a question.

When sitting at the table:
Help yourself. – Tessék!

Vocabulary – To like

T O   L I K E

This is a simple English verb, but Hungarian expresses it with three different verbs.

I like that girl.
She likes horror movies.

You can say these verbs in Hungarian like this: tetszik, kedvel

I like that girl.
Kedvelem azt a lányt. OR
Tetszik (nekem) az a lány.

She likes horror movies.
Kedveli a horrorfilmeket.
Tetszenek neki a horrorfilmek.

The formula is:

Kedvel + accusative case
Kedveli azt a filmet. – She likes that movie.
> The accusative case causes kedvel to be in definite conjugation!

Tetszik + dative pronouns + subjective case
Tetszik neki az a film. – She likes that movie.
> The subjective case causes tetszik to be simply in indefinite conjugation!
> And if there are more objects you like, tetszik is put in 3rd PP!
Tetszenek neki azok a filmek. – She likes those movies.

I like sushi.
I like red wine.

You can say these verbs in Hungarian like this: ízlik, szeret

I like sushi.
Szeretem a szusit.
Ízlik (nekem) a szusi.

I like red wine.
Szeretem a vörös bort.
Ízlik (nekem) a vörös bor.

The formula is:

Szeret + accusative case
Szeretem a bort. – I like wine.
> The accusative case causes szeret to be in definite conjugation!

Ízlik + dative pronouns + subjective case
Ízlik nekem a bor. – I like wine.
> The subjective case causes ízlik to be in indefinite conjugation!
> If there are more food, drink you like, ízlik is put in 3rd PP!
Ízlenek nekem a borok. – I like wines.


To like people and objects: kedvel, tetszik

To like food, drink: szeret, ízlik

– kedvel / tetszik in definite conjugation 3rd PS + requires accusative case

– tetszik / ízlik in indefinite conjugation 3rd PS or 3rd PP + subjective case
> and the dative pronoun is not mandatory.

You should avoid saying ‘szeret’ if you talk about a person. In this case szeret means: to love

Szeretem azt a lányt. – I love that girl.

Vocabulary – Would like

Would like is said in Hungarian by putting the verb szeret in conditional mood.

Would you like to go shopping?
Szeretnél vásárolni menni?

I’d like to talk to you.
Szeretnék beszélni veled.

She’d like to make a lot of money.
Szeretne sok pénzt keresni.

If you would like someone else to do something than you say in English:

I’d like her to come with me.

In Hungarian you use conditional mood for both verbs as if you said:

I’d like if she came with me.
Szeretném, ha velem jönne.

This sentence is an if-clause which is our next topic.

As for ‘to want’, Hungarian uses szeret in conditional mood when it comes to sentences like:

I want you to know I told the truth.
Szeretném, ha tudnád, hogy az igazat mondtam.

Literally: I would want if you knew I told the truth.

Bye now. 🙂

Conditional Mood Part 2

Last time we discussed indefinite conjugation, now it’s about the definite one.

Conditional mood definite conjugation:
-(e)ném, -(a)nám !!!
-(e)néd, -(a)nád
-(e)né, -(a)ná
-(e)nénk, -(a)nánk !!!
-(e)nétek, -(a)nátok !!!
-(e)nék, -(a)nák

NOTE! The 1st PS is different in definite conjugation. The 1st PP and 2nd PP forms are the same as for the indefinite conjugation!!!




Examples for verbs in two consonants:
nyújt: nyújtanám, nyújtanád, nyújtaná, nyújtanánk, nyújtanátok, nyújtanák
rejt: rejteném, rejtenéd, rejtené, rejtenénk, rejtenétek, rejtenék
költ: költeném, költenéd, költené, költenénk, költenétek, költenék

Examples for verbs in -ít and in -t with long ű:
lazít: lazítanám, lazítanád, lazítaná, lazítanánk, lazítanátok, lazítanák
hűt: hűteném, hűtenéd, hűtené, hűtenénk, hűtenétek, hűtenék

CONCLUSION! As you see the conditional mood suffixes are the easiest ones. Not only are a number of irregular verbs regular when in conditional, the suffixes are also easy to remember.

Some sentences:

Nem tudnám megmondani.
I couldn’t tell.

Megírnám a levelet, de nem tudom, hova küldjem.
I would write the letter, but I don’t know where to send it.

Kijárnám a gimnáziumot, aztán dolgoznék.
I would graduate from high-school and then I would work.

Next time we’ll discuss some verbs like ‘to want, to like, would like…