Dative Case

DATIVE CASE

What is dative case? It’s something that is done for/to someone/something. Example:

Könyvet adok a barátomnak. – I give a book to my friend./I give my friend a book.

Words put in dative case is called indirect object according to the English concept!

The suffixes for it are: -NAK, -NEK. The suffix -nak is for deep-vowel words, -nek for high-vowel words. The English equivalent can be: preposition to/for or a pronoun as indirect object (I give him a book).

NOTE! The dative case doesn’t require any link vowel! You just add -nak or -nek to the word. But you can put plural nouns in dative case. You do that by making the noun plural first and then adding -nak or -nek. I’ll write the examples so that they have a preposition. That way, you can compare the English sentence to the Hungarian one.

Puszit adok a lánynak. – I give a kiss on the cheek to the girl.
Puszit adok a lányoknak. – I give a kiss on the cheek to the girls.

Ajándékot hoztam a csapatnak. – I brought a gift for the team.
Ajándékot hoztam a csapatoknak. – I brought a gift for the teams.

Ne mondj ilyet a gyereknek! – Don’t say such a thing to the child.
Ne mondj ilyet a gyerekeknek! – Don’t say such a thing to the children.

That’s all you have to know about dative case. We’re through with it.

SUMMARY FOR PLURAL, ACCUSATIVE AND DATIVE

You see that the plural and the accusative case are based on each other. If you know the plural, you know the accusative. And you have no problem with the dative case at all, it has no link vowels to it. What you should remember is to MAKE NOUNS PLURAL FIRST and then MAKE IT ACCUSATIVE OR DATIVE.

Of course, it doesn’t make any sense making a noun accusative and dative! Don’t do this: a lánytnak. It just makes no sense.

Accusative Case

ACCUSATIVE CASE

The accusative case has a very important role in the Hungarian language. It makes sentences with a fairly free word order possible. The suffix for it is: -t

What is it all about?

An English direct object must be in a certain position in the sentence so that it can be recognized. A Hungarian direct object is fitted with -t, thus can be recognized anywhere in the sentence. Example:

I SEE THE RIVER. What do I see? The river. River is the direct object which has to have the suffix -t in Hungarian. The Hungarian translation is: Látom a folyót

Basically, the rules for it follow those for the plural form.

TO BEGIN WITH:

Some nouns ending in j, l, ly, ny, r, s, sz, z take the suffix -t without link vowels.

baj– (cause) trouble
villamost – (catch the) tram
kárt – (cause) damage
osztályt – (teach a) class
pillért – (build a) pier
pofont – (give a) wham
regényt – (read a) novel
lépést – (take a)  step
szeszt – (drink) spirit
szószt – (eat) sauce
pénzt – (earn) money

IMPORTANT! If a monosyllabic deep-vowel noun having A, Á takes the plural -OK, then it takes the accusative -T. If such a noun takes the plural -AK, it takes the accusative -AT!

bajok – bajt BUT vajak – vajat
károk – kárt BUT zárak – zárat
bálok – bált BUT tálak – tálat

Remember this first. Next time we’ll talk about the groups we took a look at when descussing the plural.

If you’re not sure you remember how to make nouns plural, then go back to those entries because putting nouns in the accusative case is based on those rules! That being said…

Group 1: At the end of the word A becomes Á, E becomes É like in plural.

alma – almát (apple)
apa – apát (father)
medve – medvét (bear)
lecke – leckét (homework, task)

Group 2: High -vowel words take the accusative suffix -ET or -ÖT (rules for plural: when is it -EK or -Ök?!)

1. High-vowel nouns having e, é, i, í, ö, ő ,ü, ű in them. Provided ö, ő, ü, ű is NOT in the last syllable. Such nouns take -ET.

gyereket (child), széket (chair), füzetet (exercise book)

2. High-vowel nouns whose last syllable contains ö, ő, ü, ű take -ÖT.

gyümölcsöt (fruit), köldököt (navel), erődöt (fortress)

3. Monosyllabic high-vowel words ending in one or two consonants and having ö, ő, ü, ű in them either take -ET or -ÖT. No rule for them. It is a matter of memorization. Just a few examples:

tököt (marrow), gyököt (root), ködöt (fog), böjtöt (fast – as noun), fürtöt (cluster)…

BUT

őzet (roe), könyvet (book), földet (land)…

4. High-vowel suffixes take -ET or -T (because they take -EK in plural).

emelvényt – platform
teljesítményt – performance
kérést – request
tehetséget – gift (like somebody is gifted)
emeletet – floor, storey
fedezetet – cover

Group 3: Deep-vowel nouns take -OT or -AT. (again, remember the plural)

1. Standard deep-vowel nouns take -OT.

családot (family), kalapot (hat), vonatot (train)

2. Two monosyllabic nouns having short o take -AT: fogat (tooth), tollat (pen)

3. Some monosyllabic nouns having A, Á in them take the accusative -AT. They must be memorized. A few examples:

zárat (lock), kádat (bath-tub), vállat (shoulder)

4. Monosyllabic deep-vowel nouns ending in two consonants and having A, Á either take -OT or -AT. Memorize!

társat (mate), nyársat (prod)…

BUT

lángot (flame), táncot (dance)…

5. Deep-vowel suffixes take -OT or -T. (remember the plural)

utalványt – voucher
szállítmányt – shipment
vágást – cutting
válságot – crisis
falatot – bite
fokozatot – degree

Group 4: DROP-VOWEL WORDS

Once again ( I know I’m repeating myself) if you know how to make nouns plural, you know how to make them accusative. Remember those steps? At the end you add -T instead of -K. That’s all!

Plural: BOKOR – BOKR – BOKROBOKROK

Accusative: BOKOR – BOKR – BOKROBOKROT

That’s it! More example with both plural and accusative:

eper  – eprek – epret (strawberry)
átok – átkok – átkot (curse)
vödör – vödrök – vödröt (bucket)

Group 5: NOUNS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

Examples with plural and accusative to give you a reference:

szél – szelek – szelet (wind)
kötél – kötelek – kötelet (rope)
kenyér – kenyerek – kenyeret (bread)

madár – madarak – madarat (bird)
kanál – kanalak – kanalat (spoon)
nyár – nyarak – nyarat (summer)

út – utakutat (road)
kút – kutak – kutat (well)

Group 6: V- WORDS

V-words are words getting a v inserted in the plural and now in the accusative, too. Those few words are:

kő – kövek – követ (stone)
cső – csövek – csövet (tube)
tő – tövek – tövet (root)

ló  – lovak – lovat (horse)
tó – tavak – tavat (lake)

mű – művek – művet (works, factory)
nyű – nyüvek – nyüvet (maggot)

Remember! Mű keeps its long ű in the plural and accusative case.

And the other words, you know with two plurals and so two accusative case!

mag – magot magvat (seed)
lé – létlevet (juice)
daru – darutdarvat (crane)
falu – falut falvat (village)
tetű – tetűt tetvet (cootie)
szó – szót ! (word) ONE ACCUSATIVE CASE AND THE PLURAL IS SZÓKAT or SZAVAKAT!
fattyú – fattyútfattyat (bastard)

Group 7: MIXED WORDS.

You know mixed words are mixed because they contain e, é, i, í plus a deep-vowel.

1. Mixed words i, í + plus a deep vowel take the accusative suffix -OT or -T. (The plural is -OK, remember!)

iratot (document), kavicsot (pebble), tintát (ink)

2. Mixed words with e, é  + a deep vowel take –OT or -T.

sétányt (avenue), játékot (toy)

3. Monosyllabic words having long í in them are either high or deep. Remember their plural! The accusative suffix can be: -OT, -AT, -ET

gyíkot (lizard), síkot (plane), sípot (fife), csíkot (stripe)

díjat (award), íjat (bow), szíjat (strap), ín-inat (tendon), nyíl-nyilat (arrow), híd-hidat (bridge)

ívet (arch), rímet (rhyme), címet (title), víz-vizet (water)

AND csíny (prank), kín (pain), íny (gums) become: csínyt, kínt, ínyt

The three long ú words take -AT: borjú – borjat (calf), varjú-varjat (crow), fiú-fiút-fiat (boy-son)

Group 8: COMPOUND WORDS

Compound words are made accusative according to what noun is the last word.

házépítést – house construction
rövidnadrágot – shorts
fénykardot – light saber

Group 9: ADOPTED WORDS OR LOAN-WORDS

hotelt (hotel), fotelt (armchair), dizájnt (design), ímélt (e-mail), hárdvert (hardware), szoftvert (software)

SUPPLEMENTAL

férfi – férfiak – férfit (man) DEEP-VOWEL WORD!

ujj – ujjak – ujjat (finger) DEEP-VOWEL WORD!

arany – aranyak – aranyat  (gold) DEEP-VOWEL WORD!

E-Ö words: csend/csönd – csendet/csöndet (silence)

cseppet/csöppöt-csöppet: csepp/csöpp means drop (like a drop of water); If the the accusative is csöppet it means a bit. If the accusative is csöppöt then it’s the accusative for drop!!

PLURAL FOR ACCUSATIVE CASE

I forgot to mention the plural for nouns in accusative case. Example:

ház – házak – házat – házakat

So you first make the noun plural and then accusative with link vowel because there’s the k plural suffix. That’s all! But let’s more examples:

szem – szemek – szemet – szemeket (simple high-vowel word) / eyes

dolog – dolgok – dolgot – dolgokat (drop vowel word) / things

szamár – szamarak – szamarat – szamarakat (last vowel shortened) / donkies

ív – ívek – ívet – íveket (monosyllabic high-vowel word) / archs

and so on…

So remember! FIRST PLURAL + THEN ATTACH ACCUSATIVE! = NOUN + LINK VOWEL (if needed) + -K + LINK VOWEL + -T

Nouns and Plural Form – Subjective Case

NOUNS AND PLURAL FORM – SUBJECTIVE CASE

First the solution to the article exercise:

az ablak – the window

a konyha – the kitchen

egy ajtó – a door

egy kalap – a hat

egy / az élet – a life, the life

NOUNS

There is no need to worry about Hungarian nouns. As there is no gender discrimination in Hungarian, nouns are neither masculine nor feminine. They are just nouns like in English.

In English, the plural is formed in this way: houses, oxen, and there are a couple of exceptions for different reasons like fish, information, advice, police, people, man/men, child/children

The Hungarian plural is formed the suffix -k. You add that k to the end of the nouns like this: méhek (bees), emberek (people), házak (houses), állomások (stations). So far so good. What the difficulty comes from is that there are exceptions worthy of consideration.

Rule 1: words ending in a/e become á/é in the plural when at the end of a word.

anya – anyák (mother – mothers)
apa – apák (father – fathers)
kacsa – kacsák (duck – ducks)
kefe – kefék (brush – brushes)
eke – ekék (plough – ploughs)
teve – tevék (camel – camels)

Any other vowel is free from this rule. You just add -k to end of a word: kapuk (doors), padlók (floors), erdők (forests), kesztyűk (gloves).

NOTE! Hungarian nouns never end in short o / short ö!

Now, if nouns end in consonant or two consonants, it would be difficult even for us to pronounce those words. That’s way we need a vowel between the noun and the plural suffix -k. It’s called LINK VOWEL. Link vowels can be: o, a, e, ö.

Let’s see the high-vowel words first! High vowels are: e, é, ö, ő, ü, ű. Now let’s forget about i, í for a moment.

1. High-vowel words take the suffix -k + an e  or ö link vowel, that is the plural suffix for such words are -EK or -ÖK. Words having e, é take -EK. Examples:

emberek (people), jelek (signs), székek (chairs), gépek (machines)

2. High-vowel words whose last syllable is ö, ő, ü, ű take the plural -ÖK. Examples:

elnökök (presidents), gyümölcsök (fruits), köldökök (navels), küszöbök (thresholds), örömök (delights)

3. Monosyllabic high-vowel words containing ö, ő, ü, ű and ending in one or two consonants take -EK or -ÖK. These words must be memorized!

övek (belts), őzek (roes), tőgyek (udders), fülek (ears), ügyek (affairs), rügyek (burgeons), völgyek (valleys), hölgyek (ladies), könyvek (books), tölgyek (oaks), szörnyek (monsters), földek (lands), törzsek (trunks)

Irregular words are: szűz – szüzek (virgins) and tűz – tüzek (fires) whose long ű becomes short ü in the plural form!

tökök (marrows), gyökök (roots), körök (circles), szőrök (hairs), bőrök (skins), gőzök (steams), bűzök (stenches), őrök (guards), böjtök (fasts), törpök (elves), szörpök (syrups), görcsök (cramps), fürtök (clusters), kürtök (horns)

4. High-vowel suffixes requiring -EK. You don’t have to know what those suffixes do, but if you see them, you’ll know how to put them in the plural form.

  • -vény / emelvények – platforms
  • -mény / élmények – experiences
  • -és / kérések – requests
  • -et / felületek – surfaces
  • -ség / térségek – areas
  • -ész / kertészek – gardeners
  • -zet / mennyezetek – ceilings

Sorry if some English words (which shouldn’t be) are made plural, but I want to show you how those Hungarian words can be made plural.

Now we’ll talk about deep-vowel nouns.

Rule 3: Deep-vowel words take the plural -OK or -AK.

1. Standard deep-vowel nouns simply take -OK:

kalapok (hats), állatok (animals), vonatok (trains), lányok (girls)

2. Two monosyllabic deep-vowel words take -AK: fogak (tooth/teeth), tollak (pens; feathers)

3. Some monosyllabic deep-vowel words containing a, á take the plural -AK (because of historical reasons). I’m going to write just a few of them. You can see and learn the rest in the book you can download:

kádak (bath-tubs), falak (walls), halak (fish), gyárak (factories)

4. Monosyllabic deep-vowel words ending in two consonants and having a, á either take -OK or -AK. No rules for them. You’d better memorize them.

árnyak (shadows), szárnyak (wings), nyársak (prods), társak (mates), sarjak (sprouts), tárgyak (objects)

BUT!

tapsok (applauses), kardok (swords), partok (shores, beaches), pártok (parties – political), pántok (straps), táncok (dances), sáncok (fortifications)

5. Deep-vowel suffixes requiring -OK. You don’t need to know (yet) what these suffixes do, but if you see them, you know you have to make them plural with -OK.

-vány / látványok  – spectacles
-mány / takarmányok – forages
-ás / szokások – customs
-at / lakatok – padlocks
-ság / társaságok – companionships
-ász / jogászok – jurists
-zat / ruházatok – clothings

Furthermore, there are three nouns ending in ú and taking the plural -AK:

borjú / borjak (calves)
varjú / varjak (crows)

AND

fiú has two plural forms: fiúk / fiak. The plural FIÚK means BOYS, while the plural FIAK means SONS.

DROP-VOWEL NOUNS

Drop-vowel nouns are words suffering some kind of mutation when made plural (and also accusative. Later about that). Let’s see this example: BOKOR (bush)

Step 1: Remove the last vowel BOKOR and you get this: BOKR

Step 2: Figure out what link vowel you need. In this case, it’s logical. We need O: BOKRO

Step 3: Add the plural suffix -K: BOKROK

BOKOR – bush
BOKROK – bushes

There are a couple of nouns like bokor. I’ll give you a few examples. The rest is in the book:

álom / álmok (dreams), dolog /dolgok (things), ököl / öklök (fists), szobor / szobrok (statues)

Typical drop-vowel nouns are words ending in -ALOM, -ELEM suffix: szerelem / szerelmek (loves), hatalom / hatalmak (powers).

-ALOM becomes -ALMAK
-ELEM becomes -ELMEK

This time it’s about nouns whose last vowel gets shorter when in a closed syllable. Only a couple of words belong to this group, so don’t worry about it.

NOUNS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

With these words it is easy to know the plural. -Ek for high-vowel words, -AK for deep-vowel words. Basically, all we’re talking about is words containing Á or É in that last closed syllable.

Let me show an example about what that last vowel thing means:

MADÁR (bird)
MADARAK (birds)

EGÉR (mouse)
EGEREK (mice)

You see the Á becomes A and the word takes the plural -AK, as well, as the É becomes E and the word takes the plural -EK. That’s it! . These words (and those two above) are the ones you should take care  about:

DEEP-VOWEL WORDS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

kanál / kanalak – spoons
szamár / szamarak – donkies
pohár / poharak – glasses (like you drink from a glass)
bogár / bogarak – bugs
nyár / nyarak – summers
sár / sarak – muds

Here I have to mention some monosyllabic words having long ú becoming short u!!

kút / kutak – wells
lúd / ludakgeese
úr / urak – lords, gentlemen
út / utak – roads
nyúl / nyulak – rabbits

HIGH-VOWEL WORDS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

szekér / szekerek – carts
tehén / tehenek – cows
kenyér / kenyerekslices of bread
fedél /fedelek – roofs, covers
veréb / verebek – sparrows
cserép / cserepek – tiles
szemét / szemetek – rubbish
levél / levelek – leaves, letters
ég / egek – skies
ér / erek – veins
fél /felek – members
szél / szelek – winds
bél / belek – bowels
tél / telek – winters
dél / delek – noons
nyél / nyelek – handles, shafts
dér / derek – white frosts
tér / terek – squares
légy / legyek – flies

And in parallel with the monosyllabic long ú words, here we have two monosyllabic long ű words. That long ű becomes short ü in the plural. You already know these words, actually.

szűz / szüzek – virgins
tűz / tüzek – fires

And two irregular nouns: DERÉK / DEREKAK (waists), FAZÉK / FAZEKAK (pots)

V-WORDS

V-words are nouns getting a V inserted in the plural. High-vowel words take the plural suffix -EK, deep-vowel words take the suffix -AK. Furthermore, the long vowel (ő, ű, ó) becomes short (ö, ü, o) in the plural. It’s really just a few words:

kő / kövek – stones
cső / csövek – tubes
tő / tövek – roots, stems
ló / lovak – horses
tó / tavak – lakes
fű / füvek – grass(es)
mű / művek – works, factories
nyű / nyüvek – maggots

NOTE! The long ű in MŰVEK doesn’t change in the plural.

There are words with V-words characteristics, but they have two plural forms. A regular plural and a V-plural. Some have different meanings.

mag / magok / magvak – seeds
lé / lék /levek – juices
daru / daruk / darvak – cranes
falu / faluk / falvak – villages
tetű / tetűk / tetvek – cooties
szó / szók /szavak – words
fattyú / fattyúk / fattyak – bastards (or children who were not born in marriage)

The plurals for mag, lé, falu, tetű, fattyú mean the same thing.

DARU: daruk refers to the machine, while darvak means the animal.

SZÓ: szók is used with grammar expressions (kérdőszók – interrogative words), while szavak is used with general expressions (szép szavak – nice words)

There’s one thing I didn’t talk about yet: MIXED WORDS

Mixed words are words containing both deep and high vowels! They are mixed words because they have I, Í, E, É in them plus a deep vowel. As a rule, the last vowel decides if a noun is a high or deep-vowel word.

1. Mixed nouns having I, Í plus a deep-vowel in them are deep-vowel words and take the plural -OK:

iratok (documents), szállítmányok (shipments), kavicsok (pebbles), tinták (inks)

2. Mixed nouns with E, É plus a deep-vowel in them are deep-vowel words and take the plural -OK:

sétányok (avenues), játékok (toys), tányérok (plates), szomszédok (neighbours)

3. Monosyllabic nouns containing long í are either high or deep words. They have to be memorized! The plural can be: -ok, -ak, -ek

gyíkok (lizards)
kínok (pains)
sípok (fife)
síkok (planes)
sírok (tombs)
csíkok (stripes)

díjak (awards)
íjak (bows)
szíjak (straps)
ín / inak (tendons) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I
híd / hidak (bridges) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I
nyíl / nyilak (arrows) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I

csínyek (pranks)
színek (colors)
ívek (archs)
rímek (rhymes)
címek (titles)
írek (Irish)
díszek (ornaments)
hírek (news)
ínyek (palates, gums)
sínek (rails)
ízek (flavors)
víz / vizek (waters) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I

And another word: rizs / rizsek (rice)

COMPOUND WORDS

A compound word is one word consisting of two words .

Hungarian compound words are deep or high according to what characteristics the last word has! Here you see the words, what they become and the plural form attached to them.

ház + építések = házépítések – house constructions
torna + terem = tornatermek – gymnasia (literally: gymnastics rooms)
lámpa + oszlop = lámpaoszlopok – lamp posts

ADOPTED WORDS or LOAN-WORDS

LOAN-WORDS are foreign words already adopted to the Hungarian writing system. Their plural form still vary, but there’s no difference in their meaning.

fotel / fotelok or fotelek – armchairs
hotel / hotelok or hotelek – hotels

NOTE! Hungarian writing likes assimilating foreign words if the use of those words has become prevalent enough.

dizájnok – designs
ímélek – emails
szoftverek – softwares
hárdverek – hardwares

ALSO NOTE! Foreign words are often mixed words by Hungarian concept, so we need to decide which group they belong to (high or deep) and deal with them accordingly.

SUPPLEMENTAL

Let’s see some words we haven’t talked about yet. These words are irregular, so be careful with them!

FÉRFI – man: looks a harmless high-vowel word, but it is a DEEP-VOWEL NOUN! Its plural is: FÉRFIAK – men

UJJ – finger: obviously a deep-vowel word and its plural is UJJAK – fingers

ARANY – gold: deep-vowel word and the plural is ARANYAK – golds!!

Furthermore, there are high-vowel words having E or Ö which vowels are still changing. NOTE! The plural for such nouns are -EK! Example:

CSEND – silence / CSENDEK  – (silences)
CSÖND – silence / CSÖNDEK – (silences)

It’s not important which you use if they stand alone. If they’re part of a compound word the E version is used!

CSENDHÁBORÍTÁS – riot (literally: silence perturbation or breach of silence )

CSEPPFOLYÓS – liquid, fluid

GOOD NEWS! WE’RE DONE WITH NOUNS!!!!

From the next entry on, we’ll take a look at the ACCUSATIVE CASE of these nouns.