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!

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