Reported Question

Before taking a look at reported question, let’s see some more examples for reported speech.


Take my hand’, John said to Mary.
Fogd meg a kezem!” -mondta John Mary-nek.

John told Mary to take his hand.
John azt mondta Mary-nek, hogy fogja meg a kezét.

Stop it, son, or I’ll slap you in the face.’, the mother said.
Hagyd abba, fiam vagy pofon ütlek téged.” -mondta az anya.

The mother told his son to stop it or she would slap him in the face.
Az anya azt mondta a fiának, hogy hagyja abba vagy pofon üti őt.

You see that the pronouns changed, just as the possessive endings according to reported or direct speech. And NOTE that Hungarian uses inversion and dash instead of a comma:

,the mother said = –mondta az anya

Furthermore, Hungarian uses double quotation marks, not just something like an apostrophe:

Stop it.= Hagyd abba!

But the first quotation mark used in Hungarian at the beginning of the sentence is at the bottom of the letter and not at the top of the letter. I can’t write such things on this blog. It only allows me to write it as you see “…”.


It is quite the same. Examples:

“Tényleg beteg?” –kérdezte Márk.
Is she really ill?’, Mark asked.

Márk azt kérdezte, hogy tényleg beteg-e.
Mark asked if she was really ill.

Vettél uborkát is, Béla?” –kiváncsiskodott a feleség.
Did you buy some cucumber, Béla?’, the wife wondered.

A feleség arról kíváncsiskodott, hogy Béla vette-e uborkát.
The wife wondered if  Béla bought some cucumber.

It is not rare that the subordinate clause is introduced by IF, WHETHER whose Hungarian equivalents are:

-e, vajon

Take a look at the use:

He asked me if I would go to school.
Azt kérdezte, hogy megyek-e iskolába.

He asked me whether I would go to school.
Azt kérdeztevajon megyek-e iskolába.

He asked me whether to go to school.
Azt kérdezte, elmegyek-e iskolába.

So most of the time you can just use -e in such sentences. However, when English says ‘I wonder if…’, then Hungarian uses vajon. And then, usually the Hungarian sentence is a question. But vajon is not always a good solution. Sometimes it’s better to translate it with the adjective kiváncsi!

I wonder if he comes. – Vajon eljön?

She wonders if you told the truth.
Kiváncsi, hogy az igazat mondtad-e.

Note that -e is connected with a hyphen to the verb: mondtad-e

So much for reported speech. Next time I’ll write stuff about the passive voice, then phrasal verbs.

Bye now! 🙂

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