Word Order – Unalterable Rules


The definite/indefinite articles precede the noun:
a vaj – the butter
az iskola – the school
egy lány – a girl

The demonstrative pronouns ez, az are followed by the definite articles a, az in constructions like:
ez a ház – this house
az az ember – that man

Adverbs of manner usually precede the verb they refer to:
Vidáman futkos. – It’s running happily.
Kiválóan énekel. – She’s excellent at singing.
Literally: She sings excellently.

Adverbs of state/condition take a position at the beginning of the sentence:
Nyilván nem jön. – Obviously he won’t come.
Összességében jó gyerek. – All in all, he’s a good child.

The negative word nem precedes the word it refers to:
Nem tudom. – I don’t know
Ő nem a könyvet olvassa. – He’s not reading the book.

The conjunctions is, se follow the word they refer to:
én is/én seme too/me neither

Accusative and dative pronouns follow the verb if unstressed:
Látom őt. – I see him.
Adok neki egy könyvet. – I give him a book.

Accusative and dative pronouns precede the verb if stressed:
Őt látom. – I see him (not them).
Neki adok egy könyvet. – I give him a book (not them).

Dative pronouns precede impersonal verbs and impersonal contructions (kell, szabad, könnyű, lehetetlen…), but are not mandatory to say:
(Nekem) fel kell kelnem. – I must get up.
(Neked) tilos oda menned.You must not go over there.
(Nekik) könnyű hazudni. – It’s easy for them to lie.

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