How to use the conjunction ‘hogy’?

The conjunction ‘hogy’ is not to be confused with the interrogative pronoun Hogy. The first means that, the latter is equivalent to How.

that = hogy

How? = Hogy? Hogyan?

English likes to omit that even if no interrogative pronoun is present: They thought he was injured. It always omits it when an interrogative pronoun is inserted: Whisper in my ears what your secret is.

In Hungarian the use of hogy has become more and more frequent over the last decades, but this process has already begun in the Habsburg era. The cumbersome German sentence structures had an influence on the Hungarian language. People thought it was cool” to imitate the way of speaking which could be heard from the Austrians every day.

The very nature of our language is that it does not like to plunge into circumstantial sentence construction. It can, but ”it does not really like it”.


To speak Hungarian more fluidly, you can omit hogy when the subordinate clause begins with an interrogative pronoun. (By the way, in reality, Hungarian has no subordinate clause, only secondary clause.)

Nem tudtam, hogy mit tegyek.
I didn’t know what to do.
Nem tudtam, mit tegyek.
I didn’t know what to do.

Kíváncsiak voltunk, hogy miért fordultál ellenünk.
We were curious why you’ve turned against us.
Kíváncsiak voltunk, miért fordultál ellenünk.
We were curious why you’ve turned against us.


When it comes the How-Hogy, there is no Good and Better solution, only Right or Wrong. In this case it is a must that we omit the conjunction hogy.

Áruld el, hogy hogy tudtad meg.
Tell me how you’ve learned it.
Áruld el, hogy tudtad meg.
Tell me how you’ve learned it.

A better solution of the right solution is using the emphasized version of Hogy, which is Hogyan.

Áruld el, hogyan tudtad meg. – Tell me how you’ve learned it.


More examples with the Better solution:

Tudja, mit akar, és mindig el is éri a célját.
knows what he wants and he always achieves his goal.

Senki nem érti, miért követte el a gyilkosságot.
understands why he has committed murder.

Hívtam és végre elmondta, mikor érkezik a vonattal.
I called her and she finally
told me when her train will arrive.

Hallottam a zajt, de el sem tudtam képzelni, ki járkálhatott a kertemben tegnap este.
I heard the noise, but I couldn’t possibly
imagine who was walking around in my garden last night.

A rendőr arra kért, mondjam el, hány betörőt láttam ma reggel.
The police officer asked
me to tell him how many burglers I have seen this morning.

Ki tudja, merre van a posta?
knows where the post-office is?

With verbs expressing opinion, belief it is your choice to use ‘hogy’ regardless whether the sentence has a question word or not.

Gondolom, (hogy) jól mulattál a partin.
I guess you had fun at the party.

Azt hiszitek, (hogy) nem ismerem a szánalmas trükkjeiteket?
Do you think I don’t know your pitiful tricks?



With verbs that express will, desire we put hogy in the subordinate clause.

Azt akarom, hogy többet ne viselkedj így.
I don’t
want you to behave like that ever again.
Literally: I want that you don’t behave like that ever again.

A delegáció úgy óhajtja, hogy a tárgyalás máris elkezdődjön.
The delegation
wishes that the negotiations begin right now.

Senki nem kívánhatja, hogy ez még egyszer megtörténjen.
Nobody can possibly wish
that this happen once again.


Under any other circumstances, we do put ‘hogy’ in the sentence. In the following sentence you can also see that English has different methods to express the Hungarian hogy.

Hallottad, hogy a barátod kórházba került?
Have you heard that your friend was taken to hospital?

Ki mondta, hogy sehol egy rendőr, amikor szükség van rá?
said (that) there is no cop around when you need one?

Az államügyész azt állítja, hogy nem tudott a megvesztegetésről.
The district attorney
claims not to have known about the corruption.

2 comments on “How to use the conjunction ‘hogy’?

  1. Márton Polgár says:

    Nem értették, hogy csinálom? Ez lenne a “right way”? Hát kétlem. Persze “hogyan”-nal menthető, de nem sietnék ezzel a “wrong” és “right” dologgal…


    • hunlang says:

      Azt is lehet mondani: ‘Nem értették, hogy hogy csinálom’. Nem ezzel van a baj, hanem azzal, hogy túl gyakran mondjuk a ‘hogy’ kötőszót. Sokszor nyugodtan elhagyhatnánk.


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