Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Time, Summary

So we’ve arrived at the end of this topic (adverbs of time). Below you see a summary with the names of the cases. However, we’re still talking about TIME in the following entries, too. Expressing time, date and so on…

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ADVERBS OF TIME

Suffixes/Postpositions > Case
= English Equilvalent

-val, -vel > instrumental case
= with

-kor > temporal case
= at (five, dawn)

-ig > terminative case
= until (tomorrow), up to (the house)

-tól, -től…-ig = from…(up) to

-(o/e)nként, -(o)nta, -(e)nte > distributive temporal case
= every, each, on…s (every day, on Mondays)

óta = for (a day), since (I arrived)

múlva = in, within (a year)

közben, alatt, során, folyamán = during, in the course of

körül, tájt, tájban = about (nine o’clock), round, towards (midnight)

felé = towards morning (a period of hour or day starts)

előtt, után = before, after

-val, -vel ezelőtt = ago (two days ago)

között = between (two and three o’clock)

hosszat = for (hours on end)

-n, -on, -en, -ön át/keresztül = for (two days)

-n, -on, -en, -ön belül = within (a week)

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Time, More Stuff

…-VAL, -VEL EZELŐTT

This construction expresses a moment in the past and even determines it. English equivalent is: ago. Előtt is not to be confused with ezelőtt!

Öt perccel ezelőtt láttam.
I saw her five minutes ago.

Kilenc hónappal ezelőtt még nem tudtam róla.
I didn’t know about it nine months ago.

-(O)NTA, -(E)NTE, -NKÉNT

These express frequency, that something repeats at certain intervals.

The English equivalents are: every or on…s. The suffix -nként is used for the days of the week and periods of the day.

These suffixes can be replaced by the indefinite pronoun minden, meaning every. In this case, minden is followed by -n, -on, -en, -ön for days and –ban, -ben for year, month! See the examples:

naponta = minden nap > every day
hetente = minden héten > every week
havonta = minden hónapban > every month
évente = minden évben > every year
hétfőnként = minden hétfőn > every Monday, on Mondays
keddenként = minden kedden > every Tuesday, on Tuesdays
esténként = minden este > every night
délutánonként = minden délután > every afternoon

The questions are: Milyen gyakran? Hányszor? = How often? How many times?

THE DEFINITE ARTICLE AZ

Sometimes the definite article may assume the function of putting an adverb of time in past or future tense.

az este = tegnap este > last night
a héten = ezen a héten > this week
a napokban = az elmúlt napokban > the other day

Az este nem tudtam aludni. – I couldn’t get a sleep last night.
A héten alig láttalak. – I hardly saw you this week.
A napokban hallottam a hírt. – I’ve heard the news recently.
Majd a nyáron napozunk! – We’ll sunbathe next summer.

FELÉ

This postposition equals to: towards. You see the literal translation below.

este felé – towards night
reggel felé – towards morning

KÖZÖTT

English equivalent: between. It expresses a given moment between two points in time.

két és három óra között – between two and three o’clock

TÁJBAN, TÁJT, KÖRÜL

If something happens approximately at a specific moment, Hungarian offers more possibilities: körül, tájban, tájt.

Dél körül ebédelni megyünk.
We’ll go to have lunch round at noon.

Nyolc körül várlak a színházban.
I’ll wait for you in the theatre at about eight.

Éjféltájt szinte mindenki alszik.
Almost everybody sleeps around midnight.

Öt óra tájban érkezik a vonat.
The train arrives at about five.

IN PROGRESS

Hungarian has at least four postpositions to express something in progress, something happening during a specific moment. Here they are: KÖZBEN, ALATT, SORÁN, FOLYAMÁN. They’re equivalents to during, in the course of.

Alvás közben tehetetlenek vagyunk.
While sleeping, we’re helpless.

Evés közben jön meg az étvágy.
Appetite comes while eating. (Much will have more.)

A tárgyalás alatt minden rendben ment.
Everything was alright during the negotiation.

A verseny folyamán páran megsérültek.
In the course of the race some people have been injured.

A vizsgálat során nem találtak hibát.
No error was found during the investigation.

-N, -EN, -ON, -ÖN KERESZTÜL / ÁT

In this way, one can express a longer, more extended period. English equivalent: for.

Éveken át hallgattam a nyavajgását.
I’ve been listening to his complains for years now.

Hónapokon keresztül nem ehet zsíros ételt.
He’s not allowed to eat fat meals for months.

Két órán keresztül bámult maga elé.
He stared in front of him for two hours.

It’s worth to mention hosszat which has the same meaning, but it is used in certain expressions only:

órák hosszat = for hours on end; naphosszat = all days long

MIELŐTT

English says: before

Mielőtt megszidsz, hallgass meg (engem)!
Before you haul me over the coals, please listen to me!

SOME FREQUENT ADVERBS OF TIME

soha – never
néha – sometimes, now and then
valaha – ever (Have you ever loved me?)
soká(ra) – late
sokáig – for a long time
örökké – forever
soha többet/többé soha/többé nem – never again
éppen most/az előbb/az imént – just now
későn – late
korán – early
nyomban/azonnal/rögtön/tüstént – right away, right now, immediately, on the spot
már – already, yet (I know already. Have you arrived yet?)
most – now
ma este/ma délután/ma reggel – tonight/this afternoon/this morning
még ma – this very day

WHICH YEAR?

Hungarian has special words to express which year I will do something.

az idén – this year
tavaly – last year
jövőre – next year

Examples in sentences:

Az idén érettségizek.
I’ll graduate from a high school this year.

Tavaly nősültem meg.
I married last year.

Jövőre egyetemre megyek.
Next year I’ll go to a college.

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Time, Múlva-Belül-Előtt-Után

MÚLVA

It is a postposition that refers to an event in the future. Formed from the verb ’múlik’ (to pass). English equivalent is the preposition in.

Hat nap múlva találkozunk.
See you in six days.

Egy év múlva gimnáziumba megyek.
I’ll go to a high-school in a year’s time.

-N, -EN, -ON, -ÖN BELÜL

Postposition that determines a limit in time. English equivalents: in, within. ’Belül’ takes the suffixes -n, -on, -en, -ön!

Tíz hónapon belül el kell végeznünk a munkát.
We’ll have to finish the job within ten months.

Az új autó két éven belül kész lesz.
The new car will be ready within two years.

ELŐTT, UTÁN

The postposition előtt means before, whereas után expresses after.

Két óra előtt ne hívj (engem)!
Don’t call me before two o’clock!

Két óra után hívhatsz (engem).
You can call me after two o’clock.

három év után – after three years

nem sokkal karácsony előtt – shortly before Christmas

holnapután – the day after tomorrow

tegnapelőtt – the day before yesterday

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Time, Mióta? = … óta

HOW LONG? SINCE WHEN?

This question word goes like this: the interrogative word ’Mi?’ takes the adverb of time óta, that is:

MIÓTA?

The answer is not evident in all cases: it is formed with óta, but also with the suffixes -e, -ja equal to for, since. And as usual, the definite pronouns az, ez can be paired with óta.

Mióta vagy itt? – How long have you been here?
Két hete. – For two weeks.
Három napja. – For three days.
Egy órája. – For an hour.
Egy éve. – For a year.
Régóta. – For a long time.
Jó ideje. – For a while.

Azóta, hogy elmondta…
Since he told me about…

Amióta idejött, egész nap alszik.
Since he came here, he’s been sleeping all day long.

Attention! When you ask ’From when to when?’, Hungarian can say Mettől meddig?

Mettől meddig maradsz Pécsen? – How long are you staying in Pécs?
Hétfőtől péntekig. – From Monday to Friday.
Kettőtől ötig. – From two to five.
Amíg szükséges. – Until it’s necessary.

But this is just a possibility. You can simply ask Meddig?

Another new word: amíg = until. The Hungarian ’amíg’ ALWAYS precedes the negative ’nem’, unlike English.

Amíg nem fekszel le, nem mondok mesét.
I’ll tell you no tales until you go to bed.

Meddig duzzogsz még? –Amíg el nem megy.
How long will you be sulking? –Until he’s gone.

So the Hungarian equivalents for How long? How far? are:

How long? How far? = Meddig?
How long? Since When? = Mióta?

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Time, The Suffix -ig

MOMENTS OR PERIODS WITH THE SUFFIX -IG

Let’s ask a question relative to a specific moment:

Mikor kelsz fel?
When do you get up?

Let’s ask a question relative to a specific period:

Meddig maradsz Magyarországon?
How long will you stay in Hungary?

The question Meddig? has a meaning for time (How long?) and place (How far?).

Meddig mész még?
How far are you going?

That is Meddig? = How long? How far?

To express a limit for a distance, the suffix -ig is used, which refers to time and place, and has one form only. If you want to say ’From when to when?’ or ’From where to where?’, then the suffixes –tól, -től are used with -ig.

háromtól hatig – from three to six
reggeltől estig – from morning till night
Keddig még várok. – I’ll wait until Tuesday.
Holnaptól minden megváltozik. – From tomorrow on everything changes.
A vonat öt percig vár. – The train will be waiting five minutes.
Pécstől Pestig megy a vonat. – The train goes from Pécs to Pest.
Elviszlek az iskoláig. – I’ll take you to school.
Torkig vagyok veletek! – I’m fed up with you!

The last sentence literally means: ”I’m up to my throat with you!”

Summary: …-tól, -től…-ig = from…to…

This phenomenon with ’-tól, -től + -ig’ is called TERMINATIVE CASE.

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Time, The Suffix -kor

THE SUFFIX -KOR

The suffix -kor determines a certain period. It is called TEMPORAL CASE. Not to be confused with the noun kór written with long ó, which means disease! But there’s another noun kor with short o, which means age, era!

kór – disease
kor – age, era, period
kor – preposition at

It has one form only! The question word is Mikor? = When? Examples:

Mikor? – When?
éjfélkor – at midnight
szürkületkor – at nightfall
napnyugtakor, napkeltekor – at sunset, at sunrise
pirkadatkor – at dawn
Hatkor találkozunk. I’ll see you at six.
karácsonykor – at Christmas
húsvétkor – at Easter
máskor – another time
bármikor – whenever; at all hours
ilyenkor – at this time; in this case

Of course, it can be attached to the pronouns ez, az: ekkor, akkor.

ekkor = then, at this time
akkor = then, at that time

Other periods of day or season are expressed in a different way. Either with -ban, -ben or -n, -on, -en, -ön or there’s just a word for them.

hajnalban – at dawn
délben – at noon
télen – in winter
nyáron – in summer
délelőtt – in the morning
délután – in the afternoon

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of time, Still About -val, -vel

THE SUFFIXES -VAL, -VEL WITH THE DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS EZ, AZ

The possibilities are two: the v in -val, -vel assimilates with the z in az, ez or vice versa.

ezzel – with this
evvel – with this
azzal – with that
avval – with that

And the plural: ezekkel – with these, azokkal – with those

According to grammatical rules evvel, avval, ezzel are pronouns, whereas azzal is a conjunction when followed with ”hogy”.

Evvel/Ezzel a tollal írok.
I’m writing with this pen.

Avval a lánnyal táncolok.
I’m dancing with that girl.

Nem segítesz azzal, hogy hazudsz nekem.
You don’t help with lying to me.

Azzal, hogy hazudsz, nem segítesz.
Since you’re lying to me, you’re not much of a help.

However, this distinctive use has faded out from the spoken language. You could also say:

Avval, hogy hazudsz…

WITH TIME

Now what on earth has -val, -vel anything to do with adverbs of time? The answer is: a lot of adverbs are formed with these suffixes.

I could start explaining myself with this sentence:

Idővel minden seb begyógyul. All wounds heal in time.

You see English says ’in time’, but Hungarian prefers ’with time’! I’m getting at the fact that in Hungarian it is possible to use -val, -vel more often than the preposition with in English. And the reason for that is:

éjjel – at night
nappal – daytime, by day
reggel – in the morning
ősszel – in autumn/fall
tavasszal – in spring
egyúttal – at the same time
idővel – in time
éjjel-nappal – day and night

It’s apparent that a bunch of adverbs of time can be paired with -val, -vel. Some of them can do without: este – in the evening; éjszaka – at night. In addition, some of them behave like adverb and noun at the same time.

éjjel – night; at night
nappal – daytime; in the daytime
reggel – morning; in the morning
este – evening; in the evening
éjszaka – night; at night

Éjszaka and éjjel have the same meaning.

Éjjel/Éjszaka a baglyok huhognak.
Owls ululate at night.

Bye now! 🙂