Definite and Indefinite Articles

Definite and Indefinite Articles

Before jumping into ‘How to make nouns plural?’, we should talk about the articles. But first things first. Let’s see the solutions to the exercises in last blog entry.

ablakon, repülőtől, bankban, egyetemen, állomáson

ablak contains deep vowel, so it takes the suffix -ban
– repülő is high vowel, so it takes -től
– bank is deep vowel, it takes -ban
egyetem is unequivocally a high-vowel word, so it takes -en
állomás is definitely a deep-vowel word, so it takes -on

Were you answers good? I hope so . If not, practice, practice, practice. And now the articles!

Hungarian articles can be definite and indefinite like in English. There are two definite articles: a, az (the). There’s only one indefinite article: egy (a, an).

The definite article a is used with words beginning with a consonant: a tábla (the board), a férfi (the man).
The definite article az is used with words beginning with a vowel: az állat (the animal), az erdő (the forest).

The indefinite article egy is used both with words beginning with a vowel or consonant: egy tábla (a board), egy férfi (a man), egy állat (an animal), egy erdő (a forest). The thing about the indefinite article is that it is a weak/not stressed form of the number egy (one). If you say ‘egy tábla’, the stress is on tábla. If you talk about ONE board and no more than that, the stress is on egy.

EGY as INDEFINITE ARTICLE: EGY TÁBLA (verbal emphasis on tábla)
EGY as NUMERAL: EGY TÁBLA (verbal emphasis on egy)

Exercises: choose the proper form. The English examples will help you.

a / az ? ablak – the window

a / az ? konyha – the kitchen

egy / a ? ajtó – a door

az / egy ? kalap – a hat

a / egy / az ? élet – a life, the life

After learning how to put nouns in the plural, I’ll write an entry about the use of Hungarian articles which many times differs from English. And most importantly, all you have to deal with is A, AZ, EGY. Hungarian articles are NOT PUT IN ANY CASE OR NUMBER, much like in English.

Suffixes / Adverbs of Place – ez, az


Remember this:

When the demonstrative pronouns ez, az (this, that) take a suffix learned before, the object following them also takes the same suffix according to vowel harmony!

Examples with subjective, accusative and dative case:

Sub: ez a lány – this girl
Acc: ezt a lányt – this girl
Dat: ennek a lánynak – to/for this girl

Sub: az a nő – that woman
Acc: azt at – that woman
Dat: annak a nek – to/for that woman

Note that you have to use the DEFINITE ARTICLE after the demonstrative pronoun: ez a lány, az a

More examples in sentences:

Ez az étterem drága.
This restaurant is expensive.

Ezt az éttermet nem ismerem.
I don’t know this restaurant.

Ebben az étteremben jól főznek.
In this restaurant they cook well.

Ettől az étteremtől messze van.
It is far away from this restaurant.

Ehhez az étteremhez menj nyolcra!
Go to this restaurant by eight!

Az a kocsi régi.
That car is old.

Azt a kocsit eladom.
I’m going to sell that car.

Abban a kocsiban nincs benzin.
In that car is no gasoline.

Attól a kocsitól dübörög a ház.
The house is shaking with that car.

Ahhoz a kocsihoz lépek.
I’ll make a step to(wards) that car.

Ez, az assimilate with the suffixes and lose its z:

ez + be = ebbe
ez + ben = ebben
ez + ből = ebből
ez + re = erre
ez + en = ezen*
ez + ről = erről
ez + nél = ennél
ez + hez = ehhez*
ez + től = ettől

az + ba = abba
az + ban = abban
az + ból = abból
az + ra = arra
az + on = azon
az + ról = arról
az + nál = annál
az + hoz = ahhoz
az + tól = attól

* ez, az + -en, -on = no assimilation!
* ez, az + -hez, -hoz = assimilation causes double h not doubled in speech!

And the plural for ez, az is: EZEK, AZOK. Their use is simple because their plural form does not assimilate! Just a few examples:

ezekre (onto these), azokra (onto those), ezekben (in these), azokban (in those)…