Definite Conjugation in Past Tense

The definite conjugation for past tense looks like this:

Group 1:
-(ot)tam, -(et)tem, -(öt)tem
-(ot)tad, -(et)ted, -(öt)ted
-(ot)ta, -(et)te, -(öt)te
-(ot)tuk, -(et)tük, -(öt)tük
-(ot)tátok, -(et)tétek, -(öt)tétek
-(ot)ták, -(et)ték, -(öt)ték

Like with the indefinite conjugation, the extended suffix with a link vowel and one more t are for Group 2 verbs. First Group 1 verbs:

NÉZNI = TO WATCH
néztem
nézted
nézte
néztük
néztétek
nézték

MELLŐZNI = TO NEGLECT
mellőztem
mellőzted
mellőzte
mellőztük
mellőztétek
mellőzték

RAKNI = TO PUT
raktam
raktad
rakta
raktuk
raktátok
rakták

You see that the 3rd PS definite form is the same for high verbs containing ö, ő, ü, ű in the last syllable and standard high verbs: nézte, mellőzte

Now let’s see some Group 2 verbs!

Monosyllabic verbs in -t / -ít: köt (to knit), aprít (to chop)
kötöttem, kötötted, kötötte, kötöttük, kötöttétek, kötötték
aprítottam, aprítottad, aprította, aprítottuk, aprítottátok, aprították

Verbs in two consonants: sejt (to suspect), gyújt (to light)
sejtettem, sejtetted, sejtette, sejtettük, sejtettétek, sejtették
gyújtottam, gyújtottad, gyújtotta, gyújtottuk, gyújtottátok, gyújtották

You see now we used suffixes with a link vowel and one more t, which you can see in brackets at the beginning of this entry.

NOTE! The verb LÁT (to see) is the only monosyllabic verb belonging to Group 1, so it takes no link vowel in past tense. Definite conjugation:

láttam, láttad, látta, láttuk, láttátok, látták

As for -ik verbs and verbs in -s, -sz, -z, all I can say is that they are not exceptional in past tense. What’s more, you’ve already seen a verb in -z and an -ik verb while reading this and the previous entry: néz, vesződik. The definite and indefinite conjugation for them are the same as for any other regular verb.

Next time we’ll learn some exceptions. Bye now! 🙂

Definite Conjugation for “Exceptional” Verbs in -s, -sz, -z

We’ve discussed verbs in -s, -sz, -z and -ik verbs for the indefinite conjugation. What about the definite conjugation for such verbs?

I write about these verbs in the same entry because as you saw they have something in common when conjugated with the indefinite suffixes. They also have something in common with the definite suffixes. And that is:

ASSIMILATION

In the Hungarian language, assimilation means that the last consonant of the first word assimilates with the first consonant of the second word and this process results in DOUBLED consonants.

For exceptional verbs, this rule is valid for the 3rd PS, 3rd PP, 1st PP, 2nd PP forms! The consonants -s, -sz, -z assimilate with the j of these suffixes: -ja, -juk, -jük, -játok, -ják. As you see, we have to deal mainly with deep suffixes (-ja, -juk, -játok, -ják) and one high suffix (-jük).

Examples:

néz (to watch), les (to peep), tesz (to put)
ráz (to shake), mos (to wash), mászik (to climb)

With mászik we also have an -ik verb.

-JÜK:
z + -jük = nézzük
les + -jük = lessük
tesz + -jük = tesszük

-JA:
z + -ja = rázza
mos + -ja = mossa
sz + -ja = mássza

-JUK:
z + -juk = rázzuk
mos + -juk = mossuk
sz + -juk = másszuk

-JÁTOK:
z + -játok = rázzátok
mos + -játok = mossátok
sz + -játok = másszátok

-JÁK:
z + -ják = rázzák
mos + -ják = mossák
sz + -ják = másszák

It seems a little bit complicated, but all you need is practising a lot and then it will be simple. 🙂

A little exercise if you feel like doing it. Replace the question mark with the right definite conjugation form.

úsz + -ja = ?

nyúz + -ják = ?

vés + -jük = ?

olvas + -játok = ?

nyes + -jük = ?

More next time. Bye! 🙂

Definite Conjugation – Present Tense

The definite conjugation is easier than the indefinite one. You don’t have to deal with issues the indefinite has.

SUFFIXES:

-(o)m, -(e)m, -(ö)m
-(o)d, -(e)d, -(ö)d
-ja, -i
-juk, -jük
-játok, -itek
-ják, -ik

1st and 2nd PS: you always need a link vowel for simple verbs and for verbs in two consonants, -ít and so on…

And the rest does not require any link vowel. You just attach the 3rd PS, 1st PP, 2nd PP and 3rd PP suffixes to the verb according to vowel harmony.

NOTE! The 3rd PS form has to be conjugated in definite form unlike the indefinite form.

ATTENTION! The ö link vowel only exists in 1st PS and 2nd PS!

Examples: vezetni (to drive), ölni (to kill), fogni (to take)

VEZETNI
vezetem
vezeted
vezeti
vezetjük
vezetitek
vezetik

ÖLNI
ölöm
ölöd
öli
öljük
ölitek
ölik

FOGNI
fogom
fogod
fogja
fogjuk
fogjátok
fogják

More next time.

The Difference between Definite and Indefinite Conjugation

I’m trying to give you the simplest explanation ever. Here it is:

Definite conjugation: I see the tree. – Látom a fát.

Indefinite conjugation: I see a tree. – Látok egy fát.

The definite conjugation requires verbs conjugated with the definite suffixes, while the indefinite conjugation requires verbs conjugated with the indefinite suffixes. And what’s the difference?

If you talk about a specific/definite thing/person, you conjugate the verb with the definite suffixes. If you talk about an indefinite/unknown thing/person, you conjugate the verb with the indefinite suffixes.

Here’s the key to know when you should use one or the other:

DEFINITE AND INDEFINITE ARTICLES!

Take a look at the definite example: Látom a fát. You see the definite article, which means I see a definite tree. I know exactly what tree I’m talking about.

Take a look at the indefinite example: Látok egy fát. You see the indefinite article, which means I see a tree of some sort. I don’t know what tree it is. I’ve never seen it before.

NOTE! Purely intransitive verbs cannot be conjugated with the definite suffixes. Such verbs express existence or motion: van (to be), megy (to go), jön (to come)…

It is a vital grammatical rule because you can’t avoid using it!

WHAT IF THERE IS NO DEFINITE OR INDEFINITE ARTICLE IN THE SENTENCE?

USE THE INDEFINITE CONJUGATION IN THESE CASES:

– If there is no article at all, apply the indefinite conjugation.

Indefinite numerals and indefinite pronouns also cause the verb to be conjugated with the indefinite suffixes.

– This rule is also visible if the noun is plural: Fákat látok. – I see trees. It is because the indefinite article is not used in the plural. If it is expressed with néhány (some), that’s no problem because it is an indefinite numeral!

USE THE DEFINITE CONJUGATION IN THESE CASES:

The demonstrative pronouns require the verb to be conjugated with the definite suffixes given the fact that those pronouns refer to something specific/definite.

Proper names (John, David, Bugs Bunny…) also need the definite conjugation since names already refer to a specific/definite person.

More examples:

Nézem a lányt. – I‘m watching the girl.
Nézek egy lányt. – I‘m watching a girl.

Azt a lányt nézik. – They‘re watching that girl.
Sok lányt néznek. – They‘re watching a lot of girls.

A fiúkat szereti. – She loves the boys.
Fiúkat szeret. – She loves boys.
Néhány fiút szeret. – She loves some boys.
Sehány fiút nem szeret. – She doesn’t love any boys.

NOTE! The nouns in such sentences are in the accusative case because follow/precede a transitive verb! (Remember the accusative case: Látom a folyót.)

Besides, different pieces of information in a conversation may allude to something determined or undetermined and then the answer has to agree with it.

In the following examples, the stress is on the verb. What is important is whether I’m watching the/a girl or I’m doing something else with her. To makes things simple, I’ll use the Present Simple Tense in English.

-Nézed a lányt? -Igen, nézem (őt).
-Do you watch the girl? -Yes, I watch her.

-Nézel egy lányt? -Igen, nézek (egyet).
-Do you watch a girl? -Yes, I watch one.

Next time, we’ll finally get to how to conjugate verbs. Bye now! 🙂