The suffixes -ás, -és versus -at, -et

Hungarian verbs can be turned into nouns with the suffixes -ás, -és and -at, -et. The question is: what’s the difference between their meanings?

-ÁS, -ÉS: they refer to the progress of the action expressed by the verb.
-AT, -ET: they refer to the result of the action expressed by the verb.

emel – to lift, to raise; to elevate
emelés – lifting; elevation
emelet – storey; floor

ír – to write
írás – writing
irat – document; written paper > note that the long í becomes short i.

von – to drag, to draw
vonás – dragging; line; feature
vonat – train

mond – to say, to tell
mondás – saying; locution
mondat – sentence

jósol – predict
jóslás – prophecy; prediction, forecast
jóslat – prophecy
>The last o is omitted in the substantivated forms.

fúr – to drill
fúrás – drilling
furat – borehole > note that the long ú becomes short u.

terem – to bear, to produce, to grow
termés – crop, harvest
termet – stature, figure
>The last e is omitted in the substantivated forms.

szel – to slice
szelés – slicing
szelet – slice (of  bread)

(fel)kel – to get up
(fel)kelés – getting up
kelet – east

akar – to want
akarás – willingness
akarat – will

áll – to stand
állás – standing; job
állat – animal

Nouns and Plural Form – Nominative Case

NOUNS AND PLURAL FORM – NOMINATIVE CASE

First the solution to the article exercise:

az ablak – the window

a konyha – the kitchen

egy ajtó – a door

egy kalap – a hat

egy / az élet – a life, the life

NOUNS

There is no need to worry about Hungarian nouns. As there is no gender discrimination, nouns are neither masculine nor feminine. We don’t have neuter nouns, either. They are nouns just like in English.

In English, the plural is formed in this way: houses, oxen, and there are a couple of exceptions for different reasons like fish, information, advice, police, people, man/men, child/children

Hungarian plural is formed the suffix -k. You add that -k to the end of the nouns like this: méhek (bees), emberek (people), házak (houses), állomások (stations). So far so good. The difficulty is that there are exceptions worthy of consideration.

Rule 1: a/e become á/é in the plural at the end of a noun.

anya – anyák (mother – mothers)
apa – apák (father – fathers)
kacsa – kacsák (duck – ducks)
kefe – kefék (brush – brushes)
eke – ekék (plough – ploughs)
teve – tevék (camel – camels)

Any other vowel is free from this rule. You just add -k to end of a noun: kapuk (gates), padlók (floors), erdők (forests), kesztyűk (gloves).

NOTE! Hungarian nouns never end in Á, É, O, Ö!

Rule 2: If nouns end a in consonant or two, it would be difficult even for us to pronounce them with the -k suffix. That’s way we need a vowel between the noun and the plural suffix -k. It’s called LINK VOWEL. Link vowels can be: o, a, e, ö.

Let’s see the high-vowel nouns first! High vowels are: e, é, ö, ő, ü, ű. Now let’s forget about i, í for a moment.

1. High-vowel nouns take the suffix -k + an E or Ö link vowel. Suffixes for such nouns are -EK or -ÖK. Nouns having e, é take -EK. Examples:

emberek (people), jelek (signs), székek (chairs), gépek (machines)

2. High-vowel nouns whose last syllable is ö, ő, ü, ű take the plural -ÖK. Examples:

elnökök (presidents), gyümölcsök (fruits), köldökök (navels), küszöbök (thresholds), örömök (delights)

3. Monosyllabic high-vowel nouns containing ö, ő, ü, ű and ending in one or two consonants take -EK or -ÖK. These nouns must be memorized!

övek (belts), őzek (roes), tőgyek (udders), fülek (ears), ügyek (affairs), rügyek (burgeons), völgyek (valleys), hölgyek (ladies), könyvek (books), tölgyek (oaks), szörnyek (monsters), földek (lands), törzsek (trunks)

Irregular nouns are: szűz – szüzek (virgins) and tűz – tüzek (fires) whose long ű becomes short ü in the plural form.

tökök (marrows), gyökök (roots), körök (circles), szőrök (hairs), bőrök (skins), gőzök (steams), bűzök (stenches), őrök (guards), böjtök (fasts), szörpök (syrups), görcsök (cramps), fürtök (clusters), kürtök (horns)

4. High-vowel suffixes requiring -EK. You don’t have to know what those suffixes do, but if you see them, you’ll know how to put them in the plural form.

  • -vény / emelvények – platforms
  • -mény / élmények – experiences
  • -és / kérések – requests
  • -et / felületek – surfaces
  • -ség / térségek – areas
  • -ész / kertészek – gardeners
  • -zet / mennyezetek – ceilings

Sorry if some English nouns (which shouldn’t be) are made plural, but I want to show you how those Hungarian nouns can be made plural.

Now we’ll talk about deep-vowel nouns.

Rule 3: Deep-vowel nouns take the plural -OK or -AK.

1. Standard deep-vowel nouns simply take -OK:

kalapok (hats), állatok (animals), vonatok (trains), lányok (girls)

2. Two monosyllabic deep-vowel nouns take -AK: fogak (teeth), tollak (pens; feathers)

3. Some monosyllabic deep-vowel nouns containing a, á take the plural -AK (because of historical reasons). I’m going to write just a few of them. You can see and learn the rest in the book you can download:

kádak (bath-tubs), falak (walls), halak (fish), gyárak (factories)

4. Monosyllabic deep-vowel nouns ending in two consonants and having a, á either take -OK or -AK. No rules for them. You’d better memorize them.

árnyak (shadows), szárnyak (wings), nyársak (prods), társak (mates), sarjak (sprouts), tárgyak (objects)

BUT!

tapsok (applauses), kardok (swords), partok (shores, beaches), pártok (political parties), pántok (hinges), táncok (dances), sáncok (fortifications)

5. Deep-vowel suffixes requiring -OK. You don’t need to know (yet) what these suffixes do, but if you see them, you know you have to make them plural with -OK.

-vány / látványok  – spectacles
-mány / takarmányok – forages
-ás / szokások – customs
-at / lakatok – padlocks
-ság / társaságok – companionships
-ász / jogászok – jurists
-zat / ruházatok – clothings

Furthermore, there are three nouns ending in ú and taking the plural -AK:

borjú / borjak (calves)
varjú / varjak (crows)

AND

fiú has two plural forms: fiúk / fiak. The plural FIÚK means BOYS, while the plural FIAK means SONS.

DROP-VOWEL NOUNS

Drop-vowel nouns suffer some kind of mutation when made plural (and also accusative. Later about that). Let’s see this example: BOKOR (bush)

Step 1: Remove the last vowel BOKOR and you get this: BOKR

Step 2: Figure out what link vowel you need. In this case, it’s logical. We need O: BOKRO

Step 3: Add the plural suffix -K: BOKROK

BOKOR – bush
BOKROK – bushes

There are a couple of nouns like bokor. I’ll give you a few examples. Please check the rest of the nouns belonging to this category in the ‘Download the grammar book’ section. Listing them all would take a lot of space in this entry.

álom / álmok (dreams), dolog /dolgok (things), ököl / öklök (fists), szobor / szobrok (statues)

Typical drop-vowel nouns end in -ALOM, -ELEM suffix: szerelem / szerelmek (loves), hatalom / hatalmak (powers).

-ALOM becomes -ALMAK
-ELEM becomes -ELMEK

I cannot give you an exact number of how many nouns like these above exist because -alom, -elem turn verbs into nouns. It depends on what you would like to say.

 

NOUNS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

With these nouns it is easy to know the plural. -Ek for high-vowel nouns, -AK for deep-vowel nouns. This concerns nouns containing Á or É in that last closed syllable.

Let me show two examples of ‘last vowel change’:

MADÁR (bird)
MADARAK (birds)

EGÉR (mouse)
EGEREK (mice)

You see the Á becomes A and the noun takes the plural -AK, as well, as the É becomes E and the noun takes the plural -EK. That’s it. These nouns (and those two above) are the ones you should be careful with:

DEEP-VOWEL WORDS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

kanál / kanalak – spoons
szamár / szamarak – donkeys
pohár / poharak – glasses (to drink from)
bogár / bogarak – bugs
nyár / nyarak – summers
sár / sarak – muds
mocsár / mocsarak – marshes
sugár / sugarak – rays
kosár / kosarak – baskets

Some monosyllabic words having long ú becoming short u:

kút / kutak – wells
lúd / ludakgeese
úr / urak – lords, gentlemen
út / utak – roads
nyúl / nyulak – rabbits
rúd / rudak – rods

HIGH-VOWEL NOUNS WITH THE LAST VOWEL SHORTENED

Please check the rest of these nouns in the downloadable book. There you can find a more extended list.

szekér / szekerek – carts
tehén / tehenek – cows
kenyér / kenyerekslices of bread
fedél /fedelek – roofs, covers
veréb / verebek – sparrows
cserép / cserepek – tiles, shards
szemét / szemetek – rubbish
levél / levelek – leaves, letters
ég / egek – skies
ér / erek – veins
fél /felek – members; halves
szél / szelek – winds
bél / belek – bowels
tél / telek – winters
dél / delek – noons
nyél / nyelek – handles, shafts
dér / derek – white frosts
tér / terek – squares, areas
légy / legyek – flies

And in parallel with the monosyllabic long ú nouns, here we have two monosyllabic long ű nouns. That long ű becomes short ü in the plural. You already know these words, actually.

szűz / szüzek – virgins
tűz / tüzek – fires

And two irregular nouns: DERÉK / DEREKAK (waists), FAZÉK / FAZEKAK (pots)

Note that usually nouns ending in -ár/-ér, -ál/-él are subject to such changes. There are a couple of them, so they should be memorized. Most of the nouns with similar forms are regular: tálak (dishes), határok (boundaries), etc.

V-NOUNS

V-nouns get a V inserted in the plural. High-vowel nouns take the plural suffix -EK, deep-vowel nouns take the suffix -AK. Furthermore, the long vowel (ő, ű, ó) becomes short (ö, ü, o) in the plural. Just a few words belong there:

kő / kövek – stones
cső / csövek – tubes
tő / tövek – roots, stems
ló / lovak – horses
hó / havak – snows > Ó becomes A
tó / tavak – lakes
fű / füvek – grass(es)
mű / művek – works, factories > Ű stays Ű
nyű / nyüvek – maggots
fű / füvek – grasses

NOTE! The long ű in MŰVEK doesn’t change in the plural.

Here you can learn two adjectives: bő – bővek (abundant); jó – jók/javak (good/possessions)

Some other nouns behace like V-nouns, but they have two plural forms. A regular plural and a V-plural. Some have different meanings.

mag / magok / magvak – seeds
lé / lék /levek – juices
daru / daruk / darvak – cranes
falu / faluk / falvak – villages
tetű / tetűk / tetvek – cooties
szó / szók /szavak – words
fattyú / fattyúk / fattyak – bastards (extramarital children)

The plurals for mag, lé, falu, tetű, fattyú mean the same thing.

DARU: daruk refers to machines, while darvak means birds.

SZÓ: szók is used with grammatical expressions (kérdőszók – interrogative words), whereas szavak is used with general expressions (szép szavak – nice words)

MIXED NOUNS

Mixed nouns contain both deep and high vowels! They are mixed because they have I, Í, E, É in them + a deep vowel. As a rule, the last vowel decides if a noun is a high or deep.

1. Mixed nouns having I, Í + a deep-vowel in them are deep-vowel words and take the plural -OK:

iratok (documents), szállítmányok (shipments), kavicsok (pebbles), tinták (inks)

2. Mixed nouns with E, É + a deep-vowel in them are deep-vowel words and take the plural -OK:

sétányok (avenues), játékok (toys), tányérok (plates), szomszédok (neighbours)

3. Monosyllabic nouns containing long í are either high or deep. They should be memorized. The plural can be: -ok, -ak, -ek

gyíkok (lizards)
kínok (pains)
sípok (fifes)
síkok (planes)
sírok (tombs)
csíkok (stripes)

díjak (awards)
íjak (bows)
szíjak (straps)
ín / inak (tendons) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I
híd / hidak (bridges) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I
nyíl / nyilak (arrows) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I

csínyek (pranks)
színek (colors)
ívek (archs)
rímek (rhymes)
címek (titles)
írek (Irish)
díszek (ornaments)
hírek (news)
ínyek (palates, gums)
sínek (rails)
ízek (flavors)
víz / vizek (waters) LONG Í BECOMES SHORT I

And another word: rizs / rizsek (rice)

COMPOUND WORDS

A compound word consists of two individual nouns.

Hungarian compound words are deep or high according to the last word. Here you see what such words become and the plural form attached to them.

ház + építések = házépítések – house constructions
torna + terem = tornatermek – gymnasia (literally: gymnastics rooms)
lámpa + oszlop = lámpaoszlopok – lamp posts

ADOPTED WORDS or LOAN-WORDS

LOAN-WORDS are foreign words already adopted to the Hungarian writing system. Their plural forms still vary, but there’s no difference in their meaning.

fotel / fotelok or fotelek – armchairs
hotel / hotelok or hotelek – hotels BUT

konténer / konténerek – containers
hieroglifa / hieroglifák – hieroglyphs

NOTE! Hungarian writing likes the assimilation f foreign words if the use of those words has become prevalent enough.

dizájnok – designs
ímélek – emails
szoftverek – softwares
hárdverek – hardwares

ALSO NOTE! Foreign words are often mixed words by Hungarian concept, so we need to decide which group they belong to (high or deep) and deal with them accordingly.

SUPPLEMENTAL

Let’s see some nouns we haven’t talked about yet. These nouns are irregular, so be careful with them.

FÉRFI – man: looks a harmless high-vowel noun, but it is a DEEP-VOWEL NOUN! Its plural is: FÉRFIAK – men

UJJ – finger: obviously a deep-vowel noun and its plural is UJJAK – fingers

ARANY – gold: deep-vowel noun and the plural is ARANYAK – golds

Furthermore, there are high-vowel noun having E or Ö whose vowels are still changing. NOTE! The plural for such nouns is -EK. Example:

CSEND – silence / CSENDEK  – (silences)
CSÖND – silence / CSÖNDEK – (silences)

It’s not important which you use if they stand alone. If they’re part of a compound word the E version is used.

CSENDHÁBORÍTÁS – riot (literally: breach of silence )

CSEPPFOLYÓS – liquid, fluid

GOOD NEWS! WE’RE DONE WITH NOUNS!!!!

From the next entry on, we’ll take a look at the ACCUSATIVE CASE of these nouns.

Word Formation – Verbs from Nouns and Adjectives

VERB FROM NOUN

-oz(ik), -ez(ik), -öz(ik) = verbs in z, -ik verbs
név – name > nevez – to name, to call
hab – foam > habozik – to hesitate

-kodik, -kedik, -ködik = -ik verbs
kertész – gardener > kertészkedik – to work in one’s garden
jogász – lawyer > jogászkodik – to work as a lawyer

-ász(ik), -ész(ik) = -ik verbs
vadász – hunter > vadászik – to hunt
egér – mouse > egerészik – to hunt mice

-ít = to get into action
tan – doctrine > tanít – to teach
béke – peace > békít – to conciliate

-l, -ol, -el, -öl = to act somehow
gáncs – obstacle > gáncsol – to trip sy up
szék – chair > székel – to reside
böjt – fast > böjtöl – to (keep) fast

VERB FROM ADJECTIVE

-kodik, -kedik, -ködik = -ik verbs
érzelgős – sentimental > érzelgősködik – to be sentimental
bátor – brave > bátorkodik – take the liberty of

-ít = to turn sg into sg
kék – blue > kékít – to (paint) blue
ronda – ugly > rondít – to make sy ugly

-l, -ol, -el, -öl = to act somehow
helyes – right, proper > helyesel – to approve of

-ll, -all, -ell = to act somehow
rossz – bad > rosszall – to disapprove of

Word Formation – Adjective from Noun

ADJECTIVE FROM NOUN

-s, -os, -es, -ös = fitted with sg
szépség – beauty > szépséges – beautiful
barátság – friendship > barátságos – friendly

-(a)tlan, -(e)tlen = the lack of sg
haj – hair > hajatlan – hairless
fej – head > fejetlen – panic-stricken

-talan, -telen = the lack of sg
faj – race, species > fajtalan – perverse
hely – place > helytelen – inappropriate

-s, -as, -os, -es, -ös = fitted with sg
szellő – breeze > szellős – breezy
kerek – round > kerekes – with wheels

-ékony, -ékeny = characteristic of a noun
kár – damage > kártékony – harmful 

-ú, -ű, -jú, -jű = having sg, fitted with sg
szem – eye > szemű – eyed
alak – shape > alakú – shaped

-só, -ső = belonging swhere
fel – up > felső – upper
hát – back > hátsó – posterior

-i = origin, characteristic
város – city > városi – urban
Pécs > pécsi

-beli = belonging to sg
írás – writing > írásbeli – written, in writing
tér – space > térbeli – spatial

-szerű = it is like sg
mese – fairytale > meseszerű – fictitious
idő – time > időszerű – timely 

-féle = similar to sg
gyümölcs – fruit > gyümölcsféle – a kind of fruit

-fajta = similar to sg
kutya – dog > kutyafajta – a dog species

-nyi = measure
lapát – shovel > lapátnyi – shoveful
marok – hand > maroknyi – handful

Word Formation – Nouns from Adjectives and Verbs

NOUN FROM ADJECTIVE

-ság, -ség = collective noun
szép – beautiful > szépség – beauty
bátor – courageous > bátorság – courage

NOUN FROM VERB

-ás, -és; -at, -et = (result of an) action
gyanakszik – to suspect > gyanakvás – suspicion
emel – to lift > emelet – floor, storey

ADJECTIVE FROM ADJECTIVE

-i + -s, -os, -es, -ös = quality, characteristic
pesti – (characteristic of ) Budapest > pesties – (typical to) Budapest
harci – war- > harcias – warlike

Word Formation – Nouns from Nouns

NOUN FROM NOUN

-s, -os, -es, -ös; -ság, -ség = collective noun
nád – reed > nádas – reeds
erdő – forest > erdőség – forests, woodland

-s, -os, -es, -ös = profession
lakat – padlock > lakatos – locksmith
üveg – glass > üveges – glazier

-ász, -ész = profession
kert – garden > kertész – gardener
jog – law > jogász – lawyer

-né = Mrs.
Horváth > Horváthné – Mrs. Horváth
Kiss > Kissné – Mrs. Kiss

-ka, -ke = diminutive OR nickname
pici – little, small > picike – tiny
madár – bird > madárka – little bird
Mária > Marika
Teréz > Terike

-(o)cska, -(e)cske = diminutive
fül – ear > fülecske – little ear
– horse > lovacska – little horse

-i, -csi = nickname
Péter – Peter > Peti – Pete
János – John > Jani – Johnny

-us = nickname
Anna > Annus

Verbal Noun – Condition – Határozói igenév

”CONDITION” PARTICIPLE

This is a typical Hungarian form of expressing a condition. It can be translated with past participle, or the -ing ending. It expresses a mood, condition of some sort. Formation:

High-vowel: van/vannak + 3PS indefinite conjugation + -ve
Deep-vowel: van/vannak + 3PS indefinite conjugation + -va
Negation only with NINCS/NINCSENEK in present tense!!!

Meg vagyok fázva.
I have a cold.

A bolt nyitva/zárva van.
The shop is open/closed.

A dolog még nincs elintézve.
The matter hasn’t been settled yet.

Nevetve szaladt a barátaihoz.
He was running up to his friends laughing.

Sírva mondta el, mi történt vele.
She told what happened to her crying.

Be careful! English would say ’The shop is closed”, that is it uses past participle.

Don’t use Hungarian past participle in such sentences!

Unfortunately, the media are full of this crap. They use past participle instead of the proper Hungarian condition form (adverbial noun) due to the influence of foreign languages. The most common mistakes:

1. A bűnössége még nem bizonyított.
His guilt is not proved yet.

2. …melynek ténye még nem igazolt.
…the fact of which is not verified yet.

3. Az ügy még nem elintézett.
The matter is not settled yet.

As you see, there’s no problem with the English sentences. The problem is the Hungarian sentences using past participle like English. Why is it a huge problem? Because it sounds unnatural. Typical sentences for those who think they’re really smart and they prove not to be by saying nonsense like that. We understand what they’re getting at, but the actual meaning of the Hungarian sentences above is:

1. His guilt hasn’t proved anything yet.
2. …the fact of which hasn’t verified anything yet.
3. (I would say it can’t be even translated, complete nonsense)

The proper Hungarian sentences should be as follows:

1. A bűnössége még nincs bizonyítva.
2. …melynek ténye még nincs igazolva.
3. Az ügy még nincs elintézve.

Or you can use 3rd PP form as ”passive sentence”.

1. A bűnösségét még nem bizonyították.
2. …melynek tényét még nem igazolták.
3. Az ügyet még nem intézték el.

These sentences can be said in the wrong way because we don’t really feel them as a condition, so the media make their mistakes. But take a look at these sentences:

1. A bolt nyitva van. – The shop is open.
2. A bolt nyitott. – The ship is opened.

Nobody would make the mistake saying the second one: A bolt nyitott.

1. A bolt nyitva van. > it means that it is time to go shopping, you can enter the building because the doors are open. = CONDITION

2. A bolt nyitott. > it means maybe the shop has a roof that can be opened. = The shop is opened = QUALITY, CHARATERISTIC, FEATURE of the shop