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

Possession – Possessive Case


Finally we got to possession. And now I’m telling you what I’ve been telling you all along. Remember how to make nouns plural because that can help when we discuss the possessive case. But first an evident question:


And the answer is NO. English uses the verb ‘to have’, a transitive verb to express possession: I have a house, They have no money…

Hungarian, in turn, uses a whole different method when it comes to expressing possession of this kind. Even if there is a verb similar to ‘to have’, birtokolni, it would sound constrained if we wanted to use this verb for this special purpose. Hungarian uses such a construction: DATIVE PRONOUN + SUBSTANTIVE VERB 3rd PS or 3rd PP + INDEFINITE ARTICLE + NOUN WITH POSSESSIVE ENDING

I know it’s long to write it down like that, so let’s see this example: I have a houseNekem van egy házam.

Nekem (dative pronoun) + van (substantive verb 3rd PS) + egy (indefinite article) + házam (noun with possessive ending -m)

In everyday language, the dative pronoun and the indefinite article are omitted or can be omitted, so you can also say: Van házam. So it is mandatory to use the substantive verb van/vannak and the noun with its possessive endings. More examples:

Sok türelmük van. – They have a lot of patience.
Macskáid is vannak? – Do you have some cats, too?
Nincs pénzem. – I have no money.

NOTE! The substantive verb is van or vannak, depending on whether someone owns one thing or more than one thing. The negative form is nincs/nincsenek:

Nincs autóm. – I have no car./ Nincsenek barátaimI have no friends. Summary:

van/nincs OR nincsen + singular thing to possess
vannak/nincsenek + plural things to possess

Because of the topic-prominent aspect, you can also say: Autóm nincs. Házunk van. In this case you put an emphasis on  what you have: It is a car that I don’t have. It is a house that we have. But English usually solves this problem with verbal emphasis. The bold letters show the most important thing in the sentence now. So here are your possibilities:

Van barátnőm. – I have a girlfriend.
Barátnőm van. – I have a girlfriend. (It is a girlfriend that I have)
Nincs barátnőm. – I have no girlfriend.
Barátnőm nincs. – As for a girlfriend, I don’t have any.

ONE MORE THING! I forgot to mention that the singular negative verb nincs has another version: nincsen. You choose which to use.


Once again, I presume you already know how to make nouns plural!! That knowledge will help you deal with the possessive case, just as it helped you with the accusative case.

First we should make it clear: there is no genitive in Hungarian. It is called the possessive case.

Alrighty. Hungarian possession is expressed with possessive endings and possessive pronouns. And the English equivalents are:

Hungarian > English
possessive endings > possessive pronouns as adjectives
e.g. -m, -d, -ja > for ex.: my, your, his

possessive pronouns > possessive pronouns as adverbs
e.g. enyém, tied > for ex.: mine, yours


Here they are:

Number and person > Possessive endings
1st PS > –m, -om, -am, -em, -öm
2nd PS > -d, -od, -ad, -ed, -öd
3rd PS > -(j)a, -(j)e
1st PP > -nk, -unk, -ünk
2nd PP > -(a/o)tok, -(e)tek, -(ö)tök
3rd PP > -(j)uk, -(j)ük

Apparently, there is only one ending for all numbers/persons. It looks like there are too many because link vowels are added to them if needed. It is always -m for 1st PS and we add link vowels if needed. It is always -d for 2nd PS and we add link vowels if needed. Etc.

NOTE! No different ending for masculine and feminine as Hungarian doesn’t care about genders. It’s just about the right possessive ending for high and deep-vowel words.

Let’s get started!

Group 1: The vowels A, E become Á, É when at the very end of a noun (like nouns: apa – apák)

apa (father) – apám (my father)
anya (mother) – anyád (your mother)
epe (bile) – epéje (his/her bile)
kemence (furnace) – kemencéjük (their furnace)

Group 2: nouns in a consonant take the possessive endings with a link vowel. Now I’ll give you one noun from the rest of those groups you know as examples:

HIGH-VOWEL NOUN: szék (chair); gyümölcs (fruit)
székem, széked, széke, székünk, széketek, székük (with e link vowel because: szék-székek-széket-székem)
gyümölcsöm, gyümölcsöd, gyümölcse, gyümölcsünk, gyümölcsötök, gyümölcsük (with ö link vowel because: gyümölcs-gyümölcsök-gyümölcsöt-gyümölcsöm)

DEEP-VOWEL NOUN: állat (animal); ház (house); száj (mouth)
állatom, állatod, állata, állatunk, állatotok, állatuk (with o link vowel because: állat-állatok-állatot-állatom)
házam, házad, háza, házunk, házatok, házuk (with a link vowel because: ház-házak-házat-házam)
Exception: szám, szád, szája, szánk, szátok, szájuk

LAST VOWEL SHORTENED: kéz (hand), nyár (summer); ész (mind)
kezem, kezed, keze, kezünk, kezetek, kezük (É becomes E because: kéz-kezek-kezet-kezem)
nyaram, nyarad, nyara, nyarunk, nyaratok, nyaruk (A becomes Á because: nyár-nyarak-nyarat-nyaram)
eszem, eszed, esze, eszünk, eszetek, eszük (É becomes E: ész-eszem…, but its accusative form does not change: észt; no plural form in any case)

DROP-VOWEL NOUN: vödör (bucket)
vödröm, vödröd, vödre, vödrünk, vödrötök, vödrük (because: vödör-vödrök-vödröt-vödröm)

V-NOUN: (stone)
kövem, köved, köve, kövünk, követek, kövük (because: kő-kövek-követ-kövem)

fű-füve (grass), mű-műve (work of art), nyű-nyüve (maggot), cső-csöve (tube), tő-töve (stem), hő-hője/heve (heat), hó-hava (snow), jó-java (values, estates), ló-lova (horse), tó-tava (lake), tetű-tetve (cootie), lé-leve (juice), mag-magja/magva (seed), daru-darva/daruja (crane-animel/crane-machine), falu-falva (village), szó-szava (words)

Group 3: Some nouns in 3rd PS and 3rd PP take the possessive endings –a, -e, -uk, -ük WITHOUT J. All I can give you is an unstable rule which is: drop-vowel nouns (terem-terme) and nouns with the last vowel shortened (madár-madara) belong to this group. As well as nouns ending in consonants like: c, cs, gy, h, j, k, l, ny, s, sz, ty, z, zs. The plural endings are -ai, ei/-jai, -jei according to the consonants listed: ágya (his bed) – ágyai (his beds); rúzsa (her lipstick) – rúzsai (her lipsticks) BUT kertje (his garden) – kertjei (his gardens); lantja (his lute) – lantjai (his lutes)…

méhei her wombs (méh has two meaning: bee and womb)
fejei his heads
begyei its crops
gyerekeihis children
asztalaihis tables
fényei his lights
kulacsaihis gourds
hasaihis stomachs
bajuszaihis moustaches (if it made sense in plural) 🙂
mezei his shirts
varázsaihis magics

More examples: zsebe – his pocket, lazaca – his salmon, gerince – his spine, kenőcse – his grease, beszéde – his speech, anyaga – his material, szőnyege – his carpet, ágya – his bed, potroha – its abdomen, vaja – his butter, ablaka – his window, gyereke – his child, viadala – his battle, jele – his sign, súlya – his weight, helye – his place, szerszáma – his tool, öröme – his joy, rokona – his relative, sárkánya – his kite, szekrénye – his wardrobe, talpa – his foot, gépe – his machine, bora – his wine, nővére – his elder sister, társa – his mate, kése – his knife, kosza – his dirt, fürésze – his saw, tárlata – his exhibition, viselete – his garb, pontya – his carp, löttye – his wish-wash, kedve – his mood, doboza – his box

Group 4: Some nouns changing long Ő to E and long Ó to A in the possessive case. This rule is only valid for 3rd PS and 3rd PP.

idő (time): időm, időd, ideje, időnk, időtök, idejük

mező (field): mezőm, meződ, mezeje, mezőnk, mezőtök, mezejük

tető (roof): tetőm, tetőd, teteje, tetőnk, tetőtök, tetejük

ajtó (door): ajtóm, ajtód, ajtaja, ajtónk, ajtótok, ajtajuk

erő (force): erőm, erőd, ereje, erőnk, erőtök, erejük

erdő (forest): erdőm, erdőd, erdeje, erdőnk, erdőtök, erdejük

velő (marrow of a bone): velőm, velőd, veleje, velőnk, velőtök, velejük

anya (mother): anyja, anyjuk

apa (father): apja, apjuk

fiú (boy, son): has two possessive endings
fiúja, fiújuk means her boyfriend, their boyfriend
fia, fiuk means his/her son, their son

belső-belseje (inward, interior), külső-külseje (outward, exterior), fő-feje (head), nő-neje (woman), tüdő-tüdeje (lungs), vő-veje (son-in-law)

Group 5: Some nouns have two possibilities: using –A or -JA / -UK or -JUK and -E or -JE / -ÜK or -JÜK. This rule is only for 3rd PS and 3rd PP. (referring back to Group 3)

fotel – fotele / fotelje (his armchair)
újság – újsága / újságja (his newspaper)
virág – virága / virágja (his flower)
pillér – pillére / pillérje (its pier)

madzaga / madzagja (his string), párlata / párlatja (his distillate), segéde / segédje (his helper), vérte / vértje (his armour); ára (his price) / árja (his awl), tőre (his dagger) / tőrje (his trap), belsője (his tyre tube) / belseje (his inwards)

Sometimes there is a change in meaning: kar – kara (his faculty) BUT kar – karja (his arm)

How to use definite articles with the possessive case?

Simple. The definite articles  (a, az) are ALWAYS used with possessive case except one occasion when it is optional. It is optional when the sentence begins with a noun in the possessive case. Then you can choose if you use it or not.

A barátnőmet szeretem. – I love my girlfriend.
Barátnőmet szeretem. – I love my girlfriend.

So the Hungarian definite article must or can be used with the possessive case. Unlike English!!!



And where is that i inserted? Take a look at this:

lakás (flat, apartment):
SINGULAR: lakásom (my flat), lakásod (your flat), lakása (his/her flat), lakásunk (our flat), lakásotok (your flat), lakásuk (their flat)

PLURAL: lakásaim (my flats), lakásaid (your flats), lakásai (his/her flats), lakásaink (our flats), lakásaitok (your flats), lakásaik (their flats)

füzet (notebook):
SINGULAR: füzetem (my notebook), füzeted (your notebook), füzete (his/her notebook), füzetünk (our notebook), füzetetek (your notebook), füzetük (their notebook)

PLURAL: füzeteim (my notebooks), füzeteid (your notebooks), füzetei (his/her notebooks), füzeteink (our notebooks), füzeteitek (your notebooks), füzeteik (their notebooks)


-(o)m                         -aim
-(o)d                          -aid
-a                                -ai
-unk                           -aink
-(o)tok                     -aitok
-uk                             -aik

-(e)m                         -eim
-(e)d                           -eid
-e                                  -ei
-ünk                           -eink
-(e)tek                      -eitek
-ük                              -eik

That’s the plural for the possessive case. More next time, but first practise possessive plural with these words. I’ll give you the person and number you should put these nouns in. ONE PROPERTY means you use the singular endings. MORE PROPERTIES means you use the plural endings.

Example:  macska – macskám (1st PS) one property

ebéd – ______________ (3rd PS) one property

férj – ______________ (1st PP) one property

ház – _______________ (2nd PS) more properties

gyerek – ______________ (2nd PP) more properties

adat – ________________ (3rd PS) more properties







A T T E N T I O N!

3rd person singular                   az ő háza = his house
az ő házuk = their house

3rd person plural                       az ő házai = his houses
az ő házaik = their houses


Once learned how to form the singular and plural in possessive case, you only add –at or -et to the word.


The form of 1st and 2nd person singular do not necessarily require the accusative case. Those forms can be considered both subjective and accusative as they are. You choose if you make accusative those forms!

asztalom(at) / asztalaim(at) (my tables)
asztalod(at) / asztalaid(at) (your tables)
asztalát / asztalait (his tables)
asztalunkat / asztalainkat (our tables)
asztalotokat / asztalaitokat (your tables)
asztalukat / asztalaikat (their tables)

képem(et) / képeim(et) (my pictures)
képed(et) / képeid(et) (your pictures)
képét / képeit (his pictures)
képünket / képeinket (our pictures)
képeteket /képeiteket (your pictures)
képüket / képeiket (their pictures)


That’s why it’s important to learn the correct pronunciation:

termet (room – accusative)
termét (his room – possessive in accusative case)

képet (image – accusative)
képét (his image – possessive in accusative case)

tollat (pen – accusative)
tollát (his pen – possessive in accusative case)

fogat (tooth – accusative)
fogát (his tooth – possessive in accusative case)

NOTE! The suffix -i is needed to express that there are more things somebody owns. The suffix -k is present in the plural suffixes, of course: -aink, eik, aitok


Summary for possessive endings:

N/P                       S                                 P
1st PS                   -(a/o/e/ö)m         im (-aim, -eim)
2ns PS                 (a/o/e/ö)d            id (-aid, -eid)
3rd PS                 -(j)a, -(j)e            -(j)ai, -(j)ei
1st PP                  -unk, -ünk            ink (-aink, -eink)
2nd PP                -tok, -tek, -tök    itok, –itek (-aitok, -eitek)
3rd PP                 -(j)uk, -(j)ük       ik (-aik, -eik)

This summary shows you which endings can have link vowels and how they change in the plural.


So far, we haven’t really dealt with personal pronouns. It is because Hungarian personal pronouns are only used in point of possession when the possessor needs to be stressed. In this case, the definite article must be used. Example:

Ez az én házam, nem a tied. – This is my house, not yours.

Possessive endings with personal pronouns:

az én…-m
a te…-d
az ő…-ja, -je
a mi…-unk, -ünk
a ti…-tok, -tek, -tök
az ő…-juk, -jük

az én…-aim, -eim
a te…-aid, -eid
az ő…-ai, -ei
a mi…-aink, -eink
a ti…-aitok, -eitek
az ő…-aik, -eik

In the sentence above, the word TIED (YOURS) is already a possessive pronoun. And that’s our next topic.


Hungarian possessive pronouns are used in sentences like: The bag is mine. Mine is a possessive pronoun.

Possessive pronouns:

SINGULAR                PLURAL
az enyém                 az enyéim – mine
a tied                        a tieid – yours
az övé                       az övéi – his/hers
a mienk                   a mieink – ours
a tietek                     a tieitek – yours
az övék                     az övéik – theirs

3rd PS polite forms: Öné, Magáé; 3rd PP polite forms: Magukéi, Önökéi.

As you see, English has one form for each person. No plural form. Hungarian possessive pronouns do have a plural form. All you have to do is to embed an i just as in the aforementioned examples.

NOTE! The definite articles are always used with the possessive pronouns!!


A ház a tied. – The house is yours.
A ceruza a mienk. – The pencil is ours.
A könyv az övék. – The book is theirs.
Az alma az enyém.  – The apple is mine.

A játékok az övéi. – The toys are hers.
A játékok az övéik. – The toys are theirs.

Az asztalok a tieid. – The tables are yours. (yours – 2nd PS)
Az asztalok a tieitek. – The tables are yours. (yours – 2nd PP)

If you want to stress the possessor even more, put the possessive pronoun at the beginning of the sentence. You can do that due to the topic-prominent aspect: Enyém a megtiszteltetés. – The honour is mine.

NOTE! tied also has this form: tiéd AND mienk has this form: miénk. The e can be an é in the singular form. No difference in meaning. You choose which to use.

A kocsi a tied. – The car is yours.
A kocsi a tiéd. – The car is yours.

As the substantive verb (van, vannak) is not used in 3rd PS and 3rd PP (as you see in the examples), think of the definite article replacing the substantive verb in a such a context: A kocsi a tied. – The car is yours.


The question Whose? is Kié? in Hungarian. Kié? is is the combination of the interrogative word Ki? (Who?) + the suffix -é, which is the equivalent to the English …’s: Whose is this book? It’s Peter‘s.

There are two questions for Whose?: Kié? Kinek a? There is no difference between them, use whichever you want.

The answer (the possessor) gets that -é suffix attached to the end of a common noun or a proper name, too:

Whose is this book? -It is Peter‘s.
Kié ez a könyv? -Péteré.
Kinek a könyve ez? -Péteré.

You see it doesn’t matter which question word you use. Kié? is just as good as Kinek a(z)?, but note the grammatical issues in those two sentences.

Kié? does not require the property (könyv) to have a possessive ending.
Kinek a? requires the property (könyve) to have a possessive ending.

And the explanation is simple. Remember this? “A férfi felesége” (The man’s wife): feleség needs the possessive ending -e because that expresses a possession. And the sentence also can be: a férfinak a felesége. But you don’t have to use -nak a, -nek a if you don’t want to, or there is no need for it (Remember all those stuff? ).

That’s why the property needs a possessive ending when answering to Kinek a? As this question has -nek a in it, we insert the sema suffix in the answer, too. (Am I complicated enough ?)

You also can make those questions plural (Kiék? Kiknek a?) if you ask about more properties, but the answer already indicates if there is one or more than one property.

Alright. Digest this part first and next time I’ll tell you more about it. Til then, examples for you:

Kié ez a toll? –Az enyém.
Whose is this pen? –It’s mine.

Kiék ezek a tollak? –Az enyéim.
Whose are these pens? –They’re mine.

Kinek az üvege ez? -Ádámé.
Whose is this bottle? -It’s Adam‘s.

Kiknek az üvegei ezek? -Ádáméi.
Whose are these bottles? -They are Adam‘s.

NOTE! If the answer has more than one item, the suffix -é becomes -éi (unlike in English). And there’s only one version (-é, -éi) for both high- and deep-vowel nouns!

Kié az a szék? -Balázsé. / –Whose is that chair? -It’s Balázs.
Kiék azok a székek? -Balázséi. / –Whose are those chairs? -They’re Balázs.


Another method to express something is in someone’s possession is with the verb: to belong. The Hungarian equivalent is: tartozik.

The English verb “to belong” requires the preposition “to”: it belongs to the man.
The Hungarian verb “tartozik” requires the suffixes -hoz, -hez, -höz: a férfihoz tartozik.

So the question is: Who/What…to? = Kihez / Mihez…?

Kihez tartozik ez a toll? Who does this pen belong to?
Mihez tartozik a gomb? What does the button belong to?

A toll a tanulóhoz tartozik. – The pen belongs to the student.
A gomb a kabáthoz tartozik. – The button belongs to the jacket.

These are just examples for you to be ”grammatical”. In everyday speech, we prefer asking “Whose is this pen?”, just like we prefer asking “Kié ez a toll?”.


to belong to sg = tartozik…-hoz, -hez, -höz
Kihez? = Who…to?
Mihez? = What…to?

You can make these questions plural, too: Kikhez? Mikhez?


Possessive endings: the example is for high-vowel nouns

a képem / az én képem
képed / a te képed
képe / az ő képe
képünk / a mi képünk
képetek / a ti képetek
képük / az ő képük

a képeim / az én képeim
képeid / a te képeid
képei / az ő képei
képeink / a mi képeink
képeitek / a ti képeitek
képeik / az ő képeik

Possessive pronouns:

A kép az enyém. / A képek az enyéim.
A kép a tied. / A képek a tieid.
A kép az övé. / A képek az övéi.
A kép a mienk. / A képek a mieink.
A kép a tietek. / A képek a tieitek.
A kép az övék. / A képek az övéik.

More examples:

Fáj a lábam. – My leg aches.
A lábam fáj, nem a fejem. – My leg aches, not my head.

A felelősség a miénk. – The responsibility is ours.
Miénk a felelősség. – The responsibility is ours. Ours is the responsibility.

A házad nagy. – Your house is big.
A nagy ház a tiéd. – The big house is yours.
Tiéd a nagy ház. – The big house is yours. Yours is the big house.


If you want to express that something belongs to someone, you use the preposition of, or you attach ‘s to the end of the noun, or both: John‘s wife, the essence of the question, the color of the dog‘s kennel

Such Hungarian sentences are formed with the possessive endings and these suffixes: -nak a, -nek a

NOTE! Dative case suffixes are: -nak, -nek. Possessive case suffixes require the definite articles: -nak a(z), -nek a(z)

With one property, these suffixes can be omitted. With more properties, -nak a, -nek a must be used at least with one of the properties.

John‘s wife – Jánosnak a felesége OR János felesége
the essence of the question – a kérdésnek a lényege OR a kérdés lényege
the color of the dog‘s kennel – a kutya házának a színe

In the first two examples there is only one property: wife, essence. In the third one we have two properties: color, kennel, so it is a must to use -nak a with ház. You don’t have to use it with kutya because that would sound constrained. BUT it is always important to have a possessive ending attached to the property which sometimes is present before -nak a, -nek a, too (a házának a: because ház is a possessor and a property!)

The Hungarian word order is the same when English uses ‘s: POSSESSOR + PROPERTY!

a kocsi kereke OR a kocsinak a kereke (the wheel of the car; literally: the car’s wheel)

After all, it’s not the same: az ember(nek a) hatalma – the power of the man (the man’s power)
a hatalom(nak az) embere – the man of the power (the power’s man)

We’re finished with Possession 🙂

Suffixes -ít vs. -ul, -ül = make vs. get

-ÍT vs. -UL, -ÜL

The difference between these suffixes is that –ít expresses an action that has an effect on someone/something, but –ul, -ül refer back to the person like –ik verbs.

You can depend on these English verbs: make, get. Take a look at this:

javít to make better <> javul to get better

The suffix –ít can be parallel with make and –ul, -ül with get.

More examples:

tanít to teach <> tanul to learn, to study
alakít to form <> alakul to take shape
szorít to press <> szorul to get pressed/squeezed
terít to spread out; to lay <> terül to be situated; to lie
merít to dip, to plunge <> merül to dive, to submerge
lazít to loosen <> lazul to loosen, to get loose
szorít to press <> szorul to get pressed/squeezed
hevít to heat <> hevül to get heated
mozdít to move; to get sg to move <> mozdul to move, to get moving
békít to conciliate <> békül to reconcile oneself
megrendít to stagger; to shake <> megrendül to shake, to be shocked
ámít to delude <> ámul to marvel
készít to prepare, to make <> készül to prepare, to be made

A tanár tanít. – The teacher teaches.
A diák tanul. – The student learns/studies.

Kisujját sem mozdítja. – He never stirrs a finger.
A kutya nem mozdul. – The dog won’t move.

A politikusok csak ámítanak. – Politicians delude us.
A nézők ámulnak a filmen. – The viewers marvel at the movie.

The suffixes -i and -ú, -ű

Let’s go back to grammar for this entry. I want to tell you about two common suffixes.

THE SUFFIX -I: is used to express an object / a person belonging somewhere or a characteristic. When added to the noun, it must be written in small letters as a rule. Only nouns can take it, but of course, not all of them. Examples:

belonging to a place
Budapest > budapesti >> Én budapesti vagyok.
London > londoni >> Ő londoni.

hely > helyi >> helyi szokás local custom
egyed > egyedi >> egyedi kép unique picture
tenger > tengeri >> tengeri állat sea animal
isten > isteni >> isteni kegyelem grace of god

THE SUFFIXES -Ú, -Ű: are used to express a quality, characteristic. High words take -ű, deep words take -ú.

haj > hajú >> barna hajú brown-haired OR has brown hair
szem > szemű >> kék szemű blue-eyed OR has blue eyes
egyszer > egyszerű >> egyszerű feladat simple task
méret > méretű >> kis méretű kocsi car of small size
alak > alakú >> henger alakú tárgy cylinder-shaped object
név > nevű >> a német nevű fiú the boy with the German name
hír > hírű >> jó hírű színész actor with good reputation
szó > szavú >> halk szavú gyerek soft-spoken child
test > testű >> kis testű állat animal with a small body

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, More Postpositions


If you want to do without something, that’s the right postposition for it.

Esernyő nélkül nem megyek el.
I’m not leaving without an umbrella.

Cukor nélkül isszák a kávét.
They drink coffee without sugar.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
enélkül – without this, anélkül – without that

Personal forms: nélkülem, nélküled, nélküle, nélkülünk, nélkületek, nélkülük
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök nélkül


It replaces something with something else: instead of, for

Cipő helyett pólót veszünk.
Instead of shoes, we’ll buy a shirt.

Helyetted nem tudok dönteni.
I can’t make this decision for you.

Helyette végzem el a munkát.
I’m accomplishing this job for him/instead of him.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
ehelyett – instead of this, ahelyett – instead of that

Personal forms: helyettem, helyetted, helyette, helyettünk, helyettetek, helyettük
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök helyett


If you want to refer to other people’s opinion: according to, to think, to say

Az igazgató szerint nincs pénz.
The director says we have no money.

Szerinted megy ma dolgozni?
Do you think he’s going to work today?

A törvény szerint itt tilos a dohányzás.
According to the law, smoking is prohibited here.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
eszerint – according to this, aszerint – according to that

Personal forms: szerintem, szerinted, szerinte, szerintünk, szerintetek, szerintük
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök szerint


This postposition is used if something is done by somebody. English equivalent: by

A titkárság által küldött levél megérkezett.
The letter sent by the secretariat has arrived.

It takes the possessive endings if it refers specifically to the person by whom something was done.

Az általa mondott történet igaz.
The story told by him is true.

The demonstrative pronoun az, ez change like this:
ezáltal – through this, azáltal – through that

Personal forms: általam, általad, általa, általunk, általatok, általuk
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök által


This is a deceitful postposition. Let’s see why! The word itself ellen means: against

A döntése ellen nem tehetünk semmit.
We can’t do anything against his decision.

Nincs ellene kifogásom.
I have no objection against it.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
ez ellen – against this, az ellen – against that

Personal forms: ellenem, ellened, ellene, ellenünk, ellenetek, ellenük
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök ellen

-If it takes the suffix -ben plus possessive ending, it has the meaning: in return for

Megfelelő szolgáltatás ellenében fizetek.
I’ll pay in return for appropriate service.

nyugta ellenében – against a receipt

készpénzfizetés ellenében – cash down

-If it takes the suffix -re, it means: notwithstanding, in spite of sg

A sztrájk ellenére nyugodt nap ez a mai.
Despite the strike, it is a calm day.

A bizonytalanságom ellenére elboldogulok.
In spite of my uncertainty, I’m getting on well.

akaratom ellenére – against my will

ellen(e) – against
ellenében – in return for
ellenére- in spite of, despite, notwithstanding


Justifying something goes with these postpositions: because of. The postposition végett is almost completely extinct.

Az eső miatt bent ülünk a házban.
Because of the rain we’re sitting in the house.

Miattam történt a baleset. (>The accident happened because of me.)
The accident is my fault.

Emiatt nem látom a filmet.
That’s why/Therefore I won’t see the movie.

Az irat végett jöttem. (> I came because of the document.)
I’ve come for the document.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
emiatt, evégett – for this, amiatt, avégett – for that

Personal forms: miattam, miattad, miatta, miattunk, miattatok, miattuk
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök miatt

No personal forms for végett. Actually, there are such forms, but they are too archaic.


If I’m interested in something or someone, I say iránt which comes from irány (direction). Equivalent: towards

Nem érzek iránta semmit. – I don’t feel anything for her.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
ez iránt – for this, az iránt – for that

Personal forms: irántam, irántad, iránta, irántunk, irántatok, irántuk
Polite pers. forms: maga/maguk/ön/önök iránt


If something happens for someone’s sake, that is: in favour of

4:0 a magyarok(nak a) javára – four up for the Hungarian team
A javamra írt ezer forintot. – He credited me thousand forints.
a vendégek(nek a) javára – in favour of the guests

Note that the suffix -nak a, -nek a are not mandatory to use because ‘java’ has a possessive ending. The context is clear: someone possesses something. Hence the parenthesis. As a matter of fact, java is the possessive form of jó (good). In itselg, it is used as a noun.

Csak a javadat akarom. – I just want you the best.

The demonstrative pronouns az, ez change like this:
ennek a javára – in favour of this, annak a javára – in favour of that

Personal forms: a javamra, javadra, javára, javunkra, javatokra, javukra
Polite pers. forms: a maga/maguk/ön/önök javára
>Note the definite article preceding java…


These postpositions are equal to the suffix -ért: for, to

Foglalok asztalt részükre. – I’ll book a table for them.
Számunkra ez nem jelent semmit. – To us, it doesn’t mean anything.

Personal forms: számomra, számodra, számára, számunkra, számotokra, számukra
Polite pers. forms: a maga/maguk/ön/önök számára
Personal forms: részemre, részedre, részére, részünkre, részetekre, részükre
Polite pers. forms: a maga/maguk/ön/önök részére
>Note the definite article for polite forms.


This postposition corresponds with ellenében: nyugta/nyugtának a fejébenagainst a receipt

No personal forms possible.


 Meaning: on the basis of sg, based on sg, by

A lány külseje alapján ítéli meg.
He judges the girl by her look.

Órabér alapján fizetnek. – I’m paid by the hour.

Az alapján, amit mondott, nem ő a hibás.
Based on what he said, it’s not his fault.

No personal forms possible.


It is something like a stilted postposition for saying: based on. Mainly used when you’re talking about somebody’s work, book, and so on:

Gene Roddenberry Star Trek-e nyomán
based on Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek

No personal forms possible.


It means: through sy/sg, by way of, by means of

A szakács révén megtudtuk, mennyi só kell a levesbe.
Through the cook we learned how much salt you need to add to the soup.

You can also say: A szakácstól = A szakács révén = A szakács által

No personal forms possible.


This postposition is equal to: in point of, by

Foglalkozására nézve erdész. – He’s a forester by profession.
Ez kedvező ránk nézve. – This is favourable to us.

Personal forms: rám/rád/rá/ránk/rátok/rájuk nézve
Polite pers. forms: magára/magukra/önre/önökre nézve


These two words can be translated as: including sg / apart from sg

Beleértve téged is, hárman vagyunk itt.
Including you, three of us are here.

A szobától eltekintve tetszik a hely.
Apart from the room, I like the place.

Personal forms: engem/téged/őt/minket/titeket/őket beleértve
Polite pers. forms: magát/magukat/önt/önöket beleértve
Personal forms: tőlem/tőled/tőle/tőlünk/tőletek/tőlük eltekintve
Polite pers. forms: magától/maguktól/öntől/önöktől eltekintve


Equivalent: as for; as far as sg/sy is concerned, regarding sy/sg

Ami engem illet, nem érdekel.
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care.

Ami a bevásárlást illeti, túl sok pénzt költöttetek.
As for the shopping, you’ve spent too much money.

Personal forms: ami engem/téged/minket/titeket illet (!); ami őt/őket illeti (!)
Polite pers. forms: ami magát/magukat/önt/önöket illeti (!)


Equivalent: by, by virtue of, by dint of; therefore

Nem jött el, ennél fogva nem tud levizsgázni.
He hasn’t come, therefore he won’t be able to pass the exam.

Ügyességénél fogva mindenre képes.
By her skills she’s capable of everything.

Synonym for ennél fogva: ezért, emiatt, így
Synonym for -nál, -nél fogva: ami -t illeti

No personal forms possible.


Equivalent: apropos of, in connection with, as for

Az ügy kapcsán eszébe jutott más is.
As for the issue, she remembered other things, too.

Synonym is: az ügy kapcsán = ami az ügyet illeti


Equivalent: for the sake of; in sy’s interest

A te érdekedben mondom.
I’m saying this in your own interest.

Péter érdekében tartom a szám.
I’ll keep my tongue for Peter’s sake.

Synonym is the suffix –ért:
a te érdekedben = érted, Péter érdekében = Péterért

Personal forms:
az én érdekemben, a te érdekedben, az ő érdekében
a mi érdekünkben, a ti érdeketekben, az ő érdekükben
Polite pers. forms:
a maga/maguk/ön/önök érdekében


-val, -vel > instrumental case = with
-nként > distributive case = per, in, by
-képp, -képpen, -ként > modal case = as, -ly
-stul, -stül > comitative case = (along) with, together with


Next time we’ll discuss CASES. I’ll bring up all cases we’ve learned so far and explain a thing or two about them.

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, More Suffixes

We’re going through a couple of suffixes now. These suffixes can express a manner of some kind. Next time we’ll learn the postpositions related to this topic.


If you return to the ’adverbs of time’, you’ll see we’ve already met this suffix. In that case, it was distributive temporal case: something happens over and over again at a specific interval. We are talking about distribution now, as well! This case is: DISTRIBUTIVE CASE.

fejenként (per head)
egyenként (one by one)
páronként (in pairs, by two)
kilónként (a kilo)

Of course, you might need a link vowel sometimes:
-enként, -önként, -onként, -anként

For páronként there’s another version: párosával.


Used to form adverbs of manner from adjectives. These suffixes –nként and -ként are not the same! The word mint is the only preposition in Hungarian! The suffixes -képp, -képpen can be interchanged even if not always. This case is called MODAL CASE.

kétféleképp(en) – in two different ways
hasonlóképpen – similarly
tulajdonképpen – properly speaking
önként – voluntarily

Tanárként dolgozik./ Mint tanár dolgozik.
He works as a teacher.

Synonyms can be:

hasonlóképpen = hasonlóan
önként = önkéntesen


These can be used to express manner.

kettesével – two at a time
hármasával – three at a time
százával – by hundreds; hundreds of
ezrével – by thousands; thousands of


This case is COMITATIVE CASE. In a proper sense, it has the same meaning as -val, -vel, but it is used to express a stronger relationship!

családostul – with one’s entire family
mindenestül – with everything, root and branch
szőröstül-bőröstül – flesh and fell

Ruhástul állt a zuhany alatt.
He was standing under the shower with clothes on him.


Surprising as it is, these suffixes of place referring to occurrences inside an object, also reflect a state of mind. Words combined with -ban, -ben often take the possessive endings, as well! They can be translated using the preposition ‘with’.

Örömében sír.
She’s crying with joy.

Bánatában a tóba ugrott.
Sad as he was, he jumped into the lake.

Fájdalmukban üvöltenek.
They shout with pain.

Jó/rossz színben van.
He looks well/ill.
Literally: He’s in a good/in a bad color.

Summary for Adverbs of Manner with -ly


1. -n, -an, -on, -en

These are standard suffixes to form adverbs of manner. Use them with adjectives according to the link vowel of their plural forms.

-they must be used with adjectives ending with -os, -es, -ös, -s!
-with some adjectives that end with ú, ű!


békések > békésen = peaceably
szépek > szépen = beautifully
alaposak > alaposan = thoroughly
bátor – bátrak > bátran = bravely
vastagok > vastagon = thickly
egyoldalúan = in a one-sided way
egyértelműen = unequivocally


lassú > lassan = slowly
hosszú > hosszan = for a long time
könnyű > könnyen = easily
szörnyű > szörnyen = terribly
nagy = big > nagyon = very

2. -lag, -leg

These suffixes are used with:

-adjectives ending with –i
some adjectives ending with ó, ő, ű
-and with some more adjectives

barátilag = amicably
elvileg = theoretically
állítólag = allegedly
ellenkezőleg = on the contrary
valószínűleg = probably
aránylag = relatively
végleg = definitely
tényleg = really, truly

3. ul, -ül, -l

These suffixes are used with:

languages spoken/written/learned by someone
-adjectives with these privative suffixes: -talan, -telen, -atlan, -etlen
-and some more adjectives

Beszélek olaszul. = I speak Italian.
Németül írok. = I’m writing in German.
Angolul tanulok. = I’m learning English.
aránytalanul = disproportionately
védtelenül = helplessly
akaratlanul = unintentionally
kelletlenül = reluctantly

Besides, the adverbs well/right and badly/wrong are formed with these suffixes, too:

jó > jól = well/right
rossz > rosszul = badly/wrong

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, the Suffixes -l, -ul, -ül

GROUP 3: –L, -UL, -ÜL

These suffixes are attached to languages and adjectives with the privative suffixes -talan, -telen, -atlan, -etlen and some other adjectives.

bizonytalanul – vaguely
kelletlenül – reluctantly
magyarul – in Hungarian
olaszul – in Italian
angolul – in English
németül – in German
l – well, right
rosszul – badly, wrong

Hungarian ’well’ and ’badly’ are not irregular. More examples:

például – for example
végül – in the end; finally, at last
feleségül megy valakihez – marry him (go to him as a wife)
vendégül lát – to entertain sy at one’s table
segítségül hív – to invoke
hírül ad – to report, to send a word
l beszél magyarul. – He speaks Hungarian well.
Rosszul tanul. – He’s bad at school.
Beszélek olaszul. – I speak Italian.

No confusion here please!

végleg – definitely
végül – in the end, finally, at last
a végén – at the end
Végre! – At last!

IMPORTANT! These suffixes (-ul, -ül) are always used when someone speaks/writes/learns a language! You see the examples above.

English does not always have a preposition before languages. More examples:

Olaszul írja a levelet. – He’s writing the letter in Italian.
Japánul tanul. – He’s learning Japanese.
Finnül beszél. – He speaks Finnish.


-Hány nyelven beszélsz? – Három nyelven beszélek.
-How many languages do you speak? – I speak three languages.

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, -n, -on, -an, -en; -lag, -leg

The usual method to form adverbs of manner in English is adding –ly to the adjective. Hungarian has several suffixes for that, depending on what adjective you form an adverb of manner from.

GROUP 1: -N, -ON, -AN, -EN

These suffixes are the general ones to form adverbs of manner. Important to mention: depending on what plural suffix adjectives require, such a suffix for these adverbs of manner must be chosen. I’m talking about link vowels: –an, –en, –on or –n attached to words in a vowel. Examples:

okos > okosak = okosan (in a clever/smart way)
béna > bénák = bénán (crippled; in a lame way)
ügyes > ügyesek = ügyesen (ably)
vastag > vastagok = vastagon (in a thick way)

Of course there are exceptions: boldog > boldogok = boldogan (happily)

Adjectives formed with the suffixes -s, -os, -es, -ös always take these suffixes! Sometimes, words that end with ó, ő, ú, ű take -n (keserűn), but these forms sound a bit antiquated. Besides, other words can take them, too. Not to be confused with the suffixes of surface -n, -on, -en, -ön!

haragos – haragosan = testytestily
fényes – fényesen = brightbrightly
gyors – gyorsan = quickquickly
olcsó – olcsón = cheap – at a low price
drága – drágán = expensive – at a high price

Apparently, also English has its own forms now and then which can’t be translated in the same way.

ATTENTION! There are exceptions going through a change when transformed into adverbs of manner. These words end with ú, ű.

lassú – lassan = slowslowly
könnyű – könnyen = easy – easily
szörnyű – szörnyen = terrible – terribly

NOTE! The adjective nagy means big, the adverb nagyon means very.

nagy = big > nagyon = very
nagy ház = big house > nagyon nagy ház = very big house


These suffixes are attached mostly to words which end with ó, ő, ú, ű. Adjectives formed with the suffix -i take -lag, -leg, too.

állítólag – allegedly
ellenkezőleg – on the contrary
valószínűleg – probably
barátilag – in a friendly way
eredetileg – originally

But it doesn’t mean that other words must not take them:

aránylag – relatively
tényleg – really
végleg – definitely

Adjectives with these suffixes – that is as adverbs of manner – must not be compared at superlative degree!

Next time we’ll take a look at the suffixes -ul, -ül. Bye now! 🙂

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, Hogy?


English equivalent is: How?

ATTENTION! How? corresponds with the Hungarian word only if you express mode, condition, NEVER PROPERTY OR QUALITY. Of course, there are exceptions:

How was your day? – Milyen napod volt?

If the question word How? requires a specific quality as an answer, one says: Milyen?

But now we’re interested in Hogy? Examples:

Hogy vagy? – How are you?
Hogy jöttél ide? – How did you come here?
Hogy megy a munka? – How is your work going?

There’s a longer version of this word: Hogyan? No difference between the two forms, but the short version is more in use.

The answers to the question could be: jól – fine; gyalog – on foot; lassan – slowly. These words are adverbs of manner. The possibilities to form them are quite a few! Besides, there are adverbs of manner representing this part of the speech by themselves (gyalog). Standard English adverbs of manner are formed from adjectives with the ending –ly: happily, mainly, and so on…

Hungarian equivalents are:
-lag, -leg
-ul, -ül
-an, -en

Next time we’ll see their use.