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

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

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, 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.

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, the Suffix -ért


The basic meaning of -ért is: for, for the sake of

The same rules are valid for it as for the other suffixes. It is simply attached to a word and if that word ends with a or e, then those vowels become á, é:

alma-almáért, gereblye-gereblyéért

It also has personal forms:
értem – for me
érted – for you
érte – for him/her/it
értünk – for us
értetek – for you
értük – for them

And the polite forms are: önért, magáért, önökért, magukért

It can be intensified: énértem, teérted, őérte, etc. The forms for the polite forms are intensified in the speech: önért, magáért

Not to be confused with the verb ért, that is to understand!

(Azt) értem. – I understand (that).
(Ezt) értem tetted? – You did (this) for me?

Like always az, ez can take this suffix.

azért – for that
ezért – for this

Ezért also means: therefore, this is why
Azért also means: therefore, that is why


A népemért bármit megteszek.
I do anything for my people.

A lány beesett a Dunába, ő meg beugrott érte.
The girl fell into the Danube and he jumped after her.

Csak érted tettem, amit tettem.
I only did for you what I did.

Értem te ne hazudj a tanárnak!
Don’t lie to the teacher for my sake.

Kettőkor érte megyek az állomásra.
I’m going to pick her up at the station at two.

Nem jött, ezért hazamentem, nem vártam tovább.
He didn’t come, so I went home. I didn’t wait any longer.

Beteg volt és ezért nem hívott fel.
She was ill and this is why she didn’t call me.

Suffixes / Postpositions, Adverbs of Manner, Introduction


Hungarian adverbs of manner have a crucial part in expressing mood and condition, answering the question How? = Hogy?

But first let’s see another case in connection with a purpose or a reason. The base for that could be the question word ’Why?’, whose equivalent is Miért? That is, the question word Mi? takes the suffix -ért, whose meaning is the same as the preposition for.

In a word, Hungarian question words are: Miért? – Why? AND Kiért? – For whom?

If you want to say that somebody does something for a purpose or a reason, then do this.

Miért vagy itt? –Azért vagyok itt, hogy beszéljek veled.
Why are you here?- I’m here to talk to you.

Miért vagy itt? –Azért vagyok itt, mert beszélni akarok veled.
Why are you here? -I’m here because I want to talk to you.

So the question Miért? can be answered with a sentence explaining the purpose or the reason.

ATTENTION! In Hungarian, sometimes there’s an ANTECEDENT at the beginning of the sentence (in this case: Azért). This phenomenon does not exist in English. The first sentence literally is:

I’m here (for the purpose) so that I talk to you.

Whereas the second one:

I’m here (for the reason) that I want to talk to you.


Question: Miért = Why?
Answer: Azért, …hogy = …(in order) to

Question: Miért? = Why?
Answer: Azért, …mert = …because

So much for the introduction.

As for the following issues, we’ll learn the meaning of the suffix -ért and how to form adverbs of manner expressed with -ly in English (happily, easily…)

Bye now!