Vocabulary – used to and koromban


English has a simple method to express an event that happened long ago: used to. Hungarian, in turn, uses several adverbs of time to express such events:

régen long ago, a long time ago
azelőtt earlier, in the past
valaha once

These adverbs require the verb to be in the past tense.

Régen sokat jártunk a parkba.
We used to go to the park a lot.

Azelőtt mindig húst ettek vasárnap.
They used to eat meat for lunch on Sunday.

Valaha kívülről tudtam, hogy kell írni a japán Hiragana jeleket.
I used to know by heart how to write the Japanese Hiragana signs.

You can talk about a certain period of your life, too. Examples:

gyerek koromban when I was a child
iskolás koromban when I was a student

Gyerek koromban gyakran ettem édességet.
When I was a child, I often ate sweets.

Idős korában már nem hallott túl jól.
When he got older, his hearing was not too good.

So the scheme is:

gyerek, iskolás, felnőtt, idős
koromban (when I was a child, a student, an adult, old)
korodban (when you were…)
korában (when he/she was…)
korunkban (when we were…)
korotokban (when you were…)
korukban (when they were…)

Of course, the noun kor (age) is fitted with the possessive endings as you see above and the suffix -ban is added.

Vocabulary – Szokik = Usually


The verb szokik can be used as modal verb when talking about: usually, never or Present Tense. In this function, it must be conjugated in past tense, but it expresses generalization. It requires the infinitive of the main verb. Formation:

Reggel iskolába szoktam menni.
I usually go to school in the morning.

Nem szoktam reggelizni.
I never have breakfast.

Nem szoktak alkoholt inni.
They don’t drink alcohol.

Kétnaponta szoktam borotválkozni.
I shave every other day.

Sokat szoktam tanulni.
I usually study a lot.

Szoktál néha bulizni?
Do you go to a party sometimes?

Strandra is szoktunk menni nyáron.
We also go to the beach in summer.

Mikor szoktatok felkelni?
When do you guys usually get up?

I know it looks strange :). Just remember when szokik expresses generalization, it must be in past tense! It can’t be always translated because English uses Present Tense many times.

It is a frequent verb in this function in the spoken language.


reggelizik to have breakfast
iszik to drink
alkohol alcohol
borotválkozik to shave (one’s face)
tanul to study
bulizik to party (SLANG WORD) > original noun: buli party
strand beach
megy to go
nyár summer > nyáron in summer
felkel to get up

NOTE! These verbs (reggelizik, iszik, bulizik, borotválkozik) are -ik verbs, so they refer back to the person. Let me show you an example why it is important.

borotva = razor
borotvál = to shave (something)
borotválkozik = to shave (oneself)

Leborotválom a szomszéd macskáját, aztán én is megborotválkozom.
I’ll shave the neighbour’s cat, then I’ll shave, too.

See ya! 🙂