In this lesson we will express need or necessity.
This will come in two flavours: personal and infinitive, i.e.
"I need to..." and "it is necessary to..." respectively.
The choice between these two flavours is quite easy, but different from in English.
For example, where we might say "you need to..." to mean "one must...", in Hungarian they would use
The word for expressing need is kell.
You just need to place the auxiliary in front of the infinitive. Here are some examples:
it is necessary to go; i.e. one must go
it is necessary to come; i.e. one must come
It is then trivial to place this strucuture into the past tense,
by simply using kellett.
it was necessary to go
it was necessary to come
Congratulations, you now know how to express impersonal necessity in Hungarian.
Pretty easy, no?
Now let's look at the personal forms.
We continue to use the word kell
but now when we have personal forms we change the verb to a personal version.
These personal version look very much like endings for
possession. We simply apply the ending to the root of the verb.
We can of course still used the passed-tense form of the auxilliary, kellett, to express
a past need.
I need to go
you needed to go
I need to come
you need to come
he needed to go
To add more emphasis or clarity to show who needs to do something,
we use the dative case
for the subject.
nekem kell mennem
I need to go
neked kell jönöd
you need to come
Áginak kell mennie
Ági needs to go
We can use the following endings to make the personal forms. These are known as the "personal infinitives",
and they have several uses. Let us first list the endings.
As you may have seen in the above examples, the characteristic letter for expressing need
is -n-, which is applied to the root of the verb.
Sometimes there is a link vowel when the root of the verb ends in a "long ending":
you need to say
I need to help
However, we have a short cut, a cheat sheet. You'll note that the
personal endings of the personal forms are all applied to
something very similar to the infinitive of the verb, minus the -i.
In fact, that's a hard rule:
to make the base of the personal form, simply remove the -i
from the infinitive.
mondani .... mond-an-od
to say... you need to say
to help... I need to help
We have seen how to express that a person needs to do something.
We use kell to show that someone
needs to do something. But this is not the only auxilliary we can use. There are several,
and they are listed below.
need to ... as we have seen above
is possible to
manage to, succede in
it is possible for you to come
he managed to go
am I free to ask? i.e. may I ask?
it forbidden to smoke, ie. smoking is not allowed
it hurts for me to smile
One can also use adjectives as quasi-auxilliaries, such as in the following.
it is good for us to know, i.e. that's good to know!
it is difficult for them to come
azt konnyű megtennie
that is easy for him to do
I will not go into detail here about the splitting and rearranging of the
as that is contained in its own page. Suffice to show here that
when there is a verbal prefix this may or may not detatch from the root fo the verb.
el kell menni
it is necessary to go away
ki kell menned
you need to go out
This lesson is in the verbs section, so this final topic will be very brief.
One will often see our friend "kell" used with a noun to show that one has need of something.
one has need of a ticket
nekem kell jegy
I have need of a ticket
nekik kell jegy
they have need of a ticket
nekik kellenek jegy
they have need of tickets