A reference guide to Hungarian grammar, designed with English-speakers in mind

Today's name day(s): Gusztáv 16/Jan Print Printer friendly version  

Triads of movement in Hungarian


Take a quick survey and help make HungarianReference.com even better

There are three sets of triads of movement. In each set, we have an ending that means towards, one that means static position at, and one that means movement away from. Goal, position, and source.

A noun will always fall into the same triad, therefore if you know that a noun always goes with a certain ending when talking of movement, you immediately know that its brothers will come from the same triad.

Example:  we have "az asztalon", meaning on the table.  We therefore know that table belongs in the onto-on-from group.

  • az asztalra onto the table
  • az asztalról from the table

Question words must also take note of whether there is movement towards or away from the object:

Hungarians don't ask "where are you going?", they ask "to where are you going?" They don't answer this question with "there", but with "to there".

Triad matrix

This matrix shows the combinations of the endings that may apply to a noun when there is a spatial relation to that noun.


Group goal Movement towards the suffixed word position Static position source Movement AWAY FROM the suffixed word
spaces -ba -be
into
-ban -ben
in
-ból -ből
out of
surfaces -ra -re
onto
-n
on
-ról -ről
from
solids -hoz -hez -höz
towards
-nál-nél
at, by
-tól- től
from

Application of groups

Some objects will generally take endings from only one group. For example, Hungarian cities (and Hungary itself) take endings from the surfaces group.

  • Budapestre towards Budapest
  • Budapesten in Budapest
  • Budapestről from Budapest

Some objects can take endings from some groups, but not all.
For example, a peice of paper, one can be on or by the paper, but one cannot be in(side) the paper.


Some objects can take endings from all three groups, and the ending then tells you specifically the relation to the object. Let us consider the székreny (waldrobe) as an example. It has an inside, where the clothes are; a top surface, where the dust collects; and one may be adjacent to it, like where the chair is.

Examples

Spaces

The spaces group regards movement into, being in, or movement out of the inside of the waldrobe.

  • székrenyben inside the waldrobe.
  • az alma a székrenyben van the apple is in the waldrobe.

The "inside" may not be physical, such as a party. It includes foreign cities and countries.

Surfaces

The surfaces group regards flat objects such as a table, a face, a road. It also includes intangible objects such as a thought. It specifically refers to the surface of the object.
Az alma a székrenyen van the apple is on the waldrobe.

Solids

The solids group. Az alma a szekrénynél van the apple is by the waldrobe.

Adverbs of movement

 I strongly recommend that when you learn the question words of movement, you using the old fashioned English words. 
Whither, hither, thither, whence, hence, thence, etc.
When learning the meaning of the word onnan, learn it as thence. When learning the meaning of the word where, learn all three of its meanings, hová, hol, honnan.


Category of word towardsMovement towards the suffixed word static Static position away from Movement AWAY FROM the suffixed word
here hither (towards here)
ide
here
itt
hence (from here)
innen
there thither (towards there)
oda
there
ott
thence (from there)
onnan
where? question whither? (to where)
hová?
where?
hol?
whence? (from where)
honnan?
where (back-reference) whither (to where)
ahová
where
ahol
whence (from where)
ahonnan

You are here:
Skip Navigation LinksHungarianReference.com > Grammar > Nouns > Triads of movement

  Up
Nouns
 
Prev
Kinds of: -féle
Triads of movement Next
Nominative (subject)
   


Printer friendly version Print Add Favourite Send to friend

'Like' us and win a Hungarian book:
Facebook

See facebook page for details.


Sitemap
Contact
Make a donation to HungariaReference.com