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Thread: elmentem

  1. #1
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    elmentem

    Hello everyone!

    The title of the thread is a bit misleading, but I didn't know to explain it better.

    What I meant is: someone is leaving and, just before crossing the door, says "sziasztok, elmentem!" instead of "most elmegyek!", "na, akkor, elmegyek!, "hallodé?, elmegyek!"" or something in the line of "I'm leaving" (and even after that "I went away", the departing person tells you something else, like "találkozunk 7-kor, oke?...)

    Why is used a past tense instead of a present in these cases?

    Kössz!

  2. #2
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    This is, of course, not a question of grammar since "elmentem" always means "I've gone" (or I went away) and not "I'm leaving". I hear it often today, especially from young people. I think originally it might be a jocose way how to accentuate that "now I really go away", i.e. "I have already gone, even if it seems that I'm still here..." or something like this .

    But let's wait also for other answers, maybe somebody knows a better explanation.

  3. #3
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    The same exists in English too: "I'm off".

  4. #4
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    Quote Originally Posted by sesperxes View Post
    Kössz!
    "Kösz" is the correct version.

  5. #5
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    Ha nagyon köszöni, akkor lehet kösssz is

  6. #6
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    I agree with the above. It is a colloquial way of expressing that "I'm leaving." (Or the "I am off" that tom mentioned above.)

    Francis, in "proper" Hungarian, it cannot be "Kösssz!" - unless right spelling is not respected for reasons like a) lack of knowledge of spelling b) meaning to express "thank you, that helps me an awful lot!" - in an ironic way, etc. (And please, don't switch languages within the same thread!)
    Nem az mutat tudósságot, aki sok nyelven beszél, hanem aki hasznos dolgokat tud mondani rajtuk. (Comenius)

  7. #7
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    Quote Originally Posted by Zsanna View Post
    I agree with the above. It is a colloquial way of expressing that "I'm leaving." (Or the "I am off" that tom mentioned above.)
    I mentioned "I'm off" because it -similarly to the Hungarian "elmentem"- is in the past (I'm already off = I'm gone), while "I'm leaving" is the same as "most megyek" in Hungarian.
    So "I'm off" is exactly what the OP is looking for.

  8. #8
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    Don't see any contradiction, tom.
    (Only, that "I'm off" is strictly speaking in the present, too. There is no Past Tense in it.)
    Nem az mutat tudósságot, aki sok nyelven beszél, hanem aki hasznos dolgokat tud mondani rajtuk. (Comenius)

  9. #9
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    Quote Originally Posted by Zsanna View Post
    (... "I'm off" is strictly speaking in the present, too. There is no Past Tense in it.)
    I didn't mean it's grammatically in the past tense, but that "I'm off" implies that "I have left"="El vagyok menve"=I'm no longer in the house"="I was in the house in the past, but now I'm out/off"="elmentem", still it is used as an equivalent of "I'm leaving" which implies the progress of leaving, just as "elmegyek".
    Hope you get my point. Does it make sense?

  10. #10
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    I understand what you mean but the original question refers to a present action expressed by a verb in past tense (and in Hungarian).
    Nem az mutat tudósságot, aki sok nyelven beszél, hanem aki hasznos dolgokat tud mondani rajtuk. (Comenius)

  11. #11
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    Re: Use of the past tense with a present action

    Quote Originally Posted by Zsanna View Post
    I understand what you mean but the original question refers to a present action expressed by a verb in past tense (and in Hungarian).
    OK, clear.

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