a jellemző

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by NagyKiss, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. NagyKiss Senior Member

    "Vasárnap kezdetben a Dunától keletre még több lesz a felhő, de délután már mindenhol a napsütés lesz a jellemző. "

    Dictionary says this word means "typical", it is an adjective. But here it is used as a noun, right?

    This means sunshine will be "typical" i.e - the second half of the day will be "characterized" by sunshine?
  2. gorilla Member

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Adjectives are in a sense "two in one", they can also be used as nouns. They can take the plural, accusative, any case ending etc. It may help if you imagine some meaningless filling word like "thing" or "stuff" to be there.

    Sunshine will be the typical (thing).

    The difference between with and without the article "a" is subtle and not very important. I will try to explain it below, but of course you shouldn't learn these rules and try to apply them consciously. You should use the language a lot and then it will come automatically. But seeing you are interested in these things I try to describe it.

    The article "a" shows that "jellemző" is in its noun role and emphasizes that there is one such thing. In this case: at any given time there is one typical kind of weather, and we tell that sunshine will be this typical weather.

    Without the article "a", "jellemző" is in its adjective role. The sentence changes in structure, so that it means "Sunshine will be typical" instead of "the typical thing". There is not much difference in meaning, however! These kinds of assumptions and emphases can also be expressed by word order (of course the two should be compatible). So actually if you say "mindenhol a napsütés lesz jellemző" the meaning is almost entirely the same as with the "a", because word order shows your intention: "a napsütés" is in the so called focus position, which means that it contrasts it with any other alternative and asserts that not the alternatives (wind, rain) but indeed sunshine will be typical. So this also implies that there is only one typical weather at that time.

    "Nem tudja, hogy mi a jó neki" - He doesn't know what's the good (thing) for him.
    This would imply a bigger scale like which profession to choose, how to live life, and it implies that someone else should guide him. So the formulation uses "a" because the situation implies that there is one good way of doing things.

    "Nem tudja, hogy mi jó neki" - He doesn't know what's good for him.
    This sounds a bit funny, as if he generally couldn't tell any good and bad things apart, maybe he doesn't even know what he likes.

    Ebben az elméletben az az érdekes, hogy... - The interesting (thing) in this theory is that...
    Here it is implied that there is one interesting thing about the theory.

    Érdekes ebben az elméletben, hogy... - It is interesting in this theory that...
    Here there can be several interesting things, we don't care, we just want to assert about one aspect that it is interesting.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  3. NagyKiss Senior Member

    Great explanation, thank you very much!

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