Adverbial participle: Most nem vagyok elfoglalva


Senior Member
I'm looking at some example sentences and I've come across these two:
Elfoglalt vagyok.
Most nem elfoglalva vagyok.

I checked on Wiktionary and saw that elfoglalva is something called an adverbial participle. I don't understand what is it or when it is used, and why can't I just say Most nem elfoglalt vagyok in analogy with the first example sentence. If anyone could clarify that, I'd be grateful.
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  • I don't think there's such a thing as elfoglal vagyok. I would say el vagyok foglalva. Preverbs/coverbs (look them up) are separated from verbs under some conditions.
    Hello Gerry,
    I'm sorry, I am a bit confused about what you would really like to know, so I follow my hunch... To start with their possible forms in their "normal" meaning (I am occupied./ I am not occupied...)
    - in affirmative: Elfogalt vagyok or El vagyok foglalva.
    - in negative: Nem vagyok elfoglalt and Nem vagyok elfoglalva.

    Your suggestion "Most nem elfoglalt (elfoglalva would be the same) vagyok" is also a possibility but putting the accent specially on "occupied", as if you said something like this in English: It's not that I am occupied ... (but I would like to have a little rest), i.e. this is why I don't want to go to the cinema.
    It is apparently the most challenging bit about Hungarian: you can "play" with the word order in order to emphasize what you find logically most important. It is much easier for native speakers than for learners of our language...:oops:
    My question is about elfoglalva. Why is the -va there and why can it work as an adjective when there is already an adjective for 'busy' - elfoglalt. Sorry if I'm being unclear.
    This -va (and its pair - ve) is a suffix that makes a present participle from the verb, similar to -ing in English.

    Futva* jött = He came running.
    Sülve** szeretem = I like it cooked.

    However, it does not work exactly as its English "brother", just like in your sentence. (Why? That is not a very good/useful question when learning a language. :D)
    Well, what you can find about it in a Hungarian dictionary is that this suffix creates a "way (*) or a state(**)" of the action/happening that the original verb meant. So probably the original meaning of the verb influences its use and translation, and language learners will have to take it in bit by bit.

    In other cases, you can see it in a way where you have an adverb for it in English:
    Nyitva van az ajtó. = The door is open.

    It is not used as an adjective as far as I can tell. You can usually put questions about it that begin with how/in what way, etc.

    I don't know if anybody did a contrastive work on this between English and Hungarian but I would be interested to read it.

    P.S. On second thoughts... The answer to your question seems to be that your sentence belongs to the ** (= state) category.
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    Thanks for the thorough explanation :) I feel like I'll have to come back to it multiple times before I even start to wrap my head around it.