Constructions with verbs like 'tud', 'kell' and '-hat/-het' in the future


Serbian - Serbia
Dear all,

I have a question about the constructions to be used when we want to express future with the verbs like ‘tud’, ‘kell’ and those containing ‘-hat/-het’. I understand that this is done with the use of the word ‘majd’.

For example: ‘I will be able to drive the car when I grow up’.
Here’s my try: ‘Autót tudok majd vezetni, ha nagy leszek’.

With ‘kell’: ‘I won’t have to go to school when I grow up’
My try: ‘Nem kell majd az iskolába mennem, ha nagy leszek’

But I’ve also seen on the internet examples like this (it’s from a web page for native speakers of Hungarian learning English):

You will be able to pass the exam. - Át fogsz tudni menni a vizsgán.
You won't be able to pass the exam. - Nem fogsz tudni átmenni a vizsgán.
I'll be able to help you. - Fogok tudni segíteni neked.

Are the constructions with ‘fog’ also correct?

Thank you!
  • Yes, immediately to your question. (The problem is rather complex but I try to keep it simple at least to start with. Another tricky, clever question! :thumbsup: )

    The difference between the two ways of expressing the future in Hungarian (really in nutshell):

    A. In the form
    Majd (doesn't change) + main verb conjugated in the present tense
    Fog (say an "auxiliary verb of the future" to be conjugated in the present) + the main verb in infinitive

    B. In the style
    Majd is more colloquial than fog. (And there are surely a lot of nuances on the top of this, you'll see below one.)

    Tud in the sense of can (capacity) or may (permission) in English can be replaced by -hat/-het.

    with majd
    Vezethetek majd autót, ha nagy leszek./Majd vezethetek autót, ... (The word order does not change a lot here.)

    However, fog doesn't work with -hat/-het, neither with kell.
    Dear Zsanna,

    Thanks a lot for your clear-cut answer, this is very useful!

    I just have one more question, to make sure I got it right. Let’s take a meaning of ‘tud’ where it cannot be replaced with a ‘-hat/-het’ verb, for example ‘to speak a language’. If I want to say something like this: ‘I don’t speak French but some day I will!’, what would be the normal way to say this in Hungarian?

    My try:
    ‘Nem tudok franciául de egy nap tudni fogok!’
    ‘Nem tudok franciául de egy nap tudok majd!’
    ‘Nem tudok franciául de egy nap majd tudok!’

    Thank you!
    With a comma before "de", all your suggested sentences are basically OK. (They could have a little "make-up" to sound more natural, but I'll leave it for later - if you are interested - because it won't change much about your question.)

    I can see a difference between the first and the second in terms of "determination": the speaker is more determined in the first than in the second.

    However, there is also another possibility:
    Nem tudok/beszélek franciául, de egy nap majd fogok! :eek: (I have an idea about the reason but I'd prefer to look it up first.)

    Just another note to these sentences: -hat/-het could replace tud in a sentence like this:
    Nem tudok franciául, de egy nap még beszélhetem. (N.B. No majd or fog! Although I can imagine that majd could come after beszélhetem even if it is not necessary.)
    Lucky you! :D
    (I can't say the same for myself.;) Your question rose some very intriguing questions to which I don't know the answer, yet. Food for thought!:))