Essive-formal and Essive-modal

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by 123xyz, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Though the essive-modal seems to have some additional functions in adverb formation, I can't see how it is used differently from the essive-formal to denote what something is being used as.
    Both "emberként" and "emberül" seam to mean "as a human/man".
    What would be the difference between the two?
  2. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello 123xyz,

    I haven't seen yet a linguistic comparison between the two, so I could only give you my hunch about the difference between them at first sight (1) and some examples that may illustrate their use (2).

    1. Roughly, I'd say that emberként could be "in the shape of a human being", "as a human being", (en tant qu'homme - does French it can help?) i.e. more in a physical sense - meanwhile emberül is used more in a figurative sense, having the (good quality of a) human being, i.e. doing something as much/as honestly as a human being is capable of (that means a lot of good in Hungarian).

    2. Examples

    - Zeus öreg emberként jelent meg előtte. (Zeus appeared to him as an old man.)
    - Nem orvosként mondom, hanem barátjaként, hogy tegyen így. (I'm not saying this as a doctor but as your friend that you should do this.) -> here it is less "physical" than in the previous, still, it is not figurative, rather abstract...

    - A csata hőse megállta helyét emberül. (The hero of the battle stood his ground like a man)
    I may have overdone it a bit (the verb already expresses that he did very well) but to illustrate the meaning I think it's OK.

    It was also an example that this suffix can go with/follow some verbs (although they sound a bit old fashioned/literary in this form): felró hibául (= claims as a mistake/error), felhoz ürügyül (= brings up as a pretext), kiválaszt utódjául (= choses as his/her heir - e.g. a king a young man when he gives evidence of great bravery and wisdom...)

    - it can also go with verbs the other way round (another grammatical category) - this is used more, sounds more natural than the examples above:
    rabul ejt (= "takes as a prisoner", i.e. charms somebody with her glance) - Az első pillantásával rabul ejtette a férfit.
    vendégül lát (= "sees somebody as a guest", i.e. to provide him with seat, food, bed - whatever entertaining a guest may require) - Behívták a házba és vendégül látták a koldust.
    valami balul üt ki ("something strikes in a lefty way", i.e. it ends up in a bad way) - Minden, amit próbált, balul ütött ki.
    feleségül venni valakit ("take somebody as a wife", to marry somebody -> only a woman) - A királyfi feleségül vette Hófehérkét.
  3. Olivier0 Senior Member

    français - France
    A difference I can see is that -ként refers to the subject and -ul/ül to the object:
    he appears to him as an old man, he says this as a friend = what follows "as" is the same as the subject of the verb = -ként
    he chooses him as his heir, she takes/charms him as a prisoner, he sees/entertains him as a guest, he takes her as a wife = the same as the object = -ul/ül
    -- Olivier
  4. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    I don't know whether it helps but, in French, M. Nyéki (in Grammaire pratique du Hongrois d'aujourd'hui) explains the first group in b) as: "Combiné à un certain nombre de verbes, -ul/-ül fonctionne comme un véritable morphème de rection" and the second: "Le complément en -ul/-ül entre aussi dans des tournures relevant de la phraséologie."

    As translating these wouldn't have helped much with our original dilemma, I chose to be lazy... but if 123xyz speaks French, it may be now some extra help, too.:)
  5. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for the elaboration and examples - I don't believe I've understood the difference grammatically but I do think I'm now getting the feel of when it's right to use which. As for the subject/object obeservation, that doesn't seem to agree with the structure of the sentence "A csata hőse megállta helyét emberül." The word in the essive-modal seems to modify the subject, "hős". However, this usage seems to be something different - in Macedonian we also say "as a human/man" to indicate that something is being done properly but usually in the context of scolding or referring to something being done improperly, so I'd say the connotation is different, though I find it helpful to make that link.
    By the way, I have no knowledge of French :)
  6. francisgranada Senior Member

    The following is surely not "exact", but perhaps may help to understand the difference:

    How? (In what way/mood...?)
    magyarul, emberül, balul ... (in a Hungarian, human, bad ... way, i.e. approximately "in Hungarian, humanly, badly")

    As what/who? (In what function/role/identity ...? )
    magyarként, emberként, orvosként, barátként ... (as/like a Hungarian, man, doctor, friend ...)

    The suffix -ul/-ül behaves like a "normal" adverb formant, while -ként can be often substituted by "mint":
    Nem orvosként mondom, hanem barátjaként > Nem mint orvos mondom, hanem mint a barátja

    Vendégül látni, feleségül venni etc... are rather idiomatic phrases, that cannot be translated literally to an other language.

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