Tíz perce várok

ausermilar

Member
Portuguese
Szervusztok!

Maybe it's obvious but, sorry, I can't catch the reason: in sentences like "Tíz perce várok" and "néhany perce ezelőtt", what's happened to the word "perc"? To me that "e" after "perc" looks like a simple possessive ("his/her minute") and, well, what's doing there?

Thanks for your help.
 
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Maybe it's obvious but, sorry, I can't catch the reason:
    It's OK, it is not obvious to native speakers either. I can't explain why in such expressions we use a form that happens to be the same as the possessive form, but that's how it works:

    tíz perce
    két órája
    öt napja
    három hete
    húsz éve

    However, the phrase "néhány perce ezelőtt":cross: is not correct, it should be "néhány perccel ezelőtt":tick:, so the suffix "-val/-vel" is used:

    két órával ezelőtt
    öt nappal ezelőtt
    három héttel ezelőtt
    húsz évvel ezelőtt

    (I suppose you know about the assimilation of "v" when "-val/-vel" comes after a word ending in a consonant.)
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I think that from the grammatical point of view, it is a true possessive ending. The "full" (or perhaps original) expression could be something like this: tíz perce (van) annak, hogy itt várok.

    The discussed construction is similar to annak a háza, Jánosnak van felesége, etc ....
     
    Last edited:

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    The discussed construction is similar to annak a háza, Jánosnak van felesége, etc ....
    Francis is right to draw the attention to this (even though in this case there is no common meaning with the expression of "to have" in Hungarian) because it is always useful to see the "full" form of an expression. :thumbsup:
    I would just add that this possessive form sometimes seems to be the same as a time expression with of óta (as in 20 perce várok or 20 perc óta várok) but, really, the difference can be like in the use of since and for in English, with a twist.
    E.g.
    - Két órája várok. (I have been waiting for two hours.) (->denoting a period of time the action lasted until the moment of speaking)
    - Két óra óta várok. (a) I have been waiting since 2 p.m. -> denoting the beginning point of the activity or, like the previous, b) I have been waiting for two hours.->denoting a period of time the action lasted until the moment of speaking)

    ..."néhany perce ezelőtt", what's happened to the word "perc"?
    What could have happened is that in some dialects (like in the Szeged one), we don't double the "c" and don't pronounce the final "l" when saying perccel. The final "e" may sound as a normal "e"(only a bit longer) or one going towards an "é".
     
    Last edited:

    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    Francis is right to draw the attention to this (even though in this case there is no common meaning with the expression of "to have" in Hungarian) because it is always useful to see the "full" form of an expression. :thumbsup:
    I would just add that this possessive form sometimes seems to be the same as a time expression with of óta (as in 20 perce várok or 20 perc óta várok) but, really, the difference can be like in the use of since and for in English, with a twist.
    E.g.
    - Két órája várok. (I have been waiting for two hours.) (->denoting a period of time the action lasted until the moment of speaking)
    - Két óra óta várok. (a) I have been waiting since 2 p.m. -> denoting the beginning point of the activity or, like the previous, b) I have been waiting for two hours.->denoting a period of time the action lasted until the moment of speaking)


    What could have happened is that in some dialects (like in the Szeged one), we don't double the "c" and don't pronounce the final "l" when saying perccel. The final "e" may sound as a normal "e"(only a bit longer) or one going towards an "é".
    OK, understood! Thanks.
     

    Lazar_Bgd

    Member
    Serbian - Serbia
    - Két óra óta várok. (a) I have been waiting since 2 p.m. -> denoting the beginning point of the activity or, like the previous, b) I have been waiting for two hours.->denoting a period of time the action lasted until the moment of speaking)

    Dear Zsanna,

    So, it is possible to use 'óta' with periods of time like in your example (b) with the meaning 'for'...?

    I am asking this because I was told that 'óta' should only be used with time points like '2018 óta', or 'május óta' in the meaning of 'since' and only with expressions like 'évek óta' and 'hetek óta' in the meaning of 'for'.

    Thank you!
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Yes, it is, LazarBgd. It is not surprising if there is no exact correspondance with the English from this point of view. ;)
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    a) tíz perce, két órája, három hete
    b) tíz perc óta, két óra óta, három hét óta

    I feel I must add that even though both "a" and "b" are correct, the forms in "a" are much more common (at least in Budapest).
     
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