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New Member
I was wondering what kind of word teljék is, exactly. As far as I am aware it is not a form of the verb telni, because it does not appear in any of the conjugations. But looking at example sentences with this word, it does seem to have the same meaning. Something like 'may it fill'. As far as I know 'may it fill' would be teljen. Could someone clarify this?
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    As far as I am aware it is not a form of the verb telni, because it does not appear in any of the conjugations.
    It is a form of the verb "telni".:)
    "Telni" is an "-ik" verb (ikes ige), which means that the present 3rd person singular verb form ends in "-ik": telik (also: alszik, eszik, lakik, etc.)

    In older/literary Hungarian, the 3rd person singular of these verbs ended in "-ék" in the subjunctive/imperative mood:
    teljék, aludjék, egyék, lakjék
    In modern spoken Hungarian, the "-ék" ending is replaced by -on/-en/-ön:
    teljen, aludjon, egyen, lakjon

    There are some fixed "-ék" forms in sayings, songs, Biblical quotes, etc:

    Egészségünkre váljék! (= May it serve our health!)
    Ég a gyertya, ég, el ne aludjék... (= The candle is burning, may it not go out)
    Aki nem dolgozik, az ne is egyék. (= He who does not work should not eat.)


    Senior Member
    Teljen and teljék means the same, it is the 3rd person singular imperative intransitive form of the -ik verbs. The jon/-jen/-jön suffix is far more common, the -ják/jék suffix is more archaic, but you can still see/hear it sometimes.

    Btw the word telik (infinitive telni) has more than one meaning: 1. something be filling up, become full 2. time pass, go by, elapse 3. you can also find it in expressions like: kedve/öröme telik =take/find pleasure in something

    Example: Teljen örömöd a játékban/Teljék örömöd a játékban! May you find pleasure in the game!

    Edit: András was faster :)


    Senior Member
    Only for curiosity:

    Once those "-ik verbs" represented a kind of "medial verbs" (the object is implicit), i.e. nor transitive neither passive or reflexive (in the true sense of this terms). Now, without going into details, an example that works even today:

    [ő] fát tör (3rd pers.singular indicative, transitive conjugation) - "[he] breaks wood"
    [a fa] törik (3rd pers.singular indicative, medial conjugation) - "[the wood] breaks"

    Now, the ending "-ék" in question is the ending of the "3rd person singular, conjunctive" of those originally "medial verbs", now called "-ik verbs". The problem is that the ending "-ik" during the evolution of the (ancient) Hungarian has gradually lost its original functionality, so today we have many "-ik verbs" that originally did not even belong to this category. Thus, the existence of "-ik verbs" is today practically rather a complication, not a useful tool (in my personal opinion).

    An example for the ending -ék (probably not yet mentioned in this thread) is the well known word tessék (=please).
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