The use of "for" in Hungarian

LeBro

Senior Member
Turkish
Jó estét kívánok!

There is one thing which makes me confused all the time and it is the use of “for” in Hungarian. I know that its use in Hungarian does not have to correspond with its equivalents in other languages like, say, Turkish or English. But I really find it confusing as there are also “számára”, “részére”, “-nak/-nek” and (not quite sure about it but possibly) “-hoz/-hez-/höz” in addition to “-ért” in Hungarian. So I would just like to ask for a general guideline as to how/when these are used to express “for” in Hungarian, if there is any, of course.

Előre is köszönöm a válaszokat.
 
  • Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello LeBro,

    It is indeed a complex topic and I am not sure that even general guidelines could be helpful because one would have to study/analyse all these possibilities you mention (and there are some more, as you thought:thumbsup:) individually to be able to tell the difference between them and their connection to the English preposition for.
    It may be of some start if I said that reading your post, my first thought (for a Hungarian equivalent) was -ért. Probably because in my thinking for is mainly connected to expressing 'aim', 'the final destination an action aims to arrive'.
    From this perspective, számára and neki usually name a person as 'destination'. (E.g. Neki küldöm ezt a levelet./Számára írtam ezt a levelet. -> although in these cases it would be rather 'to' the English equivalent...: I send this letter to him./I wrote this letter for him.)
    Neki and -nak/-nek are obviously connected. (E.g. Péternek írtam ezt a levelet. -> Same as above, just naming the person and it would be rather 'to' again in English.)
    I cannot think of any example with -hoz/-hez/-höz even though you could imagine the same logic behind its use: 'to that destination' (/final stop).
    And -ért is the easiest (to me). (E.g. A családjáért tette mindezt. -> He did all this for his family.)

    I think the real problem starts when it comes to special expressions in either languages.
    E.g. as for me/him, etc. -> ami engem/őt illet/i or he is tall for his age -> korához képest magas (-hoz here goes together with képest).
    It is obvious that you have to learn them separately.
     

    LeBro

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thank you for your explanation Zsanna.

    Yes, I also guessed that there wouldn't be any shortcut to follow :) Therefore, it will inevitably take some time to master their usages, nem baj.

    Köszönöm szépen még egyszer a választ.
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Szívesen. :)
    As you mentioned -hoz/-hez/-höz above, could you tell an example? (I still haven't found any.)
    I didn't mention the possibility with compound sentences, well more exactly that of "célhatározói alárendelt" because I don't know whether it would be of any use...
     

    LeBro

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    As you mentioned -hoz/-hez/-höz above, could you tell an example? (I still haven't found any.)

    To be honest, I was and am not sure if it can be used in the sense of "for". But what I had in mind was just a blur, something like "ide kell jönnie a hivatalos eljárásokhoz", which might be totally wrong :)

    I didn't mention the possibility with compound sentences, well more exactly that of "célhatározói alárendelt" because I don't know whether it would be of any use...

    Could you please give an example of what you meant with that so that it falls into place?
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Sorry, I’ll be short because I can’t write to you comfortably. ☺️
    Your example for -hoz(...) is good in that sentence. 👍
    Example for the second point:
    Azért telefonált, hogy hívjon egy taxit. (He called for a taxi. )
    N.B. This sentence can be shorter in Hungarian in every day speech. (E.g. Taxit hívott.)
     

    LeBro

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Your example for -hoz(...) is good in that sentence. 👍

    If I had to write this sentence in Hungarian by myself, "-ért" would be the first one that would come to my mind, therefore;

    Ide kell jönnie a hivatalos eljárásokért.

    But it somehow sounds off to me with "-ért". Yet, the reason/rule/logic as to why we should use "-hoz/-hez/-höz" instead of "-ért" here is still over my head.

    Azért telefonált, hogy hívjon egy taxit.

    Together with the sentence I wrote, I would have used "için" (for) in their translations into Turkish. Even though there are similarities in their usages in both languages, felszolító mód is more widely and differently used in Hungarian.
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Ide kell jönnie a hivatalos eljárásokért.
    You are right (again! :) :thumbsup: ), it does sound better to me with -hoz as well.
    I am not quite sure about the reason but it seems to me that using "-ért" here would give the impression as if "eljárások" were an object (e.g. to be picked up), meanwhile -hoz indicates that you go there to complete some sort of an action. (But whether it could be considered to be a general rule, I cannot tell.)

    As for the sentence using "azért..., hogy" (= célhatározói alárendelés) it was supposed to be an example for "for" expressing aim in a compound sentence structure, so it is not surprising if you feel that "for" would be appropriate to be used in a translation. (Or did I misunderstand something?) But it is true that in such sentences you'd use a verb in the imperative in Hungarian.
     

    LeBro

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I am not quite sure about the reason but it seems to me that using "-ért" here would give the impression as if "eljárások" were an object (e.g. to be picked up), meanwhile -hoz indicates that you go there to complete some sort of an action. (But whether it could be considered to be a general rule, I cannot tell.)

    I think that your explanation is on point :thumbsup:. The sentence with "-ért" sounds more like "kenyérért megyek le a boltba", as you also stated with your own explanation :D. So if it can not be qualified as a general rule, it is so close to it :)

    ... so it is not surprising if you feel that "for" would be appropriate to be used in a translation. (Or did I misunderstand something?)

    My bad, sorry, you did not misunderstand anyting. I just wanted to say that we would (most probably) use the word "için" (for) in Turkish unlikely in Hungarian in the (possible) equivalent of such a sentence, thinking that it might have shown the logic (that I have sometimes) when I need to write/say something in Hungarian.

    Thank you once again for insightful comments.
     
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