Venni és megvenni

ausermilar

Senior Member
Portuguese
Hello!

last week end I was listening to some friends about their cars, and I think that they used both verbs with the same meaning (at least I can't see nuances).

These are the situations:

1. (she was showing a picture): megveszem (she wants to buy it next month)

2. X forintért veszi ezt az autót?

3. egy autót megvesz Jozska? (we were told that Jozsi wants to buy a new car).

4. aki 10 éves autót vesz, tudod? stb. stb.


Is there any difference between these two verbs in the sense that one means "to buy" and the other "to have already bought" (like inni-meginni, enni-megenni...) or "have completely bought" (like olvasni-megolvasni...)?


They all were Hungarians, so I guess they can use the verbs correctly (I still don't, sorry!).

Thanks.
 
  • Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello,

    As the main verb (vesz) is the same, it is normal that you have the impression that the meaning is the same. (Although it happens that a preverb changes the meaning completely but I think that the preverb "meg" is not typically this kind.)
    In general, the verb in itself focuses on the type of action meanwhile meg+verb indicates something "definite" in connection with that action (either in terms of decisions or the actual carrying it out).
    It is a vast subject (see also other threads about it) but I hope the following can help in some ways.

    1. The presence of the preverb indicates that the speaker has decided to buy the car

    2. It sounds a bit strange but maybe an outsider (not the buyer or the seller) may ask this from a potential buyer (who is either just contemplating to buy the car or has decided to buy it) to find out the price asked for the car. (This is why it would not work in a conversation between the buyer and the seller.)
    The seller would use megveszi because he is interested to know whether the buying is going to take place in such a condition or not. (= X forintért megveszi ezt az autót?)

    3. As the pure action is questioned (= Does or doesn't he buy a car?), the preverb does not sound good to me in such a case. I find it difficult to image a situation where your question worked, especially with the info given in brackets. (If we didn't know about his intention and especially if we knew that Jóska is against the idea of having a car, then the sentence would make some sense... but at first reading it would still sound a bit weird.)

    4. Your sentence is too fragmented for any precise answer.
    If just the pure action is in focus, it is OK like this and it sounds like a "general truth".
    E.g. Ha valaki vesz egy 10 éves autót, nem kell meglepődni azon, ha nincs gyártói garanciája. / If one buys/bought a 10 year old car, he shouldn't be surprised about not having a manufacturer's guarantee with it.*

    Funnily enough, this general truth can also be presented from the individual's angle, or when the speaker has a particular event in mind.
    E.g. Ha valaki megvesz egy 10 éves autót, ne lepődjön meg azon (also: nem kell meglepődni azon), ha nincs gyártói garanciája. /If one has bought a 10 year old car, he shouldn't be surprised about not having a manufacturer's guarantee with it.*

    *The translation in English may not be perfect but I hope the point does come through.
     
    Last edited:

    ausermilar

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Wow!

    In the case 1., a good English translation would be "I'll buy it", or "I'm going to buy it"? to give this sense of decision? Is it the same with a "megeszem" (= I'm going to eat everything), megiszom, megírom and all the Meg család?
    In the case 2., they were talking about a third buyer.
    In 3. maybe I heard too many "meg" around, can be my fault. (after 20 minutes talking about cars, I switched off my neurones...)
    In 4. yes, it was something ex cathedra: "who buys a 10 years old car shall spend a lot of money and many hours repairing it because, you know, etc. etc".

    Thanks again
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In the case 1., a good English translation would be "I'll buy it" ...?
    I think yes.

    In the case 2., they were talking about a third buyer.
    It is not important if it is a third buyer or not. The prefix "meg" is here omitted because the perfectivenes (possible realisation) of the action of "buying" in this case is not relevant (or not emphasised).

    ... egy autót megvesz Jozska?
    He really will buy the car? (i.e. complete the action of buying?)

    In 4. yes, it was something ex cathedra: "who buys a 10 years old car shall spend a lot of money and many hours repairing it because, you know, etc. etc".
    Yes, practically the same as in case 2. We could say also "Aki 10 éves autót vesz meg ..." or "Aki megvesz egy 10 éves autót ...". The difference is on what we consider important or what is emphasised/accentuated. It depends also on the word order.

    I am not able to explain it better as a really good (or exact) English translation does not exist ...
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    In the case 1., a good English translation would be "I'll buy it", or "I'm going to buy it"? to give this sense of decision? Is it the same with a "megeszem" (= I'm going to eat everything), megiszom, megírom and all the Meg család?
    The 'I'm going to buy it' sounds better to me as a translation but, please, don't try to understand this from this point of view. (The use of 'future with intention' in Englih may fit perfectly in some cases but in others - e.g. when the decision is made on the spot - it may not. There is no 100% correspondance that would fit all possible uses.)
    I don't think it is possible to say that it would be the same for all the "meg család", either, I'm afraid... (If you consider that even for the same verb the cases may vary according to the context.) No easy way out... o_O
    He really will buy the car? (i.e. complete the action of buying?)
    The "egy autót megvesz Jóska?"- question sounds still weird to me (especially in this word order) to the point that I couldn't even translate it.
    In your translation, francis, there is a definite article. (Hardly surprising if you think of "Az autót /tényleg/ megveszi Jóska? - which would certainly make sense.) Also, as the verb+preverb does sound accentuated, I understand why you inserted 'really' into the translation. But Q3 was different in Hungarian...:oops:
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In your translation, francis, there is a definite article...
    You are right, I had to translate it rather like e.g. "You are really going to buy a car (for this price, etc...) ?"

    The "egy autót megvesz Jóska?"- question sounds still weird to me (especially in this word order)
    I agree, of course, but we could surely find a context/situation where this word order is o.k. (even if it would not exactly match the question Q3) ...

    All in all, according to my experiences, a big problem for foreigners is the Hungarian word order. It is free (almost totally), but at the same time it is very context dependent (to say so) ...
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    ...we could surely find a context/situation where this word order is o.k.
    In theory yes, but... a) it is not our job to provide a context b) when I say it sounds weird to me, I mean to say, really, that I cannot immediately think of a situation when it could be used (in the best case) or it may be wrong or a nonexistent form.
    All in all, according to my experiences, a big problem for foreigners is the Hungarian word order. It is free (almost totally), but at the same time it is very context dependent (to say so) ...
    Yes, I agree. However, in this thread it does not seem to be the main problem. :oops:
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    buy it or buy the car or buy that Ferrari - definite article - megvesz
    buy a car or buy a bicycle - indefinite article - vesz

    Am I right?
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Unfortunately, that may "work" (or "be enough") for native speakers, tomtombp, but it is a lot more complicated in reality.
    Think about this: Megvesz egy (ilyen) autót, amikor kenyérre sincs pénze?
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Unfortunately, that may "work" (or "be enough") for native speakers, tomtombp, but it is a lot more complicated in reality.
    Think about this: Megvesz egy (ilyen) autót, amikor kenyérre sincs pénze?
    True, but it would also work with vesz, like vesz egy ilyen autót, amikor kenyérre sincs pénze.
    So my rule seems to always work but in some cases the other option works too.
    Using my rule 2. and 3. of the OP (both sound wrong) could have been avoided.
     

    arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    True, but it would also work with vesz, like vesz egy ilyen autót, amikor kenyérre sincs pénze.
    So my rule seems to always work but in some cases the other option works too.
    Using my rule 2. and 3. of the OP (both sound wrong) could have been avoided.

    I agree that this rule actually works pretty well, but as Zsanna said some sentences may work both ways. Also the other version seems even less common (vesz + definite article), I cannot think of an example with this right now. (Others may be more creative though :) )
     
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