Whether- clauses

ausermilar

Member
Portuguese
Hello!

In the sentence "Felismered, ha klausztofóbiad van?" (found in a Hungarian magazine) I understand that the English translation is "Do you know, whether you suffer from claustrophobia". OK. And for me the use of the conjunction "ha" is pretty logical because there is the idea of doubt (as in my mother tongue or in French - est-ce que tu sais si tu souffres de claustrophobie? -).

Sometimes, Hungarian people have corrected me (or misunderstood, I'm not sure) and the "proper" corrected sentence would be:

Felismered, hogy van-e neked klausztrofóbiad? .

Are both sentences expressing the uncertainty, and, therefore, can be freely used in the same context?

Thanks a lot for your help.
 
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  • Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello ausermilar,

    I see what you mean but in Hungarian there is a little difference between the two sentences. Although your example sentence is a bit tricky from the point of view of the explanation, also the chosen verb (felismer) may also be a problem...

    With if/whether (=ha) the sentence sounds a bit strange if the 2nd person singular is really in its original meaning ("you, the person I am talking to") because ha means in the case of or the moment when... meanwhile claustrophobia is not a momentary illness. (It is not like e.g. dizziness that can come and go.)
    However, as an impersonal sentence, it could work, just like this one:
    Felismeri az ember, ha klausztrofóbiája van?* (= Does one recognise to have claustrophobia?)
    Meg tudnád állapítani, ha valakinek klausztrofóbiája lenne? (= Could you tell if someone had claustropobia?) (This could work with any subject.)

    The other sentence is OK (although the "neked" is superfluous because the "d" in klausztrofóbiád indicates already the 2nd person singular, i.e. "you").
    Alhough felismered is not really a good verb to be used as a translation for "est-ce que tu sais si tu souffres de claustrophobie?". For that,
    I'd rather suggest: Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiás vagy-e? or Van tudomásod arról, hogy klausztrofóbiás lennél? (This, if "tu" is really used in the sense "you, the person I am talking to" and not as "one"/"somebody".)

    *
    A more typical use for felismered + ha:
    Felismered Pétert, ha meglátod? (Will you recognize Peter if you see him?)
     
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    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    Thanks Zsanna!

    So, this "-e" after the verb indicates doubt? Let's choose another verb, please: "I'm not sure whether I have time" --> nem vagyok biztos, hogy idöm van-e / nem vagyok biztos, ha van idöm". Am I saying the same? Did I understand the rule?

    In another context, I remember a grandmother near Korond, who asked me "itt jól van-e?" ("itjolvanè", with a stressed open "è") and I needed help to understand what she was asking ( I mean, more help than usually!) If this sentence is correct, what's the mistery when you can ask "jól vagy?", "jól vagytok?" without any "-e"?

    Once again, thanks for your patience!
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    The "-e" is called a kérdőszócska ("-é" in old Hungarian) and is used in
    1. Yes/No questions e.g.
    Megérkezett-e már?= Has he arrived? (in this case there is a little difference between this and a question without it, to me with this "-e" the question is somehow "softer" and expresses that I expect a positive answer but you can also say that it expresses doubt, too)

    2. in indirect questions e.g.
    Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiás vagy-e? - means that I don't know whether you know or not that you have claustrophobia/you are aware of having or not this problem.
    Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiás vagy? - means that I know that you have this problem but I wonder whether you are aware of it. (It may be a way of letting you know.) So the difference is important in this case between the sentences with and without the "-e".

    The "-e" is usually used after a verb (more precisely: after the predicate because it's not always a verb - like in this: A. - Meleg a víz? B. - Meleg-e? Majdnem megégette a kezem! = A. Is the water hot (enough)? B. Is it hot (enough)?! It almost burnt my hand!) but also after any word repeated (by another speaker) for a stylistically more "colourful" effect, expressing feelings (surprise, doubt, sarcasm, etc.), just like in the previous example, but I'll give you the other one the Értelmező Szótár gives (with a translation in my reading...):
    A: Elbírod ezt? (= Will you be able to carry this?)
    B: Ezt-e? De el ám! (= This one, here? Yes, of course.)

    To come back to your example:
    "I'm not sure whether I have time" --> nem vagyok biztos, hogy idöm van-e / nem vagyok biztos, ha van idöm".
    Several little things...
    1. biztos lenni (abban), hogy - this is the set form. I can't think of an example where ha could be used after this expression.

    2. the word order: Nem vagyok biztos/Nem biztos, hogy van-e időm (or van időm, both are possible with the same difference as explained later).

    3. I think the present tense sounds strange in this sentence. If you use it, it means (to me) that you know very well that you don't have the time but for some reason, you don't want to (e.g.) disappoint your listener. The "-e" version makes it "softer", the one without is a bit more definite, maybe abrupt in some cases.
    So it would sound more natural to use the future in this sentence because this way you really express that in the present you cannot tell whether you'll have time later (or not):
    Nem vagyok biztos, hogy lesz-e időm or lesz időm. (The difference is the same with the "-e" and without as above, very slight, a bit milder, friendlier with the "-e".)

    "itt jól van-e?"
    This, without context, means to me "Is it good here?", like when e.g. you put a vase on a table and you ask somebody whether it is OK there.
    In this sentence, as well as in the other sentences you give afterwards, the difference between the presence or the lack of "-e" is again very slight (like above), although it may have a little "rural" taste to it, in the sense that people are often milder, kinder, more polite (less direct) in the countryside in their interpersonal relationships (especially in the family) than in town when they are more used to hurrying, speaking shorter and more directly.
     
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    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    Jészusom, nagyon köszönöm a magyarázatát!

    (The "itt jól van-e" translation that I was given was: " "do you feel good here? Are you OK?" And the "you" was a "maga").
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    szusom rather Jézusom or Jesszusom, nagyon köszönöm a magyarázatát! or magyarázatod (szívesen használom a tegező formát itt a fórumon :) ) Egyébként szívesen.

    (The "itt jól van-e" translation that I was given was: " "do you feel good here? Are you OK?" And the "you" was a "maga"). Igen, értem. Nem tudom, miért mondták így, számomra természetesebb lett volna ilyesmi: Jól érzi(-e) magát itt?/És itt jól érzi(-e) magát? De ez mellékes.
     

    javamonkey

    Member
    English - US
    To answer your original question, without being picky, "Felismered, ha klausztrofóbiád van?" sounds perfectly fine and is gramatically and semantically correct also, and that's why you saw it in a magazine written by a native, approved by professional editors and sent out to thousands of people. I personally don't feel anything strange about it.

    As for your other version, "Felismered, hogy van-e neked klausztrofóbiad?", that's actually far worse for two reasons:

    1) the only time you say "van-e neked" is when you specifically want to emphasize you're talking to that person and not someone else, like pointing at them and saying "neked" to make sure they know you're talking to them and not someone next to them. You would never say "van-e neked" unless "neked" is necessary in normal modern day Hungarian. (Note you can say "Neked van.... ?" which has no particular emphasis but "Van-e neked... ?" specifically emphasizes "I'm talking to you", don't ask me why that is)

    2) "felismered" means to recognize, i.e. realize the nature of something that we assume exists already. You cannot recognize something that does not exist. When you say "hogy van-e" that means it may not exist, so you would not use the verb felismered followed by "hogy van-e", because those concepts clash (one assumes it exists already, the other asks if it exists). That combination just sounds off, because of that. "Ha" is different, because when you say "ha", it also translates as "when". I.e. "do you recognize it when you have claustrophibia?". So by using "when", we restricted the question of you recognizing it or not only to the time it actually exists, and that makes perfect sense. The same thing is true in English, you would never say "do you recognize, if there's bread on the table?".

    Felismered, ha klausztrobiád van? is in fact a shortened version of:
    Felismered a klausztrofobiát, ha klausztrofóbiád van?
    So if someone's picking on it, they're doing so, because they don't like the shortening, they can't pick on it,
    if you say the expanded version. So this is really a question of people not knowing how to say things properly in
    their mother tongue and sensing something wrong in the original version, so they're hypercorrecting it to something
    that really is not right.
    This type of shortening where you skip the object to not repeat it, is perfectly acceptable in Hungarian,
    some people just don't like how it sounds when they put it at the beginning of a sentence, since it's more common at the end
    of the sentence, i.e.:
    Ha látsz egy nyulat, megfogod?
    Ha van egy cigid, elszivod? etc.
    When you flip those they sound a bit strange, but they're equally valid, because you can always flip if/when clauses in Hungarian.
     
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    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    To answer your original question, without being picky, "Felismered, ha klausztrofóbiád van?" sounds perfectly fine and is gramatically and semantically correct also, and that's why you saw it in a magazine written by a native, approved by professional editors and sent out to thousands of people. I personally don't feel anything strange about it.

    As for your other version, "Felismered, hogy van-e neked klausztrofóbiad?", that's actually far worse for two reasons:

    1) the only time you say "van-e neked" is when you specifically want to emphasize you're talking to that person and not someone else, like pointing at them and saying "neked" to make sure they know you're talking to them and not someone next to them. You would never say "van-e neked" unless "neked" is necessary in normal modern day Hungarian. (Note you can say "Neked van.... ?" which has no particular emphasis but "Van-e neked... ?" specifically emphasizes "I'm talking to you", don't ask me why that is)

    2) "felismered" means to recognize, i.e. realize the nature of something that we assume exists already. You cannot recognize something that does not exist. When you say "hogy van-e" that means it may not exist, so you would not use the verb felismered followed by "hogy van-e", because those concepts clash (one assumes it exists already, the other asks if it exists). That combination just sounds off, because of that. "Ha" is different, because when you say "ha", it also translates as "when". I.e. "do you recognize it when you have claustrophibia?". So by using "when", we restricted the question of you recognizing it or not only to the time it actually exists, and that makes perfect sense. The same thing is true in English, you would never say "do you recognize, if there's bread on the table?".

    Felismered, ha klausztrobiád van? is in fact a shortened version of:
    Felismered a klausztrofobiát, ha klausztrofóbiád van?
    So if someone's picking on it, they're doing so, because they don't like the shortening, they can't pick on it,
    if you say the expanded version. So this is really a question of people not knowing how to say things properly in
    their mother tongue and sensing something wrong in the original version, so they're hypercorrecting it to something
    that really is not right.
    This type of shortening where you skip the object to not repeat it, is perfectly acceptable in Hungarian,
    some people just don't like how it sounds when they put it at the beginning of a sentence, since it's more common at the end
    of the sentence, i.e.:
    Ha látsz egy nyulat, megfogod?
    Ha van egy cigid, elszivod? etc.
    When you flip those they sound a bit strange, but they're equally valid, because you can always flip if/when clauses in Hungarian.
    Thanks Javamonkey, but actually my problem was the interchangeability between the use of a verb with the "-e suffix" and a sentence with "ha" in an indirect question (introduced by "whether" in English" in both cases, I guess).
     

    javamonkey

    Member
    English - US
    Thanks Javamonkey, but actually my problem was the interchangeability between the use of a verb with the "-e suffix" and a sentence with "ha" in an indirect question (introduced by "whether" in English" in both cases, I guess).
    The "-e" is usually equivalent to adding "or not" to any type of word:
    kutya-e = dog or not
    szép-e = pretty or not
    mész-e = are you going or not
    van-e = is there or not
    ez-e = this or not
    nem-e = no or not no (this actually means something like "is it possible that"...)

    that's why it's most often redundant because it makes the word into a question but when
    it's already in a question it's redundant, and just added for stylistic effect. So yes it expresses doubt, but it doesn't actually mean you're doubting it any more than not using it when it's already inside a question.
    I.e. when the grandmother told you "jól van-e?", that means "are you well [or not]?",
    But the fact she's adding "or not" does not mean she doubts you're well any more than if she hadn't added it.
    If she actually wanted to express doubt she would have said, "jól van, vagy nem?", or "jól van, ugye?"
    There are differences between the use of "-e" between city and country people.
    A city person would not say "jól van-e", however they will happily use "van-e" to ask if something
    exists, "van-e kávé?". Don't ask me why.

    Zsanna above noted some common uses of -e but actually the range of uses and unwritten rules are far more complex, so congratulations to you for hitting some of the hardest parts of Hungarian grammar.

    The -e and ha were completely different functions in your example: "I'm not sure whether I have time" --> nem vagyok biztos, hogy idöm van-e / nem vagyok biztos, ha van idöm", you have to look at when to use "ha" and when to use "hogy", but that has nothing to do with -e.

    However, once you decide on ha or hogy, then you can either use or not use -e.

    In ha clauses (i.e. after ha) to my knowledge, you can NEVER use "-e", however you can use them in the non-conditional part of the sentence e.g.
    Felismered-e, ha klausztrofóbiás vagy.
    (You can exit from a ha clause by using "akkor" and then you can use -e again
    Ha mész, akkor van-e nálad étel.
    And you can even skip the akkor, so this is why you could think there's an -e in a ha clause:
    Ha mész [akkor should be here but we forgot], van-e nálad étel. But you need a comma)

    The reason you can't use -e in a ha clause has to do with how Hungarians perceive the -e as a binary possibility
    it's either that or not, whereas the ha implies that that condition may or may not arise, so it's another type of binary possibilty.
    If you were to include the -e in the ha clause you're mixing two different types of binary possibilities and this is not allowed.
    However, hogy does not imply a binary possibility like ha does, it just means "that".

    After hogy question clauses for yes/no question "-e" is most often used, but not mandatory.
    So with hogy questions, you can even use it twice if you wish:

    CORRECT: Tudod-e, hogy mész-e? [Do you know or not, if you're going or not?]

    CORRECT: Tudod, hogy mész-e? [Do you know if you're going or not?]

    CORRECT: Tudod, hogy mész? [Do you know (for a fact) that you're going?]

    But, let's forget -e:

    WRONG: Tudod, ha mész? (This is gramatically correct, but it means something completely different:
    do you have knowledge of the fact you are going at the time you're in the process of going - which obviously
    is a ridiculous question. An equivalent sentence in Hungarian is: Tudod hogy mész, amikor éppen mész? )

    So unless you're actually trying to say Tudod hogy mész, amikor éppen mész? you cannot say Tudod, ha mész?


    CORRECT: Biztos vagy benne, hogy mész?

    WRONG: Biztos vagy benne, ha mész? (Very similar, it would mean are you quite certain/confident of the fact you're going at the time you're in the process of going? The equivalent sentence in Hungarian is: Biztos vagy benne, hogy mész, amikor éppen mész?)

    Sorry I couldn't think of any shorter way to say this clearly, but the point is the meaning of non-conditional part of the sentence determines whether you can use hogy or ha for a conditional part, and even sometimes Hungarians confuse it (i.e. felismerni), but other times, like with tudni or biztosnak lenni benne it's very clear.

    Some you can use either hogy or ha, but as you can see the meaning changes completely just as in English.
    Megértem, ha mész. [ I do or will understand if it so happens, that you go ]
    Megértem, hogy mész. [ I do understand right now that you are in fact going ]
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Without analyzing the "practicalness" or "meaningfullness" of some combinations:

    "Felismered, ha klausztrofóbiád van?" - "Do you recognize when you suffer from claustrophobia?"
    "Felismered, hogy klausztrofóbiád van?" - "Do you recognize that you suffer from claustrophobia?"
    "Felismered, hogy klausztrofóbiád van-e?" - "Do you recognize whether you suffer from claustrophobia?"

    "Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiád van?" - "Do you know that you suffer from claustrophobia?"
    "Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiád van-e?" - "Do you know whether you suffer from claustrophobia?"

    * "Felismered/tudod, ha klausztrofóbiád van-e?" - Erroneous (the combination of ha and van-e has no sense in modern Hungarian)
     
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    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    Without analyzing the "practicalness" or "meaningfullness" of some combinations:

    "Felismered, ha klausztrofóbiád van?" - "Do you recognize when you suffer from claustrophobia?"
    "Felismered, hogy klausztrofóbiád van?" - "Do you recognize that you suffer from claustrophobia?"
    "Felismered, hogy klausztrofóbiád van-e?" - "Do you recognize whether you suffer from claustrophobia?"

    "Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiád van?" - "Do you know that you suffer from claustrophobia?"
    "Tudod, hogy klausztrofóbiád van-e?" - "Do you know whether you suffer from claustrophobia?"

    * "Felismered/tudod, ha klausztrofóbiád van-e?" - Erroneous (the combination of ha and van-e has no sense in modern Hungarian)
    At last! That was the doubt! Thanks!
     

    ausermilar

    Member
    Portuguese
    The "-e" is usually equivalent to adding "or not" to any type of word:
    kutya-e = dog or not
    szép-e = pretty or not
    mész-e = are you going or not
    van-e = is there or not
    ez-e = this or not
    nem-e = no or not no (this actually means something like "is it possible that"...)

    that's why it's most often redundant because it makes the word into a question but when
    it's already in a question it's redundant, and just added for stylistic effect. So yes it expresses doubt, but it doesn't actually mean you're doubting it any more than not using it when it's already inside a question.
    I.e. when the grandmother told you "jól van-e?", that means "are you well [or not]?",
    But the fact she's adding "or not" does not mean she doubts you're well any more than if she hadn't added it.
    If she actually wanted to express doubt she would have said, "jól van, vagy nem?", or "jól van, ugye?"
    There are differences between the use of "-e" between city and country people.
    A city person would not say "jól van-e", however they will happily use "van-e" to ask if something
    exists, "van-e kávé?". Don't ask me why.

    Zsanna above noted some common uses of -e but actually the range of uses and unwritten rules are far more complex, so congratulations to you for hitting some of the hardest parts of Hungarian grammar.

    The -e and ha were completely different functions in your example: "I'm not sure whether I have time" --> nem vagyok biztos, hogy idöm van-e / nem vagyok biztos, ha van idöm", you have to look at when to use "ha" and when to use "hogy", but that has nothing to do with -e.

    However, once you decide on ha or hogy, then you can either use or not use -e.

    In ha clauses (i.e. after ha) to my knowledge, you can NEVER use "-e", however you can use them in the non-conditional part of the sentence e.g.
    Felismered-e, ha klausztrofóbiás vagy.
    (You can exit from a ha clause by using "akkor" and then you can use -e again
    Ha mész, akkor van-e nálad étel.
    And you can even skip the akkor, so this is why you could think there's an -e in a ha clause:
    Ha mész [akkor should be here but we forgot], van-e nálad étel. But you need a comma)

    The reason you can't use -e in a ha clause has to do with how Hungarians perceive the -e as a binary possibility
    it's either that or not, whereas the ha implies that that condition may or may not arise, so it's another type of binary possibilty.
    If you were to include the -e in the ha clause you're mixing two different types of binary possibilities and this is not allowed.
    However, hogy does not imply a binary possibility like ha does, it just means "that".

    After hogy question clauses for yes/no question "-e" is most often used, but not mandatory.
    So with hogy questions, you can even use it twice if you wish:

    CORRECT: Tudod-e, hogy mész-e? [Do you know or not, if you're going or not?]

    CORRECT: Tudod, hogy mész-e? [Do you know if you're going or not?]

    CORRECT: Tudod, hogy mész? [Do you know (for a fact) that you're going?]

    But, let's forget -e:

    WRONG: Tudod, ha mész? (This is gramatically correct, but it means something completely different:
    do you have knowledge of the fact you are going at the time you're in the process of going - which obviously
    is a ridiculous question. An equivalent sentence in Hungarian is: Tudod hogy mész, amikor éppen mész? )

    So unless you're actually trying to say Tudod hogy mész, amikor éppen mész? you cannot say Tudod, ha mész?


    CORRECT: Biztos vagy benne, hogy mész?

    WRONG: Biztos vagy benne, ha mész? (Very similar, it would mean are you quite certain/confident of the fact you're going at the time you're in the process of going? The equivalent sentence in Hungarian is: Biztos vagy benne, hogy mész, amikor éppen mész?)

    Sorry I couldn't think of any shorter way to say this clearly, but the point is the meaning of non-conditional part of the sentence determines whether you can use hogy or ha for a conditional part, and even sometimes Hungarians confuse it (i.e. felismerni), but other times, like with tudni or biztosnak lenni benne it's very clear.

    Some you can use either hogy or ha, but as you can see the meaning changes completely just as in English.
    Megértem, ha mész. [ I do or will understand if it so happens, that you go ]
    Megértem, hogy mész. [ I do understand right now that you are in fact going ]
    Little by little, the fog is dispersing! Thanks!
     
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