Simplified Grammar of the Hungarian Language/Pronouns

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A pronoun supplies the place of a substantive.

There are five kinds of pronouns:—

I. Personal pronouns.
II. Reflective pronouns.
III. Demonstrative pronouns.
IV. Relative pronouns.
V. Interrogative pronouns.

I. Personal Pronouns.

The personal pronouns are used to supply the names of persons. They are: én, I; te, thou; ő, he or she; mi, we; ti, you; ők, they; and are declined as shown p. 34,

Note.—As may be seen, there are two forms for the accusative plural; and though both of them may be used in each case, yet there is a shade of difference in their meanings. Bennünket, benneteket, bennöket seem to be more emphatical, and might be rendered in English thus:—all of us, all of you, all of them (i.e., not one excepted).

The attributive and genitive cases of the personal pronoun have not been given, but will be treated separately in the following, as—

Possessive Pronouns. It has been shown that the substantive has two possessive forms, the one called attributive, and the other genitive. The same is the case with the pronoun. The attributive case of the personal pronoun is:—

Singular: nekem, neked, neki;
Plural: nekünk, nektek, nekik.

It has been explained that the attributive suffix need not be added to the substantive, if this is immediately followed by its object. With regard to the pronoun this rule must be modified thus:—

Rule I.—That if the possessor is to be represented by a pronoun which governs the substantive (object possessed) directly, that is without, the verb van, "to be;" the attributive pronoun is never put before its object, as this—being suffixed with the pronoun—expresses already the person to whom it belongs; as, kalapom, my hat; kalapod, thy hat; kalapja, his hat, &c.

Rule II.—Only in cases where emphasis is intended, the uninflected personal pronouns may be put in place of the attributive pronoun; for instance, az én kalapom, my hat (not yours).

Declension of the Personal Pronouns.

Person Singular. Person Plural.






he or she




ye or you





to or for me


to or for thee


to or for
him or her


to or for us


to or for
ye or you


to or for them






őt or őtet

him or her

minket or


titeket or

ye or you



The attributive pronouns are only then written out, when they stand as subjects with the verb van, and are then to be translated into English with the nominative (I, thou, he, &c.) and the verb, "to have": neken van, I have; neked van, thou hast, &c.

Note.—To understand thoroughly the use of this pronoun, the student is requested to read over once more the passage in which the attributive case of the substantive has been explained (p. 9). There a distinction has been made between its being "attributive" or "subjective." According to this distinction we might express the rules given above thus: The attributive pronoun is always used in its inflected form (nekem, neked, &c.) when standing as subjective; and not written out at all, or only in its uninflected form (én, te, ő, &c.) if standing as attribute.

The genitive, or the second form of the possessive pronouns, is: enyém, mine; tied, thine; övé, his; mienk, ours; tietek, yours; övék, theirs. This pronoun is in every respect of the same nature as the genitive case of the substantive, being, like this, a contraction of both possessor and object possessed. On examining them closer, we find that they are formed—with a very slight modification—of these two elements, viz., the personal pronoun as possessor; and the suffixes of the objective case as thing possessed. For instance:

enyém = én könyv-em.
tiéd = te könyv-ed.
övé = ö könyv-e, &c.

Like the genitive case of the substantive, they stand always by themselves—ez enyém, this is mine; enyém, it is mine, &c.—and are equal to substantives. They will take all suffixes of the latter, except those of the plural, which they form in the same way as the personal suffixes—viz.:

Object possessed in the singular: enyém, tiéd, övé; miénk, tiétek, övék.

Object possessed in the plural: enyéim, tieid, övéi; mieink, tiéitek, övéik.

As the personal pronoun is to supply the absent substantive, there must be forms to express all relations of the latter to other nouns or the verb. We have now learned the five cases of the pronoun, which answer exactly to the five cases of the substantives. It remains now to give the forms of the pronoun that would correspond to substantives inflected with the suffixes for place or direction or which are modified by postpositions. They are given in the following:

Rule.—Pronouns which are to supply a substantive with a suffix for place and direction are formed by inflecting the respective suffix with the personal suffixes. For instance, in the sentence—A házra eset, It fell upon the house—ház-ra is inflected with the upward directing suffix -ra. This, inflected with the personal suffixes, will give the corresponding pronoun; as,


upon me; upon thee; upon him; upon us; upon you; upon them.

Obs. 1.—The transmuting and demonstrative suffixes have no pronouns, as with them the substantive must necessarily be named.

Obs. 2.—The limiting -ig is defective, and has only two forms to supply the substantive; as, eddig, to here, unto here, for things near; and addig, to there, unto there, for things further off in space or time; and are classed among the adverbs.

Table of Pronouns for Place and Direction.

Name of the Suffix. I. II. III. I. II. III.
Person Singular. Person Plural.
1. Retaining -ben bennem benned benne bennünk bennetek bennük
2. Appointing[1] -rajt rajtam rajtad rajta rajtunk rajtatok rajtuk
3. Staying -nál nálam nálad nála nálunk nálatok náluk
4. Inward Direction -be belém beléd belé belénk belétek beléjük
5. Upward Direction[2] -ra rám rád rája ránk rátok rájok
6. Approaching -hoz hozzám hozzád hozzá hozzánk hozzátok hozzájok
7. Outward Direction -bel (for -böl) belölem belöled belöle belölünk belöletek belötök
8. Downward Direction -ró rólam rólad róla rólunk rólatok róluk
9. Moving or Starting -töl tölem töled töle tölünk töletek tölök
11. Causative -ért értem érted érte értünk értetek értük
12. Auxiliary -vel velem veled vele velünk veletek velük

The same as these suffixes are the independent postpositions inflected, if their respective substantive is not written out. They are inflected as follows:—













Sing. 1.



Plur. 1.







































As example 1, are declined; alá.
2, alól, után, miatt, iránt, alatt.
3, által.
4, elé, fölé, mellé, közé.
5, előtt, elől, nélkül.
6, fölött, között, mellett, mėgėtt, helyett, végett.

Courtesy, in addressing persons of distinction, or persons with whom we are not on familiar terms, has introduced, in place of the pronoun for the second person, some conventional words, which may also be regarded as personal pronouns. Their use is like that of "you" in English for "thou":—

Singular: ön or kegyed. Plural: önök or kegyetek.

And maga, or plural maguk, which is used by the peasantry only, and not admissible in better society.

They are declined throughout like substantives, with the exception of the personal suffixes; as, önnek, önt, önre, öntől, &c. They may also be determined by postpositions, like any substantive—ön után, ön előtt, &c.—and govern the verb or their object in the third person; as, önnek kalap-ja, your hat (here kalap-ja is in the third person).

II. Reflexive Pronouns.

Reflexive pronouns are so called because they turn back or "reflect" their meaning to the subject of the sentence. They are:

magam, magad, maga, magunk, magatok, maguk,
myself; thyself; himself; ourselves; yourselves; themselves.

Note.—Wen the relation is not reflective, but reciprocal, they are called reciprocals; as, egymást, each other, or one another.

Both reflectives and reciprocals are inflected like substantives, and in the attributive case govern their object in the third person singular, without regard to number of the pronoun itself; for instance, magam[3] könyve, my own book (literally, the book of myself); or, magunk könyve, our own book (literally, the book of ourselves). Könyve is in both instances in the third person singular.

Note.—The reflective pronoun is often—ungrammatically—used to express solitude; as, magam vagyok, instead of egyedül vagyok = I am by myself.

III. Demonstrative Pronouns.

Of demonstrative pronouns there are three kinds:—

(a) those which point to a substantive (thing or person) are called substantival;
(b) those which refer to the quality or some peculiarity of the substantive, called adjectival; and
(c) those which point to the quantity of the substantive, called numerical.

Examples of class a are:

ez, this; emez, this here; ugyanez, this same; for things near; and
az,[4] that; amaz, that there; ugyanaz, that same; for things at a distance.

There are, further: ezen, ugyanezen; and azon, ugyanazon; which are in meaning the same as, ez, ugyanez; or az, ugyanaz, in so far as each points to a thing (near or distant) out of many. There is, however, a shade of distinction among these two forms: ez and az—whether alone or prefixed with ugyan—point to a certain thing among other homogeneous things; while ezen, azon, refer to a thing among other heterogeneous things; for instance, if we say ez a kalap a legszebb, it means, this hat is the prettiest (among all other hats); but ezek a kalapok nem szépek, de ezen sapka csinos, would be, these hats are not pretty, but this cap is nice.

Ezen and azon stand before the substantive, and cannot take the article; but az and ez are immediately followed by it. (See the examples given above.) A further distinction is that ezen and azon are incapable of inflection; while az and ez are inflected like substantives.

Before suffixes beginning with a consonant, az and ez change their final z into the first letter of such suffix: thus

instead of az-nak, we have annak
instead of az-ba , we have abba
instead of az-ra , we have arra, & c.

Of the auxiliary suffix -val, -vel; and the transmuting -vá, -vé, it has been said that they change their v into a letter like the final consonant of the word to which it is joined. When these suffixes are to be combined with az, ez, either rule may be followed. It is equally grammatical to write azzal or avval, ezzel or evvel; but ezvel or azval are not grammatical.

The pronouns az and ez—alone or in combination with ugyan—must always agree in number, case, or any other suffix (personal suffixes excepted) with its substantive; in other words, it has to be inflected with the same suffix as the substantive which it determines: annak az embernek, to that man (-nak and -nek are both suffixes of the dative case); azok az emberek (both in plural); arra a házra, upon that house (both with the suffix for direction upwards), &c.

Demonstrative pronouns for adjectives are: ily, ilyen, such as this; emily, emilyen, such as this other; for things near. The correspondings for things at a distance are: oly, olyan, amoly, amolyan. Ilyetén is the adverbial form of the first class; olyatén of the second.

The adjectival pronouns are declined if neither the substantive nor the adjective, at whose quality they point, are written in full.


1. Ilyen szép könyvet láttam, I have seen a book as pretty as this. Here are both adjective and substantive written in full, the latter only being inflected with the accusative.

2. Ilyen szépet láttam, I have seen one as pretty as this. Here the adjective is inflected, the substantive being omitted.

3. Ilyent láttam, I have seen such a one. Here both adjective and substantive being absent, the pronoun has taken the suffix.

The adverbial forms of these pronouns—ilyetén, olyatén—are inflexible, and determine only the verb. Ilyetén fogom varni, I will sow it in this way or such a manner (as that to which it refers).

IV. Relative Pronouns.

Pronouns which refer or "relate" to things gone before are called relative pronouns. They are:

1. Ki, who; mely, which; mi, what; for substantives.

Note.—Ki relates to persons; mely to names of things; mi to matters.

2. minő, milyen, such as; for adjectives.

3. ahány, akárhány, mennyí, amennyí, as many as, all of them which; for numerals.

They are all inflected like substantives.

V. Interrogative Pronouns.

Interrogative pronouns ask a question. They are of four kinds:

1. For persons: ki? kicsoda? who?—melyik? which?—the answer to which will be names of persons or their substitutes.

2. For things: mi? micsoda? what?—melyik? which?—to these any substantive will answer except names of persons.

3. Milyen? minő? micsodás? milyféle? = what kind? what sort?—inquire after quality; and the answer will be an adjective.

4. To: hány? mennyi? = how many?—the cardinal numbers, and to hányadik? = in which place?—ordinals, will answer. The question for multiplicatives is: hányszor? = how often? or, how many times?

  1. For euphonical reasons the suffixes -on -en are here supplied by the synonymous—rajt.
  2. Or: réám, réád, réája,réánk, rtátok, réájuk
  3. The attributive suffix -nak is here omitted, because the object ollows immediately.
  4. Az, article, and az, pronoun, are distinguished: (a) that the pronoun stands always before the article; (b) that the pronoun is capable of inflection, and the article is not.