Simplified Grammar of the Hungarian Language/Verbs

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Words which express some action, motion, or suffering of the substantive, are called verbs.

The Hungarian language has two kinds of verbs: active and medial.

Active verbs express always some action of the substantive.

If this action passes on to a noun following, the verb is called transitive; as, hajtok (lovakat), I drive (horses).

If the action does not pass over to another noun, but remains in the acting subject itself, the verb is called intransitive, as járok, I walk.

Verbs which are at the same time active and passive—that is, if the subject acting is at the same time the substantive acted upon—are called medial.

According as action, or the state of being acted upon, are predominant, they are said to be of an active or passive character; for instance: eszik—he is eating—is active; and vérzik—he is bleeding—is passive.

If neither is the case—that is, if action and suffering are both implied—they are called neuter verbs; as, alszik, he is sleeping.

Note.—Medial verbs with an active signification might be called "deponent verbs," being like the Latin deponent verbs, passive in form, and active in meaning.

All medial verbs end in the third person singular of the present tense (indicative mood), in -ik; the active verbs—intransitive and transitive—have no distinguishing sign, but stand in the third person in their primitive form (root of the verb).

On account of this characteristic of the two forms, Hungarian grammarians call them frequently ikes and iktelen igei.e., verbs with -ik and verbs without -ik.

The division of the Hungarian verbs is therefore—

I. Active Verbs
(without -ik).

(a) transitive; (b) intransitive.

II. Medial Verbs
(with -ik).

(a) active or deponent; (b) passive; (c) neuter.

These two classes follow each a different conjugation.

Of Moods.

There are five moods:—

1. The indicative mood makes a positive assertion without any clauses or conditions; as, írok, I write.

2. The imperative commands or entreats; as, írj! write! or, please write!

3. The third mood is called the subjunctive, because it is subjoined to another clause; as, atyám kivánja hogy írjak—my father wishes that I shall write. In form the subjunctive is the same as the imperative, and is only distinguished from it by always having a conjunction—hogy= that; or ha=if—before it; wherefore it is sometimes called also the conjunctive mood.

4. The conditional puts a condition to the clause; as, írnék, ha volna tollam, I would write, had I a pen.

The conditional can express a wish, request, doubt, or condition, according to the modulation of the voice or the context.

5. The infinitive has no tenses and takes only the personal suffixes, which express number at the same time. Without suffixes it is known by its termination -ni; as írni, to write.

Infinitives, being the crude expression of the action itself, are equal in meaning to substantives in the nominative case, and may be used as such. For instance: (1) lopni bűn, to steal is a sin; or lopás bűn, stealing is a sin; (2) élni jobb mint meghalni, to live is better than to die; or élet jobb mint halál, life is better than death.

Of the Tenses of the Verb.

There are five tenses or "times" expressing the time at which the action takes place:—

1. Present; as, írok, I write.
2. Imperfect; as, írék, I wrote.
3. Perfect or past; as, írtam, I have written.
4. Pluperfect; as, írtam vala, I had written.
5. Future; as, írni fogok, I will or shall write.

The Hungarian has no future past, but expresses it by the perfect tense, preceded by adverbs denoting a future time; as, akkorára, until then, by that time; egy hét mulva, in a week's time, &c.

Note.—The earlier Hungarian writers made a future past in imitation of the Latin by putting légyen after the past tense; but this is quite against the spirit of the Hungarian language, and is now hardly—if ever—used.

The future is seldom used, and is generally expressed by the present tense, especially when an adverb expressing future time stands before it; as, holnap barátomhoz megyek, to-morrow I (will) go to my friend's; instead of holnap barátomhoz fogok menni. The first form is more commendable, and the latter (compound) form only used, if the verb is not preceded or followed by words already expressing the time.

Of Numbers, Person, and Form.

Verbs have two numbers—singular and plural; and three persons in each number.

Singular. Plural.
verek, I beat verünk, we beat
versz, thou beatest vertek, you beat
ver, he beats vernek, they beat

A verb can express an action in different ways; these are called its forms; as—

Primitive Form: ír, he writes.
Factitive Form: írat, he causes, orders, or commands to write (he has something written by a third person).
Frequentatives: irogat; indicates a repetition of the action expressed in the primitive. They are also called repetitive diminutives, because they express the action in a lesser degree, as, for instance: he is writing little by little (by fits and starts).
Diminutives: irkál, he is scribbling; signifies a playful action of the verb.
Permissives: írhat, he may or can write.

All these forms are conjugated like the primitive form.

I. Active Verbs.

Transitive and causal verbs have—according as the substantive which suffers the action is definite or indefinite—two significant terminations: the indefinite, as, verek, I beat (somebody); and the definite, as verem (a lovat), I beat (the horse).

The transitive verb is always in the definite form, if the substantive acted upon has the definite article, or the demonstrative pronouns azon, ezen, or is the name of a person.

In the definite there are also to be distinguished the person acting and the person acted upon.

If the first person acts upon the second person, the distinguishing termination of the verb will be, in all moods and tenses, -lak (for flat words), or -lek (for sharps); as, verlek, I beat thee; várlak I expect thee. But when acting upon a substantive in the third person, the general rule is to be followed; for instance:—

Indefinite. Definite.
ver-lek, I beat thee
ver-ek, I beat an indefinite
for instance,
a dog.
ver-em I beat a definite
for instance,
the dog.
ver-sz, thou beatest ver-ed, thou beatest
ver, he beats ver-i, he beats
ver-ünk, we beat ver-jük, we beat
ver-tek, you beat ver-itek, you beat
ver-nek, they beat ver-ik, they beat


The participle is derived from the verb, and is of an adjectival character. There are three participles:—

1. The present participle, ending in , ; as, egy arató ember, a reaping man (a man that reaps).

2. The past participle, ending in -t, -ott, -ett, or -ött, with a passive character; as, az aratott gabona, the reaped corn.

3. The participle for the future tense, which ends in -andó, -endő, and is in most cases also of a passive character; as az aratandó búza, the wheat to be reaped.

Of these, the first two have adverbial forms; for the present, ending in -va, -ve, as sétálva, walking; and for the past tense, ending in -ván, -vén, as sétálván, having been walking.

The following examples will explain the use of the five participles:—

1. Egy szenvedő ember, a suffering man.
2. Egy szenvedett ember, a suffered man.
3. Egy szenvedendő ember, a man to be suffered.
4. Az ember szenvedve volt, the man was suffered.
5. Az ember szenvedvén, the man having been suffering.

The participles ending in -ván, -vén, express always a reason or condition by which another clause is determined; for instance. Pénzét elköltvén, ismét haza tért, having spent his money, he went home again.

Adverbial participles may have either an active or passive signification, but, like other adverbs, they are not inflected; while the adjectival participles are inflected as adjectives, and, like these, may stand for the substantive; for instance—

1. Egy szenvedő ember, a suffering man;
2. Egy szenvedő, ember  a sufferer.

Note.—The present participle may be used either as adjective or substantive. In the first case it is translated into English with the present participle (as shown above in sentence 1): in the second by the substantive derived from the respective verb by inflecting it with -er; for instance, szenvedő, sufferer; iró, writer; látogató, visitor, &c.

Before other verbs can be conjugated, it is necessary to learn the irregular verb lenni, to be.

Indicative Mood.

Present Tense. Imperfect Tense.
vagyok, I am. valék, I was.
vagy, thou art. valál, thou wast.
van or vagyon, he is. vala, he was.
vagyunk, we are. valánk, we were.
vagytok, you are. valátok, you were.
vannak or vagynak, they are. valának, they were.
Perfect or Past Tense.
voltam, I have been. voltunk, we have been.
voltál, thou hast been. voltatok, you have been.
volt, he has been. voltak, they have been.
Pluperfect Tense. Future Tense.
voltam vala, I had been. leszek, I will be.
voltál vala, thou hadst been. lészsz, thou wilt be.
volt vala, he had been. lesz or leszen, he will be.
voltunk vala, we had been. leszünk, we will be.
voltatok vala, you had been. lesztek, you will be.
voltak vala, they had been. lesznek, they will be.

Imperative Mood.

Present Tense.
.... legyünk, be we, or let us be.
légy, be thou. legyetek, be you.
legyen, be he, or let him be. legyenek, be they, or let them be

Subjunctive Mood.

Present Tense. Past Tense.
Hogy Hogy
legyek, that I shall be. voltam légyen, that I have been.
légy, that thou shalt be. voltál légyen that thou hast been.
legyen, that he shall be. volt légyen that he has been.
legyűnk, that we shall be. voltunk légyen that we have been.
legyetek, that you shall be. voltatok légyen that you have been.
legyenek, that they shall be. voltak légyen that they have been.
Future (conditional) Tense.
Ha Ha
leendek, if I shall be. leendűnk, if we shall be.
leendesz, if thou wilt be. leendetek, if you will be.
leend, if he will be. leendenek, if they will be.

Conditional Mood.

Present Tense.
volnék, I would or should be.
volnál, thou wouldst be.
volna, he would be.
volnánk, we would be.
volnátok, you would be.
volnának, they would be.
Past Tense.
voltam volna, I would or should have been.
voltál volna, thou wouldst have been.
volt volna, he would have been.
voltunk volna, we would have been.
voltatok volna, you would have been.
voltak volna, they would have been.

Infinitive Mood.

lenni, to be.
With the Personal Suffixes.[1]
lennem, I—to be. lennünk, we—to be.
lenned, thou—to be. lennetek, you—to be.
lennie, he—to be. lenniök, they—to be.


Present. Past. Future.
való, levö, lévő, being. volt, been. leendő, about to be.
Adverbial Participles.
leve, being. levén, having been.

Potential Form.

lehet, may or can be.

In conjugating a verb, the same euphonic rules are to be observed as has been the case with the nouns. Verbs follow three classes of inflections. To the first class belong all flat-sounding verbs; to the second belong verbs whose vowel, or (if polysyllable) whose last vowel, is e; and to the third class belong verbs with ö or ü in the last syllable. Verbs with neuter vowels (é or í) belong to Class 1 or 2. For further particulars, see the following examples:—

Conjugation of the Transitive Verbs.

First Conjugation: varni, to sow.

Indicative Mood.

Present Tense.
Indefinite Form. Definite Form.
var-ok, I sow. var-om, I sow (it).
var-sz, thou sowest. var-od, thou sowest (it).
var, he sows. var-ja, he sows (it).
var-unk, we sow. var-juk, we sow (it).
var-tok, you sow. var-játok, you sow (it).
var-nak, they sow. var-ják, they sow (it).
Imperfect Tense.
Indefinite Form. Definite Form.
var-ék, I sowed. var-ám, I sowed (it).
var-ál, thou sowedst. var-ád, thou sowedst (it).
var-a, he sowed. var-á, he sowed (it).
var-ánk, we sowed. var-ók, we sowed (it).
var-átok, you sowed. var-átok, you sowed (it).
var-ának, they sowed. var-ák, they sowed (it).
Past Tense.
Indefinite Form. Definite Form.
var-tam, I have sown. var-tam, I have sown (it).
var-tál, thou hast sown. var-tad, thou hast sown (it).
var-t, he has sown. var-ta, he has sown (it).
var-tunk, we have sown. var-tuk, we have sown (it).
var-tatok, you have sown. var-tátok, you have sown (it).
var-tak, they have sown. var-ták, they have sown (it).

Pluperfect Tense.

This is the same as the past tense, after which volt or vala is put; as—

vártam vala (or volt), I had sown.

vartál vala (or volt), thou hadst sown, &c.

Future Tense.
Indefinite Form. Definite Form.
varni fogok, I shall sow. varni fogom, I shall sow (it).
fogsz, thou wilt sow. fogod, thou wilt sow (it).
fog, he will sow. fogja, he will sow (it).
fogunk, we will sow. fogjuk, we will sow (it).
fogtok, you will sow. fogjátok, you will sow (it).
fognak, they will sow. fogják, they will sow (it).

Imperative Mood.

Present Tense.
Indefinite Form. Definite Form.
varj, do thou sow. varjad, sow thou (it).
varjon, let him sow. varja, let him sow (it).
varjunk, let us sow. varjuk, let us sow (it).
varjatok, sow you. varjátok, sow you (it).
varjanak, let them sow. varják, let them sow (it).

Subjunctive Mood.

Present Tense.
Indefinite Form. Definite Form.
Hogy Hogy

that I might or should sow.

that thou mightest or shouldst sow.

varj, varjad,
varjon, varja,
varjunk, varjuk,
varjatok, varjátok,
varjanak, varják,

Past Tense.

hogy vartam légyen, that I should or might have been sowing.

This tense is formed by putting légyen after the past tense of the indicative, and the conjunction hogy set before it; for the sake of brevity, therefore, only the first person will be put down in the following examples, as the student can complete the rest after the rules given here:—

hogy vartam légyen hogy vartam légyen
hogy vartál légyen hogy vartad légyen
hogy vart légyen, &c. hogy varta légyen, &c.

Future Tense.
ha varandok, if I should sow ha varandom
varandasz, if thou shouldst sow varandod
varand, if he should sow varandja
varandunk, if we should sow varandjuk
varandotok, if you should sow varandjátok
varandanak, if they should sow varandják

Conditional Mood.

Present Tense.

might, should,

or would sow.

varnál varnád
varnál varnád
varnál varnád
varnál varnád
varnál varnád
Past Tense.
vartam volna

should or would

have sown.

vartam volna &c. 
vartál volna vartad volna
vart volna &c. varta volna
The past tense of the indicative mood with volna.


varni, to sow.

With the Personal Suffixes:—
Singular: varnom, varnod, varnia.
Plural: varnunk, varnotok, varniok.


Present: varó. Past: varott. Future: várandó.
sowing. sown. to be sown.

Adverbial Participles: varva; varván.

Second Conjugation: verni, to beat.

Note.—In the following examples the English rendering has not been given,
as the student can supply it for himself.

Indicative Mood.
Present Tense. Imperfect Tense.
Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite.
verek verem verék verém
versz vered verél veréd
ver veri vere veré
verünk verjük verénk verők
vertek veritek verétek verétek
vernek verik verének verék
Past Tense. Future Tense.
vertem vertem verni fogok verni fogom
vertél verted verni fogsz verni fogod
vert verte verni fog verni fogja
vertünk vertük verni fogunk verni fogjuk
vertetek vertétek verni fogtok verni fogjátok
vertek vertek verni fognak verni fogják
Pluperfect: as past tense with volt or vala.

Imperative Mood.
Present Tense.
Indefinite. Definite.
. . . . . verjünk . . . . . verük
verj verjetek verjed verjétek
verjen verjenek verje verjék

Subjunctive Mood.
Present Tense. Future Tense.
hogy verjek hogy verjem ha verendek ha verendem
hogy verj hogy verjed  „  verendesz  „  verended
hogy verjen hogy verje  „  verend  „  verendi
hogy verjünk hogy verjük  „  verendünk  „  verendjük
hogy verjetek hogy verjétek  „  verendetek  „  verenditek
hogy verjenek hogy verjék  „  verendenek  „  verendik
Past Tense: hogy vertem légyrn, &c.
Conditional Mood.
Present Tense. Past Tense.
vernék verném vertem volna vertem volna
vernél vernéd vertél verted
verne verné vert verte
vernénk vernők vertünk vertük
vernétek vernétek vertetek vertétek
vernének vernék vertek verték

With the Personal Pronoun:—

Singular: vernem, verned, vernie.
Plural: vernünk, vernetek, verniök.


Present: verő.Past: vert.Future: verendő.

Adverbial Participles: verve; vervén.

The Third Conjugation differs from the Second only in the present tense of the indicative mood, and in the infinitive mood, which are as follows: törni, to break:—

Indicative Mood. Infinitive.
török töröm törnöm
törsz töröd törnöd
tör töri törnie
törünk törjük törnünk
törtök töritök törnötök
törnek törik törniök

In the third person singular of the imperative and subjunctive (present tense), the forms also differ in the indefinite; as, törjön (not törjen). All other forms are the same as in the second conjugation.

Verbs ending with s, sz, or z, double their final letter in place of taking a j in the imperative and subjunctive mood; and in the present tense of the indicative mood of the definite form; for instance—

hoz-zak, not hoz-jak;
hoz-za not hoz-ja, &c.

Verbs ending with t preceded by i or a liquid consonant take in the imperative and subjunctive mood an s instead of j; as gyűjteni, to collect:—

Imperative and Subjunctive.
gyüjtsek, not gyüjtjek,
gyüjts, not gyüjtj;
güjtsön, not gyüjtön, &c.

But in the present tense of the indicative mood these retain the j.

Monosyllabic verbs ending in t preceded by a vowel other than i, and all causal verbs, change their final t into s in the imperative and subjunctive present tense.

If a verb ends with t which is preceded by sz, the final t is dropped in the imperative and subjunctive, and sz is then doubled.

If a verb ends with a double consonant, or with a single hard consonant, that would not admit an easy pronunciation of the ending -ni, the infinitive ending will then be -ani or eni; instead of -ni; as, hallani, to hear. In such cases all inflections beginning with a consonant are joined to the verb with a vowel; for instance, hall-ott, not hall-t, &c.

These rules will be better explained by the following examples:—

Synopsis of the Conjugation of the Verb Active.

Note.—The first three show the regular forms, and the rest the euphonic changes of letters.

Indicative Mood. 1.—var-ni, to sow. 2.—ver-ni, to beat. 3.—tör-ni, to break. 4.—hoz-ni, to fetch, to bring. 5.—tanit-ani, to teach. 6.—halaszt-ani, to delay. 7.—lát-ni, to see.
Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite. Indefinite. Definite.
(takes "z" instead of "j") (takes "s" instead of "j"
in the imper. and "a"
before suffix with
a consonant.)


var -ok
— -sz

— -unk
— -tok
— -nak

var -om
— -od
— -ja
— -juk
— -játok
— -ják

ver -ek
— -sz

— -ünk
— -tek
— -nek

ver -em
— -ed
— -i
— -jük
— -itek
— -ik

tör -ök
— -sz

— -ünk
— -tök
— -nek

tör -öm
— -öd
— -i
— -jük
— -itök
— -ik

hoz -ok
— -asz

— -unk
— -tok
— -nak

hoz -om
— -od
— -za
— -zuk
— -zátok
— -zák

tanit -ok
— -asz

— -unk
— -atok
— -anak

tanit -om
— -od
— -ja
— -juk
— -játok
— -ják

halaszt -ok
— -asz

— -unk
— -atok
— -anak

As No. 1. As No. 1.


— -ék
— -ál
— -a
— -ánk
— -átok
— -ának

— -ám
— -ád
— -á
— -ók
— -átok
— -ák

— -ék
— -él
— -e
— -énk
— -étek
— -ének

— -ém
— -éd
— -é
— -ök
— -étek
— -ék

As No. 2. As No. 1. As No. 1. As No. 1. As No. 1.


— -tam
— -tál
— -t
— -tunk
— -tatok
— -tak

— -tam
— -tad
— -ta
— -tuk
— -tátok
— -ták

— -tem
— -tél
— -t
— -tünk
— -tetek
— -tek

— -tem
— -ted
— -te
— -tük
— -tétek
— -ték

As No. 2.

— -ott

— -ottam
— -ottál
— -ott
— -ottunk
— -ottatok
— -ottak

— -ottam
— -ottad
— -otta
— -ottuk
— -ották
— -ottuk

As No. 5.

— -tam
— -tál
— -ott
— -tunk
— -tatok
— -tak

As No. 1.
The rest as No. 1.

Imper. & Subjunct. Present. (drops the "t") (changes "t" into "s")

— -jak
— -j
— -jon
— -junk
— -jatok
— -janak

— -jam
— -jad
— -ja
— -juk
— -játok
— -ják

— -jek
— -j
— -jen
— -jünk
— -jetek
— -jenek

— -jem
— -jed
— -je
— -jük
— -jétek
— -jék


— -zak
— -z
— -zon
— -zunk
— -zatok
— -zanak

— -zam
— -zad
— -za
— -zuk
— -zátok
— -zák

— -sak
— -s
— -son
— -sunk
— -satok
— -sanak

— -sam
— -sad
— -sa
— -suk
— -sátok
— -sák

halasz -szak
— -sz
— -szon
— -szunk
— -szatok
— -szanak

halasz -szam
— -szad
— -sza
— -szuk
— -szátok
— -szák

lás -sak
— -s
— -son
— -sunk
— -satok
— -sanak

lás -sam
— -sad
— -sa
— -suk
— -sátok
— -sák

The rest like No. 2.

Conditional. Present.

— -nék
— -nál
— -na
— -nánk
— -nátok
— -nának

— -nám
— -nád
— -ná
— -nók
— -nátok
— -nák

— -nék
— -nél
— -ne
— -nénk
— -nétek
— -nének

— -ném
— -néd
— -né
— -nők
— -nétek
— -nék

As No. 2. As No. 1.

— -anék
— -anál
— -ana
— -anánk
— -anátok
— -anának

— -anám
— -anád
— -aná
— -anók
— -anátok
— -anák

As No. 5. As No. 1.


var-nom, -nod, -nia;
-nunk, -notok, -niok

ver-nem, -ned, -nie;
-nünk, -netek, -niök

tör-nöm, -nöd, -nie;
-nünk, -nötök, -niök

As No. 1.

As No. 1, with the vowel
"a," as, tanit-a-nom, &c.

As No. 5. As No. 1.

All other moods and tenses are conjugated regularly.

The intransitive active verbs are conjugated like the indefinite form of the transitives.

II. Medial Verbs (with -ik).

Medial verbs, as has been said already, are of three kinds: deponent, passive, and neuter. The two last mentioned have only an indefinite form; the deponents, however, if they are of such a meaning that they may be used in a transitive sense, can be declined also in the definite form of the active verb.

Such verbs are, for instance: lakni, to dwell (neuter sense); and lakni, to inhabit (transitive sense, because there must be an object which is inhabited). In the indefinite form these are always conjugated like neuter (medial) verbs, and in the definite like the active verb; as—

Indefinite. Definite.
lakom, I dwell lakom, I inhabit a certain object;
say, or instance,
this house.
lakol, thou dwellest lakod, thou inhabitest
lakik, he dwells lakja, he inhabits
lakunk, we dwell lakjuk, we inhabit
laktok, you dwell lakjátok, you inhabit
laknak, they dwell lakják, they inhabit

The conjugation of the neuter (medial) verbs differs only in the singular from that of the active verbs ; the plural being throughout the same.

The same euphonic rules are to be observed here as with the active verbs.

Examples of Conjugation.

Indicative Mood.
1. 2. 3.
lak-om I dwell, &c. vétkez-em I am sinning,
ütköz-öm I am encountering
or attacking, &c.
lak-ol vétkez-el ütköz-öl
lak-ik vétkez-ik ütköz-ik
lak-unk vétkez-ünk ütköz-ünk
lak-tok vétkez-tek ütköz-tök
lak-nak vétkez-nek ütköz-nek
lak-ám I dwelt, &c. vétkez-ém I was sinning,
ütköz-ém I was encountering
or attacking, &c.
lak-ál vétkez-él ütköz-él
lak-ék vétkez-ék ütköz-ék
lak-ánk vétkez-énk ütköz-énk
lak-átok vétkez-étek ütköz-étek
lak-ának vétkez-ének ütköz-ének
The past tense, pluperfect, and future are the indefinite of the active verb.
Imperative and Subjunctive Mood.
lak-jam   vétkez-zem   ütköz-zem
lak-jál vétkez-zél ütköz-zél
lak-jék vétkez-zék ütköz-zék
lak-junk vétkez-zünk ütköz-zünk
lak-jatok vétkez-zetek ütköz-zetek
lak-janak vétkez-zenek ütköz-zenek
Conditional Mood.
lak-nám vétkez-ném ütköz-ném
lak-nál vétkez-nél ütköz-nél
lak-nék vétkez-nék ütköz-nék
lak-nánk vétkez-nénk ütköz-nénk
lak-nátok vétkez-nétek ütköz-nétek
lak-nának vétkez-nének ütköz-nének
Infinitive Mood.
lakni vétkezni ütközni
which are suffixed like the active verbs.
lakó vétkező ütköző
lakott vétkezett ütközött
lakandó vétkezendő ütközendő
lakva vétkezve ütközve
lakván vétkezvén ütközvén

The greatest difficulty experienced by students of the Hungarian language has been these two forms of the verb—viz., to know which verbs are conjugated in the neuter and which in the active form. Of course the best method of acquiring this knowledge is to observe the native practice, as many of the so-called neuter verbs are in other languages considered to be "active." It will be, however, a great help to the student if he bears in mind that the ending -ik expresses either an involuntary action; as, for instance, to sleep, to fall, to stumble, &c.; or if voluntary, the meaning of the verb cannot be purely active, but is at the same time to a certain extent passive; as, eszik, he is eating; ugrik, he is jumping, or he jumps, &c.

This may be more clearly seen in verbs which have both forms—active and passive—as;

omol, he melts something (by his own action; for instance, ice).
omlik, it is melting (by itself, or in consequence of the influence of an unseen power, heat, &c.).
romol, he spoils (the wine purposely).
romlik, it is getting spoilt (by long standing, &c.).

Of active as well as of medial verbs may be formed causal verbs by adding -at -tat, to flat-sounding; -et -tet, to sharp-sounding verbs.

The meaning of the causal verb differs from the primitive form in that the action is not done by the agent itself, but that the latter causes something or somebody else to do it. In English there is no corresponding form. In German, it is expressed by the infinitive and the verb, lassen, as—

olvastatni=lesen lassen, to cause to read.

All causal verbs—whether derived from active or neuter verbs—are transitive, and conjugated like these in the indefinite and definite form.

The Hungarian has, properly speaking, no passive voice for active verbs, but grammarians have introduced a so-called passive voice for transitive verbs which is, however, not generally used, but is restricted to a few verbs only. The root or the primitive of the passive is the same as the causal verb, but is conjugated like the neuter verbs; as, szeretni, to love; olvasni, to read.

Passive Factitive
Indicative Mood.
Present Tense.
Indefinite. Indefinite. Definite.
1 szeret-tet-em 1 olvas-tat-ok 1 olvas-tat-om
2 szeret-tet-el 2 olvas-tat-sz 2 olvas-tat-od
3 szeret-tet-ik 3 olvas-tat 3 olvas-tat-ja
1 szeret-tet-ünk 1 olvas-tat-unk 1 olvas-tat-juk
2 szeret-tet-tek 2 olvas-tat-tok 2 olvas-tat-játok
3 szeret-tet-nek 3 olvas-tat-nak 3 olvas-tat-ják
1 I am beloved. 1 I cause to read.
2 thou art beloved. 2 thou causest to read.
3 he is 3 he causes
1 we are 1 we cause
2 you are 2 you cause
3 they are 3 they cause

Compound Verbs.

The Hungarian abounds in compound verbs, as well as in compound words in general. They are made by prefixing to the verb postpositions, adverbs, or suffixes for place and direction, which modify then the action expressed in its crude form accordingly; as, venni, to take; elvenni, to take away; fölvenni, to take up; levenni, to take down.

The verb is inflected in the same manner as when it stands by itself.

Note.—These particles or adverbs can also be written separately; as, elvenni akarta or el akarta venni, he would take it away.

Irregular Verbs.

There are in Hungarian—as in nearly all languages—certain verbs, which vary from the general rule, and are called irregular.

The so-called irregular verbs of the Hungarian language are only seemingly irregular, inasmuch as they take the same inflections as the regular verbs, and change only the final consonant of the root or shorten their last vowel when inflected. All these changes occur in the root of the verb, and are purely euphonic.

Native grammarians style them sz enyésztő, and gy enyésztő, igéki.e., verbs mortifying sz, and verbs mortifying gy—because they "mortify," or cause the disappearance (enyészt) of these consonants.

The verbs mortifying gy are only two in number: vagyon, to be; and megyen, to go.

Of these, the vagyon is not only irregular, but also imperfect, as it borrows its forms for the future tense of the indicative mood, and the imperative, from lenni, to become. It has already been conjugated, p. 52.

Megyen is only irregular in that it has two primitive forms (or roots) for the present tense, indicative mood; as—

megyek or menek, I go;
mégy mész, thou goest;
megyen mén, he goes;
megyünk menünk, we go;
mentek, you go;
mennek, they go.

The second and third person plural of the form megyen are wanting. In all other moods and tenses this verb takes mén as its root (infinitive menni), and is conjugated regularly as an intransitive verb.

Sz mortifying verbs are those whose verbal root terminates in sz, but which retain this sz only in the present tense of the indicative mood, while they drop or change it to other letters in all other cases. These, as has been already said, are mere euphonic modifications.

They are conjugated as follows:—

hinni, to believe.
Indicative Mood.
Present Tense.
Indefinite. Definite.
hisz-ek, I believe. hisz-em, I believe it.
hisz-esz, thou believest. hisz-ed, thou believest it.
hisz, he believes. hisz-i, he believes it.
hisz-ünk, we believe. hisz-szük, we believe it.
hisz-tek, you believe. hisz-itek, you believe it.
hisz-nek, they believe. hisz-ik, they believe it.

Imperfect Tense.

Here a v has been put

between the two vowels in

place of sz, which has been

mortified—i.e., dropped.

hi-v-él hi-v-éd
hi-v-e hi-v-é
hi-v-énk hi-v-ők
hi-v-étek hi-v-étek
hi-v-ének hi-v-ék

Past Tense.
hi-t-tem hittem, &c.
Future Tense.
hinni fogok, &c. hinni fogom, &c.

Imperative and Subjunctive Mood.
Present Tense.
higyek higyem
higy higyed
higyen higye
higyünk higyük
higyetek higyétek
higyenek higyék
Past Tense.
hittem légyen hittem légyen
hittél légyen & c. hitted légyen & c.
Future Tense.
hiendek, &c. hiendem, &c.
Conditional Mood.
Present Tense.
hinnék, &c. hinném, &c.
Past Tense.
hittem volna hittem volna,
hittél volna, &c. hitted volna, &c.

Infinitive Mood.
Infinitive Inflected.
hinnem, hinned, hinnie;
hinnünk, hinnetek, hinniök.
Present: Past: Future:
hivő, hitt, hiendő.
Adverbial Participles.

Permissive Verb:—hihet, he may or can believe.
Factitive iveVerb— hitet, he makes believe.

Sz- mortifying medial verbs follow the same euphonic changes as the sz- mortifying active verbs, and are then inflected like other medial or neuter verbs.

Impersonal Verbs.

Impersonal verbs are those which are used only in a general sense without any person as nominative case, and which take in English the word "it" before them.

Impersonal verbs are of two kinds: (1) those which express mere action and cannot be referred to any object or person; as villámlik, it lightens: (2) those verbs which are used in the third person only (all so-called impersonal verbs are used in the third person singular), but may relate to the first, second, or third person, governing in the dative or accusative case, according to the sense of the verb; for instance, illik nekem, it is becoming for me, it is meet for me; engem illet, it concerns me; fáj nekem, it pains me (nekem is here in the dative case, and the sentence fáj nekem means literally, it gives me pains).

Defective Verbs.

Defective verbs are those which have only certain particular tenses and persons. They are:

1. nincs or nincsen (negative of van), is not, or has not.

Plural: nincsenek, are not, or has none.

Note.—If the agent is in the nominative case, nincsen is to be translated (like van) by the verb "to be" with the negative "not"; with the attributive case, it is to be rendered by "to have" negatived; as—

nekem nincs I have not.
neked nincs thou hast not.
neki nincs he has not, &c.

Nincs is a contraction of nem, "not," and van, "is." If used in the sense o£ "to be," this contracted form can be used only in the third person singular and third person plural: in all other tenses and persons they are to be separated; as—

atyám nincs itt, my father is not here.
atyám nem volt itt, my father was not here.
ő nincs, he is not.
én nem vagyok, I am not.

2. Sincs, sincsen—plural: sincsenek—are contractions oi sem, neither, and nincs, nincsen, or nincsenek; for instance, a bátyám nincs itthon, my elder brother is not at home; anyám sincs, nor (is) my mother (at home). Sincs follows the same rules as nincs.

3. Jer, come thou along!
jerünk, let us go, or go we!
jertek, come you along!

are the only three forms of this verb. They are imperative, and command to go along with the speaker—i.e., to accompany him.

Some grammarians reckon the words ne, nesze, netek also among these verbs, but they really belong rather to the interjections, as they do not express action in themselves, but rather call the attention of the person addressed to the action of the speaker; as, ne or nesze pénz! "look, money!" or, "here, money!" is an idiomatic phrase, and in itself without meaning. It may imply, "I give you money," or "take this money," or both. The speaker's intention is here merely to call the attention of the person thus addressed to the money, with which he knows already what to do, or what it is meant for. The sentence, were it written in full, would be: nesze! vedd el ezt a pénzt, here! take this money; or, nesze! adok pénzt, here! I give you money, &c.

  1. For the better understanding of the infinitive with the personal suffix the student may add the verb kellene, "ought," to it; as, lennem kellene, I ought to be, &c.