Purpose of '-nek' in a few expressions

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Lazar_Bgd

Member
Serbian - Serbia
Dear all,

I am puzzled by the '-nek' suffix in the following example from the Akadémiai Kiadó dictionary:

Sok pénzének kell lennie = he must have a lot of money.

Why the -nek suffix on 'pénz'? Wouldn't it be all right to say 'Sok pénze kell lennie'?

Also, what is the purpose of '-nek' in the following example that I found in an online 'magyarkönyv':

'Hosszú téli estének majd nézegetni fogjuk Lillával a filmet meg a képeket, ...'

Should this be just taken as an idiom?

Thank you!
 
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Dragi Lazare,

    All I can say is that the verb 'kell' works with the suffix '-nak/-nek', whether the subject is a personal pronoun (1) or any other noun (2):

    1)
    Nekem ma dolgoznom kell. = I have to work today.
    Neked kell ez a könyv? = Do you need this book?
    Miért kell nekünk ennyit fizetni? = Why do we have to pay so much?

    2)
    Péternek ma dolgoznia kell. = Peter has to work today.
    A lányodnak kell ez a könyv? = Does your daughter need this book?
    Miért kell a turistáknak ennyit fizetni? = Why do tourists have to pay so much?

    Also, when the subject is not a person:

    Sok időnek kell még eltelnie ahhoz, hogy ezt elfelejtsük. = A lot of time needs to pass in order for us to forget this.

    The suffix '-nak/-nek' is also necessary when 'kell' is used with an adjective:

    Erősnek kell lenned. = You have to be strong.
    Péternek erősnek kell lennie. = Peter has to be strong. (both the subject and the adjective takes -nak/-nek!)

    Wouldn't it be all right to say 'Sok pénze kell lennie'?
    No, that is not correct. The subject of this sentence is not 'he' as in the English translation 'he must have a lot of money', but 'pénze' (= his money).
    'His money must be a lot' is closer to the original Hungarian structure.
    'Hosszú téli estének majd nézegetni fogjuk Lillával a filmet meg a képeket, ...'
    That is probably a typo. It should be 'hosszú téli estéken' (= 'on long winter evenings')
     
    Last edited:

    Lazar_Bgd

    Member
    Serbian - Serbia
    Kedves András,

    Nagyon szépen köszönöm!

    Also, when the subject is not a person:

    Sok időnek kell még eltelnie ahhoz, hogy ezt elfelejtsük. = A lot of time needs to pass in order for us to forget this.
    I knew about the cases you mention under (1) & (2) but this is news to me, so thanks a lot for elucidating!

    So, if we included the name of a person into this sentence from the dictionary, it would be: Péternek sok pénzének kell lennie. Just as a matter of interest: If 'pénz' is the subject in this sentence, what is 'Péter'? Indirect object...?

    That is probably a typo. It should be 'hosszú téli estéken' (= 'on long winter evenings')
    Yeah, you're right. This book is fully of typos (but then again it's in public domaine). Thank you!
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Péternek sok pénzének kell lennie.
    This sentence may be grammatically correct, but it sounds clumsy. We seem to avoid structures where there are two nouns with '-nak/-nek'.
    You can avoid them by saying: 'Péternek sok pénze kell, hogy legyen.' (kell, hogy + subjunctive/imperative). :cool:

    If 'pénz' is the subject in this sentence, what is 'Péter'? Indirect object...?
    Erm... yes, most probably... :) :confused:
     

    Lazar_Bgd

    Member
    Serbian - Serbia
    Excellent, this is now a complete mini-course on how to use (or not) '-nak/-nek' in combination with 'kell' and 'lenni'.

    Thanks a lot!
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Just a little thought about the role of Péternek in the sentence: I would rather think it is some sort of a complement of the subject (pénze) because Péter (= owner) and pénz (= propriety) are connected by this possessive relationship. (Meanwhile there is no object in the sentence, there cannot be any with the verb "to be". o_O )

    It is interesting to see that the suffix -nek (= dative suffix indicating the owner) after Péter in the sentence (coming from the expression "to have"= vkinek van vmije) coincides with the same suffix (only formally, because it is not in the same meaning at all) used in vminek kell lennie (more or less = there must be something) and the first is probably more "important" than the second when both words (Péter and pénz) appear in the sentence.
     
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