Asking for two

Moderator: france-eesti

User avatar
mafke
Posts: 77
Joined: 2007-02-24, 22:17
Real Name: mafka etiska
Location: PL
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Asking for two

Postby mafke » 2008-05-25, 15:12

Okay, first the background: I was recently in Hungary with a friend who knows no Hungarian (my spoken Hungarian is extremely poor though I read a lot better than I speak)
Anyway, a long time ago I remember reading that while in isolation or by itself 'two' is kettő if you use it in front of a noun it should be két. But whenever I did this it never seemed to be understood.
Since my friend doesn't know any Hungarian I would usually try to order for both of us (is this weird in Hungary?) but typically it would go something like this.

Me: És két borsodit kérek.
Salesperson: (with look of total confusion) Egyet?
Me: Kettőt

So the question is should I use két or kéttő in ordering? And should I use acc + kérek? It seemed that some (many) Hungarians were just ordering with nominative (with legyen? I didn't hear it but my comprehension is pretty poor) or is that the kind of thing a native can get away with but a foreigner shouldn't try?

User avatar
CoBB
Posts: 5265
Joined: 2004-08-26, 8:34
Real Name: PG
Gender: male
Location: An island...
Country: HU Hungary (Magyarország)
Contact:

Re: Asking for two

Postby CoBB » 2008-05-25, 15:39

mafke wrote:Anyway, a long time ago I remember reading that while in isolation or by itself 'two' is kettő if you use it in front of a noun it should be két.

Yes, that’s true. To be more precise, the adjective form is két, and the predicate form is kettő.

On the other hand, it is not a big mistake if you just use kettő all the time. It sounds a bit stupid to me, but it’s not what I’d call a grammatical error. In fact, it seems to be somehow more popular to use it in this fashion lately. :hmm:

mafke wrote:But whenever I did this it never seemed to be understood.

That’s strange. :shock:

mafke wrote:Me: És két borsodit kérek.
Salesperson: (with look of total confusion) Egyet?
Me: Kettőt

Well, that’s perfectly correct. :yep:

mafke wrote:So the question is should I use két or kettő in ordering?

The former sounds better to me even despite these problems. There are some people who are afraid to use it, because it might be confused with hét, maybe that’s also why kettő is spreading in its place (if I’m not imagining it, that is).

mafke wrote:And should I use acc + kérek? It seemed that some (many) Hungarians were just ordering with nominative (with legyen? I didn't hear it but my comprehension is pretty poor) or is that the kind of thing a native can get away with but a foreigner shouldn't try?

‘Acc + kérek’ is perfect. The colloquial form ‘nom + lesz’ is in fashion lately, but it sounds slightly condescending to me (legyen would be really bad there, as an imperative sounds almost like an insult).
Tanulni, tanulni, tanulni!

A pő, ha engemély, kimár / De mindegegy, ha vildagár... / ...mert engemély mindet bagul, / Mint vélgaban a bégahur!...

User avatar
mafke
Posts: 77
Joined: 2007-02-24, 22:17
Real Name: mafka etiska
Location: PL
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Postby mafke » 2008-05-25, 18:13

Köszönöm.

With legyen I was thinking more of a wishful subjunctive than an imperative, good thing I never used it.

Also, is it weird for one person to order for two in Hungary?

User avatar
CoBB
Posts: 5265
Joined: 2004-08-26, 8:34
Real Name: PG
Gender: male
Location: An island...
Country: HU Hungary (Magyarország)
Contact:

Postby CoBB » 2008-05-25, 18:55

mafke wrote:With legyen I was thinking more of a wishful subjunctive than an imperative, good thing I never used it.

No need to worry about that, kérek is polite enough. You could use conditional mood to soften it further (kérnék), but in my opinion that’s overdoing it already.

mafke wrote:Also, is it weird for one person to order for two in Hungary?

No, there’s nothing extraordinary about that either. :nope:
Tanulni, tanulni, tanulni!



A pő, ha engemély, kimár / De mindegegy, ha vildagár... / ...mert engemély mindet bagul, / Mint vélgaban a bégahur!...

User avatar
'''
Posts: 1748
Joined: 2008-08-29, 14:20
Real Name: Withheld
Gender: male
Location: Canberra
Country: AU Australia (Australia)
Contact:

Re: Asking for two

Postby ''' » 2008-08-29, 15:00

As was already mentioned, the use of kettő is perfectly acceptable since "két" and "hét" rhyme, and so we woudl say the following:

A: "Kérek két/hét sört
B: Hány mit?
A: Kettő/hetes sört.

These forms are used soley to avoid ambiguity but if you're haviogn troubles, I'd revert to them.
26/♂/hetero/Hu/★☭/PRESCRIPTIVIST
(en)(hu) - native
(de)(fr)(fa) - intermediate

Bondi
Posts: 95
Joined: 2007-07-13, 7:59
Gender: male
Location: Brum
Country: GB United Kingdom (United Kingdom)

Re: Asking for two

Postby Bondi » 2008-09-15, 11:21

my spoken Hungarian is extremely poor

I reckon it's got something to do with the Polish pronounciation. You lot have difficulties with long vowels. :) Practice the difference between e and é, o and ó, u and ú...


Return to “Hungarian (Magyar)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest