Nouns in Different Cases, Part 1.

 In Hungarian most of the prepositionalmeanings found in English are expressed with different cases. Find all cases in the grammar table page. This lesson covers some of the most common cases.

1. Inessive and Illative Cases

Use inessive case if your sentence could answer the question, 'Hol?'
Inessive endings: -ban, -ben
Example sentences:
A könyv az asztalon van. (It is already there.) -- The book is on the table.
Meleg van a szobában. -- It is warm in the room.

Use illative case if your sentence could answer the question, 'Hova?'
Illative endings: -ba, -be
Example sentences:
Behozom a könyvet a szobába. (it is not yet there) -- I am bringing the book to the room.
Ma nem megyek iskolába. -- I don't go to school today.

To make it simple, you might want to ask yourself: 'Is it already there?' If the answer is 'yes', use '-ban, -ben' ending, otherwise use '-ba, -be' ending.
Native speakers often make a grammar mistake by choosing the wrong form from the above cases. Try to avoid this mistake with the help of the 'Hol?' and 'Hova?' questions.

2. Elative and Delative Cases

Let's talk about the opposite direction now.
Use elative case in the situation something or somebody comes 'from' somewhere. Be sure that object was exactly INSIDE before comes out.
Inessive endings: -ból, -ből
Example sentences:
Kiveszem az ollót a fiókból. -- I am taking the scissor out from the drawer. (it WAS INSIDE)
Melyik városból jöttél? -- Which town did you come from?

Use delative case in the situation something 'from' somewhere, but it was not inside, just 'on' the object. We can use this case also when we talk 'about' something or somebody. Be sure that object was NOT inside before it comes out.
Inessive endings: -ról, -ről
Example sentences:
Hozd ide a poharat az asztalról! -- Give me the glass from the table! (It was ON the table not INSIDE)
Az esti filmről beszélgetünk. -- We are talking about the movie we saw yesterday evening.

3. Supressive and Sublative Cases

Use supressive case in the situation something or somebody is 'on' another object.
Supressive endings: -n, -on, -en, -ön
Example sentences:
Ülünk az ágyon. -- We are sitting on the bed. (pretty obvious situation)
Nagy a rendetlenség az asztalon. -- There is a big mess on the table.

Sublative case is used if we move something to the surface of another object.
Be sure it will NOT be inside of the object, only ON the object.
Sublative endings: -ra, -re
Example sentences:
Leteszem a táskát a székre. -- I put the bag on the chair.
Felakasztjuk a képet a falra. -- We are hanging up the picture to the wall.

Is everything clear? Try the Matching Endings Quiz now.

Click here to win $5 Million!

Beginner Main | HOME | Hungarian Genealogy| Hungary | Language Main| Customs |