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Imperative form 1/3

Illustration for article titled Imperative form 1/3

This week we started to cover the imperative form of the Hungarian language. It is a big piece of the grammatical so we covered only part of it. The rest will be for next week.


You, and what else?

Imperative in Hungarian is possible in all the 6 cases (I, you, he/she, we, you, they) Yes you read it properly. In most of the language it is only with You, while imperative is used to give order to someone or a group of people, but here we can have all the 6 form possible which gives a tiny different meaning to the sentence.


So when to use imperative?

  • With “I”, it is used as a question to ask for yourself. “What should I do?” for example will be translated in imperative mode “Mit csinaljak?” This temp is considered like subjonctive, and can anyway be used not only in first person singular, but all the 6.
  • With “We, it is used like a “Let’s do something!” , “Let’s talk!” for example. And it can be translated as “Csinaljunk!”, “Beszéljünk!”. In these case we also use the imperative form.
  • You and You. Similar to other language, it is used to give order to people. But it is only used if there is a hierarchy between the person who speaks and the receiver. Like parent to children, government to people, doctor to patient. But not to friend, or someone on the street. It can be taken very rude, and not very polite. So it is recommended to avoid these case. For example “Wash your hands”, “Open your mouth”, can be translated as “Mosd kezet”, Nyisd ki a szád”
  • What about the 3rd persons. Well, in Hungarian the 3rd persons (singular and plural) are used for the polite form of You. So very similar to the previous case, but the conjugation will be different. “Sit down”, “Ülj le!”


1st group, regular verbs

The imperative is recognisable with the letter “j” into the word. Usually you have the verb + “j” + person ending



  • Indefinite: tanuljak / tanulj (àl) / tanuljon / tanuljunk / tanuljatok / tanuljanak
  • Definite: tanuljam / tanuljad - tanuld / tanulja / tanulja / tanuljuk / tanuljàk

2nd group, verbs in -s -sz -z

As we can’t prononce “sj” or “szj”, in this case we remove the “j” and double the “s”, the “sz” or the “z”



  • Indefinite: olvassak / olvass(àl) / olvasson / olvassunk / olvassatok / olvassanak
  • Definite: olvassam / olvassad - olvasd / olvassa / olvassuk / olvassatok / olvassàk

3rd group, verbs in short vowel + t

(a,o,u,e,i,ö,ü) + t + “j” transform in > “ss”. Same as before, we can’t prononce the “tj” so we replace by double “s”



  • Indefinite: fussak, fuss(àl), fusson, fussunk, fussatok, fussanak
  • Definite: fussam, fussad - fusd, fussa, fussuk, fussàtok, fussàk

Read Part 2 and 3

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