Unit 16.


16. Kérünk négy nagy almát

The accusative form of adjectives and numerals
Hungarian meals and ingredients

Fruits vegetables and colours
Pages 87-91in the printed book

This unit focuses more on the vocabulary and the cultural background of Hungarian meals. The grammar component only expands the use of the accusative suffix a little bit.
In the following dialogue Judit and Kinga are in the shop and they talk to the shop assistant. For some reason, the shop assistant keeps asking back to clarify what kind of apples the girls want.

Judit – Jó napot kívánok!
Eladó – Jó napot! Tessék!
Judit – Gomba van?
Eladó – Igen, van. Mennyit kér?
Judit – Fél kilót. És kérek egy kiló krumplit is.
Eladó – Tessék. Nem vesznek egy kis almát vagy barackot? Nagyon szép az eper is.
Judit – Veszünk gyümölcsöt?
Kinga – Jó. Talán egy pár almát.
Judit – Kérünk négy nagy almát.
Eladó – Mit? Barackot?
Judit – Nem. Almát.
Eladó – Kicsit vagy nagyot?
Judit – Nagyot.
Eladó – Hányat?
Judit – Négyet.
Eladó – Tessék. Még valamit?
Judit – Nem, köszönöm. Mennyit fizetek?
Eladó – 470 forintot kérek.
Judit – Tessék.
Eladó – Köszönöm.

Judit – Good morning.
Eladó – Good morning. What would you like?
Judit – Do you have mushrooms?
Eladó – Yes, I do. How much do you want?
Judit – Half a kilo. And I also would like a kilo of potatoes.
Eladó – Here you are. Don’t you buy some apples or peaches? The strawberries are also beautiful.
Judit – Shall we buy some fruits?
Kinga – OK. Maybe some apples.
Judit – We would like four big apples.
Eladó – What? Peaches?
Judit – No. Apples.
Eladó – Small ones or big ones?
Judit – Big ones.
Eladó – How many?
Judit – Four.
Eladó – Here you are. Anything else?
Judit – No, thank you. How much is this? [How much do I pay?]
Eladó – 470 forints, please.
Judit – Here you are.
Eladó – Thank you.

Note: Mennyibe kerül? is used to find out the price of one specific item while Mennyit fizetek? (How much do I owe you? or literally How much do I pay?) is used to ask about the total price one has to pay.

The following charts show you how the accusative suffix is added to adjectives and numbers.

The accusative form of adjectives and numerals
Adjectives may function as nouns and thus can be the grammatical objects of verbs:
(Egy pirosat kérek. – A red one, please., Mindig drágát veszek, nem olcsót.  – I always buy an expensive one, not a cheap one.). When functioning as grammatical objects the accusative ending has to be added to the adjective.
The rules that determine which variation of the accusative suffix (-t/-ot/-at/-et/-öt) should be added to the stem are basically the same as in the case of nouns. However, there are two major differences:
1) While the accusative -t is added to the nouns without a linking vowel when they end in -s, -sz or -z , in case of adjectives that end in -s, -sz or -z the accusative -t is added to the word with a linking vowel (magas® magasat – tall, hangos ® hangosat – loud, rossz ® rosszat – bad/broken, okos ® okosat – clever, unalamas ® unalamasat – boring).

2) As explained in the previous unit, there are a number of nouns that take the less common -at ending but the majority of back vowel nouns take -ot. Adjectives are different because the majority of the back vowel adjectives take -at and there are just a few with the -ot (nagy ® nagyot – big) ending.

b) Numerals may also get accusative suffixes when used as nouns (Négyet kérek. – I would like four, please.)
It is more more useful to memorise the accusative forms rather than learn the rules as many of them have irregular forms.

c) Question words also take the accusative ending. (Milyen? – What kind of? / What is it like?, Ki? – Who?, Mi? – What?, Hány? – How many?, Mennyi? – How much?)

Milyen almát kér? (What kind of apple would you like?)
Kit látsz a teremben? (Whom can you see in the classroom?)
Mit kérsz? (What would you like?)
Mennyit kérsz? (How much would you like?)

As we have seen it in this unit and previous ones, two question words are used to ask about the number or the quantity.
Hány? is used with countable nouns so it corresponds to English How many?
Mennyi? is mainly used with uncountable nouns so it is similar to English How much?
It must be noticed that Mennyi? may be used with uncountable nouns too.

Hány óra van? (What is the time?)
Mennyi az idő? (What is the time?)
Mennyibe kerül ez? (How much is this?)
Hány forint a fagylalt? (How much is the ice cream?)
Mennyi pénz kell? (How much money do you need?)
Hány óra az út? (How many hours is the journey?)
Hány diák van a csoportban? (How many students are there in the group?)
Mennyi sört kérsz? (How much beer would you like?)
Hány sört kérsz? (How many beers would you like?)
Mennyi bor van itthon? (How much wine do we have at home?)
Hány üveg bor van itthon? (How many bottles of wine do we have at home?)

As you may observe bor (wine), pénz (money) or idő (time) are uncountable while üveg bor (bottle of wine), forint and óra (hour) are countable.

– Kérünk három kék elefántot.
? Zsiráfot?
– Nem. Elefántot.
– Milyet? Kéket vagy zöldet?
– Kéket.
– Hármat.

– Kérünk négy nagy almát.
– Mit? ?
– Nem. Almát.
– Milyet? Kicsit vagy nagyot?
– Hányat?
– Négyet.

– Kérünk két olcsó széket.
? Asztalt?
– Nem. Széket.
– Milyet? Drágát vagy olcsót?
– Olcsót.
– Kettőt.

– Kérünk tizenöt papagájt.
– Mit? Kutyát?
– Nem. Papagájt.
– Milyet? Zöldet vagy kéket?
– Hányat?
– Tizenötöt.
Ma palacsinát sütök.
  • Mennyit kerestek? Sokat?
  • A szomszédok minden évben új autót vesznek.
  • Este csinálunk egy finom pizzát.
  • A szakács fantasztikus levest készít.
  • Minden szombaton és vasárnap főzöl?


Meals, ingredients, fruits and some important verbs
Page 91 in the printed book

Some important ingredients and meals
hagyma (onion), fokhagyma (garlic), tej (milk), liszt (flour), paradicsom (tomato), hal (fish), (salt), cukor (sugar), olaj (oil), kolbász (sausage)

hús (meat) In Hungarian there are no specific words for the different types of meat, it’s just the name of the animal plus meat: cow meet or pig meet).
csirkehús (chicken meat)
marhahús (beef)
disznóhús or sertéshús (pork) Disznó means pig, while sertés sounds more sophisticated. In restaurants you will find sertéshús on the menu.

krumpli and burgonya are exactly the same, they mean potato. Krumpli is often used in spoken Hungarian but restaurants always put burgonya on the menu.

tejföl is sour cream and it’s very popular in Hungary. Usually it is not eaten by itself like yogurt but it’s added to meals during cooking or as topping.

túró is an important ingredient of several Hungarian meals. It is often translated into English as cottage cheese or quark but these are not exactly the same. The flavourless túró is usually made with cow milk and it’s used both in savory and sweet meals. When it’s used for filling the palacsinta (crepes) it has to be sweetened. In many countries it’s difficult or almost impossible to find proper túró but it’s very well known in Eastern Europe (it’s called
sveži sir in Croatian or  творог in Russian).

paprika is translated as pepper and it may refer to the vegetable or the  dried and ground spice made from that. The paprika spice is widely used in Hungarian meals.


Some typical Hungarian meals
palacsinta – It is usually translated as pencakes but it’s rather crepes. For filling you can use jam, grated wallnuts or ground poppy seeds with sugar (or nowadays Nutella but) etc. A very popular filling for túrós palacsinta is prepared from túró, tejföl, sugar, and a little grated lemon zest. You have no idea how good it tastes.

gulyásleves – It is known in many countries as goulash but it is not exactly the same. Goulash is usually a stew but the real Hungarian gulyás is a soup. The ingredients include meat (beef or pork), onion,

halászlé – It’s a fish soup prepared with lots of paprika and onion. Two towns are well known in Hungary for their halászlé: Baja and Szeged. The ingredients of the two types are basically the same but there is a difference in the preparation. Also, the fishsoup of Baja is served with noodles. I know I’m not supposed to say this but I think Hungarian fish soup is terrible. Don’t tell anyone, please.

lecsó – Lecsó is a vegetable stew based on onions, tomatoes and peppers. It’s similar to the French ratatoille. Every Hungarian family has a special recipe for the best lecsó so there are several variations. You may add sausage and/ or eggs for example.

csirkepörkölt – All meals called pörkölt are prepared the same way. The onion is fried on oil until it turns translucent. Than add chopped peppers, tomatoes. Add the meat and the paprika spice after a few minutes and cook it with some water. Pörkölt may be prepared from csirke (chicken), marha (beef) or sertés (pork) and the different types of meet are usually not mixed. Traditionally they used lard instead of oil. Gombapörkölt (mushroom stew) is also delicious and vegetarians will also like it. It is served with mashed potatoes or noodles.

rántott hús – If something is rántott (breaded and fried), it means that it was put into flour, eggs and breadcrumbs and fried in oil. Various types of meat as well as karfiol (cauliflower), gomba (mushrooms) and even slices of cheese may be prepared this way. Rántott hús may be fried chicken, pork or beef.


Important verbs
When you prepare food you can use the following verbs:
főz – cook (when you cook something in water, or when you prepare a meal like lunch or dinner in general)
süt – fry, grill, roast, bake
csinál – make
készít – prepare

Ma Kati főz, nem én. (Kati cooks today, not me.)
Ma pihenek és ebédet főzök. (Today I rest and I cook lunch.)
Miért nem sütünk palacsintát? (Why don’t we make crepes?)
Délután húst sütünk a kertben. (In the afternoon we grill meat in the garden.)
Csütörtökön csinálok gulyáslevest, jó? (On Thursday I’ll make goulash soup, all right?)
A szakács ma nagyon finom vacsorát készít. (The cook prepares a very delicious dinner today.)

cseresznye (cherry), körte (pear), alma (apple), sárgabarack (apricot), őszibarack (peach), görögdinnye (water melon), sárgadinnye (cantaloupe), meggy (sour cherry), banán (banana), szilva (plum), szőlő (grapes), eper (Strawberry), málna (raspberry), dió (walnut), mogyoró (peanut / hazelnut), citrom (lemon), narancs (orange)

piros (red), sárga (yellow), kék (blue), zöld (green), fekete (black), fehér (white), barna (brown), szürke (grey), rózsaszín (pink)

– Mit veszel?
– Paprikát, sót, olajat, hagymát és halat.
– Igen.
– Az jó lesz, én is kérek.

– Mit veszel?
– Csirkepörköltet főzöl?
– Igen.
– Az jó lesz, kérek.

– Mit veszel?
– Lisztet, és tejet.
– Palacsintát ?
– Igen.
– Az jó lesz, én is kérek.

– Mit ?
– Paradicsomot, paprikát, hagymát, kolbászt és tojást.
– Igen.
– Az jó lesz, én is kérek.
Mennyit fizetek?
  • Miért nem vizet isztok?
  • Málnát is veszel a piacon?
  • Jon üzletember, és nagyon sokat keres.
  • Hány almát vesznek a lányok?
  • Kérünk két kávét.