Unit 3

II. Basic Introductions (part 2)

  1. Introducing oneself

    You will learn now how to give a Hungarian address and telephone number.

    Below you will see addresses from Budapest. Budapest is divided into 22 districts. A district in Hungarian is called "kerület." Districts are numbered as first, second etc. districts. When you tell your address, you say the name of the city (Budapest) first, then you give the district information, for example first district (első kerület). After the district you give the name of the street and after the name of the street you give the number of the house. The house number is given as a cardinal number, for example five. It is common to live in apartments in Budapest, thus after the house number you usually give the floor number (ordinal number) and then the door number (cardinal number). You can give the zip code after this, or, you could also give the zip code right after the name of the city. In writing, the district number is written by Roman numbers, the house number is written by Arabic numbers, the floor number can be either Roman or Arabic number and the door number is written by Arabic numbers.

    Kiss Anna a nevem. A címem: Budapest, VII. kerület, Dob utca 6. II. emelet 4. Az irányítószám 1075. A telefonszámom: 221 5241. (kettő-huszonegy ötvenkettő negyvenegy)

    My name is Anna Kiss. My address is Budapest, 7th district, 6 Dob Street, 2nd floor #4. The zip code is 1075. My telephone number is: 221 5241.


    1. Practice the scheme with the information given below:

    A nevem: _________________________________.
    A címem: _________________________________.
    Az irányítószám
    : ____________________________.
    A telefonszámom
    : ___________________________.

    Nagy Katalin Budapest, V., Váci utca 5. III./19. 1055 tel: 224-5643
    Katona Béla Budapest, VIII., Bródy Sándor utca 13. I./2. 1083 tel.: 233-8729
    Kiss Marianna Budapest, IX. Ráday utca 41. II./10. 1091 tel.: 245-3214
    Horváth Balázs Budapest, VIII., Kiss József utca 5. 1081 I./4. tel.: 229-4436


    1. The two numbers in the middle of the zip code tells you the district number.

    2. Other than "utca" (street) we have "út," "tér," "körút" and "köz" in Hungary. Here is a table that shows what they mean.











    It is longer than a street. It is important to distinguish it from "utca" because sometimes there can be an "utca" and an "út" with the same name referring to different places (e.g. "Váci utca" and "Váci út").






    round boulevard

    This is a road that makes almost a circle. There are two well-known round boulevards in Budapest: the "kiskörút" (= small round boulevard) and the "nagykörút" (= big round boulevard). Both are divided into smaller sections; thus the kiskörút, for example, consists of Károly körút, Múzeum körút and Vámház körút. The two round boulevards in Budapest clearly shows the structure of an old city, which has developed in concentric circles.

    Click here to see a map.




    a very short street, often one-way

    3. Sometimes you can see a letter in the house number indicating one section of a building, e.g. "3/a." You read it out the following way: "három per a." (audiolink)

    Practice (cont.):

    2. Now practice the scheme (see above) with the following addresses:

    Kovács Péter Budapest, VI., Jókai tér 3. V./4. 1065 tel.: 321-1981
    Medgyessi András Budapest, VIII., Blaha Lujza tér 4/b. I./6. 1081 tel.: 253-3424
    Német Krisztina Budapest, IX., Corvin köz 2. II./2. 1092 tel.: 245-3214
    Balázs Anna Budapest, II., Margit körút 5. III./12. 1025 tel.: 220-1127

    3. Listen to the addresses and fill out the missing information (district, floor and apartment number).

    Listen a) Budapest, _______ Vörösmarty tér 5. _______ Check your answers here.
    Listen b) Budapest, _______ Köztársaság tér 6. _______ Check your answers here.
    Listen c) Budapest, _______ Bimbó út 23. _______  Check your answers here.
    Listen d) Budapest, _______ Fő utca 41. _______  Check your answers here.
    Listen e) Budapest, _______ Dombtető utca 6. _______ Check your answers here.
    Listen f) Budapest, _______ Kosárfonó utca 28. _______ Check your answers here.
    Listen g) Budapest, _______ Csiky hegyek utca 12. _______ Check your answers here.
    Listen h) Budapest, _______ Károlykrt. 6. _______ Check your answers here.

  2. Addressing an envelope

    Addressing an envelope follows the order you just learnt.

    1st line:  in the first line you write the name of the person.

    2nd line: in the second line you write the city name.

    3rd line: in the third line you write the district number, the street name, the house number, floor number and door number.

    4th line: in the fourth (last) line you write the zip code.

    A lot of the information is abbreviated of course. Sample addressed envelope:

    Sample Envelope

    Note again that certain numbers are handwritten differently in Hungarian and this might be crucial when addressing an envelope by hand. The Hungarian "1" has a little flag on it (as the A merican "7") and the Hungarian "7" is crossed in the middle.

    Hungarian "1":

    Hungarian "7":

  3. Asking about personal information

    Mi a neve?
    Mi a címe?
    Mi a telefonszáma?

    What's your name? (formal)
    What's your address? (formal)
    What's your telephone number? (formal)

    Mi a neved?
    Mi a címed?
    Mi a telefonszámod?

    What's your name? (informal)
    What's your address? (informal)
    What's your telephone number? (informal)

    . The possessive case

    Expressing possession in Hungarian is different from the English way. In Hungarian we do not have possessive adjectives like my, your, his, her etc. that we can put before the noun to express to whom the item belongs to. We mark the possessed object instead (attach an ending); and to each person (I, you etc.) belongs a different ending. That is, if I want to say "my address" I will say "címem" where the "em" ending expresses that the possessor is the first person (I). If I want to say "your address" I will say "címed" where the "ed" ending expresses that the possessor is the second person (you). If I want to say "his address" or "her address" I will say "címe" where the "e" ending expresses that the possessor is the third person (in Hungarian there is no gender distinction in the third person pronoun). If I want to indicate that the possessor is the formal you, I will use the third person ending ("e").

    If we want to be precise we have to say that the possessive markers are not "em" and "ed" but "m" and "d" while the vowel "e" is a "helping vowel," that is, a vowel that helps in the pronunciation. If the word ends in a vowel, we only attach "m" or "d." Also, if the word is a low-pitched word, the helping vowel will be not "e" but "o" or "a," and the third person ending will be "a" instead of "e" (as in "telefonszáma"). Below is a table that summarizes the possessive endings when the possessors (and the possessed objects) are in the singular.


    Helping vowel





    first person (I) possessor




    my address



    my suitcase



    my house



    my phone number

    second person (you) possessor




    your address



    your suitcase



    your house



    your phone number

    third person (he or she and formal you) possessor





    his or her phone number





    1. The helping vowel is "ö" when the last vowel in the word is a rounded vowel ("ö" or "ü").
    2. There is no easy rule when we add a "j" in the third person. You have to memorize those words that use a "j" in the third person.
    3. When the word is a low-pitched vowel, the helping vowel is "a" or "o." It is again hard to tell whether you need to use "a" or "o." The best is to memorize it as you learn the words.