The Dative Case & Possession

The Dative Case

Recall that the accusative case marks the direct object.

Whenever something/someone does something/someone else, the something/someone else becomes the direct object.

The dative case marks the indirect object. Whenever something/someone does something to/for something/someone else, now this something/someone else becomes the indirect object. Here are some examples in English:

Vowel Harmony & Examples

The conjugation is -nak,-nek depending on whether the noun is front or back.

Similar to how azt,ezt is the accusative of that and this, annak, ennek is the dative form.

Challenge! A Duna

Ezt a folyót Dunának hívják. (Free photo by Daniel Olah, fetched from

They call this river the Duna.

Just like with the accusative case, pronouns change if they are in the dative case.

Pronoun Dative
én nekem
te neked
ő neki
mi nekünk
ti nektek
ők nekik


In Hungarian, the possessive is marked with a suffix, and goes on the possessed noun. The vowel harmony is a tad more in-depth than other cases.

Pronoun Single possession Multiple possessions
én -am, -em, -om, -öm, -m -aim, -eim, -jaim, -jeim, -im
te -ad, -ed, -od, -öd, -d -aid, -eid, -jaid, -jeid, -id
ő -a, -e, -ja, -je -ai, -ei, -jai, -jei, -i
mi -nk,-unk, -ünk -aink, -eink, -jaink, -jeink, -ink
ti -atok, -etek, -otok, -ötök, -tek, -tok, -tök -aitok, -eitek, -jaitek, -jeitek, -itek, -itok
ők -uk, -ük, -juk, -jük -aik, -eik, -jaik, -jeik

Here are some examples:

Things to note:

It is ok to drop the accusative if the possessive is the direct object, but this can lead to ambiguity if there is not enough context.

The dative case can be added to the possessor to emphasise who the owner is/stress the point.

Using demonstrative pronouns, with possession markers forces you to use the dative case, lest the meaning be changed.

Challenges! Könyvek

- Ezek nem a te könyveid? (Original image, merging free images together)

Are these not your books?

Barnabás: Kit láttál?

Alex: A Zöld Bagoly Óvónőit.

Who did you see?

The Kindergarten Teachers of the Green Owl

Stating possessions

In Hungarian, there is no verb to have, instead you state what belongs to you through the verb van. So it follows that you can state what does not belong to you with nincs,sincs. Stating multiple possessions requires using vannak as well as the appropriate ending, so there’s a handshake that goes on.

Alex: Van barátnőd? (barátnő - girlfriend)

Barnabás: Nincs

Alex: Nekem sincs


Shifu Mester and Tai Lung are talking, try to work out what they are saying! Taken from Kung Fu Panda (film).

Pronouns &

You can use pronouns with posessions to stress that the noun belongs to you, without actually attributing it to this noun.

Az én könyvem
A te könyved
Az ő könyve
A mi könyvünk
A ti könyvetek
Az ők ő könyvük

Naturally, there are pronouns for the possessives as well, these are equivalent to mine, yours, etc.

Pronoun Single Possession Multiple Possessions
én az enyém az enyéim
te a tiéd a tiéid
ő az övé az övéi
mi a miénk a miéink
ti a tiétek a tiéitek
ők az övék az övéik

If you want to show this unattributed belonging without using pronouns, just use .



- Mikor tanulod már meg végre? Mikor tanulod már meg végre, hogy a tetteidnek következményei vannak? (Free image fetched from

When will you learn? When will you learn that your actions have consequences?

More on Postpositions

Recall the section on spatial postpositions. If the relationship involves pronouns, then you attach the pronoun-possession ending onto the pronoun.

There are also pronouns not pertaining to location, and so they only have one form alongside pronoun endings. Here are some examples:

Postposition Helyett (instead of) Miatt (due to) Szerint (according to)
én helyettem miattam szerintem
te helyetted miattad szerinted
ő helyette miatta szerinte
mi helyettünk miattunk szerintünk
ti helyettetek miattatok szerintetek
ők helyettük miattuk szerintük

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