A reference guide to Hungarian grammar, designed with English-speakers in mind

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Hungarian Illative case: -ba -be

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Latin Name English role Endings Demonstrative Pronouns Personal Pronouns
Illative into
  • -ba
  • -be
Vowel harmony
  • ebbe
  • abba
  • ezekbe
  • azokba
  • belém
  • beléd
  • belé / Önbe
  • belénk
  • belétek
  • belélük/ Önökbe

Movement towards: spaces

This is the Movement towards the suffixed word movement towards member of the triad, applicable to spaces.

Movement towards the suffixed word Tett könyvet a szekrénybe. He put a book into the cupboard.
Static position Aztán a könyv a szekrényben volt. Then the book was in the cupboard.
Movement AWAY FROM the suffixed word Azután, vitt könyvet a szekrényből. After that, he took a book out of the cupboard.

Generally, flat surfaces use this triad: table, street, face, etc.

Most Hungarian cities and Hungary itself use this case:

  • Budapestre megyek. I am going to Budapest.
  • Budapesten vagyok. I am in Budapest.
  • Budapestről jövök. I am coming from Budapest.
  • Magyarországról jöttem tegnap. I came from Hungary yesterday.

Essentially any three dimensional object that has an inside, such as a box or waldrobe, uses this triad.


The behaves like the English "into".

In Hungarian one must be a little more exact with one's movements.  Whereas we woudl say that we go to the post office, or go to a party, to the Hungarians this would mean that we stood just outside the building, and didn't step inside.
Rather, we must say that we go into a party, or into the post office.
This is actually far more logical.


When visiting cities other than those in Hungary, we do not go to London, we go into London.

Monetary amounts - 50 dollarba

When stating how much something costs using a currency, we place the name of that currency into the illative case. It's as if we are asking, "how much, in dollars, does this cost?", but rather than use "in" we use "into."

When asking how much something costs using mennyi how much, we place that question word into the illative case too.

  • mennyibe kerül? how much does it cost?
  • száz dollarba kerül it costs one hundred dollars
  • száz forintba kerül it costs one hundred forints

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Dative: -nak/nek
Illative: -ba/be Next
Inessive: -ban/ben

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