Sublative | Superessive | Delative
These three all go together as cases of movement involving surfaces. They function like the Illative/Inessive/Elative, but with surfaces instead of spaces.
- back-vowel word: -ra
- front-vowel word: -re
This, like the Illative case (-ba/-be), means that something is moving. It is typically used with action verbs, rather than a static verb. The difference between Sublative and Illative case is that Sublative is talking about moving something ONTO something, instead of inside of. Where “a szekrénybe” means “into the wardrobe”, “a szekrényRE” means “onto the wardrobe”.
Use the sublative when:
☆ you are on your way to a Hungarian city (other cities use the Illative case, Hungarian cities use Sublative)
☆ you are moving something onto something
☆ you are getting onto most forms of public transport (bus/plane/metro/train, etc)
*for cars and minibuses you use Sublative (-ba/-be)
Megyek Budapestre → I am going to Budapest.
Felszállok a buszra → I am getting on(to) the bus.
A szekrényre tettem a játékot → I put the toy on(to) the wardrobe.
Az asztalra tettem a könyvet → I put the book on(to) the table.
Leülök a kanapéra → I sit down on(to) the couch/sofa.
Leülök a székre → I sit down on(to) the chair.
- ending in a vowel: -n (make sure to lengthen the vowel!)
- back-vowel word: -on
- front-vowel word: -en ; -ön (rounded)
This is essentially the static version of the Sublative case. Nothing is moving, instead something is currently on a surface. It is used with static verbs, and functions the same as the Inessive (-ban/-ben), except we are talking about currently being on something instead of inside of something. While “a szekrényben” means “inside the wardrobe”, “a szekrényEN” means “ON the wardrobe”.
Use the superessive when:
☆ you are currently IN a Hungarian cities (other cities use Inessive case)
☆ something is currently ON TOP of something
☆ you are currently in/on most forms of public transport (bus/plane/metro/train, etc)
*for cars and minibuses you use Inessive (-ban/-ben)
Budapesten vagyok → I am in Budapest.
Buszon vagyok → I am on the bus.
A játék a szekrényen van → The toy is on the wardrobe / There is a toy onthe wardrobe.
A könyvt az asztalon van → The book is on the table / There is a book on the table.
Ülök a kanapén → I am (currently) sitting on the couch/sofa.
Ülök a széken → I am (currently) sitting on the chair.
Notice the difference? No one is moving or doing anything, the Superessive case merely states a current position of being on something (a surface, typically). Note that the direct object is now the subject in these sentences, and is thus in the Nominative case, and not the Accusative.
- back-vowel word: -ról
- front-vowel word: -ről
Think of this as the reverse of the Sublative case (-ra/-re). Instead of getting on or putting something on something, you are coming OFF of something, or taking something OFF of something.
Use the delative when:
☆ you are leaving a Hungarian city (other cities use the Elative case)
☆ you are taking something off of something
☆ you are getting off of most forms of public transport (bus/plane/metro/train, etc)
*for cars and minibuses you use Elative (-ból/-ből)
Budapestről jövök → I am coming out of/from Budapest.
Leszállok a buszról → I am getting off of the bus.
Leveszem a játékot a szekrényről → I take the toy off of the wardrobe.
Leveszem a könyvet az asztalról → I take the book off of the table.
Felállok a kanapéról → I get up from/off of the couch/sofa.
Felállok a székről → I get up from/off of the chair.
Notice that the subject in the Superessive version is now the direct object again, and thus in the Accusative case, because something is being done to it once more.