íz +‎ -lik




  1. (intransitive, of food, drink) to taste good, be to one's taste
    Hogy ízlik? (note: neked/nektek/önnek/önöknek (to you) is omitted)How do you like it? (literally, “How does it appeal to you?”)


Usage notesEdit

Sometimes the subject of the verb is not one that does any action but the stimulus prompting sensory or emotional feeling (not deliberately), as in the case of people or things that interest someone, matter to someone, please someone or appeal to someone (or another entity), sometimes differently from the perspective in English. In these cases, the experiencer (the entity that receives sensory or emotional input) can take the accusative (e.g. interest) or the dative (e.g. appeal). The experiencer is expressed with the dative in the case of hiányzik (to be missing or missed by someone), ízlik (to taste good, to be pleasing [as of food]), kell (to be needed, necessary, or required), tetszik (to be appealing), and van/megvan (to be had, to be owned by someone).

If the experiencer is expressed with the accusative, the object may be the third person (him, her, it, or them), which is considered definite in Hungarian, or it may be a first- or second-person object (me, us, and you), considered as indefinite. For example, with the verb érdekel, it takes the definite form érdekli őt “he/she is interested” (literally, “it interests him/her”), and the indefinite form érdekel engem/téged/minket for “I am, you are, we are interested” (literally, “it interests me, you, us”) in present-tense singular. The form érdekellek means “you are interested in me” (literally, “I interest you”). – Verbs with a similar syntactic behavior include zavar (to be bothered by) and izgat (to be upset or intrigued by).[1]

This verb belongs among those whose subjunctive forms (as well as adverbial participle and potential) would generate a cluster of three consonants, which is hard to pronounce. To avoid it, linguistic literature usually advises inserting a vowel between the first two consonants (or in some cases, avoiding these forms altogether). However, many native speakers find it just as awkward as the triple-consonant option and shrink from using it, even refusing these forms on hearing (although people have no objection to using the same linking vowel with other verbs like oszlik or bomlik). If someone wants to avoid these forms, a synonymous verb can be used instead or the sentence can be rephrased. (Verbs that are currently categorized as not having the above forms at all are listed at Hungarian defective verbs. However, in this case there is not always a clear dividing line between uncommon and impossible.) Further reading (in Hungarian): [1] [2] [3]


  1. ^ See also Verbs and adjectives that behave differently (in English vs. in Hungarian), Által (’By’), on the past participles derived from such verbs, On verbs of emotion, with special regard to their aspectual properties, especially the chart on page 3. In addition, see Thematic relation and Theta role in Wikipedia.

Further readingEdit