- (transitive) to excite, upset (to make someone anxious, worried)
- (transitive) to excite, stimulate (physically)
- (transitive) to provoke, incite, stir up (a large body of people)
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”).
(With verbal prefixes):
- ^ Zaicz, Gábor. Etimológiai szótár: Magyar szavak és toldalékok eredete (’Dictionary of Etymology: The origin of Hungarian words and affixes’). Budapest: Tinta Könyvkiadó, 2006, →ISBN (See also its second, revised, expanded edition published in 2021: →ISBN)
- ^ 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.