From Proto-Uralic *tuna- (to get used to, to learn) + -ít (causative suffix).[1][2]


  • IPA(key): [ˈtɒniːt]
  • Hyphenation: ta‧nít
  • Rhymes: -iːt



  1. (transitive) to teach (to pass on knowledge to)
    Perfective: megtanít
    Synonym: oktat
    Coordinate term: tanul
    • 1937 April 11, Attila József, Születésnapomra (“For My Birthday”), translated by Péter Zollman:[3]
      Én egész népemet fogom / nem középiskolás fokon / taní- / tani!
      I’ll teach my nation, one and all, / much greater things than what you call / college / knowledge.
  2. (transitive) to teach (to cause to learn or understand)
  3. (intransitive) to teach (to act as a teacher)
    • 2012 July 10, Márton Simó, “Alfabéták”, in Udvarhelyi Híradó, volume 23, number 130, page 2:
      Egy időben olyan helyen tanítottam, ahol nem volt nagy becsülete az iskolának és annak a tudásnak sem, amit ott csepegtetnek az emberi lelkekbe.
      At one point, I taught in a place where there was little respect for schools or the knowledge they instill in people’s souls there.

Usage notesEdit

In the sense ’to pass on knowledge to’, the most common argument structure is the accusative for the subject (the field of teaching) and the dative (-nak/-nek) for the recipients (the people being instructed). However, the subject (the field of teaching) can also take -ra/-re if the recipients are specified with the accusative:

Angolt tanítok a gyerekeknekI teach the children English. → (alternative translation) I teach English to the children.
Angolra tanítom a gyerekeket.I teach the children English. → (alternative translation) I teach the children about English.


Derived termsEdit

(With verbal prefixes):


Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Entry #1078 in Uralonet, online Uralic etymological database of the Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungary.
  2. ^ tanít in Zaicz, Gábor (ed.). 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 2nd edition.)
  3. ^ In Quest of the Miracle Stag, The Poetry of Hungary, 2000

Further readingEdit