Personal pronounsSomewhat like in English, the personal pronouns are used to refer to human beings only.The personal pronouns in Finnish in the nominative case are listed in the following table:Personal pronounsFinnish English Singularminä Isinä youhän she or he Pluralme wete youhe they Politete youSince Finnish verbs are inflected for person, personal pronouns are not required for senseand are usually omitted in standard Finnish except where used for emphasis. In spokenFinnish, all pronouns are generally used. In the third person, the pronoun is needed: "hän
menee" = he goes, "he menevät" = they go. This applies to both colloquial and writtenlanguage.In colloquial Finnish, the pronouns se and ne are very commonly used as the singular andplural third person pronouns, respectively. Use of hän and he is mostly restricted towriting and formal speech.In common with some other languages, the second person plural can be used as a politeform when addressing one person. This usage is diminishing in Finnish society.Demonstrative PronounsThe demonstratives are used of non-human animate entities and inanimate objects.However, se and ne are often used to refer to humans in colloquial Finnish. Furthermore,the demonstratives are used to refer to group nouns and the number of the pronoun mustcorrelate with the number of its referent.Demonstrative pronouns Finnish English Singulartämä thistuo thatse it/that Pluralnämä these
nuo thoseInterrogative pronouns Interrogative pronouns Finnish Englishkuka who, which (of many)mikä what, which (of many)ken who, which (of many) - (old or dialectal word)kumpi which (of two)kumpainen which (of two) - (old or dialectal word)"Ken" is now archaic, but its inflected forms are used instead of those of "kuka": "ketä"instead of "kuta" ("whom"). "Ketä rakastat?" = "Whom do you love?"Relative pronouns Relative pronouns Pronoun Example English "hän on ainoa, jonka "s/he is the only one whojoka (refers to preceding word) muistan" (I) remember"
mikä (refers to preceding clause/ "se on ainoa asia, "it is the only thing thatsentence or to a pronoun or a minkä muistan" (I) remember"superlative that refers to a thing)Reciprocal pronouns Reciprocal pronounsPronoun Example English "he rakastavat toisiaan" "they love each other" (plural)toinen "he rakastavat toinen toistaan" "they love one another" (double singular)Reflexive pronouns Reflexive pronounsPronoun Suffix Example English plus corresponding possessive "keitin itselleni "(I) made myself someitse suffix teetä" tea"Indefinite pronounsA large group that entails all of the pronouns that do not fall into any of the categoriesabove. Notice that there are no negative pronouns, such as "nobody", but the positivepronoun has to be negated with the negative verb "ei". No double negatives are possible. Indefinite pronouns
Finnish Englishjoka (uninflected) every, eachjokainen every, everyonejoku some, someone (person)jompikumpi either onejokin some, something (animal, thing)kukin each onekumpainenkin both (old or dialectal)kumpikin bothmikin each thing (dialectal)kenkään anyone (old or dialectal)kukaan (nom.), kene+..+kään anyone(oblique)-> ei kukaan not anyonekumpikaan either one
-> ei kumpikaan not either onemikään anything -> ei mikään = nothing the ordinal pronoun (representing first, second,mones (nom.), monente- (oblique) etc.)Each pronoun declines. However, the endings -kAAn and -kin are clitics, and case endingsare placed before them, e.g. mikään "any", miltäkään "from any". It should be noted thatthere are irregular nominatives. As indicated, kukaan is an irregular nominative; theregular root is kene- with -kään, e.g. kukaan "(not) anyone", keneltäkään "from (not)anyone".English lacks a direct equivalent to the pronoun mones; it would be "that-th", or "which-th" for questions. For examples, Palkkio riippuu siitä monentenako maaliin tulee "Thereward depends on as-which-th one comes to the finish", or explicitly "The rewarddepends on in which position one comes to the finish". It would be difficult to translatethe question Monesko?, but, while far from proper English, the question How manyethmay give an English-speaking person an idea of the meaning.Some indefinite adjectives are often perceived as indefinite pronouns. These include: Indefinite adjectives Finnish Englishainoa onlyeräs some, certain, oneharva fewitse (non-reflexive) self
kaikki all, everyone, everythingmolemmat bothmoni manymuu othermuutama some, a fewsama sametoinen (non-reciprocal, non-numeral use) anotherNoun formsThe Finnish language does not distinguish gender in nouns or even in personal pronouns:hän = he or she depending on the referent. This causes some unaccustomed Finnishspeakers to muddle "he" and "she" when speaking languages such as English or Swedish,which can be a source of confusion.CasesFinnish has fifteen noun cases: four grammatical cases, six locative cases, two essivecases (three in some Eastern dialects) and three marginal cases. Notice that the word in agiven locative case modifies the verb, not a noun. Please see the article Finnish languagenoun cases for details. Finnish cases Case Suffix English prep. Sample Translation
Grammaticalnominatiivi - talo housegenetiivi -n of talon of (a) houseakkusatiivi - or -n - talo or talon housepartitiivi -(t)a - taloa house (as an object) Locative (internal)inessiivi -ssa in talossa in (a) houseelatiivi -sta from (inside) talosta from (a) houseillatiivi -an, -en, etc. into taloon into (a) house Locative (external)adessiivi -lla at, on talolla at (a) houseablatiivi -lta from talolta from (a) houseallatiivi -lle to talolle to (a) house Essive
essiivi -na as talona as a house(eksessiivi; dialectal) -nta from being talonta from being a housetranslatiivi -ksi to (role of) taloksi to a house Marginalinstruktiivi -n with (the aid of) taloin with the housesabessiivi -tta without talotta without (a) housekomitatiivi -ne- together (with) taloineni with my house(s)PluralsThere are three different plurals in Finnish:Nominative pluralThe nominative plural is the definite, divisible, telic plural. The suffix is -t; it may not beinfixed. Nominative plural Finnish English"koirat olivat huoneessa" "the dogs were in the room""huoneet olivat suuria" "the rooms were large"Following numerals
After numerals greater than one in the nominative singular, the noun is put in the partitivesingular. Otherwise the noun agrees with the numeral in number and case. (Please refer tothe separate article on numerals for an explanation of plural numerals.) Following numerals Finnish English"huoneessa oli kaksi koiraa" "there were two dogs in the room""talossa oli kolme huonetta" "the house had three rooms""ostin tietokoneen tuhannella eurolla" "I bought a computer for a thousand euros"Inflected pluralThis uses the stem of the partitive plural inflected with the same set of endings as forsingular nouns. The infix is -i-, and it suppresses long vowels; it may only be infixed. Inflected plural Finnish Englishhuone -> huoneita (some) rooms-> huoneissa in roomsAs a combined example of plurals Inflected plural
Finnish Englishlintu on puussa the bird is in the tree-> linnut ovat puissa the birds are in the treesInflection of pronounsThe personal pronouns are inflected in the same way as nouns, and can be found in mostof the same cases as nouns. For example: Inflection of pronounsFinnish Case Example Englishminä nominative I (my, mine) tämä talo onminun genitive this house is mine minun tämä on minun this is my house taloni minut accusative hän tuntee minut s/he knows me hän rakastaaminua partitive s/he loves me minua
tämä herättääminussa inessive this provokes (lit. awakens) anger in me minussa vihaa s/he was talking about/ of me. Also usedminusta elative hän puhui minusta idiomatically to mean in my opinion.minuun illative hän uskoi minuun s/he believed in meminulla adessive minulla on rahaa Ive got some money hän otti minultaminulta ablative he took some money from/ off me. rahaa anna minulleminulle allative give me some money rahaasinuna essive If I were you (lit. as you) häntä luullaanminuksi translative s/he is often mistaken for me usein minuksiNoun/adjective stem typesVowel stems This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.Vowel stems are generally invariable. However, the ending vowel can change. sg. sg. pl. pl.singular plural notes gen. part. gen. part.
kala kalan kalaa kalat kalojen kaloja Mutation a → o Historically *tee, later diphthongized, buttie tien tietä tiet teiden teitä the original vowel survives in other forms. A long vowel is simplified to add themaa maan maata maat maiden maita oblique plural -i-.An exception is the word ending -i, which is elided under agglutination to produce thestem, e.g. nimi ~ nim-. In singular, an epenthetic -e- is inserted, e.g. nime-. In plural, theplural marker -i- is added, followed by the aforementioned -e-, e.g. nimie-. This is usede.g. in this manner: nimi "name", nimen "of the name", nimien "of the names".Failure to elide the -i changes meanings. For example, the genitive case will be mistakenfor the instructive case, e.g. nimen "of the name" → nimin "using names". Another goodexample is the accidental production of a plural, e.g. nimiä "(at the) names", as contrastedto the nimeä "at the name".Recent loanwords are an exception to this elision, but the plural is unchanged. (Often the-i is added to nativize a word as Finnish nouns generally dont end in consonants.) Forexample, the singular stem of taksi is taksi-, but the plural stem is taksie-. The usage is assuch: taksin "of the taxi", taksien "of the taxies". Likewise, applying the elision rule tothe recent loans produces unintended meanings.Consonant stems This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.In general, Finnish does not borrow new consonant stems, but employs paragoge.However, older consonant stems are retained, if the consonant is not an obstruent (p, t, k),e.g. tanner "solid ground". Also, all consonant stems ending in obstruents have beenabbreviated, but they still behave like consonant stems. In some dialects, -t stems havebeen assibilated instead of abbreviated, e.g. standard vene, in Pohjanmaa venes ← venet.By analogy, all words ending in e behave as former -t stems. The illative case alsochanges form with a consonant stem, where the ending -hen is assibilated to -seen, as -hen is the genitive.Nouns ending in -s
Vocalization or lenition is found in addition to any possible consonant gradation, e.g.kuningas (nominative) ~ kuninkaan (genitive), or mies ~ miehen. The illatives are markedthus: kuninkaaseen, mieheen.-nen nounsThis is a very large class of words which includes common nouns (for example nainen =woman), many names, and many common adjectives. Adding -nen to a noun is a veryproductive mechanism for making adjectives (muovi = plastic -> muovinen = made ofplastic). It can also function as a diminutive ending.The form behaves like it ended in -s, with the exception of the nominative, where it is -nen. Thus, the stem for these words removes the -nen and adds -s(e) after which theinflectional ending is added: Finnish Englishmuovisessa pussissa in the plastic bagkaksi muovista lelua two plastic toysmuoviseen laatikkoon into the plastic boxHere are a few of the diminutive forms that are still in use: Finnish From word Englishkätönen käsi a small hand (affectionate)lintunen lintu birdie, a small birdveikkonen veikka my friend (used in some sayings, like the English form)kirjanen kirja booklet
kukkanen kukka little flowerkalanen kala little fishThe diminutive form mostly lives in surnames which are usually very old words to whichmost Finns have forgotten the meaning. Some of the most common: Finnish From word EnglishRautiainen rautio blacksmith (of a blacksmiths family)Korhonen korho deaf (of a deaf mans family) sorrowful, melancholic; alternatively maleLeinonen leino name Leino as short for LeonardVirtanen, Jokinen, virta, joki, the family from by the stream (virta), riverJärvinen, Nieminen... järvi, niemi (joki), lake (järvi), peninsula (niemi) [A family name assimilated from the name ofMikkonen the farmhouse, after the householders name Mikko] possible origin Martikka, a South KarelianMartikainen surname, identical to Russian surname Martika from Lyytikkä, originating to Germanic maleLyytikäinen name LydeckeOccasionally such nouns become placenames. For example, there is a peninsula called"Neuvosenniemi" in one lake. "Neuvonen" means "a bit of advice/direction"; at thispeninsula people rowing tar barrels across the lake would stop to ask whether the weatherconditions would make it unsafe to continue to the other side.
Bold text=====-e nouns===== These nouns look as though they should behave likevowel stem nouns, but in fact behave like consonant stem nouns due to the historical lossof a final consonant. There are some common nouns in this class, for example huone =room, kirje = letterThe result is that the partitive singular adds a t followed by the partitive endingappropriate to a consonant stem ta. Likewise, the illative case ending assibilates. Othercase forms add an e followed by the case ending: -e nouns Finnish Englishkaksi huonetta two roomshuoneessa in the roomhuoneeseen into the roomAdjectivesAdjectives in Finnish are inflected in exactly the same way as nouns, and an adjectivemust agree in number and case with the noun it is modifying.For example, here are some adjectives: Finnish Englishiso bigpieni smallpunainen red
And here are some examples of adjectives inflected to agree with nouns: Finnish Englishiso|n talo|n edessä in front of the big housekaksi pien|tä talo|a two small housespunaise|ssa talo|ssa in the red houseNotice that the adjectives undergo the same sorts of stem changes when they are inflectedas nouns do.Comparative formationThe comparative of the adjective is formed by adding -mpi to the inflecting stem. Forexample: Finnish English Finnish Englishiso big iso|mpi biggerpieni small piene|mpi smallerpunainen red punaise|mpi more redSince the comparative adjective is still an adjective, it must be inflected to agree with thenoun it modifies. To make the inflecting stem of the comparative, the -mpi ending losesits final i. If the syllable context calls for a weak consonant, the -mp- becomes -mm-.Then -a- is added before the actual case ending. This should become clear with a fewexamples: Finnish English
iso|mma|n talo|n edessä in front of the bigger housekaksi piene|mpä|ä talo|a two smaller housespunaise|mma|ssa talo|ssa in the redder house]Superlative formationThe superlative of the adjective is formed by adding -in to the inflecting stem. Forexample: Superlative formation Finnish English Finnish Englishiso big iso|in biggestpunainen red punais|in reddestNote that because the superlative marker vowel is an i, the same kind of changes canoccur with vowel stems as happen in verb imperfects, and noun inflecting plurals:Finnish English Finnish Englishpieni small pienin smallest (not *pienein)Since the superlative adjective is still an adjective, it must be inflected to agree with thenoun it modifies. The -in becomes either -imma- or -impa- depending on whether thesyllable context calls for a weak or strong consonant. Here are the examples:
Finnish Englishiso|imma|n talo|n edessä in front of the biggest housekaksi pien|in|tä taloa the two smallest housespunais|imma|ssa talo|ssa in the reddest house (if that makes sense...)Irregular formsThe most important irregular form is: Main irregular form Finnish Englishhyvä, parempi, paras good, better, best(though Finns understand hyvempi :-) [used mainly by small children]Notice also: More irregular forms Finnish Hypothetic regular English pitkä, *pitkämpi,pitkä, pidempi, pisin long, longer, longest *pitkin lyhyt, lyhyempi, lyhyin short, shorter, shortestlyhyt, lyhyempi, (although the standard forms are also
lyhin used)There are a small number of other irregular comparative and superlative forms, such as:Finnish Englishuusi newWhere the inflecting stem is uude- but the superlative is uusin = newest.Postpositions and prepositionsPostpositions are more common in Finnish than prepositions. Both postpositions andprepositions can be combined with either a noun or a possessive suffix to form a P-positional phrase.PostpositionsPostpositions indicate place, time, cause, consequence or relation. In postpositionalphrases the noun is usually in genitive: Postpositions Finnish Englishpöydän alla under the tablejoulun jälkeen after Christmaslasten tähden for the sake of the childrenjonkun puolesta on behalf of somebody
The noun (or pronoun) can be omitted when there is a possessive suffix: Finnish English (I) am next to (you) orolen _ vierellä|si (I) am by (your) side[EDIT: As with verbs, the pronoun can not be omitted in third person (singular or plural):"Olin __ mukanasi" -> "I was with you" vs. "Olin hänen mukanaan" -> "I was withhim/her""Tulen __ mukaanne" -> "I will come with you (plural or polite)" vs. "Tulen heidänmukanaan" -> "I will come with them"]PrepositionsThere are few important prepositions in Finnish. In prepositional phrases the noun isalways in the partitive: Prepositions Finnish Englishennen joulua before Christmasilman sinua without youSome postpositions can also be used as prepositions: Prepositions Finnish Equal Finnish Englishkylän keskellä keskellä kylää in the middle of the village
Verb formsFinnish verbs are usually divided into six groups depending on the stem type. All sixtypes have the same set of endings, but the stems undergo (slightly) different changeswhen inflected.There are very few irregular verbs in Finnish. In fact, only olla = to be has an irregularform on "is"; other forms follow from the stem ol- with an epenthetic e and consonantcluster abbreviation if necessary; e.g. olet ← ol+t "you are", ovat ← ol+vat "they are". Ahandful of verbs, including nähdä = to see, tehdä = to do/make, and juosta = to runhave rare consonant mutation patterns which are not derivable from the infinitive.Finnish does not have a separate verb for possession. Possession is indicated in otherways, mainly by genitives and existential clauses. For animate possessors, the adessivecase is used with olla, for example koiralla on häntä = the dog has a tail - literally onthe dog is a tail, or in English grammar, "There is a tail on the dog". This is similar toIrish forms such as "There is a hunger on me".TensesFinnish verbs have present, imperfect, perfect and pluperfect tenses. • Present: corresponds to English present and future tenses. For the latter, a time qualifier may need to be used to avoid ambiguity. The present is formed with using the personal suffixes only. For example, otan "I take" (from ottaa, "to take"). • Imperfect: actually a preterite tense, but called "imperfect" for historical reasons; corresponds to English past continuous and past simple, indicating a past action which is complete but might have been a point event, a temporally extended event, or a repeated event. The imperfect is formed with the infix -i- in addition to the personal suffixes, e.g. otin "I took". • Perfect: corresponds to the English present perfect ("I have eaten") in most of its usages, but can carry more sense than in English of a past action with present effects. The form is Germanic of origin, and uses the verb olla "to be" in the present tense as an auxiliary verb. Personal suffixes are added to the auxiliary, while the main verb is in the -nut/-nyt participle form. For example, olen ottanut "I have taken", where ole- is the auxiliary verb stem, -n is the personal suffix for "I", otta- is the stem for the main verb, and -nut is the participle marker. • Pluperfect: corresponds to the English past perfect ("I had visited") in its usage. Similarly to perfect, the verb olla is used in the past tense as an auxiliary verb. For example, olin ottanut "I had taken".Voices
Finnish has two possible verb voices: definite and indefinite. The definite voicecorresponds with the active voice of English, but the indefinite voice has some importantdifferences from the passive voice.Indefinite voiceThe Finnish indefinite would best be described as a "fourth person", since there is no wayof connecting the action performed with a particular agent and hence there is only oneform of the indefinite. This should become clear through an example: talo maalataan"the house will be/is being painted".The time when the house is being painted could be added: talo maalataan marraskuussa"the house will be painted in November". The colour and method could be added: talomaalataan punaiseksi harjalla "the house is being painted red with a brush". But nothingcan be said about the person doing the painting; there is no simple grammaticalmechanism to say "the house is being painted by Jim". There is a calque, evidently fromSwedish, toimesta "from the action of", that can be used to introduce the agent: Taloamaalataan Jimin toimesta, approximately "One paints the house from Jims action". Thisexpression is grammatically incorrect, but it may be found wherever direct translationfrom Swedish, English, etc. has been attempted, especially in legal texts.Hence the form maalataan is the only one which is needed. Notice also that the subject ofthe verb (that is, the object of the action) is in the nominative case. Verbs which governthe partitive case continue to do so in the indefinite, and where the subject is a personalpronoun, that goes into its special accusative form: minut unohdettiin "I was forgotten".It can also be said that in the Finnish indefinite the agent is always human and nevermentioned. A sentence such as the tree was blown down would translate poorly intoFinnish if the indefinite were used, since it would suggest the image of a group of peopletrying to blow the tree down.Because of its vagueness about who is performing the action, the indefinite can alsotranslate the English one does (something), (something) is generally done, as in sanotaanettä… "they say that…"In modern colloquial Finnish, the indefinite form of the verb is used after me to mean "wedo (something)", for example, me tullaan "we are coming", and on its own at thebeginning of a sentence to make a suggestion, as in Mennään! "Lets go!". In case of theformer, the me cannot be omitted without risk of causing confusion with the latter, unlikewith the "standard" form tulemme.Formation of the indefinite will be dealt with under the verb types below.
MoodsIndicativeThe indicative is the form of the verb used for making statements or asking simplequestions. In the verb morphology sections, the mood referred to will be the indicativeunless otherwise stated.ConditionalThe conditional mood expresses the idea that the action or state expressed by the verbmay or may not actually happen. As in English, the Finnish conditional is used inconditional sentences (e.g. "I would tell you if I knew") and in polite requests (e.g. "Iwould like some coffee").In the former case, and unlike in English, the conditional must be used in both halves ofthe Finnish sentence:"ymmärtäisin jos puhuisit hitaammin" = *"I would understand if you would speak moreslowly".The characteristic morphology of the Finnish conditional is isi inserted between the verbstem and the personal ending. This can result in a closed syllable becoming open and sotrigger consonant gradation:tiedän = I know, tietäisin = I would know.cf. haluan = I want, haluaisin = I would like.Conditional forms exists for both definite and indefinite voices, and for present andperfect tenses.ImperativeThe imperative mood is used to express commands. In Finnish, there is only one tenseform (the present-future). The possible variants of Finnish imperatives are: • 1st, 2nd or 3rd person • singular or plural (only plural for 1st person) • definite or indefinite • positive or negative
Definite, 2nd person imperativesThese are the most common forms of the imperative: "Do this", "Dont do that".The singular imperative is simply the verbs present tense without any personal ending(that is, chop the -n off the first person singular form):Definite, 2nd person imperatives Finnish Englishtule! come!syö! eat!huomaa! note!To make this negative, älä (which is the definite imperative singular 2nd person of thenegative verb) is placed before the positive form: Finnish Englishälä sano! dont say!älä mene! dont go! dont lie!älä valehtele! (from valehdella = to lie, type II)To form the plural, add -kaa or -kää to the verbs stem: Finnish English
tulkaa! come!juokaa! drink! measure!mitatkaa! (from mitata = to measure, type IV)To make this negative, älkää (which is the definite imperative present plural 2nd personof the negation verb)is placed before the positive form and the suffix -ko or -kö isadded to the verb stem: Finnish Englishälkää sanoko! dont say!älkää menkö! dont go!älkää tarjotko! dont offer!Note that 2nd person plural imperatives can also be used as polite imperatives whenreferring to one person.The Finnish language has no simple equivalent to the English "please". The Finnishequivalent is to use either ole hyvä or olkaa hyvä = be good, but it is generally omitted.Politeness is normally conveyed by tone of voice, facial expression, and use ofconditional verbs and partitive nouns. For example, voisitteko means "could you", in thepolite plural, and is used much like English "Could you..." sentences: voisitteko auttaa"could you help, please?"Also, familiar (and not necessarily so polite) expressions can be added to imperatives,e.g. menes, menepä, menehän. These are hard to translate exactly, but extensively usedby Finnish speakers themselves. Menes implies expectation, that is, it has been settledalready and requires no discussion; menepä has the -pa which indicates insistence, and -hän means approximated "indeed".Indefinite imperatives
Indefinite imperatives Finnish Englishtehtäköön let (sth) be doneälköön tehtäkö let (sth) not be doneolkoon tehty let (sth) have been doneälköön olko tehty let (sth) not have been done3rd person imperatives 3rd person imperatives Finnish Englisholkoon let it (him, her) betehkööt let them doälköön unohtako let him not forget, he better not forgetälkööt unohtako let them not forget1st person plural imperatives 1st person plural imperatives
Finnish Englishmenkäämme let us goälkäämme tehkö let us not do, we better not doThe 1st person imperative sounds archaic, and a form resembling the indefinite indicativeis often used instead: mennään! = lets go!OptativeThe optative mood is a variant of the imperative mood. It expresses hopes or wishes.Archaic and/or poetic. OptativeFinnish Englishkävellös oh, please walkPotentialThe potential mood is used to express that the action or state expressed by the verb islikely but not certain, and is rare in modern Finnish, especially in speech. It has only thepresent and perfect tenses. The potential has no counterpart in English.The characteristic morphology of the Finnish conditional is -ne- inserted between theverb stem and the personal ending. Furthermore, continuants assimilate progressively(pes+ne- → pesse-) and stops regressively (korjat+ne- → korjanne-). The verb "lie"always replaces the verb "olla" "to be" in the potential mood, e.g. the potential of onhaettu "has been fetched" is lienee haettu "may have been fetched".Potential forms exists for both definite and indefinite voices, and for present and perfecttenses:
Potential Finnish Englishlie|ne|n I may be / its possible that I ampes|se|e s/he may washkorjan|ne|e s/he may fixsur|re|vat it is possible that they are mourning/ will mournse pes|tä|ne|en it may be washed (by sbd.)lie|ne|tte nähneet you may have seenei lie|ne annettu possibly may not have been given (by sbd.)In some dialects tullee (may come) is an indicative form verb (tulee = comes) butgrammatically it is a potential verb.EventiveThe eventive mood is used in the Kalevala. It is a combination of the potential and theconditional. It is also used in dialects of Estonian. Eventive Finnish Englishkävelleisin I probably would walk
InfinitivesFinnish verbs are described as having four, sometimes five infinitives:First infinitiveThe first infinitive short form of a verb is the "dictionary entry" form. It is not unmarked;its overt marking is the suffix -ta, which is however radically changed more often thannot. First, vowel harmony has a for back-vowel and ä for front-vowel words.Intervocalically, the t elides, e.g. sano|a, kirjoitta|a. The cluster -k+ta is changed to -hda, e.g. *näk+tä → nähdä. Consonant gradation is not used; the root for this form is thestrong form. This corresponds to the English to form, for example:Finnish Englishsano|a to saytietä|ä to knowteh|dä to doluke|a to readThe first infinitive long form is the translative plus a possessive suffix. Finnish English...soitti sano|a|kse|en... ...(s/he) phoned in order to say...tietä|ä|kse|mme (idiomatic use:) as far as we knowvoi|da|kse|ni lukea in order for me to be able to readThe first infinitive only has active form.
Second infinitiveThis corresponds to the English verbal noun (-ing form), and behaves as a noun inFinnish in that it can be inflected, but only in the inessive and the instructive. In theinessive it has both definite and indefinite forms. The instructive has only a definite form.A possessive suffix can be added to the definite inessive. The second infinitive isrelatively rare, especially in the spoken language, except in certain set phrases (forexample toisin sanoen = in other words).The second infinitive is formed by replacing the final a/ä of the first infinitive with ethen adding the appropriate inflectional ending. If the vowel before the a/ä is already ane, this becomes i (see example from lukea = to read).The cases in which the second infinitive can appear are: Second infinitive Finnish English Definite Inessive (while someone is in the act of)teh|de|ssä (as one is) doingsano|e|ssa (as one is) saying Definite Inessive + Possessive Suffix (while themselves in the act of)luki|e|ssa|an (while s/he is) readingsano|e|ssa|si (while you are) sayingIndefinite Inessive (when or while in the act of something being done)sano|tta|e|ssa when saying
teh|tä|e|ssä when doinglue|tta|e|ssa when reading Active Instructive (by means of/ while in the act of)teh|de|n while/by doingsano|e|n while/by sayingluki|e|n while/by readingThird infinitiveThis corresponds to the English verbal noun (-ing form), and behaves as a noun inFinnish in that it can be inflected, but only in a limited number of cases. It is used to referto a particular act or occasion of the verbs action.The third infinitive is formed by taking the verb stem with its consonant in the strongform, then adding ma followed by the case inflection.The cases in which the third infinitive can appear are: Case Finnish English lukemassa (in the act of) readinginessive Example: hän on lukemassa s/hes reading in the library kirjastossaelative lukemasta (from just having been) reading
(about to be / with the intention of)illative lukemaan readingadessive lukemalla (by) readingabessive lukematta (without) readingA rare and archaic form of the third infinitive which occurs with the verb pitää: Case Finnish Englishinstructive sinun ei pidä lukeman you must not readThe third infinitive instructive is usually replaced with the first infinitive short form inmodern Finnish.Note that the -ma form without a case ending is called the agent participle (seeparticiples below). The agent participle can also be inflected in all cases, producingforms which look similar to the third infinitive.Fourth infinitiveThe fourth infinitive has the stem ending -MINEN and indicates obligation, but it is quiterare in Finnish today. This is because there are other words like pitää and täytyy that canconvey this meaning.For example Fourth Infinitive Finnish EnglishSinne ei ole menemistä There is no going there i.e. One must not go there
Though not an infinitve, a much more common -MINEN verbal stem ending is the nounconstruct which gives the name of the activity described by the verb. This is rathersimilar to the English verbal noun -ING form, and therefore as a noun, this form caninflect just like any other noun. -MINEN noun formation Finnish Englishlukeminen on hauskaa reading is funvihaan lukemista I hate readingnautin lukemisesta I enjoy readingFifth infinitiveThis is a fairly rare form which has the meaning on the point of ...ing / just about to ... Fifth infinitive Finnish Englisholin lukemaisillani I was just about to readVerb ConjugationFor full details of how verbs are conjugated in Finnish, please refer to the Finnish verbconjugation article.ParticiplesFinnish verbs have past and present participles, both with passive and active forms, andan agent participle. Participles can be used in different ways than ordinary adjectives andthey can have an object.
Past passive participle Finnish English after you went homelähde|tty|ä|si kotiin [pass. II participle sg. ess.+ poss.suff.] This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.Past active participleBasically this is formed by removing the infinitive ending and adding -nut/nyt(depending on vowel harmony). For example:From Topuhua puhunutsyödä syönytHowever, depending on the verbs stem type, assimilation can occur with the n of theending.In type II verbs, the n is assimilated to the consonant at the end of the stem: From To Tomennä (men-) mennytharjoitella (harjoitel-) harjoitellutIn verbs of types IV-VI, the t at the end of the stem is assimilated to the n:
From To Tohaluta (halut-) halunnuttarvita (tarvit-) tarvinnutrohjeta (rohjet-) rohjennutPresent passive participle Present passive participle Finnish Englishminun on nuku|tta|va I must sleep [pass. I participle sg. nom.] This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.Present active participle Present active participle Finnish Englishnukku|va koira sleeping doghäikäise|vä valo blinding lightolin luke|v|i|na|ni I pretended to be reading
[act. I participle pl. essive + poss. suff.] This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.Agent participleThe agent participle is formed in a similar way as the third infinitive (see above), adding -ma or -mä to the verb stem. It allows the property of being a target of an action to beformatted as an adjective-like attribute. Like adjectives, it can be inflected in all cases.For example, ihmisen tekemä muodostelma "a man-made formation". The partyperforming the action is indicated by the use of genitive, or by a possessive suffix. This isreflected in English, too: ihmisen tekemä — "of mans making", or kirjoittamani kirja"book of my writing". For example: Agent participle Finnish Englishtytön lukema kirja the book read by the girltytön lukemaa kirjaa (partitive) the book read by the girltytön lukemassa kirjassa in the book read by the girletc.It is not required for the action to be in the past, although the examples above are. Rather,the construction simply specifies the subject, the object and the action, with no referenceto time. For an example in the future, consider: huomenna käyttämänänne välineenä on -- "tomorrow, as the instrument you will be using is --". Here, käyttämä "that which isused" describes, i.e. is an attribute to väline "instrument". (Notice the case agreementbetween käyttämä-nä and välinee-nä.) The suffix -nne "your" specifies the person"owning" the action, i.e. who does it, thus käyttämänne is "that which was used byyou(pl.)", and käyttämänänne is "as that which was used by you".It is also possible to give the actor with a pronoun, e.g. sinun käyttämäsi "that which wasused by you". In standard language, the pronoun sinun "your" is not necessary, but the
possessive suffix is. In inexact spoken usage, this goes vice versa; the possessive suffix isoptional, and used typically only for the second person singular, e.g. sun käyttämäs.Negation of verbsPresent indicativeVerbs are negated by using a negative verb in front of the stem from the present tense (inits weak consonant form): Present indicative Finnish English Finnish English Singulartiedän I know -> en tiedä I dont knowtiedät you know -> et tiedä you dont knowtietää (s)he knows -> ei tiedä (s)he doesnt know Pluraltiedämme we know -> emme tiedä we dont knowtiedätte you know -> ette tiedä you dont knowtietävät they know -> eivät tiedä they dont knowNote that the inflection is on the negative verb, not on the main verb, and that the endingsare regular apart from the 3rd person forms.Present indefinite
The negative is formed from the third-person singular "negative verb" - ei - and thepresent indefinite with the final -an removed: Finnish Englishei puhuta it is not spokenei tiedetä it is not knownImperfect indicativeThe negative is formed from the appropriate part of the negative verb followed by thenominative form (either singular or plural depending on the number of the verbs subject)of the active past participle. So for puhua the pattern is: Imperfect indicative Finnish English Singularen puhunut I did not speaket puhunut you did not speakei puhunut (s/he) did not speak Pluralemme puhuneet we did not speak
ette puhuneet you did not speakeivät puhuneet they did not speakNote one exception: when the te 2nd person plural form is used in an honorific way toaddress one person, the singular form of the participle is used: te ette puhunut = you (s,polite) did not speak.Imperfect passiveThe negative is formed from the third-person singular negative verb - ei - and thenominative singular form of the passive present participle (compare this with the negativeof the imperfect indicative): Imperfect passive Finnish Englishei puhuttu it was not spokenei tiedetty it was not knownNote that in the spoken language, this form is used for the first person plural. In this case,the personal pronoun is obligatory: Finnish Englishme ei menty we did not goInterrogatives (questions)There are two main ways of forming a question - either using a specific question word, orby adding a -ko/kö suffix to one of the words in a sentence. A question word is placed
first in the sentence, and a word with the interrogative suffix is also moved to thisposition: Interrogatives (questions) Finnish Englishmikä tämä on? what is this?tämä on kirja this is a bookonko tämä kirja? is this a book?tämäkö on kirja? is this a book?kirjako tämä on? is this a book? is this not a book?eikö tämä ole kirja? (note the -kö goes on the negative verb)AdverbsA very common way of forming adverbs is by adding the ending -sti to the inflectingform of the corresponding adjective: Adverbs Finnish Englishnopea, nopeasti quick, quickly
kaunis, kauniisti beautiful, beautifullyhidas, hitaasti slow, slowlyhelppo, helposti easy, easilyThe great thing about adverbs is that because they are modifying verbs, not nouns, theydont inflect!Comparative formationThe comparative form of the adverb has the ending -mmin Comparative formation Finnish Englishnopea, nopeasti, nopeammin quick, quickly, more quickly/fasterkaunis, kauniisti, kauniimmin beautiful, beautifully, more beautifullyhidas, hitaasti, hitaammin slow, slowly, more slowlyhelppo , helposti, helpommin easy, easily, more easilySuperlative formationThe superlative form of the adverb has the ending -immin. Superlative formation
Finnish Englishhelppo, helposti, helpommin, helpoimmin easy, easily, more easily, most easilyBecause of the -i-, the stem vowel can change, similarly to superlative adjectives, or toavoid runs of three vowels: Finnish Englishnopea, nopeasti, nopeammin, quick, quickly, more quickly/faster, fastestnopeimminkaunis, kauniisti, kauniimmin, beautiful, beautifully, more beautifully, mostkauneimmin beautifullyhidas, hitaasti, hitaammin, hitaimmin slow, slowly, more slowly, most slowlyIrregular formsThere are a number of irregular adverbs, including: Irregular forms Finnish Englishhyvä, hyvin, paremmin, parhaiten good, well, better, bestNumbersPlease refer to the separate numbers article for details of how numbers work in Finnish.Sentence structure
Since Finnish is an inflected language, word order within sentences can be comparativelyfree - the function of a word being indicated by its ending.The most usual neutral order, however, is subject-verb-object: Finnish Englishkoira puri miestä the dog bit the manor: Finnish Englishkoira on puutarhassa the dog is in the gardenalthough puutarhassa "in the garden" is not grammatically an object, as well as: Finnish Englishminulla on rahaa I have moneywhere minulla is not considered the subject.Word order can be varied for emphasis: Finnish Englishmiestä puri koira the man was bitten by a dogand:
Finnish Englishrahaa minulla money is something I do have (although I may not have somethingon else)rahaa on I, for one, have moneyminullaminulla rahaa it is I that have money (and not someone else)onon minulla I do have money (if my having money is doubted)rahaaand finally, a classic example: Finnish Englishminä olen valtio I am the state (matter-of-fact)valtio olen minä letat, cest moiBesides the word-order implications of turning a sentence into a question, there are someother circumstances where word-order is important:Existential sentencesThese are sentences which introduce a new subject - they often begin there is or thereare in English. Finnish English
huoneessa on sänky there is a bed in the roomThe location of the thing whose existence is being stated comes first, followed by itsstative verb, followed by the thing itself. Note how this is unlike the normal Englishequivalent, though English can also use the same order: Finnish Englishsiellä seisoi mies (in/out) there stood a manNote what happens to the verb in the the English and Finnish versions when the meaningis plural. Finnish Englishhuoneessa on kaksi sänkyä there are two beds in the roomhuoneessa on kaksi sänkyä in the room there are two bedsThese are the ordinary counting numbers: here are 1 to 10:Cardinal numbers Finnish Englishyksi one
kaksi twokolme threeneljä fourviisi fivekuusi sixseitsemän sevenkahdeksan eightyhdeksän ninekymmenen tenTo get teens, toista is added to the base number: yksitoista, kaksitoista ...yhdeksäntoista. (Toista actually means of second [decade]. Formerly it has been usedfor numbers over 19, too: e.g. 35 would be viisineljättä, five-of-fourth.)Twenty is simply kaksikymmentä = two tens (with kymmenen appearing in the partitiveafter a number as is normal for nouns). Then the decades are kolmekymmentä,neljäkymmentä ... yhdeksänkymmentä.100 is sata, 200 is kaksisataa and so on.1000 is tuhat, 2000 is kaksituhatta and so on.So, 3721 = kolme-tuhatta-seitsemän-sataa-kaksi-kymmentä-yksi (actually written as onelong word with no dashes in between).
Long numbers (like 32534756) are separated in three numbers sections with spacebeginning from the end of the number (for example 32 534 756). Writing it with lettersfollow the spacing, in the example (in numbers over one million, miljoona (million) iswritten separately) kolme-kymmentä-kaksi miljoonaa viisi-sataa-kolme-kymmentä-neljä-tuhatta seitsemän-sataa-viisi-kymmentä-kuusi. (No dashes, they are only to make thenumber look clear.)Numbers can be inflected in cases; all parts of the number except toista are inflected. Forexample: Finnish Englishkahtena päivänä on/during two dayskahdessatoista maassa in twelve countrieskolmellekymmenelleviidelle hengelle for thirty-five personsNumerals have also plural forms, which usually refer to things naturally occurring inpairs or other similarly well-defined sets, such as body parts and clothing items. Alsonames of celebrations are usually in the plural. For instance: Finnish Englishkahdet saappaat two pairs of bootskolmet jalanjäljet three sets of footprintsNeljät häät ja yhdet hautajaiset Four Weddings and a (One) FuneralOrdinal numbersThese are the ordering form of the numbers - first, second, third and so on. Ordinalnumbers are generally formed by adding an -s ending, but first and second arecompletely different, and for the others then stems are not straightforward:
Ordinal numbers 1-10 Finnish Englishensimmäinen firsttoinen secondkolmas thirdneljäs fourthviides fifthkuudes sixthseitsemäs seventhkahdeksas eighthyhdeksäs ninthkymmenes tenthFor teens, you change the first part of the word; however note how first and second losetheir irregularity in eleven and twelve: Ordinal numbers 11-19
Finnish Englishyhdestoista eleventhkahdestoista twelfthkolmastoista thirteenthneljästoista fourteenthviidestoista fifteenthkuudestoista sixteenthseitsemästoista seventeethkahdeksastoista eighteenthyhdeksästoista nineteethFor twenty through ninety-nine, all parts of the number get the -s ending. First andsecond take the irregular form only at the end of a word. The regular forms are possiblefor them but they are less common. Ordinal numbers 20- Finnish Englishkahdeskymmenes twentieth
kahdeskymmenesensimmäinen twenty-first (also kahdeskymmenesyhdes)kahdeskymmenestoinen twenty-second (also kahdeskymmeneskahdes)kahdeskymmeneskolmas twenty-third100th is sadas, 1000th is tuhannes, 3721st is kolmas-tuhannes-seitsemäs-sadas-kahdes-kymmenes-ensimmäinen. (Again, dashes only included here for clarity; the word isproperly spelled without them.)Like cardinals, ordinal numbers can also be inflected: Finnish Englishkolmatta viikkoa for (already) the third weekviidennessätoista kerroksessa in the fifteenth floortuhannennelle asiakkaalle to the thousandth customerThe toista in the teens is actually the partitive of toinen, which is why toista gets nofurther inflection endings. (Literally yksitoista || one-of-the-second.)Long ordinal numbers in Finnish are typed in almost the same way than the long cardinalnumbers. 32534756 would be (in numbers over one million, miljoona (million) iswritten separately) kolmas-kymmenes-kahdes miljoonas viides-sadas-kolmas-kymmenes-neljäs-tuhannes seitsemäs-sadas-viides-kymmenes-kuudes. (Still, no dashes.)Names of numbersThis is a feature of Finnish which doesnt have an exact counterpart in English. Theseforms are used to refer to the actual number itself, rather than the quantity or order whichthe number represents. This should be clearer from the examples below, but first here isthe list:
Names of numbers Finnish Englishnolla nil, number zeroykkönen number onekakkonen number twokolmonen number threenelonen number fourviitonen number fivekuutonen number sixseitsemän number seven (vernacular: seiska)kahdeksan or kahdeksikko number eight (vernacular: kasi)yhdeksän or yhdeksikkö number nine (vernacular: ysi)kymmenen number ten (vernacular: kymppi, kybä)satanen number hundred
Also, kahdeksikko refers to the shape of the number. Some examples of how these areused: The number three tram is the kolmonen — when you are riding it, you are kolmosella (Yes, these inflect too!) A magazine has the title 7 and is called Seiska My car, a 93 model, is an ysi kolmonen when buying spare parts The 106 bus is the sata kuutonen A 5 € bill may be called "vitonen", a 10 € bill "kymppi", a 20 € "kaksikymppinen", a 100 € bill "satanen",VERVOS CONJUGACIONSType I verbsThese are verbs whose infinitive forms end in vowel + a (or ä for front-vowelcontaining stems), for example puhua = to speak, tietää = to know. This groupcontains a very large number of verbs. Here is how tietää conjugates in the presentindicative: minä tiedän = I know sinä tiedät = you (singular) know hän/se tietää = (s)he/it knows me tiedämme = we know te tiedätte = you (plural/formal) know he tietävät = they knowThe personal endings are thus -n, -t, -(doubled vowel), -mme, -tte, -vat. The inflectingstem is formed by dropping the final -a, and has a strong consonant in the third-personforms and weak otherwise. Note that for third person plural, this is an exception to thegeneral rule for strong consonants.Imperfect indicativeIn the simple case (which applies to most type I verbs), the imperfect indicative is formedby inserting the charateristic i between the stem and the personal endings, which are thesame as in the present tense except that the vowel does not double in the 3rd personsingular:
puhun = I speak, puhuin = I spoke puhut = you speak, puhuit = you spoke puhuu = (he) speaks, puhui = (he) spoke puhumme = we speak, puhuimme = we spoke and so on.However, the insertion of the i often has an effect on the stem. Of type I verbs, onenotable exception is tietää: tiedän = I know, tiesin = I knewymmärtää = to understand also follows this pattern. Changes of stem for other verbtypes will be discussed in the relevant sections below.IndefinitePresent indefinite The present indefinite is formed by adding -taan to the inflecting stem of the verb with the consonant in its weak form: puhua -> puhu- -> puhutaan If the vowel at the end of the stem is a or ä it is changed to e before the -taan ending: tietää -> tiedä- -> tiede -> tiedetäänPast indefinite This is formed in the same way as the present indefinite, except that the ending is -ttiin, hence puhuttiin = it was spoken, tiedettiin = it was known. Note the presence of the same i marker in the past indefinite as in the imperfect indicative. Note also the presence of the extra t.Conditional indefinite This is formed in the same way as the present indefinite, except that the ending is -ttaisiin, hence puhuttaisiin = it would be spoken, tiedettaisiin = it would be known. Note the presence of the isi conditional marker.Potential indefinite This is formed in the same way as the present indefinite, except that the ending is -ttaneen, hence puhuttaneen = it may be spoken, tiedettaneen = it may be known. Note the presence of the ne potential marker.Type II verbsThese are verbs whose infinitive forms end in two consonants + a, for example mennä= to go. This is another large group of verbs.
Present indicativeThe stem is formed by removing the a and its preceding consonant. Then add efollowed by the personal endings: menen, menet, menee, menemme, menette, menevät.Imperfect indicativeThe i of the imperfect is added directly to the stem formed as for the present tense, thenthe personal endings are added: pestä = to clean, pesen = I clean, pesin = I cleanedetc.PassivePresent passiveIn this group, the passive has the same -aan ending as for group I verbs, but no t; theeasiest way to form the passive is to extend the vowel on the end of the first infinitive andthen add n: mennä -> mennäänAll other forms of the passive are related to the present passive in the same way as fortype I verbs, including the extra t, except that since there was no t to start with, thepassive forms only have one ! Also the double consonant before the ending becomessingle. mennä -> mennään -> mentiin, mentäisiin olla -> ollaan -> oltiin (see below), oltaisiinType III verbsVerbs whose infinitives end in vowel + da, for example juoda = to drink, syödä = toeat. This is a fairly large group of verbs, partly because one way in which foreignborrowings are incorporated into the Finnish verb paradigms is to add oida, for example,organisoida = to organise.Another important verb of this type is voida = to be able/allowed to.The stem is formed by removing da with no vowel doubling in the third person singular:juon, juot, juo, juomme, juotte, juovat.
Imperfect indicativeFor these verbs whose stems end in two vowels, the first of the vowels is lost when the iis added in the imperfect: juon = I drink, join = I drank etc.There is an exception to this rule if the stem already ends in an i - for example voida orthe -oida verbs mentioned earlier. In this case the stem does not change between presentand imperfect indicative, so the imperfect forms are the same as the present forms, andthe distinction between them must be made from context.PassivePassives in this group are formed in the same way as for group II verbs: syödä -> syödään, syötiin, syötäisiin juoda -> juodaan, juotiin, juotaisiinType IV verbsThis, and the following two groups, have infinitives ending in vowel + ta. Mostcommonly, type IV verbs end with ata, ota, uta, but the other two vowels are possible.Examples are tavata = to meet, haluta = to want, tarjota = to offer.The inflecting stem is formed by dropping the a changing the final consonant into itsstrong form: haluta -> halut- tavata -> tapat- tarjota -> tarjot-In the present indicative, the final t mutates into an a . After this, the personal ending isadded (or the vowel doubled in the 3rd person singular) as usual: haluan, haluat, haluaa, haluamme, haluatte, haluavat tapaan, tapaat, tapaa etc. tarjoan, tarjoat, tarjoaa etc.Imperfect indicativeThe same stem is used as for the present except that the final t becomes s rather than a.This is followed by the imperfect i marker and the personal endings: halusin = Iwanted, tapasimme = we met etc.
PassivePassives in this group are formed in the same way as for type II verbs, except that sincethe present passives will all have a t (from the first infinitive) the extra t appears in theother forms as for type I verbs: haluta -> halutaan, haluttiin, haluttaisiin tavata -> tavataan, tavattiin, tavattaisiinType V verbsAll the verbs in this groups have infinitives ending in ita. There are not that many ofthem, the most important being tarvita = to needThe stem is formed by dropping the final a and adding se: tarvitsen, tarvitset, tarvitsee,tarvitsemme, tarvitsette, tarvitsevat.Imperfect indicative This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.PassivePassives of this type are formed in the same way as for type IV verbs.Type VI verbsAlmost all the verbs of this type have infinitives ending in eta. There are not many verbswhich fall into this category of their own right, and these dont tend to be commonlyused. However, it is a reasonably common route for turning adjectives into verbs (forexample kylmä = cold, kylmetä = to get cold)The stem for this type is formed by removing the ta then adding ne with the additionalchange that the final consonant of the stem is in its strong form: rohjeta = to dare rohkenen = I dare rohkenet = you dare rohkenee = he/she/it dares etc. paeta = to escape, pakenen = I escape kylmetä = to get cold, kylmenen = I get cold
Imperfect indicative This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.PassivePassives of this type are formed in the same way as for type IV verbs.Non-derivable and irregular stemsStandard Finnish has no other actually irregular verbs than olla discussed above.However, because the infinitive is an inflected form of the root, the consonant gradationmay obscure the root. The root of the word juosta = to run is juoks-; when generatingthe infinitive, the pattern ks → s is applied: juoks+ta → juosta. Epenthetic e is added forpersonal forms, e.g. juoksen.There is a rare pattern -hd- → nought, followed by the addition of an epenthetic e, e.g.: tehdä = to do, make: tee-; teen, teet, tekee, teemme, teette, tekevät, etc. nähdä = to see: näe-; näen, näet, näkee, näemme, näette, näkevät, etc.Spoken language adds some more irregular verbs by assimilative deletion, e.g.: tulla - tule - tuu mennä - mene - mee panna - pane - paaThe twenty most common words in the Finnish language are:Written Spoken English 1 olla to be 2 ja and 3 se it 4 ei no 5 joka which
6 hän he, she 7 että that 8 tämä this 9 mutta but 10 voida to be able toWritten Spoken English 11 saada to get 12 kun when 13 niin so 14 kuin than 15 tulla to come 16 minä I