Thursday, February 16, 2017

Partitiivi vai genetiivi?

I already have a post about the object, but here are some simple examples about the difference between the genitive and partitive cases in an object sentence:

  • Mä haluan ton kirjan. - I want that book.
  • Mä en halua tota kirjaa. - I don't want that book. (Because the sentence is negative.)

  • Mikko osti kanan. - Mikko bought a chicken. (A whole bird.)
  • Mikko osti kanaa. - Mikko bought chicken. (Some chicken meat.)

  • ostan kahvin. - I'll buy a cup of coffee. 
  • Mä ostan kahvia. - I'll buy some coffee. 

  • Luin junassa kirjan. - I read a book on the train. (I finished the book.)
  • Luin junassa kirjaa. - I was reading a book on the train. (Haven't finished the book yet.)

  • Poliisi ampui miehen. - A police shot a man. (And the man died.)
  • Poliisi ampui miestä. - A police shot at a man. (The man is hurt but alive.)

p.s. My post Describing things has more about the fascinating partitive case!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Talking about things in Finnish

Which word to choose when you are talking about different things in Finnish? Should you say esine, tuote, tavara, asia or juttu? I hope that you'll find this post useful.

Esine is a man-made object.


Tuote is product.


Tavara is also an object, but it can have a more negative meaning than esine.

  • En halua antaa lahjaksi mitään tavaraa. - I don't want to give any actual thing for a present.
  • Mulla on aivan liikaa tavaraa! - I have absolutely too much junk!
  • Mihin sä viet kaikki sun ylimääräiset tavarat? - Where do you bring all your extra things?

Asia is usually an abstract thing or a matter. (Notice that Aasia is the continent of Asia and aasi is a donkey.)


Juttu is both tavara and asia. You can read more about juttu in a separate post from the year 2012.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Mistakes to avoid in the speaking exam

Over the years I've noticed that sometimes good speakers don't succeed in the intermediate Yki speaking exam as well as they'd expect. Make sure not to make these mistakes:

  1. Puhut väärästä aiheesta. - You talk about the wrong topic.
  2. Et ymmärrä ohjeita. - You don't understand the instructions.
  3. Et sano mitään, koska pelkäät virheitä. - You don't say anything because you're afraid of mistakes. (When they say "Puhu nyt" say something. Mistakes are better than silence. However, don't read aloud the instructions.)
  4. Mietit ja kirjoitat muistiinpanoja liian kauan eikä sinulle jää tarpeeksi aikaa puhua. - You think and write notes for too long and won't have enough time to speak. (When they say "Kiitos", you're time is up.)
  5. Valitset liian vaikean aiheen. - You choose a topic that is too difficult. (Think carefully whether you have enough to say about the topic you choose, if you get to choose.)
  6. Sinulla ei ole mitään sanottavaa. - You have nothing to say. (Practice having an opinion on everything!)


Onnea kokeeseen! - Good luck with the exam!

p.s. Here are all the posts I have written about the Yki exam.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to think in Finnish

These are the three most common verbs that mean to think in Finnish. Usually my students overuse luulla, so be careful when using it.

Ajatella (ajattelen, ajattelin, ajatellut) is to think (kind of neutrally), and to have an opinion.

  • Ketä sinä ajattelet? - Who are you thinking about?
  • ajattelin, että sä voisit tykätä tästä. - I thought that you could like this.
  • Mitä sinä ajattelet tästä asiasta? = Mitä mieltä sinä olet tästä asiasta? = Mikä sinun mielipide on tästä asiasta? - What do you think about this matter?

Luulla (luulen, luulin, luullut) is to think, not to know for sure. Sometimes it can also express and opinion.

  • Luulin, että tänään on torstai, mutta onkin keskiviikko. - I thought it is Thursday today, but it is Wednesday.
  • Mä luulen, että koulu alkaa huomenna kahdeksalta, mutta en ole ihan varma. - I think that school will start at eight tomorrow, but I'm not absolutely sure. 
  • Mitä sä luulet; onko tämä tarpeeksi? - What do you think; is this enough?


Miettiä (mietin, mietin, miettinyt) is usually used when you have to think (hard) in order to find a solution.

  • Mikä on Paraguayn pääkaupunki?  - Mun pitää miettiä.  - What's the capital of Paraguay? - I have to think.
  • Mitä sä mietit? - What are you thinking about? (You look like you're thinking very hard.)
  • Mitä on 5 kertaa 32?  - Odota, mä mietin. - What's 5 times 32?  - Wait, I'll think.