Monday, August 11, 2014

tosi - todella - oikeasti

An anonymous reader asked me to clarify the meaning of these three words. I'll try. Kiitos ideasta!

First of all, tosi is true and real, and it's often used in partitive:

  • Onko se totta? - Is it true?
  • Totta kai! - Of course! (Yes, the direct translation is very illogically True, I suppose)

Here are some expressions with the word tosi that kind of lose their cool in translation:

  • Tosi kuin vesi! - True as water!
  • Nyt on tosi kyseessä. - It's a serious matter now. 

Tosi is also the spoken language version of todella, which means very. (Also oikein and hyvin mean very, but they sound more formal and old-fashioned than todella or tosi.)

  • Todella hyvä asia! = Tosi kiva juttu! - A very nice thing!

Here's how to use todella (or tosi) in front of adjectives and adverbs:

  • Tämä on todella tärkeä asia. - This is a very important matter.
  • Tämä kakku on todella hyvää. - This cake is really good.
  • Se oli todella mielenkiintoinen luento. - It was a very interesting lecture. 
  • Mun piti miettiä tätä todella kauan. - I had to think about this for a really long time. 
  • Anteeksi. Mä sanoin todella rumasti. - I'm sorry. I said very uglily. 
  • Mä olen todella pahoillani. - I'm very sorry. 

Todella can also be used the same way as oikeasti - for real. Sometimes (very annoying) people even say aikuisten oikeasti - for adults' real. In spoken language, oikeasti becomes oikeesti.

  • Voinko mä oikeasti luottaa sinuun? - Can I really trust you?
  • Voit todellakin. - Yes, you certainly can.  (Add kin to make it even stronger.)
  • Oikeesti, mä yritin vain auttaa. - For real, I just tried to help. 
  • Lupaatko aikuisten oikeesti? - Do you promise, for really real?

Oh, you might also like my post about ihan.


  1. I never think about that totta is the partitiivi of tosi. Interesting.

  2. Kiitos Avusta Hanna! I knew you would help me with this one. Thanks for explaining this to me, its clear now. :)

  3. Now it's the matter of truth tarkoittaisi "Nyt on kyse totuudesta". Itse laittaisin ehkä "It is a serious matter now"

  4. Kiitos! Mä vaihdoin sen.:)

  5. Dear Hanna! I have been reading your blog intensively for the last two days as I am preparing for YKI testi with my very poor Finnish language skills, but you have done an amazing job and I can tell you are a wonderful person too :-)

  6. Oi, kiitos palautteesta ja onnea Yki-testiin!

  7. If you have time, a post on oikeasti vs oikeastaan would also be quite helpful!

    1. Oh yes, I already have that one waiting in my drafts folder. :)

      Oikein, oikeasti, oikeastaan..

      In short, oikeasti is for real and oikeastaan is actually.