Finnish/Printable version


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^^Contents^^ | Introduction | Alphabet>>

Overview edit

Finnish is spoken in Finland, as well as some other areas.

Finnish (suomi in Finnish) is a language belonging to the Finnic branch of the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic language family. It is not an Indo-European language. Its closest linguistic relatives are the Estonian, Karelian, and Sámi languages. It is also somewhat distantly related to Hungarian and several minor languages spoken in northern Russia.

Altogether about six million people speak Finnish. It is spoken in Finland as an official language, as a minority language in Sweden (mainly in Northern Sweden and Stockholm), in the Russian Federation (in the Republic of Karelia and the province of Leningrad), in northern Norway (Finnmark) and in Finnish immigrant communities in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.

Language structure edit

The language is structured mostly in the fashion of Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) like in English, but it also might go Object-Subject-Verb, Verb-Subject-Object or Object-Verb-Subject, as the word order is very flexible in Finnish. However its little quirks like the fashion of the prepositions (in Finnish, they are actually postpositions), vowel harmony and the absence of articles and sometimes pronouns, make it seem like a mishmash of consonants and vowels. For example the phrase “I am in the car” changes to “(I) am car|in”, “olen autossa”.

Differences between spoken and written Finnish edit

There is a significant difference between formal written Finnish and colloquial spoken Finnish. Most Finns, especially the younger generation, speak the language in an informal way, and while the differences between colloquial Finnish and formal Finnish aren't enormous, it can be difficult to develop a natural conversational style purely based on literary study. In practice, you will be understood without difficulty, but one should not expect the conversation of native speakers to match the precise grammatical fashion in which the language is taught. See also the slang and accents of Finnish.

Borrowed words edit

Finnish, like most languages, has "borrowed" words from other languages. However, many have been altered in the process of nativization to the extent that they may not even be recognizable. Finnish grammar does not allow words to end in any consonants other than a single 's', 'n', 't', 'l' or 'r', so in borrowing, a vowel is often added, e.g. vokaali. In addition, if the preceding consonant is geminate, it is borrowed as such, e.g. konsonantti.

Also, Finnish does not differentiate voiced-unvoiced pairs like 'b' and 'p', or 'g' and 'k', although newer loans preserve the spelling, if not the pronunciation. Foreign spelling idiosyncrasies such as the letter 'c' are rarely used. Consonant clusters are usually removed in older loans. For example, strandranta. Phonemic long vowels may be added, e.g. laki < lag (Swedish, cf. English "law"), but laaki < slag (Swedish, cf. English "slay").


  • baari, pubi – bar, pub
  • bussi – bus (the proper word is linja-auto)
  • dieetti – diet
  • elefantti – elephant (though the more Finnish, but equally used word is norsu)
  • euro – euro (currency used in Finland)
  • pankki – bank
  • paperi – paper
  • posti – post office
  • radio – radio
  • sekki (or shekki) – cheque
  • shampoo (or sampoo) – shampoo
  • tee – tea
  • televisio – television
  • turisti – tourist (although turisti is an international word, the more local word being matkailija)

False friends edit

Some of the false friends can be similar to Swedish, an example is appelsiini that is similar to the Norwegian and Swedish appelsin meaning orange (think of it as an apple from China). There aren't many false friends in Finnish, but beware, because there are a few!

  • ale – sale, not "ale"
  • appelsiini – orange, not "apple"
  • dokumentti – both documentary and document
  • greippi – grapefruit, not "grape"
  • kinkkinen – tricky, not "kinky"
  • kudos - tissue (as in muscle tissue), not "kudos"
  • he – they, not "he"
  • me – we, not "me"
  • motoristi – motocyclist, not "motorist"
  • viina – liquor, not "wine"
  • likööri - liqueur, not "liquor"

Exercise Number One edit

Figure out what these Finnish words are in English. You will find the answers at the back of the book.

  1. historia
  2. projekti
  3. lista
  4. faksi
  5. galleria
  6. linkki
  7. skandaali
  8. kopio
  9. idiootti
  10. klassikko

Exercise Number Two edit

These are more difficult. Many of them are loans from languages other than English but they still bear some similarity to their English translations.

  1. lamppu
  2. lasi
  3. pommi
  4. tikku
  5. tuhat
  6. naula
  7. mies
  8. kortti
  9. valkoinen
  10. torstai


^^Contents^^ | <<Introduction | Alphabet | Hello!>>

In short, the basic alphabet of the Finnish language:   Aakkoset: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z å ä ö

Finnish is a very phonetic language, as every pronunciation has its own letter. That is to say that things are "pronounced exactly as they are written" so SAMPA and IPA notations of Finnish words are almost identical to the written language. However, do not take this too literally; there are certainly many details in speech that cannot be easily expressed in written language, and Finnish is no exception.

The glyphs 'ä' and 'ö' have been borrowed from Swedish. They are independent letters and phonemes (sounds), not modified nor accented letters. Changing 'Ä' into 'A' or 'Ö' into 'O' is akin to changing 'Q' into 'O'.

  • Ä is similar to the following bolded sounds in English: "A fat pancake man sat on a cat."
  • Ö is similar to the following bolded sounds in British English: "Girls all over the world tried to figure out what all the words mean until a consensus was reached that it cannot be worked out."

Go through each of the letters of the alphabet and practice saying them:

Letter Pronunciation IPA English approximation Audio sample
Aa aah ɑ aunt   A, auto, aamu, ananas |
Bb beh b best   B, bensiini, Bertta |
Cc seh s cement   C, Cecilia, Celsius |
Dd deh d demonstrate   D, vadelma, kädet |
Ee eeh e electricity   E, eurooppa, eskimo, teippi |
Ff aeff f affection   F, faarao |
Gg geh g gave   G, kengät, grilli |
Hh hoh h hold   H, hahlo, Helsinki |
Ii eeh i eat   I, Inari, liivi |
Jj yee j yield   J, Jaakko, tarjous |
Kk kooh k covert   K, kukka, osake |
Ll ael l altitude   L, lahdelma, pallo |
Mm aem m ambrosia   M, mämmi, kumi |
Nn aen n ant   N, nänni, nuppu |
Oo ooh o oval   O, mopo, orava |
Pp peeh p pellet   P, pappi, ripaus |
Qq kuuh k cook   Q
Rr aer r arrogant   R, kärrynpyörä, särky |
Ss aes s ask   S, sissi, sauna |
Šš hattu-aes ʃ shoot; used mainly in transliteration and optionally in some borrowed words, e.g. šeriffi.
Tt teeh t tepid   T, tuttu, tarvita |
Uu oo u foot   U, uusi, luukku |
Vv veeh ʋ very   V, veivi, tavuviiva |
Ww kahksoisveeh ʋ very. This is not an independent letter in Finnish, but an variant of V often used archaicly. In a Finnish dictionary, you will find words beginning with v and w mixed.   W, Waltari |
Xx aex ks axe   X |
Yy eew y cute   Y, nyökkäys, tyttö |
Zz tset z/ts like ts   [Z, tset |
Žž hattu-tset ʒ mirage, treasure; used mainly in transliteration and optionally in some borrowed words, e.g. džonkki
Åå ruotsalainen ooh o oval; used only in Swedish names.   Å |
Ää aeae æ Adam asks for apple advice   Ä, häkä, sää, määräys |
Öö oeoe ø Curled girl spoke an absurd word   Ö, hölynpöly |

Grammar-Vowel harmony

^^Contents^^ <<What is your name? | Grammar-Vowel harmony | Grammar-Suffixes>>

Vowel Harmony edit

Finnish, like many Uralic languages, has vowel harmony and it affects what vowels go with which words. It also affects the postpositions and endings of words.

In Finnish, there are eight vowels, a, e, i, o, u, y, ä and ö. They are grouped into three groups; front, neutral and back vowels. See the diagram:


The vowels in blue are front vowels (or "hard"), the vowels in green are neutral and the vowels in yellow are back vowels (or "soft").

In Finnish, single words contain only vowels of the same type as the initial, stressed syllable. So, for example, the word, aaltoileva contains only neutral and back vowels, while äidillä contains only front and neutral vowels. With respect to vowel harmony, compound words are separate words, e.g. työmaa, with -ta suffixed työ|maa|ta.

When a word contains only neutral vowels, its suffixes use front vowels. For example, when the postposition -lla or -llä is added to kieli, it becomes kielellä, not kielella.

As a consequence, Finnish speakers often have trouble pronouncing foreign words which do not obey vowel harmony. For example, some Finns may pronounce olympia as olumpia because of the difficulty in producing the sounds of o and y in a row.

Vowel harmony applies to foreign words, too. For example, chat is heard as tsät and consequently the frequentatitive verb "to chat" is tsättäillä (also spelled chattäillä, chattailla, chättäillä, etc.). (Note: chattäillä would lack harmony if it was pronounced as written. ch turns into ts because ch would be prononunced as sh(as in shut) or kh(as in khaki) by people unfamiliar with the word.)

Mutations edit

i → e edit

You may have noticed that nimi (name) changes to nimesi (your name), and Suomi (Finland) changes to Suomesta (from Finland). This is because there is an i → e mutation. This mutation is where on some suffixes like -n, -a, , -si changes the last vowel from i to e.

This is a slight verbal mutation that makes this change in the word, that is reflected in this mutation. It affects words that are less than two syllables and it usually is the "old" words like nimi and suomi and it is something that you have to learn by heart because it is not regular. The word taksi (taxi) does not change to taksessa (because it is a new loan word), instead it is taksissa.

The k, p and t mutation edit

Like the i to e mutation, when you put a suffix after a word, some consonants change when you agglutinate. For example Helsinki changes to Helsingissä after you put a suffix, here -ssä, after it. This is called consonant gradation and it mainly affects the consonants k, p and t. So words like pankki change to pankin. Here is a short, not a complete list:

initial ending new ending result
-kk: -k: pankki → pankista (bank → from the bank)
-pp: -p: kauppa → kaupasta (shop → from the shop)
-tt: -t: tyttö → tytön (girl → girl's)
-nk: -ng: Helsinki → Helsingistä (Helsinki → from Helsinki)
-uku/-yky: -uvu/-yvy: puku → puvusta (suit → from the suit)
-k: -: Turku → Turusta (Turku → from Turku)
-t: -d: katu → kadulta (street → from the street)
-p: -v: hupi → huvit (amusement → amusements)
-rt: -rr: murto → murron (break-in → of the break-in)
-ti -si löytää → löysi (to find → found)

End Note edit

Now there is a lot to go through, but take your time and hopefully this will help you to no end. But beware that there is more to go through, as we haven't covered the suffixes yet!


^^Contents^^ <<Grammar-Vowel harmony | Grammar-Suffixes |

Now the big part! In Finnish, like all Finno-Ugric languages, there are a huge series of suffixes to represent plurals, positions, postpositions (prepositions), pronouns and descriptions. They are grouped in to 4 groups of which there is a strict order, Group 1 which are plurals, Group 2 which are positions (2a) and postpositions (2b), Group 3 which are accusative pronouns, and Group 4 which are descriptions (i.e. also, too). To describe the suffixes easily the word auto (car) is used.

Group 1: Plurals edit

The first group of suffixes are plurals, of which there are 3 different ways.

-t edit

You can pluralize many words by simply putting a "t" after the word:

  • auto → autot ; car → cars
  • kirja → kirjat ; book → books

If there are "kk", "pp", or "tt" in a word in a similar way like those below, pluralize it in the following way:

  • kukka → kukat ; flower → flowers
  • hattu → hatut ; hat → hats

If a word has "nk" in a similar way like those below, pluralize in the following way:

  • kenkä → kengät ; shoe → shoes
  • sanko → sangot ; bucket → buckets
  • henki → henget ; spirit → spirits

If a word ends with a letter "s" like those below, pluralize it in the following way:

  • varis → varikset ; crow → crows
  • tulos → tulokset ; result → results

If a word ends with "nen" like those below, pluralize it in the following way:

  • kukkanen → kukkaset ; small flower → small flowers
  • VirtanenVirtaset ;

-i (-j) edit

To pluralise a word with another suffix you put an i in between the word and the suffix(es). If there is a cluster of more than 2 vowels, then the i becomes a j

  • autossani → autoissani in my car → in my cars
  • autoa → autoja car → cars (partitive)

-a edit

When there is a number before the word to indicate an amount, you put an a after the word (in fact this is not a plural at all, but partitive: it is the number that takes the formal role of auto in the sentence, more about that later)

  • auto → kaksi autoa car → two cars
  • autoni → kaksi autoani my car → my two cars

Exercises edit

Answer to these exercises are at the end of the page.

Exercise Number One edit

Pluralize these Finnish words. Translations in English are beside some words.

  1. talo (house)
  2. koira (dog)
  3. kirja (book)
  4. lappu (note)
  5. näppäimistö (keyboard)
  6. takki (coat)
  7. mökki (cottage)
  8. koti (home)
  9. katu (street)
  10. jalas (runner)
  11. Leinonen
  12. kello (clock/bell)
  13. mato (worm)
  14. sänky (bed)
  15. piste (dot/point)

Exercise number two edit

Pluralize the following words. These are a bit harder than the previous ones.

  1. teko (act)
  2. lumihanki
  3. laite (gadget)
  4. pilvi
  5. haapa
  6. tuuletin
  7. tiede
  8. kanne
  9. kansi
  10. vaaka

Exercise number three edit

Pluralize these words which have another suffixes. There are rough translations in English.

  1. autossa (in a car)
  2. autona (as a car)
  3. kellossani (in my clock)
  4. kelloa (clock(partitive))
  5. kynällä (with a pen)
  6. koneessa (in a machine)
  7. korissa (in a basket)
  8. kirjasta (from a book)

Answers edit

Exercise Number One edit

  1. talot (houses)
  2. koirat (dogs)
  3. kirjat (books)
  4. laput (notes)
  5. näppäimistöt (keyboards)
  6. takit
  7. mökit
  8. kodit
  9. kadut (streets)
  10. jalakset
  11. Leinoset
  12. kellot
  13. madot
  14. sängyt
  15. pisteet

Exercise number two edit

  1. teot (acts)
  2. lumihanget
  3. laitteet (gadgets)
  4. pilvet
  5. haavat
  6. tuulettimet
  7. tieteet
  8. kanteet
  9. kannet
  10. vaa'at

Exercise number three edit

  1. autoissa (in cars)
  2. autoina (as cars)
  3. kelloissani (in my clocks)
  4. kelloja ((clocks)partitive)
  5. kynillä (with pens)
  6. koneissa (in machines)
  7. koreissa (in baskets)
  8. kirjoista (from books)


Nominative case edit

Nominative case vs. Accusative edit

The nominative case is what is used for the subject of the sentence, e.g. what is acting. This is in contrast to the accusative case, which is used for the object—what is acted upon.

For an English example, we will use the following sentence:

  • I pet the dog.

In this example, I is the subject so it is put into the nominative. The dog, on the other hand, is put into the accusative because it is the object.

English does not alter or mark nouns to express case, but rather requires that a strict word order be used (Subject/nominative, Verb, Object) when building sentences from which a noun's case can be automatically inferred. For example, in the following sentences:

  • The dog bites the man.
  • The man bites the dog

The dog in the first sentence must be the subject (and so in the nominative case), as it precedes the verb and object (in this case the man). In the second sentence, word order is reversed and so are the roles of the nouns in turn.

Finnish, however, does not depend on word order the way that English does to express the case of a noun.

Accusative case edit

The accusative is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a verb.

Exercise Number One edit

Make both singular and plural accusative forms of the following nouns.

  1. lehti
  2. mökki
  3. ranskalainen
  4. tuuletin
  5. alus
  6. vaaka

Exercise Number Two edit

Please translate the following short English sentences into Finnish. You must use accusative.

I saw the cottage.
I saw the cottages.

I noticed the name.
I noticed the names.

I brought the key.
I brought the keys.

I heard the piece of news.
I heard the news.

I read the newspaper completely.
I read the newspapers completely.

I saw the Frenchman and the Swede.
I saw the Frenchmen and the Swedes.

I bought the computer and the carpet.
I bought the computers and the carpets.

I saw the building and the statue.
I saw the buildings and the statues.

Exercise Number Three edit

Translate the following sentences into English. Pay attention to the difference between accusative and partitive and tell which is used.

1. Ammuin linnun.
2. Ammuin lintua.

3. Katsoin elokuvaa.
4. Katsoimme elokuvan.

5. Luitko sanomalehteä?
6. Luin sanomalehden.

7. Kuuntelimme pitkän puheen.
8. Kuuntelimme pitkää puhetta.

9. Onko teillä rahat?
10. Onko hänellä rahaa?

11. Tarvitsen paperia.
12. Tarvitsen paperit.

13. Korjasin uudet tietokoneet.
14. Korjasin uusia tietokoneita.

Exercise Number Four edit

Please translate the following sentences into English. Some nouns are in partitive and some in accusative.

  1. Ostin kilon omenat.
  2. Ostin kilon omenoita.
  3. Talot ja aidat on maalattu.
  4. Taloja ja autoteitä on korjattu tällä alueella.
  5. Hain tavarat. Sitten otin mukaani viivaimen ja muutamia työkaluja.
  6. Näin työpaikallani ruotsalaiset ja norjalaiset joista kerroit. Näin siellä myös aitoja espanjalaisia.

Partitive case edit

Partitive is used always in singular if: -We are talking about a material (water, air, metals, food etc.) and it doesn't work as subject of the sentences. -After numbers different from 1 (for example: two cars -> 2 autoa). -With some verbs -When the object is general

Exercise Number One edit

Translate following sentences into Finnish. You need a partitive case in them.

1. Three books. 6. Four litres.
2. Five euros. 7. 500 citizens
3. Eight years. 8. A half kilo.
4. A hundred trees. - 9. Many tons
5. A lot of money. 10. 0.25 kilometres.

Exercise Number Two edit

Make both singular and plural partitive form of these nouns.

An example: talo -> taloa(singular), taloja(plural)

  1. kissa
  2. kenkä
  3. kirja
  4. ovi
  5. kello
  6. työ
  7. raha
  8. ihminen
  9. kone
  10. Nieminen

Translate then these sentences into Finnish.

  • I mean the book.
  • I mean the doors.
  • I am using a machine.
  • I wear a hat.

Exercise Number Three edit

Inflect the following nouns in every personal pronoun in partitive both in singular and plural. An example with a word "talo":

  • Talo
  • (minun) taloani, (minun) talojani
  • (sinun) taloasi, (sinun) talojasi
  • (hänen) taloansa, (hänen) talojansa
  • (meidän) taloamme, (meidän) talojamme
  • (teidän) taloanne, (teidän) talojanne
  • (heidän) taloansa, (heidän) talojansa
  1. katto
  2. takki
  3. lehti
  4. kenkä

Exercise Number Four edit

Many verbs put the following noun in partitive form. Please make grammatically correct sentences by using the given words (a verb, a possessive pronoun, and a noun) and translate into English. An example:

  • Tarkoitan - sinun, koti -> Tarkoitan kotiasi (I mean your home)

1. Tarkoitan - sinun, työ
2. Katson - sinun, hattu
3. Tarvitsen - sinun, apu

4. Tarkoitan - minun, elämä
5. Käytän - minun, tietokone
6. Tarkoitan - minun, osoite

7. Tarvitsen - hänen, apu
8. Käytän - hänen, avain
9. Kuuntelen - hänen, puhe

10. Tarkoitan - meidän, tehdas
11. Korjaan - meidän, tietokone

12. Katselen - teidän, kokoelma
13. Ihailen - teidän, alus

14. Käytän - heidän, tuuletin
15. Rakastan - heidän, tytär

Exercise Number Five edit

Translate these simple Finnish sentences into English and pay attention to words in partitive case.

  1. Se maksaa 99 euroa ja 50 senttiä.
  2. Minulla ei ole kissaa.
  3. Katso kelloa!
  4. Käytän kenkiä.
  5. Teen kakkua.
  6. Luen kirjaa
  7. Luen kirjoja.
  8. Luemme sanomalehtiä.
  9. Tarkoitatko Mattia?
  10. Ajoitko autoa?
  11. Onko sinulla autoa?
  12. En sulkenut ovea.
  13. Osaan käyttää tätä konetta.
  14. Käytän joskus farkkuja. (farkut = jeans)

Exercise Number Six edit

Translate these simple sentences into Finnish.

  1. I mean the house.
  2. I mean the houses.
  3. I often play the violin.
  4. He is using a computer.
  5. He has got many computers.
  6. They always use the backdoor. (backdoor = takaovi)

Exercise Number Seven edit

Translate these Finnish sentences into English. To make things more complicated, this time almost all the nouns in partitive have personal pronoun suffixes. Note that some nouns are in plural.

  1. Juon kahvia, syön kakkuasi ja luen kirjojasi.
  2. Tarkoitan kaikkia kaupunkimme rakennuksia, en vain tuota rakennusta.
  3. Tarkoitan omaa taloani enkä sinun taloasi.
  4. Kävelimme pihaltamme puutarhaanne ja katsoimme hänen autojansa.
  5. Näimme siellä ruotsalaisia, italialaisia ja amerikkalaisen.
  6. Vihaan naapuriasi, uraasi ja koiriasi!
  7. Kotiimme saa tulla!
  8. Jalkaani koskee ja silmiini särkee.

Exercise Number Eight edit

Some nouns in partitive in the following sentences have errors. Try to spot and correct them as fast as possible!

  1. Luin yhtä elektroniikkalehtiä ja joitakin aikakauslehteä.
  2. Hän joi oluttaa ja söi kahta pihveä.
  3. Rakastan sinoa ja kauniitasi kasvotasi.
  4. Katsoin kääretä ja sen koristellisiä kuvioita.
  5. En voi sietää hänen virheitän ja kummallisuuksinan.

Essive case edit

The essive or case carries the meaning of a temporary state of being, often equivalent to the English "as a...".

In the Finnish language, this case is marked by adding "-na/-nä" to the stem of the noun. Example:

  • "lapsi" -> "child"
  • "lapsena" -> "as a child", "when (I/he/you) was a child".
  • "lapsina" -> "as children", "when (we/you'all/they) were children"

In Finnish, it is also used for specifying times, days and dates when something happens. For example:

  • "maanantaina" -> "on Monday"
  • "kuudentena joulukuuta" -> "on the 6th of December".

Exercise Number One edit

Translate these simple words and phrases into English.

  1. sinuna
  2. mökkinä
  3. insinöörinä
  4. opettajana
  5. soittimena
  6. lehtenä
  7. veljenä
  8. tiistaina
  9. miellyttävänä ihmisenä
  10. taitavina asiantuntijoina
  11. Hän on parempi tutkijana kuin insinöörinä.
  12. Hän on parempi näyttelijänä kuin sihteerinä.

Answers - Accusative case edit

Exercise Number One edit

  1. lehden, lehdet (The first one is a singular form and the second one is a plural form.)
  2. mökin, mökit
  3. ranskalaisen, ranskalaiset
  4. tuulettimen, tuulettimet
  5. aluksen, alukset
  6. vaa'an, vaa'at

Exercise Number Two edit

Näin mökin.
Näin mökit.

Huomasin nimen.
Huomasin nimet.

Toin avaimen.
Toin avaimet.

Kuulin uutisen.
Kuulin uutiset.

Luin sanomalehden kokonaan.
Luin sanomalehdet kokonaan.

Näin ranskalaisen ja ruotsalaisen.
Näin ranskalaiset ja ruotsalaiset.

Ostin tietokoneen ja maton.
Ostin tietokoneet ja matot.

Näin rakennuksen ja patsaan.
Näin rakennukset ja patsaat.

Exercise Number Three edit

There are some explanatory comments in brackets after translations.

1. I shot a/the bird dead (accusative)
2. I shot at a/the bird (It didn't necessarily die) (partitive)

3. I was watching a movie (It is not known if I watched the whole movie) (partitive)
4. We watched a/the (whole) movie (accusative)

5. Were you reading a newspaper? (partitive)
6. I read a/the (whole) newspaper (accusative)

7. We listened to a/the long speech (completely). (accusative)
8. We were listening to a long speech. (Not necessarily the whole of speech) (partitive)

9. Do you'all have the money? (It is question of the specific money) (accusative)
10. Does he/she have (some) money? (partitive)

11. I need (some) paper. (partitive)
12. I need the papers. (It is question of the specific papers) (accusative)

13. I fixed the new computers. (The new computers got fixed) (accusative)
14. I was fixing -/the new computers. (It is not known if the new computers got repaired) (partitive)

Exercise Number Four edit

  1. I bought the one-kilo-weighing apples. OR I bought the apples which weighed one kilo.
  2. I bought a kilo of apples.
  3. The houses and the fences have been painted.
  4. Houses and roads have been mended in this region.
  5. I took the items. Then I took the liner and some tools with me.
  6. I saw the Swedes and the Norwegians about whom you told in my workplace. I also saw real Spaniards there.

Answers - Partitive case edit

Exercise Number One edit

1. Kolme kirjaa 6. Neljä litraa.
2. Viisi euroa 7. 500 asukasta
3. Kahdeksan vuotta 8. Puoli kiloa
4. Sata puuta 9. Monta tonnia
5. Paljon rahaa 10. 0.25 kilometriä

Exercise Number Two edit

  1. kissaa(singular), kissoja(plural)
  2. kenkää, kenkiä
  3. kirjaa, kirjoja
  4. ovea, ovia
  5. kelloa, kelloja
  6. työtä, töitä
  7. rahaa, rahoja
  8. ihmistä, ihmisiä
  9. konetta, koneita
  10. Niemistä, Niemisiä
  • Tarkoitan kirjaa (Not: "tarkoitan kirja")
  • Tarkoitan ovia.
  • Käytän konetta.
  • Käytän hattua.

Exercise Number Three edit

  1.                        2.
  kattoani, kattojani       takkiani, takkejani
  kattoasi, kattojasi       takkiasi, takkejasi
  kattoansa, kattojansa     takkiansa, takkejansa
  kattoamme, kattojamme     takkiamme, takkejamme
  kattoanne, kattojanne     takkianne, takkejanne
  kattoansa, kattojansa     takkiansa, takkejansa
  3.                        4.
  lehteäni, lehtiäni        kenkääni, kenkiäni
  lehteäsi, lehtiäsi        kenkääsi, kenkiäsi
  lehteänsä, lehtiänsä      kenkäänsä, kenkiänsä
  lehteämme, lehtiämme      kenkäämme, kenkiämme
  lehteänne, lehtiänne      kenkäänne, kenkiänne
  lehteänsä, lehtiänsä      kenkäänsä, kenkiänsä

Exercise Number Four edit

1. Tarkoitan työtäsi (I mean your job)
2. Katson hattuasi (I am looking at your hat)
3. Tarvitsen apuasi (I need your help)

4. Tarkoitan elämääni (I mean my life)
5. Käytän tietokonettani (I am using my computer)
6. Tarkoitan osoitettani (I mean my address)

7. Tarvitsen hänen apuansa/apuaan (I need his/her help)
8. Käytän hänen avaintansa/avaintaan (I use his/her key)
9. Kuuntelen hänen puhettaan (I am listening his/her speech)

10. Tarkoitan tehdastamme (I mean our factory)
11. Korjaan tietokonettamme (I am fixing our computer)

12. Katselen kokoelmaanne (I am looking at your (y'alls) collection)
13. Ihailen alustanne (I admire your (y'alls) ship)

14.Käytän heidän tuuletintaan (I am using their fan)
15.Rakastan heidän tytärtään (I love their daughter)

Exercise Number Five edit

  1. It costs 99 euros and 50 cents.
  2. I don't have a cat.
  3. Look at the clock!
  4. I wear shoes.
  5. I am making a cake.
  6. I'm reading a book. OR I read a book.
  7. I'm reading books. OR I read books.
  8. We are reading newspapers.
  9. Do you mean Matti?
  10. Did you drive a car?
  11. Have you got a car?
  12. I did not close the door.
  13. I can use this machine.
  14. I wear jeans sometimes.

Exercise Number Six edit

  1. (Minä) tarkoitan taloa.
  2. (Minä) tarkoitan taloja.
  3. (Minä) soitan usein viulua.
  4. Hän käyttää (parhaillaan/tällä hetkellä) tietokonetta.
  5. Hänellä on useita tietokoneita.
  6. He käyttävät aina takaovea.

Exercise Number Seven edit

  1. I am drinking coffee, eating your cake and reading your books.
  2. I mean all the buildings of our town not just that building.
  3. I mean my own house and not your house.
  4. We walked from our yard to your garden and we looked at his/her cars.
  5. We saw there Swedes, Italians, and an American.
  6. I hate your neighbour, your career, and your dogs!
  7. You are allowed to come to our home! (Very literal translation would be: To our home (one) may come.)
  8. My foot hurts and my eyes hurt.

Exercise Number Eight edit

  1. Luin yhtä elektroniikkalehteä ja joitakin aikakauslehtiä.
  2. Hän joi olutta ja söi kahta pihviä.
  3. Rakastan sinua ja kauniita kasvojasi.
  4. Katsoin kääret ja sen koristeellisia kuvioita.
  5. En voi sietää hänen virheitänsä ja kummallisuuksiansa.

Answers - Essive case edit

Exercise Number One edit

  1. as you
  2. as a cottage
  3. as an engineer
  4. as a teacher
  5. as an instrument
  6. as a magazine
  7. as a brother
  8. on Tuesday
  9. as a pleasant person
  10. as capable/good experts
  11. He is better as a scientist than as an engineer.
  12. He is better as an actor than as a secretary.


Tenses edit

Finnish verbs have present, imperfect, perfect and pluperfect tenses.

Present edit

Present: corresponds to English present and future tenses. For the latter, a time qualifier may need to be used to avoid ambiguity.

Verb type 1

asua - to live, reside

asu a to live
...... .... .......
minä asu n I live
sinä asu t you live
hän asu u he/she lives
me asu mme we live
te asu tte you live
he asu vat they live

Exercise Number One edit

In each case use the personal pronoun with the correct present tense form of the verb.

Minä, sanon                  Sinä, sanot
Minä, kävelen                Sinä, kävelet
Minä, puhun                  Sinä, isket
Minä, aloitan               Sinä, kirjoitat

Hän, sanoo                 Me, sanomme
Hän, kävelee                 Me, kävelemme
Hän, kirjoittaa              Me, puhumme
Hän, katsoo                  Me, yrittämme

Te, sanotte                  He, sanovat
Te, kävelette                He, kävelevät
Te, korjatte                   He, yrittävät
Te, puhutte                  He, katsovat

Exercise Number Two edit

Translate the following simple Finnish sentences into English. Think if you should use future or present tense in your translations.

  1. Teen töitä juuri nyt.
  2. Puhut ja kerrot aivan liikaa.
  3. Ymmärrän sitä hyvin, mutta he eivät ymmärrä.
  4. Mietimme ja arvioimme eri ratkaisuja
  5. Tiedämme, että ajat sinne huomenna
  6. Tiedän, että te rakennatte sen ja sinä suunnittelet sen.
  7. Haluan, että menet sinne ja teet niin kuin sanon.
  8. Arvostamme sitä, että hän kirjoittaa paljon.

Exercise Number Three edit

Following is a short dialogue between Asko and Niina set in railway station. Fill in Finnish verbs to the gaps according to the hints given in brackets.

  • Asko: (It is) kylmä. Onneksi (you will get) junan lämpöön kohta.
  • Niina: Toivon että (you have time to get) perille ajoissa.
  • Asko: Valitettavasti minä en (get) mukaan.
  • Niina: Minä (will leave) nyt, koska juna (arrives). (I will call) sinulle myöhemmin.
  • Asko: Odota, sinun (must) sanoa minä päivänä sinä (will return) takaisin.
  • Niina: Minä (will come) takaisin seuraavalla viikolla. Näkemiin sitten! (I am going to) lähteä nyt.

Exercise Number Four edit

Almost all the verbs have errors. Try to spot and correct them as fast as you can.

  1. Tämä kuulua tänne.
  2. He tavaavat minut tänään.
  3. Sinä vain hajoitat kaiken!
  4. Minä terotan ja korjatan veitsiä.
  5. Me tietämme että sinä soittat ja kirjoitat joka päivä minulle.
  6. He soittaavat kännykällä minulle ja yritävät kertoa kaiken.
  7. Minä aion ryhtyä töihin ja he aiovat myös. Hänkin aikoa.
  8. Me kieltäytymme ehdotuksestasi, koska se vain haitataa meitä.

Answers edit

Present edit

Exercise Number One edit

Minä sanon                  Sinä sanot
Minä kävelen                Sinä kävelet
Minä puhun                  Sinä isket
Minä aloitan                Sinä kirjoitat

Hän sanoo                   Me sanomme
Hän kävelee                 Me kävelemme
Hän kirjoittaa              Me puhumme
Hän katsoo                  Me yritämme

Te sanotte                  He sanovat
Te kävelette                He kävelevät
Te korjaatte                He yrittävät
Te puhutte                  He katsovat

Exercise Number Two edit

  1. I am working just now.
  2. You talk and tell (people) far too much.
  3. I understand it well but they don't understand.
  4. We are thinking and estimating different results. (Or: We think and estimate differ...)
  5. We know that you will drive there tomorrow.
  6. I know that you'all will build it and you will plan it.
  7. I want you to go there and act as I say.
  8. We appreciate the fact that he writes a lot.

Exercise Number Four edit

  1. Tämä kuuluu tänne.
  2. He tapaavat minut tänään.
  3. Sinä vain hajotat kaiken!
  4. Minä teroitan ja korjaan veitsiä.
  5. Me tiedämme, että sinä luet ja kirjoitat joka päivä minulle.
  6. He soittavat kännykällä minulle ja yrittävät kertoa kaiken.
  7. Minä aion ryhtyä töihin ja he aikovat myös. Hänkin aikoo.
  8. Me kieltäydymme ehdotuksestasi, koska se vain haittaa meitä.


Grammar edit

The conditional mood expresses the idea that the action or state expressed by the verb may or may not actually happen. As in English, the Finnish conditional is used in conditional sentences e.g.:

  • "Minä kertoisin sinulle jos minä tietäisin" ("I would tell you if I knew")
  • "Minä tulisin jos minä voisin" ("I would come if I could")

and in polite requests e.g.:

  • "Haluaisin vähän kahvia" ("I would like some coffee")
  • "Haluaisin kuulla lisää" (I would like to hear more")

In the former case, and unlike in English, the conditional must be used in both halves of the Finnish sentence:

"ymmärtäisin jos puhuisit hitaammin" = *"I would understand if you would speak more slowly".

The characteristic morphology of the Finnish conditional is 'isi' inserted between the verb stem and the personal ending. This can result in a 'closed' syllable becoming 'open' and so trigger 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 and perfect tenses.

Exercises edit

Exercise Number 1 edit

Put the following sentences in conditional.

Example: Minä kävelen -> Minä kävelisin

-------------------------------- ---------------------------------
1. Minä ostan 7. Sinä katsot.
2. Minä yritän. 8. Sinä kirjoitat
3. Minä soitan. 9. Sinä juokset.
4. Minä kysyn. 10. Sinä ajat.
5. Minä ammun. 11. Sinä luet.
6. Minä luistelen. 12. Sinä tiedät.
1. Hän soittaa 7. Me laitamme
2. Hän menee. 8. Me yritämme
3. Hän yrittää. 9. Me tulemme
4. Hän katsoo. 10. Me kirjoitamme
5. Hän ymmärtää. 11. Me luemme
6. Hän hiihtää 12. Me luistelemme
--------------------------------- --------------------------------

Exercise Number 2 edit

Form sentences like in the example:

  • osata ruotsia - puhua hänelle ->
  • Jos osaisin ruotsia, (niin) puhuisin hänelle.
  1. asua norjassa - olla norjalainen
  2. puhua saksaa - muuttaa Saksaan
  3. osata ranskaa - puhua hänelle
  4. puhua kiinaa - lähteä Kiinaan lomalle
  5. pitää mämmistä - syödä sitä
  6. tulla rikkaaksi - muuttaa Lappiin
  7. elää Keniassa - olla köyhä
  8. voittaa lotossa - matkustaa Japaniin.
  9. saada paljon rahaa - mennä risteilylle

Exercise Number 3 edit

Make conditional sentences in Finnish according to the hints given in every line. Start every sentence with the word "jos". An example:

  • sinä, johtaja - he, iloisia -> Jos sinä olisit johtaja, (niin) he olisivat iloisia.
  1. minä, presidentti - minä, mahtava
  2. minä, köyhä - hän, surullinen
  3. sinä, hullu - minä, huolestunut
  4. hän, rikas - me, iloisia
  5. sinä, nopeampi - hän, iloinen
  6. me, insinöörejä - he, tyytyväisiä
  7. me, miljonääri - me, rikkaita
  8. te, laiskoja - he, raivostuneita

Exercise Number 4 edit

In this exercise remove all redundant words you can find, like in the example:

  • Me hiihtäisimme, jos me jaksaisimme. -> Hiihtäisimme, jos jaksaisimme.
  1. Minä laulaisin, jos minä osaisin laulaa.
  2. Jos minä osaisin uida, niin minä uisin.
  3. Jos sinä olisit kuningas, niin sinä olisit mahtava.
  4. Hän tulisi tänne, jos minä pyytäisin
  5. Jos te selittäisitte, niin hän ymmärtäisi.
  6. Jos me olisimme yrittäneet uida sinne, niin me olisimme hukkuneet.

Answers edit

Exercise Number 1 edit

The translations are shown in brackets.

1. Minä ostaisin. (I would buy) 7. Sinä katsoisit. (You would look/watch)
2. Minä yrittäisin. (I would try) 8. Sinä kirjoittaisit. (You would write)
3. Minä soittaisin. (I would play) 9. Sinä juoksisit. (You would run)
4. Minä kysyisin. (I would ask) 10. Sinä ajaisit. (You would drive)
5. Minä ampuisin. (I would shoot) 11. Sinä lukisit. (you would read)
6. Minä luistelisin. (I would skate) 12. Sinä tietäisit. (You would know)
1. Hän soittaisi. (He/she would call) 7. Me laittaisimme. (We would put/place)
2. Hän menisi. (He would go) 8. Me yrittäisimme. (We would try)
3. Hän yrittäisi. (He would try) 9. Me tulisimme. (We would come)
4. Hän katsoisi. (He would see/watch) 10. Me kirjoittaisimme. (We would write)
5. Hän ymmärtäisi. (He would understand) 11. Me lukisimme. (We would read)
6. Hän hiihtäisi. (He would ski) 12. Me luistelisimme. (We would skate)

Exercise Number 2 edit

As you may know the word "niin" is optional. There are also translations on the right for your convenience.

  1. Jos asuisin Norjassa, (niin) olisin norjalainen. (If I lived in Norway, I would be a Norwegian)
  2. Jos puhuisin saksaa, (niin) muuttaisin Saksaan. (If I spoke German, I would move to Germany.)
  3. Jos osaisin ranskaa, (niin) puhuisin hänelle. (If I knew French, I would talk to him/her.)
  4. Jos puhuisin kiinaa, (niin) lähtisin matkalle Kiinaan. (If I spoke Chinese, I would take a trip to China)
  5. Jos pitäisin mämmistä, (niin) söisin sitä. (If I liked mämmi, I would eat it)
  6. Jos tulisin rikkaaksi, (niin) muuttaisin Lappiin.
  7. Jos eläisin Keniassa, (niin) olisin köyhä.
  8. Jos voittaisin lotossa, (niin) matkustaisin Japaniin.
  9. Jos saisin paljon rahaa, (niin) menisin risteilylle.

Exercise Number 3 edit

  1. Jos minä olisin presidentti, (niin) minä olisin mahtava.
  2. Jos minä olisin köyhä, hän olisi surullinen.
  3. Jos sinä olisit hullu, minä olisin huolestunut.
  4. Jos hän olisi rikas, me olisimme iloisia.
  5. Jos sinä olisit nopeampi, hän olisi iloinen.
  6. Jos me olisimme insinöörejä, he olisivat tyytyväisiä.
  7. Jos me olisimme miljonäärejä, me olisimme rikkaita.
  8. Jos te olisitte laiskoja, he olisivat raivostuneita.

Exercise Number 4 edit

  1. Laulaisin, jos osaisin laulaa.
  2. Jos osaisin uida, uisin.
  3. Jos olisit kuningas, olisit mahtava.
  4. Hän tulisi tänne, jos pyytäisin.
  5. Jos selittäisitte, hän ymmärtäisi.
  6. Jos olisimme yrittäneet uida sinne, olisimme hukkuneet.


Finnish phrases by themes edit


Time in the Finnish language edit

Years edit

Mikä vuosi nyt on? What year is it now?
  Nyt on vuosi 2008 It is 2008 now

Months edit

  Tammikuu January
  Helmikuu February
  Maaliskuu March
  Huhtikuu April
  Toukokuu May
  Kesäkuu June
  Heinäkuu July
  Elokuu August
  Syyskuu September
  Lokakuu October
  Marraskuu November
  Joulukuu December

  Listen to all months read at once

Dates edit

  • The common Finnish date format is
  • for example 29.11. 2008 (November 29, 2008) can be read either
* kahdeskymmenesyhdeksäs yhdettätoista kaksituhattakahdeksan 
* kahdeskymmenesyhdeksäs marraskuuta kaksituhattakahdeksan

Days of Week edit

  Maanantai Monday
  Tiistai Tuesday
  Keskiviikko Wednesday
  Torstai Thursday
  Perjantai Friday
  Lauantai Saturday
  Sunnuntai Sunday

  Listen to all Days of Week read at once

  • In Finland Monday is the first day of the week.

The clock edit

  • Officially Finland uses 24 hours time format, although 12 hour format is being used aside it informally: kello on 13.30, kello on puoli kaksi, (it's 13:30).
  •   Listen to the numbers from 1 to 24 in Finnish : yksi, kaksi, kolme, neljä, viisi, kuusi, seitsemän, kahdeksan, yhdeksän, kymmenen, yksitoista, kaksitoista, kolmetoista, neljätoista, viisitoista, kuusitoista, seitsemäntoista, kahdeksantoista, yhdeksäntoista, kaksikymmentä, kaksikymmentäyksi, kaksikymmentäkaksi, kaksikymmentäkolme, kaksikymmentäneljä
  Kello on yksi It is one o' clock
  Kello on kaksi It is two o' clock
  Kello yhdeltä At one o' clock
  Kello kahdelta At two o' clock
  Kello on viisi minuuttia yli yksi It is five (minutes) past one

Hyvää päivää

<<Alphabet | Hello! | What is your name?>>

The first thing most people expect to say when meeting people is “Hello” or “Hi”. The polite and (very) formal way to greet people is to call them Mr, Mrs or Miss. These forms are used quite rarely in Finnish language.

  • Mr. – herra
  • Mrs. – rouva
  • Miss – neiti

There are several words you can use for "Hello":

Hei, Moi, and Terve.

Hei has become semiformal and is more formal than Moi or Terve. These greetings may also be translated as an informal way of saying "Good bye".

Hei Hei - Goodbye

Or you can say:

Näkemiin or a more informal version nähdään – Goodbye (literally "we shall see again").

You may also wish someone a good day, just as in English:

Hyvää huomenta or Huomenta – "Good morning" or (less formal) "Morning".

Hyvää aamupäivää – An alternative greeting used in the morning (literally Good early-day or morning day).

Hyvää päivää or Päivää – "Good day" or "Day". Very common, rather formal greeting.

Hyvää iltapäivää – "Good afternoon"; not used very commonly.

Hyvää iltaa or Iltaa – "Good evening".

Mitä kuuluu? or Kuinka voit / voitte? (more polite) – How are you?

Kiitos, hyvää. – Fine, thank you.

Ei niin hyvää, kiitos. – Not so good, thank you.

Where are you from? edit

Note that Italy is Italia in Finnish. Espoo is a city west of Helsinki.

Mistä olet kotoisin? – Where are you from?

or (more formal) Mistä olette kotoisin?

Olen (kotoisin)... -sta/-stä, -lta/-ltä – I am from...

  • Example: Olen (kotoisin) Italiasta – I am from Italy.

Missä asut? – Where do you live?

Asun... -ssa/-ssä, -lla/-llä – I live in...

  • Example: Asun Espoossa – I live in Espoo.

Example Dialog Number One edit

Here is an informal setting between Pekka and his friend Jussi.

  • Pekka: Hei, Jussi.
  • Jussi: Terve, Pekka.

Example Dialog Number Two edit

This is a (very) formal setting between Mr Virtanen and Mrs Mäkelä.

  • Herra Virtanen: Hyvää huomenta, rouva Mäkelä.
  • Rouva Mäkelä: Hyvää päivää, herra Virtanen.
  • Herra Virtanen: Mitä kuuluu?
  • Rouva Mäkelä: Kiitos, hyvää.

Exercises edit

Fill in the English translations, from memory, for the Finnish phrases below. You might want to review them first!

Moi: _____________

Hyvää päivää: _____________

Päivää: _____________

Hyvää huomenta: _____________

Mitä kuuluu?: _____________

Hyvää iltaa!: _____________

Olen Italiasta: _____________

Hei hei!: _____________

Mistä olet kotoisin?: _________________

Nimet ja kansalaisuudet

^^Contents^^ <<Hello! | What is your name? | Grammar-Vowel harmony>>

Now we are going to learn how to ask what someone's name is and ask what your name is. We are also looking on how to say your nationality, but first you need to know how to say the verb “to be”.

Olla – to be edit

olla - to be
Finnish English Finnish English
1st person (minä) olen I am 1 (me) olemme we are
2nd person (sinä) olet you are 1 (te) olette you are 3
3rd person hän on he/she is 2 he ovat they (persons) are
It se on it is ne ovat they (non-persons) are
  1. “Minä” and “sinä” are “mä” and “sä” in the common Finnish slang.
  2. “Hän” means 'he' or 'she', there's no distinction.
  3. "Te olette" can also be used when being polite, to only one person. This polite form is sometimes used to people who you are not acquainted with. This is similar to the French vous and the German Sie, although it is used more rarely.

In Finnish, minä, sinä, me and te are usually not used, as the verb form shows the person and number in question. If they are used, it is usually to emphasize the subject in the sentence.

Name edit

Mikä on nimesi? – What is your name?

Mikä on teidän nimenne? – What is your name? (more polite)

Nimeni on... – My name is...

Olen... – I am...

Example Dialog Number One edit

Pekka is meeting someone.

  • Pekka: Hei, mikä on nimesi?
  • Päivi: Terve. Nimeni on Päivi.
  • Pekka: Olen Pekka.

Example Dialog Number Two edit

Mr. Virtanen is meeting a new client.

  • Herra Virtanen: Hyvää huomenta, mikä on teidän nimenne?
  • Herra Hämäläinen: Hyvää päivää, nimeni on Hämäläinen. Mitä kuuluu?
  • Herra Virtanen: Kiitos, hyvää, herra Hämäläinen.

Nationality edit

We are now going to learn how to say your nationality. You say I am “Olen...” then the country, say England, “englanti” and a stem -lainen or -läinen”. So I am English is “Olen englantilainen”. It works for other countries “Olen ranskalainen”, “I am French”. To ask for someone's nationality, say:

Mikä on kansallisuutesi? – What is your nationality?

Mikä on kansalaisuutenne? – What is your nationality? (more polite)

Olen... – I am ...

yhdysvaltalainen – from United States

amerikkalainen – American

englantilainen – English

skotlantilainen – Scottish

walesilainen – Welsh. Note that the word Wales ends in a consonant. An i is added between "wales" and "lainen" to make it flow better.

pohjoisirlantilainen – Northern Irish

irlantilainen – Irish

eteläafrikkalainen – South African

kanadalainen – Canadian

australialainen – Australian

uusiseelantilainen – New Zealander

hollantilainen - Dutch

suomalainen – Finnish (Suomi - Finland)

ruotsalainen - Swedish (Ruotsi - Sweden)

venäläinen - Russian (Venäjä - Russia)

However, there are some exceptions to the rule:

brittiläinen or britti – British, because the word for Britain is Iso-Britannia.

The way of Olen... -lainen/-läinen exists even in cities and areas, so Olen helsinkiläinen is “I am a Helsinkian”, or Olen newyorkilainen "I am a New Yorker".

Note that although countries, cities and other definite areas are written with a capital letter in Finnish too, all nationalities are written with a small letter.

Exercise Number Two edit

These people are saying where are they from. Can you figure out the cities they are from? Beware, for some of them are quite difficult.

Tip: They are all capital cities.

Answers are on the Answer pages at the back of the book.

  1. Olen lontoolainen.
  2. Olen pariisilainen.
  3. Olen tokiolainen.
  4. Olen berliiniläinen.
  5. Olen kööpenhaminalainen.
  6. Olen riikalainen.
  7. Olen pekingiläinen.
  8. Olen kapkaupunkilainen.
  9. Olen ateenalainen.
  10. Olen tukholmalainen.


About this book edit

This book contains some dialogues in the Finnish language and their explanations in English. Audio files made by native speakers of Finnish will be included.

Finnish Dialogues edit

  1. First dialogue: Kohtaaminen metroasemalla (encounter in a metro station)

Dialogue 1

Dialogues in Finnish edit

Instructions edit

  • use the links: almost each word of the dialogue has been wiki-linked to a dictionary or grammar article. Click the links to go to another page. Then come back to this page using the "back" button of your browser (or alt-left arrow of the keyboard in many browsers).
  • Turn on your speakers! This page contains audio!
  • Please note! For the time being this is an unchecked beta version!

Kohtaaminen metroasemalla edit

(Encounter at a metro station)

Henkilöt (Cast) edit

Dialogue as audio edit

  Kohtaaminen metroasemalla

Dialogue as text and translation edit

1 Sakari: Hei ... anteeksi, mutta oletko sinä Markku? Hi ... excuse me, but are you Markku?
2 Markku: Olen. Entä kuka sinä olet? (Yes) I am. But who are you?
3 Sakari: Minä olen Sakari, entinen luokkatoverisi. I am Sakari, your former classmate
4 Markku: Ai, Sakari! Pitkästä aikaa! Mitä kuuluu? Oh, Sakari! Long time no see! How are you?
5 Sakari: Ihan hyvää. Olen nykyisin saksan opettaja. I'm fine. I am a German teacher nowadays.
6 Markku: Oho! Minä olen vielä opiskelija. Oh my! I am still a student!
7 Sakari: Kuka hän on? Who is she?
8 Markku: Hän on isosiskoni Tiina. She is my big sister Tiina.
9 Tiina: Hei! Hello!
10 Juha: Markku ja Tiina, missä te olette? Tulkaa jo, meidän täytyy mennä! Markku and Tiina, where are you? Hurry up, we need to go!
11 Tiina: Minulla on nyt kiire. Isä odottaa, mutta oli hauska tutustua. I'm in a hurry now. Dad is waiting, but it was nice to meet you.
12 Sakari: Samoin. Hei sitten. You too. Bye now!
13 Tiina: Hei hei! (Tiina lähtee.) Bye bye! (Tiina leaves)
14 Sakari: Siskosi on todella kaunis. Onko hän malli? Your sister is really beautiful. Is she a model?
15 Markku: Ei, vaan hän on toimittaja. Kaunis hän kyllä on. No, she is a journalist. Though she is pretty, indeed.
16 Juha: Markkuuu! Markku!!
17 Tiina: Markku! Tule jo! Markku, hurry up!

Vocabulary edit

kohtaaminen encounter   kohtaaminen |
metroasema subway station   metroasema
metro subway / underground / metro   metro
asema station   asema
henkilöt -> henkilö person   henkilö
toimittaja journalist, reporter   toimittaja
opiskelija student   opiskelija
veli brother   veli
saksan -> saksa German language (when written in lower case, With upper case: Germany)   saksa
opettaja teacher   opettaja
ja and   ja
isä father   isä
hei hello, hi, hey   hei
anteeksi sorry, excuse me   anteeksi
oletko are you   Olla (the verb "to be")
sinä you (singular only)   sinä
entä how about   entä
kuka who (interrogative word)   kuka
olet (you) are   Olla (the verb "to be")
minä I   Minä)
hän he / she   hän)
olen (I) am   Olla (the verb "to be")

Notes on vocabulary and grammar edit

The verb olla (to be) edit

  • Pay attention to how the verb has been used in the dialogue: "Oletko sinä...?" (are you...?), "olen" ( (I) am), "hän on" (she/he is).
  • Basic conjugation goes as follows:
(minä) olen I am (me) olemme we are
(sinä) olet you are (te) olette you are
hän/se on she/he/it is he/ne ovat they are

  Hear the above conjugation of the verb "olla"

  • Note that the pronoun (minä, sinä, me, te) is often omitted in a sentence because conjugation of the verb already indicates, who we are talking about. This means that when we say "olen", it goes without saying that we mean "minä olen": we are talking about "minä". When we talk about "sinä", the verb conjugates differently: "olet", and that form only corresponds the second person of singular.
  • See full Conjugation of olla
  • Use an online conjugator of Finnish verbs
  • Read more about Finnish verb conjugation

The word hei edit

The word "hei" can be a greeting like "hello" in English or "hej" in Swedish. Here Sakari used it to draw someone's attention to himself in order to ask a question "are you Markku?". It's a little bit like the English "hey", but there is no rude or impolite connotation in Finnish "hei". Later Tiina says "Hei!" to Sakari after they have been introduced to each others, meaning "hello" or "hi". Later, when she leaves, she says "hei hei!", that is equivalent to the phrase "bye bye!"

Cases of nouns in this dialogue edit

  • luokkatoverisi (classmate) is nominative. Don't be misled by the possessive suffix "-si" in the end. It only indicates "your classmate". Same with the word isosiskoni, that means "my big sister". You can use the word "minun" (my) or "sinun" (your) but you would still have to use the possessive suffix in standard Finnish, so using only the possessive suffix is very convenient. The possessive form of a word is only the headword and the suffix when the word itself ends with a vowel other than /i/.
  • saksan is genitive of saksa, German language. Note that names of languages are written without capitalization. Other genitive cases here are Tiinan ja Markun isä. Note genitive of Markku will be Markun (with one k only).
  • opettaja (teacher) is a nominative, as well as opiskelija (student) and most of the nouns used in this dialogue, apart from the phrases.

Forming questions edit

There is always an interrogative in the beginning of a question. It can be either an interrogative pronoun (like "kuka", "mikä", "missä", "milloin", "mistä" etc.) or if it is a yes/no question, you add the suffix "-ko" or "-kö" in the predicative of the sentence. The ending depends on the other vowels in that specific word. If there is /a/, /o/ or /u/, you should use "-ko". In other cases it is always "-kö". This is because of a phenomenon called "vowel harmony". In compound words, the ending depends on the latter part.

This means that "to eat" it is "syödä", so "Do you eat" is "Syötkö?", but as "to drink" is "juoda", "Do you drink?" is "Juotko?" You can also add these into other words, for example "Minäkö?" (Me?), "Tiekö?" (Road?) and "Yövuoroko?" (Night shift?). Basically, questions can't be formed with only raising the intonation neither do questions have to have a rising intonation, as you can hear on the recording.

1. Form an indicative sentence, like "Sinä olet Markku."

2. Replace the word you want with an appropriate interrogative word or add a suffix after it.

3. Put the word you changed in the beginning of the sentence.

Questions that can be formed using this sentence:

  • Kuka sinä olet?
  • Oletko sinä Markku?
  • Markkuko sinä olet?
  • Sinäkö olet Markku?

Questions in this dialogue (followed by the corresponding indicative sentence):

  • Oletko sinä Markku? (Sinä olet Markku.)
  • Kuka sinä olet? (Sinä olet Sakari.)
  • Mitä kuuluu? (Kuuluu hyvää.)
  • Kuka hän on? (Hän on Tiina.)
  • Missä te olette? (Te olette metroasemalla.)
  • Onko hän malli? (Hän on malli.)

Finnish names edit

In this story we have the following names. At first they look unique Finnish but in fact they all are Finnish derivatives of international names, usually coming from Greek, Latin, or Hebrew via Swedish, German or English.

  • Tiina <- Tina
  • Markku <- Mark, Marcus
  • Sakari <- Zachary
  • Juha <- John, Johan

Exercises edit

Olla / To be edit

Fill in the sentences with correct form of the 'olla (to be) to match the given pronoun and English translation.

Click on the line to see the correct answer.

Questions edit

Fill in the sentences with correct words to for an interrogative sentence according to the given English translation.

Click on the line to see the correct answer.

Phrases edit

Fill in the sentences with correct words to match the given English translation.

Click on the line to see the correct answer.

See also edit

Answers to exercises

Here are the answers to the exercies that are in the Wikibook.

Introduction edit

Exercise Number One edit

  1. history
  2. project
  3. list
  4. fax
  5. gallery
  6. link
  7. scandal
  8. copy (noun)
  9. idiot
  10. classic

Exercise Number Two edit

  1. lamp
  2. glass
  3. bomb
  4. stick, splinter
  5. thousand
  6. nail
  7. man
  8. card
  9. white
  10. Thursday

Names and nationalities edit

Exercise Number Two edit

  1. London (Lontoo)
  2. Paris (Pariisi)
  3. Tokyo (Tokio)
  4. Berlin (Berliini)
  5. Copenhagen (Kööpenhamina)
  6. Riga (Riika)
  7. Beijing or Peking (Peking)
  8. Cape Town (Kapkaupunki)
  9. Athens (Ateena)
  10. Stockholm (Tukholma)



Finnish ~ English
Learning the Finnish Language

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See also edit

Finnish dialogues

Finnish Language for Foreigners (English Translation)

Finnish Language in Use (English Translation)

Wikipedia articles about the Finnish language and the Finnish grammar.

The Finnish language edition of Wikibooks.

The Finnish language edition of Wikipedia.

Discuss the Finnish language and all things Finnish.

Appendix A

Finnish (Finno-Ugric) edit

Translation Phrase IPA Pronunciation Sound
Finnish suomi /'suomi/ (SUE-o-mi)   listen )
hello hyvää päivää /'hyvæː 'pæiʋæː/ (hoo-vah pay-vaah)   listen )
päivää /'pæiʋæː/ (pay-vaah)   listen )
good-bye näkemiin /'nækemiːn/ (NACK-eh-MEAN)   listen )
please ole hyvä /'ole 'hyʋæ/ (ole hoo-vah)   listen )
kiitos /'kiːtos/ (key-tose)   listen )
thank you kiitos /'kiːtos/ (key-tose)   listen )
that one tuo /'tuo/ (to-oh)   listen )
how much? kuinka paljon /'kuiŋka 'paljon/ (queen-ka pal-yone)   listen )
English englanti /'eŋlanti/ (ENG-lan-TEH)
yes kyllä /'kylːæ/ (kul-lah)   listen )
joo (informal) /'joː/ (yo)   listen )
no ei /ei/ (ey)   listen )
sorry anteeksi /'anteːksi/ (on-tak-see)   listen )
I don’t understand en ymmärrä /en 'ymːærːæ/ (en oom-mar-ra)   listen )
where is the toilet? missä on vessa? /'misːæ on 'ʋesːa/ (MIS-sah own VEHS-sah)   listen )
generic toast kippis /'kipːis/ (KIP-pis)   listen )
Do you speak English? puhutteko englantia? /'puhutːeko 'eŋlantia/ (poo-hoot-teh-koh eng-lawn-ti-a)   listen )
I don’t speak Finnish. en puhu suomea /'en pu-hu suo-mea/ (EN POO-hoo SUO-me-a)   listen )
I don’t know en tiedä /en 'tiedæ/ (en tee-eh-dah)   listen )