Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Verb type 1

I know foreigners who have absolutely no clue of this amazing system of the verb types and who are still fluent in Finnish and live happy lives. However, if you are an analytical person and like the comfort of being able to place every single Finnish verb into one of the six categories, this one is for you.

I have included the four important forms of each verb so that you can analyze the logic of how to conjugate the verbs in persons and how to talk about the past. This one is about the verb type one. I also have posts about verb type 2, verb type 3, verb type 4 and verb type 5.

to live: asua, asun, asuin, asunut
  • Kuinka kauan te olette asuneet täällä? - How long have you been living here?

to say: sanoa, sanon, sanoin, sanonut
  • Mitä sinä sanoit? - What did you say?

to pay/cost: maksaa, maksan, maksoin, maksanut

to ask: kysyä, kysyn, kysyin, kysynyt

The rule? Drop the last vowel of the basic form before adding the personal ending. The past tense has either i, oi or si before the personal ending. or the present participle ending. The basic form has always two vowels in the end.

The possible consonant change:


to read: lukea, luen, luin, lukenut (k > nothing)
  • Mitä sinä luet? - What are you reading?

to give: antaa, annan, annoin, antanut (nt > nn)
  • Minä annoin sen sinulle eilen. - I gave it to you yesterday.

to sleep: nukkua, nukun, nukuin, nukkunut (kk > k)

to understand: ymmärtää, ymmärrän, ymmärsin, ymmärtänyt (rt > rr)
  • Vihdoinkin minä ymmärrän tämän! - Finally I understand this!

The consonant change with these verbs means that there is a strong grade in the basic form and the 3rd person, and a weak grade in 1st and 2nd persons. Here's the whole conjugation of nukkua:

I sleep = minä nukun                    
You sleep = sinä nukut                      
S/he sleeps = hän nukkuu (se nukkuu in spoken language)

We sleep = me nukumme (me nukutaan in spoken language)
You sleep = te nukutte
They sleep =  he nukkuvat (ne nukkuu in spoken language)

(I'll have a more detailed post about consonant change consonant pairs later. Meanwhile, you can look at look at these examples.)

The SI-past

So why does the past tense of ymmärtää have si just like the verb type 4 verbs?  If you have Leila White's Grammar book of Finnish, the rules are on page 190. The stem has a t and two vowels or n, r, or l in front of it. However, there are also exceptions such as antaa and hoitaa.  Here's my top 10 of the verbs to memorize by heart:

  1. to shout, to yell: huutaa, huudan, huusin, huutanut
  2. to fly: lentää, lennän, lensin, lentänyt
  3. to draw: piirtää, piirrän, piirsin, piirtänyt
  4. to find: löytää, löydän, löysin, löytänyt
  5. to know, to feel: tuntea, tunnen, tunsin, tuntenut
  6. to know: tietää, tiedän, tiesin, tiennyt
  7. to build: rakentaa, rakennan, rakensin, rakentanut
  8. to push: työntää, työnnän, työnsin, työntänyt
  9. to move: siirtää, siirrän, siirsin, siirtänyt
  10. to ask for: pyytää, pyydän, pyysin, pyytänyt

Read more: 

1 comment:

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