Saturday, June 1, 2013


Se means it or that. In spoken language, se is also used when talking about he or she.

  • se: Kuka se oli? - Who was that?
  • sen: Mä seurustelin sen kanssa lukiossa. - I used to date him/her in high school.
  • sitä: Mä vihaan sitä! - I hate him/her! 
  • siinä: Mitä siinä kirjeessä oli? - What was in that letter?
  • siitä: Älä välitä siitä. - Don't care about it.
  • siihen: Mä en luota siihen. - I don't trust him/her. 
  • sillä: Mitä asiaa sillä oli? - What was his/her business? What did s/he want?
  • siltä: Mä sain siltä tosi oudon tekstiviestin. - I got a really strange text message from him/her. 
  • sille: Mä soitin sille eilen. - I called him/her yesterday. 
  • sinä: Mä olin sinä maanantaina koko päivän kotona. - On that Monday, I spent the whole day at home. 
  • siksi: Mä luulin sitä siksi Tiinan kirjaksi. - I thought that it was the book that belongs to Tiina. 

The place adverbs:

siinä, siitä, siihen - A small area that you cannot see or that is close to the recipient.

  • Siinä sinä olet! - There you are!
  • Ota siitä kahvia. - Take some coffee from there. 
  • Kirjoita siihen sun nimi. - Write your name (to) there. 

siellä, sieltä, sinne - A larger area that you cannot see or that is close to the recipient.

  • Mitä te teette siellä? - What are you doing over there?
  • Tulkaa pois sieltä! - Get out of there!
  • Menettekö te sinne autolla vai junalla? - Are you going (to) there by car or by bus?

If you found this post helpful, you might also like my posts about tämä and tuoI also have a Memrise course about se.


About the author of this blog:  

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti, and I am a native Finn who gives private lessons via Skype and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please leave a comment, if you have something to ask about Finnish or novels in easy Finnish.

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Nick O. said...

Too many words come from se! No wonder I hear si... se... sounding words at work everyday!

Anonymous said...

Dear Hanna,
This has nothing to do with the post above, I just wasn't sure where to go to suggest a new topic for a post. I was wondering: are there any common word-order mistakes that English-speakers make in Finnish, which we could learn to avoid? I've heard that Finnish word order is relatively flexible, but there must be some things we tend to get wrong?

Random Finnish Lesson said...

That's a good question! I'm actually planning a post about common English sayings and structures that are impossible to translate word-by-word in Finnish, and this is kind of in the same category.. but in general, the word order is quite flexible.

Unknown said...

Kiitos kovasti sun opetustasi.Sun työsi on valtava iso, ihmettelin miten jaksat vastata noin paljon kysymyksiin. Kunnioitan sinua. Yritän lukea useammin sinun blokejä, ne hyötyvät paljon.

chicklet said...

How to use silti or siltikin