Saturday, November 23, 2013


Ikävä is an interesting word. It is an adjective with many slightly different meanings, but it is also used when missing somebody.

Ikävä as an adjective:

  • Minulla on ikäviä uutisia. - I have sad news.
  • Se on tosi ikävä kuulla. - That's really sad to hear.
  • Onpa ikävä ilma! - What a miserable weather!
  • Olipa ikävä ihminen! - Well that was an unpleasant person!
  • Ikävä kyllä, minä en voi tulla. - Unfortunately, I cannot come.

Use the structure minulla on ikävä when missing someone:

  • Minulla on isää ikävä! - I miss dad!
  • Minulla on kauhean ikävä sinua. - I miss you terribly.
  • Minulla on ollut sinua niin kova ikävä! - I've missed you so much! (kova = hard)
  • Oliko sinulla ikävä minua? - Did you miss me?
  • Onko sinulla koti-ikävä? - Are you homesick?
  • Minulle tuli yhtäkkiä kamala koti-ikävä!! - I suddenly became horribly homesick!

Notice that you miss someone in partitive:

  • Minulla on ikävä äitiä. - I miss mom. (Yes, the word order is flexible!)

In spoken language, the pronouns shorten:

  • Mulla on ikävä sua. - I miss you. 
  • Tuliko sulle äitiä ikävä? - Did you start missing your mom? (Oh, sorry about the bad translation, but there's a difference between missing, mulla on ikävä, and starting to miss, mulle tulee ikävä.)

If you're not sad enough by now, here's a song called Ikävä by Pave Maijanen. Nyyh!


sk said...

Perfect timing for this post! I haven't seen my favorite Finn for 2.5 months but will be heading to the airport in 8 hours to pick him up. I'll be sure to use "Minulla on ollut sinua niin kova ikävä!: said...

Great job, Hanna. This blog is fabulous!

Nick O. said...

Hei ja kiitos.
Today I revieved an email with this weird sentence:
Se ei ikävä kyllä ole mahdollista.

What is kyllä doing in there?

Random Finnish Lesson said...

It just is there. "Ikävä kyllä" is the same as "valitettavasti", so "unfortunately".

Nick O. said...

Aha. Thanks.

Liza said...

Hello Hanna! Thank you for your wonderful blog, it has been a valuable source of information on Finnish grammar and language usage for me for many years already :)
I was wondering whether it is "on ikävä kuulla" or "on ikävää kuulla"?
Usually I hear people using partitive as in "on mielenkiintoista kuulla". Also after this blogpost I somehow stuck to the idea, that "hyvä" is a kind of exception whereas other adjectives are primarily used in partitive.