Monday, December 2, 2013

pitää - täytyy - on pakko - ei tarvitse


Here's a post about how to express necessity in Finnish.


First of all, whoever has to do something, is strangely in the genitive form:


  • minun (minä)
  • sinun (sinä)
  • hänen (hän)
  • meidän (me)
  • teidän (te)
  • heidän (he)
  • Kallen (Kalle)
  • Mikon (Mikko, notice the consonant change.)
  • George Clooneyn (George Clooney, notice how you only declinate the last name.)


The first verb is always in the third person singular form:


  • pitää (have to)
  • täytyy (have to)
  • on pakko (must)

Ta-daa, here are the sentences:


  • Minun täytyy ostaa uusi takki. - I have to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun pitää ostaa uusi takki. - I have to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun on pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I absolutely must buy a new jacket. 

In the negative sentences, use the verb tarvita.
  • Minun ei tarvitse ostaa uutta takkia. 

In past tense, it goes like this:
  • Minun täytyi ostaa uusi takki. - I had to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun piti ostaa uusi takki. - I had to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun oli pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I absolutely had to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun ei tarvinnut ostaa uutta takkia. - I didn't have to buy a new jacket.  

(If you are a beginner, you might want to stop reading now.)

Perfect tense:


  • Minun on täytynyt ostaa uusi takki. - I have had to buy a new jacket.
  • Minun on pitänyt ostaa uusi takki. - I have had to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun on ollut pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I absolutely have to buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun ei ole tarvinnut ostaa uutta takkia. - I haven't had to buy a new jacket. 

If you want to say should, just add the conditional isi. This works only in present and perfect tenses.


Present tense:


  • Minun täytyisi ostaa uusi takki. - I should buy a new jacket.
  • Minun pitäisi ostaa uusi takki. - I should buy a new jacket. 
  • Minun olisi pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I would absolutely have to buy a new jacket. 

Perfect tense:

  • Minun olisi täytynyt ostaa uusi takki. - I should have bought a new jacket.
  • Minun olisi pitänyt ostaa uusi takki. - I should have bought a new jacket.
  • Minun olisi ollut pakko ostaa uusi takki. - I would have absolutely had to buy a new jacket. 

If you want to ask something, just add ko or to the verb.

  • Pitääkö minun ostaa uusi takki? - Do I have to buy a new jacket?
  • Pitikö minun ostaa uusi takki? - Did I have to buy a new jacket?
  • Pitäisikö minun ostaa uusi takki? - Should I buy a new jacket?
  • Olisiko minun pitänyt ostaa uusi takki? - Should I have bought a new jacket?

Notice the tiny difference between these two sentences: 

  • Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uutta takkia? - Didn't you have to buy a new jacket?
  • Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uusi takki? - Weren't you supposed to buy a new jacket?

8 comments:

  1. Does

    Minun ei tarvitse ostaa uutta takkia

    mean:

    1. I don't have to buy a new jacket,

    or

    2. I must not buy a new jacket?

    I'm guessing 1. If so, how do you say 2?

    Cheers
    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note that "tarvita" means "to need", so the logic becomes clearer: "I need not buy a new jacket."

      Delete
  2. Yes, it means the number 1. To express the number 2, I'd use the verb 'saada' and say Minä en saa ostaa uutta takkia. - I'm not allowed to buy a new jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My guess:

    1. Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uutta takkia? - Didn't you have to buy a new jacket?
    This version treats "ostaa uutta takkia" ("buy a new jacket") as a unit, that is, they knew that you needed to go *do* something, and that something was buying a jacket.

    2. Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uusi takki? - Weren't you supposed to buy a new jacket?
    Here the emphasis is on "uusi takki" ("new jacket"). They knew that you needed to *buy* something, and that the jacket is the thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good guess, but I think the reason is that if you expect the answer to be positive, the object is in the basic form.

      - Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uusi takki? - Joo, piti ostaa, mutta en ostanut.

      If the supposed answer is negative, then the object is in the partitive form.

      - Eikö sinun pitänyt ostaa uutta takkia? - Ei pitänyt, mutta ostin kuitenkin.

      Delete
    2. It's actually the same thing as in

      - Onko sulla sisko? Do you have a sister? (I assume that you do, perhaps I heard somebody say something about it.)
      ans
      - Onko sulla siskoa? Do you have a sister? (This is the more common way to ask it. )

      Delete
  4. We have a question --

    'Auto täytyy pestä' < why is the subject, Auto, not in the genetive? Is it because it is usually the actor of the verb täytyy that takes the genetive and in a passive construction the subject of the sentence is not the actor? Or is there another reason?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Auto is the object in the sentence, and it's in the basic form because of the mun 'täytyy' structure. The sentence doesn't have a subject, 'täytyy' in this case is kind of general.

    ReplyDelete