Monday, December 29, 2014

How to make Finns speak Finnish, not English

Isn't it annoying, ärsyttävää, when you say something in Finnish, and people will reply to you in English? Here's what you can say to them:

  • Anteeksi, mutta mä en puhu englantia. - Sorry, but I don't speak English. 
  • Voitaisko me puhua suomea? - Could we speak Finnish, please? (Note to self: write a post about conditional in passive.)
  • Mä ymmärrän, että sä haluat auttaa ja olla kohtelias, mutta.. - I understand that you want to help and be polite, but..
  • haluaisin puhua suomea. - I'd like to speak Finnish. 
  • Mä puhun mieluummin suomea. -  I'd rather speak Finnish.
  • Sä voit puhua mulle suomea. - You can speak Finnish to me. 
  • kysyn sitten, jos mä en ymmärrä jotain. - I'll ask if I don't understand something.

Sometimes you really want to explain it:

  • Anteeksi, mutta mä en halua puhua englantia, koska mä haluan harjoitella ja oppia suomea, koska mä asun Suomessa. - Sorry, but I don't want to speak English, because I want to practice and learn Finnish, because I live in Finland. 

This is probably what most of you think.. Perhaps not the best idea to say these ones aloud.:)

  • Mä en kestä tätä! Taas! - I cannot stand this! Again!
  • Mä en ole täällä sen takia, että sä voisit harjoitella englantia mun kanssa. - I'm not here so that you could practice English with me. 
  • Sä et ehkä jaksa kuunnella mun virheitä tai odottaa, kun mä mietin oikeaa sanaa, mutta en mäkään jaksa aina kuunnella sun englantia. - You might not feel like listening to my mistakes or wait while I'm thinking about the correct word, but I don't always feel like listening to your English, either. 

You might also like my post about Asking for help with Finnish.


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. I also have an Instagram account that you can follow.

"Read a novel in easy Finnish. It might be surprisingly fun and easy!"

Friday, December 12, 2014

Participles in a nutshell

I really like participles. In short, they are kind of like verbs turned into adjectives. They behave like any adjective, so you can add case endings, and some of them you can even compare. Participles are really common in written texts. In spoken language, we often replace the participle with a sentence that starts with joka. Some participles are also used in past tense expressions and other slightly complicated structures.

A reading girl
A girl who reads
A girl who read
A girl who has read
A book that has to be read
A book that can be read
A book that will be read
A book that has been read
A book that the girl read
A book that the girl has read
Lukematon kirja
A book that has not been read


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.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Online shopping in Finnish

I was asked to write a post about online shopping in Finnish. I use ifolor for ordering photos, and adlibris and for occasional books, but otherwise I'm not so familiar with the topic. Here's a list of words and phrases that you might find useful:

  • Alennuskoodi - Discount code
  • Asiakaspalvelu - Customer service
  • Hae tuotetta - Search for a product
  • Kassalle - To checkout
  • Kiitos tilauksesta! - Thank you for the order!
  • Kirjaudu - Log in
  • Käyttäjätunnus - User ID
  • Lataa - Download
  • Lisää ostoskoriin - Add to the shopping basket
  • Muokkaa ostoskoria - Edit the shopping basket
  • Oma tili - (Your) own account
  • Ostokorisi on tyhjä. - Your shopping basket is empty.
  • Pysy sisäänkirjautuneena? - Stay logged in?
  • Rekisteröidy - Register
  • Salasana - Password
  • Salasana unohtunut? - Password forgotten?
  • Tallenna - Save
  • Tilaa - Order
  • Tilaa uutiskirjeemme - Order our newsletter
  • Tuotteesi - Your products
  • Tuotteet - Products
  • Usein kysyttyä - Frequently asked
  • Uutuuksia - Newly arrivals

Let me know if I'm missing something important.:)

Oh, if you have extra money and you don't know what you want, I'm sure you'll find something in Mulle toi. = That one for me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Present participle passive

Do you remember my post about the present participle active? Well, this participle is almost the same, but in passive. You can also call this form the passive form of the VA-participle.  Actually, the passive present participle is my favourite of the six different participles, because it can mean so many different things: something that will be done, something that can be done, something that is usually done,  or something that must be done. You can decide the meaning from the context!

Here's how to make the form. The ending is either tava, tävä, ttava or ttävä. Like in passive, the verb type 1 is different from the others as you first make the 1st person singular (minä) form, drop the n and change the possible a or ä into e before adding the participle ending.

  • lukea > luen > luettava - something to read, something that will be read
  • uskoa > uskon > uskottava - believable
  • kantaa > kannan > kannettava - portable, something that can be carried
  • käyttää > käytän > käytettävä - something that will be used
  • ymmärtää > ymmärrän > ymmärrettävä - understandable

Other verb types are more simple: just drop the infinitive ending before the participle ending. (Or just play it by the ear!)

  • syödä > syö >  syötävä - edible, something to eat
  • juoda > juo > juotava - drinkable, something to drink
  • käsitellä > käsitel > käsiteltävä - something that will be handled or discussed
  • pestä > pes > pestävä - something that has to be washed
  • siivota > siivot > siivottava - something that will be cleaned

Here are some example sentences with the same verbs:

  • Mulla ei ole mitään luettavaa. - I don't have anything to read.
  • Se on uskottava selitys. - That's a believable explanation.
  • Saanko mä lainata sun kannettavaa (tietokonetta)? - Can I borrow your laptop?
  • Tämä kurssilla käytettävä kirja on tosi hyvä. - This book we're using in the course is really good. 
  • Se on ymmärrettävää. - That's understandable.
  • Onko se vielä syötävää? - Is it still edible?
  • Haluatteko te jotain juotavaa? - Do you want something to drink? 
  • Huomenna käsiteltävä aihe on vielä salaisuus. - The topic that will be discussed tomorrow is still a secret.
  • Mulla on vielä kolme siivottavaa huonetta. - I still have three rooms that I have to clean. 

Notice how to use the translative and essive cases with this participle form:

  • Vein hääpuvun pesulaan puhdistettavaksi. - I took the wedding dress to the cleaners to be cleaned.
  • Hääpuku on pesulassa puhdistettavana. - The wedding dress it at the cleaners being cleaned. 

As if this wasn't enough, the VA-participle passive is also often used instead of the necessive structure:

  • mennä > Mun on mentävä. - I have to go. 
  • oppia > Sun on opittava tämä asia. - You have to learn this thing.
  • pyytää > Sen on pyydettävä anteeksi. - He has to apologize.
  • lähteä > Meidän on lähdettävä. - We have to leave. 
  • tulla > Teidän on tultava huomenna! - You  have to come tomorrow.
  • tietää > Niiden on tiedettävä jotain. - They must know something.

Onko jotain kysyttävää? - Anything to ask?

p.s. Check out my post about the participles in a nutshell

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Studying nursing in Finnish

Many foreigners come to Finland to work as nurses, or to study nursing in English language programs provided by universities of applied sciences.  I though it might be interesting to collect nursing-related links here, and I'm also hoping to get useful comments and links from my readers.:)

Finnish language online material for nurses:

Finnish language text books for nurses:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The verb tarvita is so confusing. It is used in two different sentence types, and its conjugation is different in written and spoken language.

Here's the official conjugation:

Tarvita, tarvitsen, tarvitsin, tarvinnut

  • Minä tarvitsen - I need
  • Sinä tarvitset - You need
  • Hän tarvitsee - S/he needs
  • Me tarvitsemme - We need
  • Te tarvitsette - You need
  • He tarvitsevat - They need

However, in spoken language, it goes like this:

  • Mä tarviin 
  • Sä tarviit
  • Se tarvii
  • Me tarvitaan
  • Te tarviitte
  • Ne tarvii

Some people say like this:

  • Mä tartten
  • Sä tarttet
  • Se tarttee
  • Me tarttetaan
  • Te tarttette
  • Ne tarttee

Here's how to use tarvita in a normal sentence. First the official form, then spoken language.

  • Mä tarvitsen rahaa. Mä tarviin rahaa. Mä tartten rahaa. - I need money. 
  • Mitä sä tarvitset? Mitä sä tarviit? Mitä sä tarttet?  - What do you need?
  • Tarvitsetko apua? Tarviiksä apuu? Tartteksä apuu?  - Do you need help?
  • Minä en tarvitse sinua. Mä en tarvii sua. Mä en tartte sua.  - I don't need you.
  • Me emme tarvinneet mitään. Me ei tarvittu mitään. - We didn't need.

Hmm. Now that I think of it, the past tense is kind of tricky as the mä tarviin expression doesn't seem to have a positive past tense, or it is the same as the present:

  • Minä tarvitsen - I need > Minä tarvitsin - I needed 
  • Mä tarviin > ?
  • Mä tartten > Mä tarttin

Therefore, people often use the forms of tarttea (The basic form is never used!) in the past tense.

  • Se tarvii mun apua. Se tarttee mun apua. - He needs my help. 
  • Se tartti mun apua. - He needed my help.
The other case when you need the verb tarvita is when you don't have to do something.

  • Minun pitää mennä. Mun pitää mennä. - I have to go. 
  • Minun ei tarvitse mennä. Mun ei tarvii mennä. - I don't have to go. 
  • Meidän piti lähteä. - We had to leave. 
  • Meidän ei tarvinnut lähteä. - We didn't have to go.      


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.

"Read a novel in easy Finnish. It might be surprisingly fun and easy!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Feeling verbs

Certain verbs that express emotional or physical feelings (and changes) are conjucated in a peculiar way. Whoever feels something is in partitive, and the verb is in third person, as the idea is that something is making you feel like something. If you want to express that something happens in general, you can leave the pronoun out. All the verbs in this list are transitive. Some of them have an intransitive counterpart (e.g. väsyttää, to make tired > väsyä, to get tired), but not all.

  • ahdistaa: Mikä sua ahdistaa? - What's making you feel anxious?
  • aivastuttaa: Mikä sua aivastuttaa? - What's making you sneeze? 
  • janottaa: Mua janottaa. - I'm thirsty.
  • harmittaa: Eikö sua harmita tämä asia? - Doesn't this thing annoy you? (Less than ärsyttää)
  • haukotuttaa: Mua on haukotuttanut koko päivän. - I've felt like yawning the whole day.  
  • hermostuttaa: Mikä sua hermostuttaa? - What's making you nervous?
  • huimata: Minua huimaa. - I'm feeling dizzy. 
  • itkettää: Itke, jos itkettää. - Cry, if you feel like crying.
  • kaunistaa: Kylmä kahvi kaunistaa. - Cold coffee makes you pretty. (A Finnish proverb. Yeah right.)
  • kutittaa: Mun korvaa kutittaa. - My ear itches. Älä kutita mua! - Don't tickle me! 
  • lihottaa: Sokeri lihottaa. - Sugar makes you fat. 
  • masentaa: Älä masenna mua. - Don't make me feel depressed. 
  • naurattaa: Mikä sua naurattaa? - What's making you laugh? Why are you laughing?
  • oksettaa: Oksettaako sua? - Do you feel like throwing up?
  • pelottaa:  Mikä sua pelottaa? - What are you afraid of?
  • pierettää: Mene ulos, jos sua pierettää. - Go outside, if you feel like farting. 
  • pissattaa: Pissattaako sua? - Do you have to pee?
  • pyörryttää: Minua pyörryttää. - I feel like I'm going to faint. 
  • vituttaa: Mikä sua vituttaa? - What's pissing you off? (Very vulgar, but used a lot.)
  • väsyttää: Mua väsyttää. - I'm feeling tired. 
  • ärsyttää: Mua ärsyttää tänään kaikki. - I'm annoyed by everything today. (More than harmittaa.)

If this was useful, you might also like my post about tuntea, tuntua and tutustua and How do you feel in Finnish?


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.

"Reading is fun when it's easy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Music terminology in Finnish

Here's a list of music vocabulary for those who are interested. This website and Wiktionary were great sources, and an American musician friend. I will edit this list when needed, so feel free to suggest new items. (And join a choir! Here's a list of most of the choirs in Finland.)

  • alennusmerkki - a flat
  • apuviiva - a ledger line
  • duuri - major
  • epävireessä - out of tune
  • epävireinen - out of tune (adjective)
  • intervalli - an interval
  • kaksoistahtiviiva - a double bar
  • kertausmerkki  - a repeat mark
  • koho - upbeat, pick-up
  • koelaulu - an audition (in singing)
  • kokonuotti - a whole note
  • kokotauko - a whole rest
  • kuoro - a choir
  • kvartti - fourth
  • kvintti - fifth
  • loppumerkki - a double bar
  • maali - an ending
  • melodia - a melody 
  • molli - minor
  • neljäsosanuotti - a quarter note
  • neljäsosatauko - a quarter rest
  • nuotinpää - a note head
  • nuotinvarsi - a note stem
  • nuotit - music, score
  • nuottiavain - a clef
  • nuottiviivasto - a staff
  • oktaavi - octave
  • orkesteri - an orchestra
  • palkki - a bar
  • pieni  - minor (with intervals)
  • puhdas - perfect
  • puolinuotti - a half note
  • puolitauko - a half rest
  • priimi - unison
  • seksti - sixth
  • sekunti - second
  • septimi - seventh
  • sointu - a chord
  • suuri - major (with intervals)
  • sävel - a note
  • sävellaji - a key
  • sävellajimerkintä - a key signature
  • sävelmä - a melody, a tune
  • tahti - a measure
  • tahtiosoitus - a time signature
  • tahtiviiva - a barline
  • terssi - third
  • vireessä - in tune
  • vähennetty - diminished
  • ylennysmerkki - a sharp
  • ylinouseva - augmented

Verbejä - Verbs

  • säveltää - to compose
  • sanoittaa - to write the lyrics
  • sovittaa - to arrange
  • laulaa - to sing
  • soittaa - to play an instrument
  • johtaa - to conduct
  • säestää - to accompany
  • harjoitella - to practice

Ihmisiä - People

  • johtaja - a conductor
  • laulaja - a singer
  • sanoittaja - a lyricist
  • soittaja - a player
  • solisti - a soloist
  • sovittaja - an arranger
  • säestäjä - an accompanist
  • säveltäjä - a composer

"Read a novel in easy Finnish. It helps you learn more Finnish."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

hyvä - hyvää - hyvin

Hyvä can be a surprisingly difficult word. It's used a lot, and many times you just want to express that something is good or great with one word. But shoud you say Hyvä or Hyvää?  I'm guessing that even if you make a mistake when using hyvä, your Finnish friends don't correct you, because...

  1. They understand what you mean. 
  2. They don't want to be impolite or make you feel bad. 
  3. They don't want to end up in the situation where they have to talk about Finnish grammar. 

Say hyvää when you are eating or drinking something and you want to express that it tastes good. Hyvää is also used when the question word requires it. Notice that the translations are horrible on purpose.:)

  • Mitä sulle kuuluu? - Hyvää. - What is hearing to you? - Good.
  • Millaista ruokaa siellä oli? - Hyvää. - What kind of food there was? - Good.

Hyvä! is used when reacting to incidents and news. Unless you are eating or drinking something, this is usually the one you should use.

  • jätin mun poikaystävän. - Hyvä! - I dumped my boyfriend. - Good!
  • Tämä korjataan huomenna. - Hyvä! - This will be fixed tomorrow. - Good!

(Confusingly, if you want to use any other adjective as a one word expression, they are in partitive. Mahtavaa! Hienoa! Kamalaa! - Excellent! Great! Horrible! )

Hyvin is well. It's an adverb of manner and answers the question miten or kuinka

  • Miten sä voit? - Hyvin. - How are you feeling? - Well.
  • Miten menee? - Hyvin. - How's it going? - Well. 
  • Kuinka työhaastattelussa kävi? - Hyvin. - How did the job interview go? - Well. (Käydä is to happen in this context.)

Nämä ovat hyviä kirjoja, jos haluat opiskella suomea hauskalla tavalla.
Tässä on kaikki, mitä olen kirjoittanut selkokielestä.


About the author of this blog:  

Nice to have you here! 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. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Job interview in Finnish

Here's a list of random questions that you might hear in a job interview - työhaastattelu.
  1. Miksi sä haet tätä paikkaa? - Why are you applying for this position?
  2. Kuinka sä kuulit tästä työpaikasta? - How did you hear about this job?
  3. Mitä sä teet tällä hetkellä? - What do you do at the moment?
  4. Kerrotko jotain sun työhistoriasta. - Please tell something about you work history.
  5. Onko sulla mitään kokemusta asiakaspalvelusta? - Do you have any experience in customer service?
  6. Mitä sä olet opiskellut? - What have you studied?
  7. Kuinkapäädyit tälle alalle? - How did you end up in this field?
  8. Millainen työkaveri sä olet? - What kind of a coworker are you?
  9. Mitä annettavaa sulla olisi meidän työyhteisölle? - What would you have to give to our work community?
  10. Mitä sä tekisit tällaisessa tilanteessa? - What would you do in this kind of situation? (Followed by an example situation.)
  11. Mitkä on sun vahvuudet työntekijänä? - What are you strenghts as an empoyee?
  12. Mitä taitoja sä haluaisit kehittää? - Which skills would you like to develop?
  13. Sun ansioluettelossa lukee, että sä osaat kiinaa. Seuraavaksi mä voisin kysyä pari kysymystä kiinaksi. - According to you CV, you know Chinese. Next, I could ask a couple of questions in Chinese. 
  14. Haluaisitko kysyä meiltä jotain? - Would you like to ask us something?
  15. Milloin voit aloittaa? - When can you start?
Onnea työnhakuun!  - Good luck with finding a job!
Onnea työhaastatteluun! - Good luck with the job interview!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I have a feeling that Syke is going to be an excellent hospital drama series! Syke means a pulse or a heartbeat. The show starts on October 29 at 21.00 and is viewable in Yle Areena after that. The storyline focuses on four nurses who work in a trauma center of a large hospital.  You can read more about the show and the characters in Finnish on this Yle website. Remember to click on the Finnish subtitles when watching the show!

Elämä. Kuolema. Draama. - Life. Death. Drama.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Book2 and its 50 Languages Android application are my favourite ways to study a new language or brush up a language that I should know better, in this case Russian. I used to study Russian in highshool 20 years (!!!) ago, and I've tried to continue studying it on my own ever since. Russian is a super useful language for a Finnish teacher, so I've decided to start taking it seriously. I listen to the Book 2 audio material, watch the Yle Novosti news, and study my text book daily. I also enjoy these Youtube videos. (The author of the Russian lessons has also great Finnish lessons on Youtube!) My next step is to ask a Russian speaking friend for a walk in the woods in Finnish and in Russian. And to continue studying every day, not just today.:)

  • Puhutaan venäjää! - Let's speak Russian!
  • Kuinka tämä sanotaan venäjäksi? - How do you say this in Russian?
  • Oletko ollut Venäjällä? - Have you been to Russia?
  • Ooksä venäläinen? - Are you Russian?
  • Mä oon kotoisin Venäjältä. - I'm from Russia. 
  • Mitä mun pitäsi ottaa mukaan Venäjälle? - What should I bring with me to Russia?
  • Ville Haapasalo on kuuluisampi Venäjällä kuin Suomessa. - Ville Haapasalo is more famous in Russia than in Finland.
  • Lappeenrannassa on paljon venäläisiä. - There are a lot of Russians in Lappeenranta. 
  • Miksei Suomen televisiossa näytetä venäläisiä elokuvia? - Why don't they show Russian movies on Finnish tv?
  • Voi Venäjä! - Oh, Russia! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Asking ko-questions in spoken language

Asking questions with the question ending ko or can be a bit different in spoken language. Some people don't really say the ko or , but instead, there's a ks between the verb and the personal pronoun.

  • Onko sinulla rahaa? > Onks sul rahaa? - Do you have money?

Here the example verb is syödä, to eat. First the written language version, then the same question in spoken language:

  • Syönkö minä? > Syönks mä? - Do I eat?
  • Syötkö sinä? > Syöks sä? / Syöt sä? - Do you eat? (Yes, two variations!)
  • Syökö hän? > Syöks se? - Does s/he eat?
  • Syömmekö me? > Syödäänks me? - Do we eat?
  • Syöttekö te? > Syötteks te? - Do you eat?
  • Syövätkö he? > Syöks ne? - Do they eat?

In a negative question, the ks ending is added to ei.

  • Enkö minä syö? > Enks mä syö? - Don't I eat?
  • Etkö sinä syö? > Eksä / Etsä syö? - Don't you eat?
  • Eikö hän syö? > Eiks se syö? - Doesn't s/he eat?
  • Emmekö me syö? > Eiks me syödä? - Don't we eat?
  • Ettekö te syö? > Etteks te syö? - Don't you eat?
  • Eivätkö he syö? > Eiks ne syö? - Don't they eat?

Finally, 10 random eating-related questions in spoken language:

  1. Onks teillä mitään syötävää? - Do you have anything to eat?
  2. Syöksä lihaa? - Do you eat meat? (I like to write it like this, because I only pronounce one s. Anyway, it's spoken language so you can write it as you want.:))
  3. Syötteks te meidän pöydässä? - Will you eat at our table?
  4. Saanks mä syödä loput? - May I eat the rest?
  5. Söitteks te jo? - Did you eat already?
  6. Etteks te syö mitään? - Won't you eat anything?
  7. Eksä syöny mitää? - Didn't you eat anything?
  8. Eiks sulla oo nälkä? - Aren't you hungry?
  9. Oliks hyvää? - Was (it) good?
  10. Otaksä lisää? - Will you take some more?

Notice that not everybody uses all of these forms, and especially the forms of the personal pronouns depend on the dialect. If you have Finnish friends, ask how they would say these sentences.:)

If you liked this, you might also like my post about spoken language tips. And if you like my blog, you might also like my Facebook page , my Instagram account, and a list of all the courses I organize. 

Ooksä lukenu selkokirjoja? = Oletko lukenut selkokirjoja?

Saturday, October 11, 2014


There was a small episode about the word whiskey that inspired me to write this post. If you are in Finland in October 24 and like beer and whiskey, go here.

  • Tykkäätkö sä viskistä? - Do you like whiskey?
  • Juotko sä viskiä? - Do you drink whiskey?
  • Kuka haluaa viskiä? - Who wants whiskey? 
  • Oletko sä taas juonut viskiä? - Have you been drinking whiskey again?
  • Sä haiset viskiltä.  - You smell like whiskey.
  • Ostetaan viskiä! - Let's buy some whiskey!
  • Otetaan viskiä!  - Let's take some whiskey!
  • Kenellä on viskiä? - Who has whiskey?
  • Jee, viskiä! - Yay,  whiskey!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

toinen - seuraava - ensi

I've noticed that many people are kind of confused with these three words. I hope that this post is helpful, not confusing.

Toinen is second, else, other or another.

  • Kuka tuli toiseksi? - Who came second? 
  • Onko sinulla joku toinen? - Do you have someone else?
  • Joku toinen kerta sitten. - Some other time then.
  • Lue joku toinen kirja. - Read some other book.
  • Meitä oli neljätoista. - There were fourteen of us. (Yes, you can think of neljätoista being four of the second set of tens.)

Seuraava is next or following. (From the verb seurata, to follow.)

  • Kuka oli jonossa seuraavana? - Who was the next in line?
  • muutin seuraavana vuonna Ruotsiin. - I moved to Sweden the following year.
  • Seuraavana päivänä hän haki avioeroa. - The following day she filed for divorce.

Ensi is next. It's usually used when referring to time.

  • Nähdään ensi viikolla! - See you next week!
  • Mitä sä teet ensi viikonloppuna? - What are you doing next weekend?
  • Oletko vielä ensi vuonna Suomessa? - Are you still going to be in Finland the next year?


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.

Lue selkokirja. Se voi olla yllättävän helppoa ja kivaa!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Liking in Finnish

To like in Finnish is either tykätä or pitää. I usually use tykätä. It's more common in spoken language, and pitää is used for so many other things as well. Whatever you like in Finnish, you have to put it in the elative case, which means the from ending sta or stä. (I haven't really written anything about the verb rections yet, but there is this wonderful website that you can check out.)

  • Mä tykkään kahvista. - I like coffee.
  • Mä en tykkää tästä. - I don't like this. 
  • Tykkäätkösuomalaisesta musiikista? - Do you like Finnish music?
  • tykkäsin tästä ennen, mutta en tykkää enää. - I used to like this, but I don't like (it) anymore. 

The four important forms are tykätä, tykkään, tykkäsin, and tykännyt. Notice that in spoken language, the question Tykkäätkö sä becomes even shorter, and that there are actually two widely used variations of it:

  • Tykkäätkö sä? > Tykkääksä? (I use this one.)
  • Tykkäätkö sä? > Tykkäätsä? (I have a feeling that this one is more common in Southern Finland.)

Anyway, when you like to do something, use either the basic for of the verb:

  • Mä tykkään opiskella suomea.  - I like to study Finnish.
  • Tykkäätkö sä asua Suomessa? - Do you like to live in Finland?

..or make the verb into a noun:

  • Tykkäätkö sä leipomisesta? - Do you like baking?
  • Mä tykkään kielten opiskelemisesta. - I like studying languages. 

A lot of times we like things that are in plural, and the plural in Finnish can be quite tricky if the noun stems change a lot before the plural i. Here are 20 random sentences that you might find useful:

  1. Mä tykkään viikonlopuista. - I like weekends. 
  2. Tykkäätkö sä pinaattilätyistä? - Do you like spinach pancakes?
  3. Mä en tykkää yökerhoista. - I don't like night clubs. 
  4. Mä en tykkää Facebook-haasteista. - I don't like Facebook challenges. 
  5. Mä tykkään kirpeistä omenoista. - I like tart apples. 
  6. Mä en tykkää tomaateista. - I don't like tomatoes. 
  7. Mä en tykkää kissoista. - I don't like cats. 
  8. Mä tykkään lapsista. - I like children. 
  9. Mä tykkään eläimistä, erityisesti oravista. - I like animals, especially squarrels. 
  10. Mä tykkään mustavalkoisista elokuvista. - I like black and white movies.
  11. Mä tykkään vanhemmista miehistä. - I like older men. 
  12. Mä en tykkää kirjatenteistä. - I don't like book exams. 
  13. Mä tykkään sun vanhemmista. - I like your parents. 
  14. Mä en tykkää kovista karkeista. - I don't like hard candy. 
  15. Mä en tykkää sukkahousuista. - I don't like stockings. 
  16. Mä en tykkää pitkistä kynsistä. - I don't like long nails.
  17. Mä en tykkää henkilökuntakokouksista. - I don't like staff meetings. 
  18. Kuka oikeasti tykkää sienistä? - For real, who likes mushrooms?
  19. Mä en tykkää valittajista. - I don't like people who complain.
  20. Mä tykkään mun kavereista. - I like my friends. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New material in Memrise and Quizlet

I've created some courses and sets in Memrise and Quizlet and I thought I'd share them here, too. I'm still learning, so basically these are just word lists or lists of sentences. Feel free to share your ideas about the best use of Quizlet and Memrise!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to write politely in Finnish (and get what you want)

Here's a real-life email that some of you might find useful. It's written by me, and it has already served its purpose as my son was able to change his hobby group to a more suitable one. I've changed some details so that you won't know whom the email was for. 

These are the verbs of the text:

  • ilmoittaa - to sign up
  • tiedustella - to inquire
  • vaihtaa - to change
  • seurata - to follow, to observe
  • huomata - to notice
  • ottaa huomioon - to take into account


Olen epähuomiossa ilmoittanut poikani 6-9-vuotiaiden lasten ryhmään ja tiedustelisinkin nyt, onko mahdollista vaihtaa nuorempien (4-7-vuotiaat) ryhmään.

Olin tänään seuraamassa harjoituksia ja huomasin, että ryhmän muut lapset ovat paljon edistyneempiä kuin poikani. Ohjaajat ottivat hänet hienosti huomioon, mutta mietin, että olisi varmasti kaikille osapuolille mukavampaa, jos poikani olisi samantasoisten ryhmässä. 

Jos kaikki ryhmät ovat jo täynnä, olisiko jossain 4-6-vuotiaiden ryhmässä muita edistyneempi lapsi, joka voisi vaihtaa paikkaa poikani kanssa?

Ystävällisin terveisin


There's a lot of conditional forms and written language forms of the verbs. I'm not using the pronoun minä at all, and instead of the genitive forms of the pronouns, I'm using possessive suffixes. I'm blaming myself, praising the group leaders, referring to the whole group's well-being, and suggesting a solution. :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

My first Memrise course

So I decided to give Memrise a try, too. Here's a course about adjectives that I started. I will keep adding to it once I learn more about the website. I still like Quizlet better because of the Scatter game.:)

Hauskaa viikonloppua!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

voida - saada - osata

Do you know the difference between voida, saada and osata?

  • Mä voin auttaa sua. - I can help you. 
  • Mä saan auttaa sua. - I can help you.
  • Mä osaan auttaa sua.  - I can help you. 

voida (voin, voin, voinut) is to be able to, to can. (Also to feel.)

  • Mä voin auttaa sua. - I can help you. I have the skill and the time, and there's nothing stopping me from helping you. 
  • Voinko mä tuoda jotain? - Can I bring something?
  • Voitko odottaa vähän aikaa? - Can you wait for a while?
  • Voisitko sä avata oven? - Could you open the door?

Notice that we usually use pystyä in the past tense, because voida is the same in present and past.

  • Minä pystyin kävelemään. - I was able to walk.

saada (saan, sain, saanut) is many things, for example to get, to receive, and to have a permission.

  • Keneltä sä sait tämän? - From whom did you get this?
  • Mä en saanut sitä sähköpostia. - I didn't receive that email. 
  • Saanko mä sanoa jotain? - May I say something?
  • Saatko sä jo uida? - Are you allowed to swim already?
  • Te ette saa tulla tänne! - You are not allowed to come here.
  • Miksi mä en saa koskaan tehdä mitään kivaa?! - Why can't I ever do anything fun?!

osata (osaan, osasin, osannut) is to know how to do something.

  • Mä osaan auttaa sua. - I can help you. I know what to do. 
  • Miksi mä en osaa tehdä tätä? - Why can't I do this?
  • Osaatteko te tulla meille? - Do you know how to get to my place?
  • Osaatko sä ranskaa? - Do you know French?


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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Kutsua is one of those verbs with several meanings. The four important forms are kutsua, kutsun, kutsuin and kutsunut. 

to invite

  • Mä en tiedä, kenetkutsuisin ensi-iltaan. - I don't know whom I'd invite to the premiere.
  • Kuinka monta vierasta te aiotte kutsua? - How many guests are you going to invite?
  • Kutsuitko sä Jaakon? - Did you invite Jaakko?
  • Miksi sä jätit mut kutsumatta? - Why didn't you invite me?

to call someone something

  • Te voitte kutsua minua Hannaksi. - You can call me Hanna.
  • Millä nimellä sä kutsut sun isoäitiä? - What do you call your grandma?

You might also seen this verb in media a lot lately, as #kutsumua is a campaign against bullying in school.

In spoken language, I'd also use sanoa, to say. The four important forms are sanoa, sanon, sanoin, sanonut.

  • Te voitte  sanoa mua Hannaksi. - You can call me Hanna. 
  • Ei saa sanoa ketään tyhmäksi! - Your not allowed so call anyone stupid!

Monday, September 15, 2014

kiire - kiireinen - kiireellinen

Notice the difference in use between these three words that all mean busy, hurry, or some sort of rush.

kiire - hurry (a noun)

  • Minulla on kiire. - I'm busy.
  • Onko sulla kiire? - Are you busy?
  • Miksi sulla on aina kiire? - Why are you always in a hurry?

kiireinen - busy (an adjective)

  • Hän on todella kiireinen. - He is really busy.
  • Ensi viikko on todella kiireinen, mutta sitten helpottaa. - Next week will be really hectic, but then it will be easier.

kiireellinen - urgent (an adjective, not used with people.)

Älä kiirehdi. - Don't rush.


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. Click here to see all my courses.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Working in Finland

Here's a new website about working in Finland. The information is in 13 languages, which is pretty cool. To work in Finnish is not työdä, although many students wish it was so. Actually, it's not a word at all, at least not yet. Here's a post about olla töissä. 

Hauskaa työpäivää! - Have a nice day at work!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

pa - pä

I just found this post in my draft folder. Olipa kiva yllätys! - What a nice surprise!

Translating pa oris kind of tricky. I hope that these examples help you to understand how it's used and what it expresses. Just like kin, you can use this enclitic participle only once in a sentence. Pa or is usually added to the first word of the sentence.

A surprise or an emphasis

  • Onpa komeat viikset! - Such a handsome mustache!
  • Lauloitpa sinä hyvin! - Oh how well you sung!
  • Onpa teillä kiva koti. - Such a nice home you have.
  • Olipa kiva päivä! - What a nice day it was!
  • Tulipa siitä hieno kakku! - Wow, that cake turned out fancy!
  • Minäpä soitan nyt isoäidille. - Well, I'm going to call grandma now. 
  • Mepä syötiin jo! - We ate already!
  • Mikkopa lähtee vaihto-oppilaaksi. - Well, Mikko is going to be an exchange student.

A mild command (Notice how the pronunciation of p doubles in the singular imperative forms.)

  • Syöpä nyt reippaasti! - Why don't you eat cheerily now! [syöppä]
  • Puepa sukat jalkaan! - Why don't you get the socks on! [pueppa]
  • Istupa tähän joulupukin syliin. - Why don't you sit here on the Santa Claus' lap. [istuppa]
  • Tulkaapa pojat tänne! - Why don't you boys come here! 
  • Kertokaapa, mistä se saitte nuo. - Why don't you tell where you got those.

Disagreeing, child-like arguing

  • (Minä istun tässä.) Minäpä! - (I'll sit here.) No, I will!
  • (Tämä oli minulla ensin.) Eipä ollut! - (I had this first.) No you didn't!
  • (Miksi sinä et siivonnut?)  Siivosinpa!! - (Why didn't you clean up?) Yes I did!

A wish

  • Olisipa jo huominen! - I wish it was tomorrow already!
  • Sataisipa jo lunta! - I wish it would snow already!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My first Quizlet flash cards

I created a set of flash cards in Quizlet for my beginner's students, and I thought I might share them here, too. I am not the person reading the cards aloud, in case you wonder. :)

Update: Here's a link to all the Quizlet sets that I've created. I've also tried Memrise, but I like Quizlet better because of the games.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mikä or mitä?

These two question words are often mixed. They both mean whatMikä is the basic form, mitä is is the partitive form.

Mikä is used when you assume that the answer is something countable.

  • Mikä tämä on? Lautanen. - What is this? A plate. 
  • Mikä sun puhelinnumero on? - What's your phone number?
  • Mikä sun osoite on? - What's your address?
  • Mikä sun kysymys oli? - What was your question?

Use mitä when you are asking about an uncountable food item, liquid, weird sticky goo in the floor etc.

  • Mitä tämä on? - What is this?
  • Mehua. - Juice. 

Out of these two forms, mitä is usually always used with other verbs than olla.

  • Mitä sä syöt? - What are you eating?
  • Mitä sä opiskelet? - What do you study?
  • Mitä kieliä sä puhut? - Which languages do you speak? (Yay! The plural partitive is the same as the singular partitive.)

Oh, and this is kind of strange:

  • Mitä sulla on? - What do you have?
  • Mikä sulla on? - What do you have? as in What's wrong with you?

 Mitä? Siinä kaikki? - What? That's all? Now you can review the other common question words.:)