Friday, February 28, 2014

100 very common Finnish words

I wanted to make a post about the hundred most common Finnish words, or at least about the hundred very common words. Here's what I did: I took these lists from Wikisanakirja, put them in an alphabetical order, deleted words that didn't sound so extremely common to me, and added some random ones that I think would be useful for anyone to know. Actually, I also took out the obviously common personal pronouns to make some room. In short, this is definitely not any kind of an official list, but I kind of like it anyway, although I seem to change something every time I visit this page. :)

Update: Check out my Memrise course about common words! Would you like to practice your Finnish and help me make this course bigger? A thousand common words would be kind of nice.  Contact me, and I can add you to the contributors of the course.:)

  1. aika - time, quite
  2. aina - always
  3. antaa - to give
  4. asia - thing, matter
  5. ehkä - maybe
  6. ei koskaan - never
  7. ei kukaan - nobody
  8. ei mikään - nothing
  9. eli - so, in other words
  10. ennen - before
  11. ensi - next 
  12. ensin - at first
  13. eri - different
  14. että - that
  15. heti - immediately
  16. huono - bad
  17. hyvä - good
  18. itse - self
  19. ja - and
  20. jo - already
  21. joka - which, every
  22. joku - someone
  23. jopa - even
  24. jos - if
  25. joskus - sometimes
  26. jossa - in which
  27. joten - so, therefore
  28. jotka - which (plural)
  29. jälkeen - after
  30. kaikki - all, everybody
  31. kaupunki - a town, a city
  32. kanssa - with
  33. kello - a clock
  34. kertoa - to tell
  35. koko - whole, all
  36. koska - because, when
  37. koti - home
  38. kuin - than
  39. kuinka - how
  40. kuitenkin - however
  41. kun - when
  42. kuva - picture
  43. kyllä - yes, indeed
  44. käydä - to go, to visit
  45. maa - a country, a land
  46. mennä - to go
  47. mies - a man, a husband
  48. mikä - what
  49. miksi - why
  50. miten - how
  51. monta - many
  52. mukaan - with, according to
  53. mutta - but
  54. muu - other, else
  55. myös - also, too
  56. nainen - a woman
  57. niin - so, like that
  58. noin - like that, approximately
  59. nyt - now
  60. nähdä - to see
  61. näin - like this, I saw
  62. nämä - these
  63. oikea - real, right, correct
  64. olla - to be
  65. paitsi - except
  66. paljon - a lot, much
  67. pitää - to like, to have to, to keep
  68. pois - away
  69. puoli - half, side
  70. päivä - day
  71. saada - to get, to receive
  72. sama - same
  73. sanoa - to say
  74. se - it
  75. siellä - over there
  76. siinä - in there
  77. silloin - then
  78. sillä - because
  79. sitten - then, when, ago, in that case
  80. taas - again
  81. tai - or
  82. takaisin - back
  83. tehdä - to do, to make
  84. tila - space
  85. tuo - that (something you can point at)
  86. tulla - to come
  87. tämä - this
  88. tässä - here
  89. vaan - but
  90. vai - or
  91. vaikka - although, for example
  92. vain - only
  93. vielä - yet, still, furthermore
  94. viime - last
  95. voida - to be able to
  96. vuosi - a year
  97. vähän - a little
  98. väärä - wrong, false
  99. yli - over, past
  100. älä - don't


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.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finnish sentence types

You've probably heard of the verb types and the noun types, but how about the Finnish sentence types? If you want to have a full lesson about them, I recommend reading Leila White's grammar book, pages 300-323. Here's my short version of the most useful sentence types.

The ones where the verb conjugates according to the person:

  1. Minä asun tuossa kerrostalossa. - I live in that apartment building. (The simple sentence. Nothing special here.)
  2. Me olemme opiskelijoita. - We are students. (A predicative sentence. Might cause confusion because of the occasional plural partitive.)
  3. Minä juon nyt kahvia. - I'm drinking coffee now. (A sentence with an object.)
  4. Minä tykkään opiskella suomea.  - I like to study Finnish. (Two verbs, the second one in the basic form.)
  5. Minä menen nyt nukkumaan. - I'm going to sleep now.  (Two verbs, the second one in ma-infinitive.) (Oh, you might like my post about the English -ing form.)

The ones where the verb is always in the same (3rd person singular) form. It's the personal pronoun that changes:

  1. Minulla on kokous neljältä. -  I have a meeting at four o'clock. (Having something.)
  2. Baarissa oli paljon ihmisiä. - There were many people in the bar. (An existential clause, as in There is something somewhere. Again, you might need plural partitive.)
  3. Minun täytyy maksaa tämä lasku. -  I have to pay this bill. (Having to do something.)
  4. Sinun kannattaa nyt lähteä. - You should leave now. (A sentence with kannattaa.)
  5. Tämä elokuva itkettää minua. - This movie makes me cry. (Sentences with feeling verbs.)

The sentences that express a change or a result can be in either category:

  1. Tulin äidiksi 31-vuotiaana. - I became a mother when I was 31 years old.
  2. Minusta tuli äiti 31-vuotiaana. - I became a mother when I was 31 years old.

These ones have no personal pronoun at all:

  1. Saako täällä syödä omia eväitä? - Is it ok to eat your own food here? (A generic sentence, the subject could be anyone.)
  2. (On) tosi tylsää, että teidän pitää jo lähteä. - (It's) super lame, that you have to leave already. (Expressing your opinion with an adjective in the beginning of the sentence.)
  3. Suomessa juodaan paljon kahvia. - They drink a lot of coffee in Finland. (A passive voice.)

If you want to read about forming questions, which you can do with all the sentence types, I have a post about the question words and another about the questions ending with ko or .


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.


Just a little post about Suomi and suomi. Notice that it's one of those words that end with an i. The i becomes an e before partitive and other endings.

Suomen lippu liehuu kauniina kesäpäivänä.

The nationality and adjective Finnish is suomalainen.

If something is in Finnish, it's suomenkielinen.

  • Onko tässä suomenkielistä tekstitystä? - Does this have Finnish subtitles?
  • Mä haluan suomenkieliset ohjeet! - I want Finnish instructions!


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.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

siellä - sieltä - sinne

Here's a small post about siellä, sieltä and sinne. I've noticed that many students are struggling with them. A lot of times people seem to overuse tuolla, tuolta and tuonne, but those adverbs are usually used with something that you can point at.

siellä - there

  • Mä asuin ennen Helsingissä. Nyt mä käyn siellä kerran vuodessa.  - I used to live in Helsinki. Now I visit there once a year. 
  • Onko sulla siellä paljon kavereita? - Do you have a lot of friends there?
  • Mitä sä yleensä teet siellä? - What do you usually do there?

sieltä - from there

  • tuon sulle sieltä jotain kivaa. - I'll bring you something nice from there.
  • Mitä sä haluat sieltä? - What do you want from there?
  • Mä matkustan sieltä konferenssin jälkeen Australiaan. - After the conference, I'll travel to Australia from there. 

sinne - to there

  • Mä voin soittaa sinne huomenna. - I can call there tomorrow. 
  • Miksi sä menet sinne? - Why are you going there?
  • Matkustatko sä sinne junalla vai lentokoneella? - Will you travel there by train or by plane?

If you liked this, you might want to check out my post about the pronoun se. I'm warning you though: there's more than these three forms!

How to become something in Finnish?

In short, there are two structures that you can use when describing a change in Finnish:

Verb + translative

  • Tulin äidiksi 31-vuotiaana. - I became a mom when I was 31.
  • Isä on tullut vanhaksi. - Father has become old.
  • Oletko sinä tullut hulluksi? - Have you gone mad?
  • Opiskelen sairaanhoitajaksi. - I study to become a nurse. 
  • Haluan isona lääkäriksi! - I want to be a doctor when I'm old!

Pronoun, noun or a proper name in elative + tulla

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Things to read in easy Finnish

Here's a list of websites where you can read news, stories and non-fiction in easy, simplified Finnish:

Helpoimmat - The easiest ones

Oletko lukenut Selkosanomia kuvilla?

Helppoja, mutta ei liian helppoja - Easy, but not too easy - Uusi lehti joka toinen viikko!

Selkokielisiä verkkokirjoja - Online books in easy Finnish

Selkokirjoja ja muita hyödyllisiä linkkejä - Novels in easy Finnish and other useful links

"Read a book in easy Finnish. It will help you learn more 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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

tuntea - tuntua - tutustua

Tuntea is to know or feel, tuntua is to feel or to seem like something and tutustua is to get to know someone. If you ever hear people calling something mututieto or mututuntuma,  it means that they don't really know the facts, but they base their argument on how they feel about something or what something seems like. Mutu is an abbreviation of musta tuntuu.

tuntea, tunnen, tunsin, tuntenut

  • Mä tunnen sun siskon. - I know your sister.
  • Minä en tunne täältä ketään.  - I don't know anybody from here.
  • Tunnetko sinä, kuinka maa tärisee? - Do you feel how the earth is shaking?
  • Minä en tunne mitään oikealla kädellä. - I don't feel anything with my right hand.

If you want to describe how you feel, I'd recommend that you avoid this verb and just use olla and an adjective, or the word olo, feeling.  You can also use tuntua, which is next on this list. However, here's how it's done:

  • I feel myself tired and betrayed. - Tunnen itseni väsyneeksi ja petetyksi. (tuntea + itse + possessive suffix + adjective in translative case)

These expressions are much easier:

  • I'm tired. - Olen väsynyt.
  • Mulla on petetty olo. - I feel betreyed. (I have a betrayed feeling.)

tuntua, tunnun, tunnuin, tuntunut

  • Miltä tämä tuntuu? - What does this feel like? 
  • Tuntuuko tämä hyvältä? - Does this feel good? Does this seem good? 
  • Se tuntui oudolta. - If felt weird. 
  • Mikään ei tunnu enää miltään! - Nothing feels like anything anymore!
  • Miltä susta tuntuu? - How do you feel?
  • Musta tuntuu (siltä), että tämä on hyvä ratkaisu. - It seems to me that this is a good solution. 
  • Musta tuntui tyhmältä. - I felt stupid. 

tutustua, tutustun, tutustuin, tutustunut

  • On kiva tutustua uusiin ihmisiin. - It's nice to get to know new people.
  • Missä te tutustuitte? - Where did you get to know each other?
  • Me tutustuttiin lukiossa. - We got to know each other in high school.

You might also want to use the verb tavata, to meet someone.

  • Mä olen tavannut sen pari kertaa, mutta en vielä tunne sitä kovin hyvin. - I've met him a couple of times, but I don't know him very well yet. (Yes, in formal Finnish, the pronouns would be hänet and häntä.)

If this was useful, you can also read my post How do you feel in Finnish.