Wednesday, March 5, 2014

joku - eräs - yksi


Joku is someone.  You don't really know joku that well, or it doesn't matter who she or he is.

  • Joku on varastanut mun pyörän! - Someone has stolen my bike!
  • Meneekö joku vielä saunaan? - Is someone still going to the sauna?
  • Ottaako joku vielä maksalaatikkoa? - Is someone still taking liver casserole?
  • Se oli vain joku puhelinmyyjä. - It was just some telemarketer. 
  • Tuolla rannalla makaa joku mies! - There's some guy lying on the beach!

(Notice that joku is also used in spoken language when talking about jokin, something. I have a whole post about those two.)

Eräs is actually not so common in everyday spoken language. It's much more formal and old-fashioned than yksi.

  • Eräänä päivänä Punahilkka lähti käymään isoäidin luona. - Once upon a time Little Red riding Hood went to visit her grandmother. 
  • Minulla on sinulle eräs mielenkiintoinen projekti. - I have an interesting project for you.

Eräs in plural can be used in an ironic tone of voice: 
  • Minä osaan sentään pukeutua, toisin kuin eräät. - At least I now how to dress, unlike a certain someone.

Finally, here are some everyday sentences with yksi. In spoken language, it's often just yks.

  • Se on vaan yks mun vanha tyttöystävä. - She's just an old girlfriend of mine.
  • Se on yks mun kurssikaveri. - S/he's a course friend of mine.
  • Me nähtiin eilen yks tosi hyvä elokuva. - We saw a really good movie yesterday. 
  • Mä olin eilen yhdessä uudessa ravintolassa. - I went to a new restaurant yesterday.

Read more: Joku, jokin, joka

3 comments:

  1. The reason "eräs" is used in ironic tones is that it is used to mean "someone", "a person", etc. (or "a certain someone" - no definite/indefinite separation, remember?), whereas "yksi" isn't. Then again "yksi" means "one" in a numerical sense (it's a numeral) and also "a"/"an", whereas "eräs" (a noun) does not, so "eräs" can be used separately, whereas "yksi" tends to beg the question "one what?", even though that isn't grammatically required.
    I think the very few people using "yksi" separately in place of "eräs" is mostly Swedish or foreign influence.

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