Monday, April 28, 2014

ulkona - ulkoa - ulos

ulkona - outside

  • Ulkona on kaunis ilma! - It's a beautiful weather outside!
  • Onko ulkona kylmä? - Is it cold outside?
  • Voisitko odottaa ulkona vähän aikaa? - Could you wait outside for a while?

ulkoa - from outside, by heart

  • Tulitko juuri ulkoa? - Did you just come from outside?
  • Tämä on ulkoa kova, mutta sisältä pehmeä. - This hard from the outside but soft inside.
  • Pitääkö meidän osata tämä ulkoa? - Do we have to know this by heart?
  • en ikinä opi tätä ulkoa! - I'll never learn this by heart!

ulos - to outside

  • Kaikki ulos nyt heti! - Everybody outside right now!
  • Onko pakko mennä ulos? - Do I have to go outside?
  • Ylös, ulos ja lenkille! - Up, out and jogging!

Yle Oppiminen

Yle Oppiminen is a pretty awesome website. Sure, you can practice for the Yki exam, but also learn about so many interesting topics in Finnish! If you don't know where to start, here's my random top 5:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

päästä - päätyä - joutua

Three verbs that mean some sort of getting from or to a place. Päästä is a good thing, päätyä is neutral or accidental, and joutua is negative.

  • Pääsin Frederikin keikalle.  - I got to go to Frederik's concert! (I wanted to go there!)
  • Päädyin Frederikin keikalle. - I ended up to Frederik's concert. (I didn't plan it.)
  • Jouduin Frederikin keikalle. -  I ended up to Frederik's concert. (I didn't want to go there!)

päästä, pääsen, pääsin, päässyt

  • Mä pääsin Lapin yliopistoon! - I got into the University of Lapland!
  • Mihin aikaan sä pääset töistä? - At what time do you get off from work?
  • Anteeksi, mutta mä en pääse huomenna. - Sorry, but I cannot make it tomorrow. 
  • Enkö minä ikinä pääse sinusta eroon?! - Won't I ever get rid of you?!

päätyä, päädyn, päädyin, päätynyt

  • Kuinka me päädyttiin tänne? - How did we end up in here?
  • Nukahdin junaan ja päädyin Kuopioon. - I fell asleep in the train and ended up in Kuopio.
  • Olin menossa kotiin, mutta päädyin jatkoille. - I was going home, but I ended up in an afterparty.

joutua, joudun, jouduin, joutunut

  • Mä jouduin ylitöihin. - I had to stay overtime. 
  • Mä jouduin vaihto-oppilaaksi Suomeen. - I had to come to Finland as an exchange student. (And I didn't want to!!)
  • Miksi te jouduitte lähtemään niin aikaisin? - Why did you have to leave so early?


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.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Artistin ura 30 sekunnissa

Watch and listen to the Finnish artists talk about their careers for 30 seconds! Notice that even if it's written artistin ura 30 sekunnissa, you still have to decline the number when you read the sentence aloud, like this: artistin ura kolmessakymmenessä sekunnissa.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Vaikka is one of those words with two meanings that have nothing to do with each other.

Although, even though:

  • Sinä tulit, vaikka satoi! - You came although it rained!
  • Miksi sä et soittanut, vaikka mä pyysin? - Why didn't you call even though I asked you to?
  • Mä en osannut vastata yhteenkään kysymykseen, vaikka olin opiskellut koko yön. - I couldn't answer a single question even though I had studied all night.

For example, for instance:

p.s. Vaikku means earwax.


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.

Monday, April 21, 2014

yhä - edelleen - vielä

Another post trying to explain the small difference between words that are almost the same. All these words mean still.

Yhä is maybe the most old fashioned  and dramatic one, and usually not so used in spoken language. I did some googling and found these sentences in online magazines:

  • Olemme yhä naimisissa! - We are still married!
  • Sormus on yhä sormessa. - The ring is still on the finger.

Usually people say vielä or edelleen. 

Notice that still can also be silti, and vielä can also be yet or additionally.

  • Tänään on vapaapäivä, mutta mulla on silti tosi paljon töitä. - Today is a day off, but I still have a lot of work to do.
  • Ei vielä! - Not yet!
  • Ottakaa vielä lisää pullaa! - Take some more pulla!

Other posts that you might like:

"Reading is fun when it's easy!


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, April 20, 2014


  • Voisiko joku auttaa minua? - Could someone help me?
  • Maksaisin, jos minulla olisi rahaa. - I'd pay if I had money. 
  • Tulisin, jos en olisi sairas. - I'd come if I wasn't ill.
  • Olisipa jo kesä! - I wish it was summer already!

Forming the conditional mood in Finnish is quite simple: just put isi between the verb stem and the personal ending. If there is a consonant change in the verb, use the strong grade: make the 3rd person plural and drop the vat or vät before isi.

  • nukkua: he nukkuvat - they sleep
    • nukkuisin - I would sleep
    • nukkuisit - you would sleep
    • nukkuisi  - s/he would sleep
    • nukkuisimme - we would sleep (Spoken language: me nukuttaisiin)
    • nukkuisitte - you would sleep
    • nukkuisivat - they would sleep

Pay attention to the vowel changes:

O, u, y, a and ä don't change:

  • sanoa, sanovat: sanoisin - I would say
  • puhua, puhuvat: puhuisin - I would speak
  • haluta, haluavat: haluaisin - I would want
  • kysyä, kysyvät: kysyisin - I would ask
  • antaa, antavat: antaisin - I would give
  • päättää, päättävät: päättäisin - I would decide

E and i go away:

  • lukea, lukevat: lukisin - I would read
  • opiskella, opiskelevat: opiskelisin - I would study
  • uida, uivat: uisin - I would swim
  • oppia, oppivat: oppisin - I would learn

Long vowel is shortened:

  • jäädä, jäävät: jäisin - I would stay
  • saada, saavat: saisin - I would get

Certain verb type 2 verbs have a special vowel change, just like in the past tense.

  • juoda, juovat: joisin - I would drink
  • syödä, syövät: söisin - I would stay
  • viedä, vievät: veisin - I would take

Conditional can also be in perfect tense. Then you only change the verb olla into conditional and leave the rest in the NUT form.

  • Olisin maksanut, jos minulla olisi ollut rahaa. - I would have payed, if I had had money. 
  • Hän olisi tullut, jos hän ei olisi ollut sairas. - He would have come, if he hadn't been sick.
  • Olisipa eilen ollut parempi ilma! - I wish it had been a better weather yesterday!

There is also such thing as passive conditional, and that brings in all the spoken language madness:

  • Mitä tänään syötäisiin? - What should we eat today?
  • Suomessa syötäisiin enemmän luomuruokaa,  jos se ei olisi niin kallista. - People would eat more organic food in Finland, if it wasn't so expensive. 
  • Me maksettaisiin tämä, jos meillä olisi rahaa. = Me maksettais tää, jos meillä olis rahaa. - We'd pay this, if we had money. 
  • Me oltaisiin maksettu tämä, jos meillä olisi ollut rahaa. = Me oltais maksettu tää, jos meillä ois ollu rahaa. - We would have paid this, if we had had money.

Useful links and songs:

"Reading is fun when it's easy!


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.

Ordinal numbers in Finnish

Are you already really, really good with numbers in Finnish? How about the ordinal numbers, and the way they change?

The ordinal numbers:

  1. ensimmäinen = eka in spoken language
  2. toinen = toka in spoken language
  3. kolmas
  4. neljäs
  5. viides
  6. kuudes
  7. seitsemäs
  8. kahdeksas 
  9. yhdeksäs 
  10. kymmenes
  11. yhdestoista
  12. kahdestoista
   20. kahdeskymmenes
   25. kahdeskymmenesviides
   31. kolmaskymmenesensimmäinen

  • Tämä oli mun ensimmäinen kerta! - This was my first time!
  • Oliko se sun kolmas vai neljäs maraton? - Was it your third or fourth marathon?

Adding the case endings:

The stems change quite a bit when you add the case endings:

  1. ensimmäise-  
  2. toise- 
  3. kolmanne- 
  4. neljänne-  
  5. viidenne-
  6. kuudenne-
  7. seitsemänne-
  8. kahdeksanne-
  9. yhdeksänne-
  10. kymmenenne-

  • Minä asun ensimmäisessä kerroksessa. - I live on the first floor.
  • Mä hyppäsin toisesta kerroksesta! - I jumped from the second floor!
  • Hän tuli kilpailussa kolmanneksi. - He became third in the competition.
  • Mun poika on neljännellä luokalla. - My son is in the fourth grade. 

The unchangeable toista

Numbers 11-19 are interesting: toista doesn't change, but you should you add the case ending only in the middle!

  • Minä asuin ennen yhdennessätoista kerroksessa. - I used to live in the eleventh floor.
  • Olin iloinen kahdennestatoista sijasta. - I was happy about the twelwth place. 

With bigger numbers, no matter how long the number, you have to put the ending after each part:

  • Asun kahdennessakymmenennessäviidennessä kerroksessa. - I live on the 25th floor. 

Notice that the illative and essive cases take the strong grade:

  • Kävellään neljänteen kerrokseen. - Let's walk to the fourth floor. 
  • Anteeksi, mutta minä olin jonossa kolmantena. - Excuse me, but I was (as) the third in line.

The partitive case

The partitive case is made from the nominative, following the regular noun type rules:
  1. ensimmäistä
  2. toista
  3. kolmatta
  4. neljättä
  5. viidettä
  6. kuudetta
  7. seitsemättä
  8. kahdeksatta
  9. yhdeksättä
  10. kymmenettä
  11. yhdettätoista
  12. kahdettatoista
   20. kahdettakymmenettä
   25. kahdettakymmenettäviidettä
   31. kolmattakymmenettäensimmäistä

  • Älä koskaan valitse ensimmäistä ehdokasta. - Never choose the first candidate. 
  • Maistetaanko tätä neljättä kakkua? - Shall we taste this fourth cake?

Dealing with the big numbers:

Of course, not even us native Finns enjoy declining the big numbers. At least I tend to avoid them by using sentence structures that allow the use of nominative:

So, instead of this:
  • Hän tuli kahdenneksikymmenenneksikuudenneksi. - He became twentysixth.

I'd say this:
  • Hän oli kahdeskymmeneskuudes. - He was the twentysixth. 


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!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buying stamps in Finnish

In case you haven't heard about this one yet, Tom of Finland will appear on Finnish stamps in the fall. Practice listening to Finnish and check out this video where the graphic artist Timo Berry talks about how the stamps were designed.

You can also order your stamps here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things you might hear in Finnish supermarkets

Sometimes when grocery shopping in Finland, you might hear more than Hei and kaksikymmentä euroa viisikymmentä senttiä. Here are some sentences that I've heard lately, except for the ID one. Feel free to add more in the comments.

  • Onko plussakorttia? Onko S-Etukorttia? - Do you have a bonus card?
  • Laitanko nämä pakastemarjat pieneen muovipussiin? - Shall I put these frozen berries into a small plastic bag?
  • Näytätkö sun paperit? - Will you show me your ID?
  • Otatko käteistä vai vähennänkö (loppusummasta)? - Will you take cash or shall I deduct it (from the total)? (You hear this if you show a bottle receipt or a parking ticket.)
  • Voit ottaa kortin. - You may take the card (from the machine).
  • Otatko kuitin? - Will you take the receipt?
  • Tuleeko jotain muuta? - Will there be something else? (This one you'd only hear in kiosks and other places where you have to say what you want.) 
  • Hyvää päivänjatkoa! - Have a nice day!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Super easy news in Finnish

Are you familiar with Selkouutiset? Do they still feel a bit too complicated and difficult to follow? Tosi helppo (very easy) is a new feature in the Yle news in easy Finnish. It cannot really get slower than this. If you have trouble falling asleep, tosi helpot selkouutiset might help.:)

Monday, April 7, 2014

20 verbs with 'oi' in the past tense

Here's a post about the verbs that have oi in the past tense. Surprisingly many do.

The verb type 1 verbs that end with oa in the basic form:

  • aikoa: Minä aioin kertoa sinulle. - I was going to tell you. 
  • sanoa: Mitä sinä sanoit? - What did you say?
  • saunoa: Saunoin koko yön. - I was taking sauna all night. 
  • tahtoa: Mitä se tahtoi? - What did he want?

The verb type 2 verbs that end with uoda or oida:

  • juoda: Mitä sinä joit eilen? - What did you drink yesterday?
  • tuoda: Toin sinulle kukkia. - I brought you flowers. 
  • laminoida: Minä laminoin nämä sinulle. - I laminated these for you.

The two-syllable verb type 1 verbs that have the vowel a in the beginning and in the end of the verb:

  • ajaa: Kuka ajoi? - Who was driving?
  • alkaa: Joko se alkoi? - Did it start already?
  • auttaa: Kiitos, kun autoit. - Thanks for helping. 
  • antaa: Kenelle sinä annoit sen? - Who did you give it to?
  • jakaa: Jaoitko sinä tämän kaikille? - Did you share this with everyone?
  • jaksaa: Kuinka sinä jaksoit tehdä sen? - How did you have the energy to do it?
  • kaataa: Kuka tämän kaatoi? - Who pushed this over?
  • kantaa: Minä kannoin sen ulos. - I carried it outside. 
  • laittaa: Minne mä laitoin ne avaimet? - Where did I put the keys?
  • laulaa: Mitä te lauloitte? - What did you sing?
  • maksaaTämä maksoi tosi paljon. - This cost a lot.
  • saattaa: Minä saatoin olla väärässä. - I might have been wrong. 
  • sataa: Viime kesänä satoi joka päivä. - It rained every day last summer. 
  • vaihtaa: Miksi sinä vaihdoit vaatteet? - Why did you change the clothes?

Feel free to share more similar verbs in the comments.:)

Here are some other posts about the past tense:


Kova is usually hard. Depending on what you're describing, it can also mean other things.

  • Tämä patja on liian kova. - This mattress is too hard.
  • Mikä tuo kova ääni oli? - What was that loud noise?
  • Mulla on kova nälkä. - I'm super hungry. 
  • Olipa se kova tyyppi! - Wasn't that a tought guy!
  • Se oli kova pettymys. - It was a huge disappointment.
  • Anteeksi, mutta teidän musiikki on vähän liian kovalla. - Excuse me,  but your music is a bit too loud.
  • Onko sinulla vatsa kovalla? - Are you constipated?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Adverbs of manner

Here's a post about adverbs that express style or manner and answer to the question kuinka or miten. Adverbs can also express time, place and quantity. They're everywhere. Making the sti adverb is quite simple: just add the ending to the stem of the adjective.

  • huono: Mä nukuin viime yönä tosi huonosti. - I slept very badly last night. 
  • ihana: Se laulaa niin ihanasti! - He sings so wonderfully!
  • riittäväNuku riittävästi. - Sleep enough.
  • oikea: Oikeasti? - Really?
  • normaali: Normaalisti mä en polta. - I don't normally smoke.
  • kaunis: Se oli kauniisti sanottu. - That was beautifully said. 
  • hidas: Kävellään hitaasti.  - Let's walk slowly.
  • terveellinen: Suomessa syödään terveellisesti. - People eat healthily in Finland.
  • tavallinen: Tavallisesti mä herään kuudelta. - I usually wake up at six.  

To make the comparative, change the ending to mmin. The superlative is either immin or sometimes iten. You can emphasize the superlative with kaikkein.

  • ahkera: Meidän täytyy opiskella ahkerasti. - We have to study hard.
  • Sinä voisit opiskella ahkerammin. - You could study harder.
  • Ne, joilla on suomalainen tyttö- tai poikaystävä opiskelevat yleensä ahkerimmin. - Those who have a Finnish girlfriend or boyfriend usually study the hardest.
  • Minä opiskelin kaikkein ahkerimmin! - I studied the hardest of all!

Notice how adverbs can also be formed with other endings:

Hyvä has an exceptional comparison:

  • Se oli hyvin sanottu! - That was well said. 
  • Ensi kerralla menee paremmin. - It will go better next time. 
  • Siru lauloi tänään parhaimmin. - Siru sung the best today. (Or parhaiten.)

And finally, some adverbs you just cannot compare:

  • Mä sanoin leikisti, että me ei puhuta suomea. - I was teasing/joking and said that we don't speak any Finnish. (leikki = a children's game or play)
  • Mä sanoin sen vahingossa. - I said it by accident. (vahinko = accident)
  • Se teki sen tahallaan! - He did it on purpose!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

joku - jokin - joka

Joku is some or someone. Jokin is some or something. Joka is a totally another thing.

The challenge with joka and jokin is that in spoken language, we use some forms of jokin instead of joku. The real declination of joku is just silly, or what do you think about jollakulla or joiksikuiksi? Actually, sometimes we also use joku when we should be saying jokin, as if it didn't matter if the objects were alive or not. I'm doing my best to explain this craziness.

If there is a difference between official Finnish and the spoken language, I'll have an example of them both.The Wiktionary links above have all the cases in singular and plural. I'm just focusing on the most common cases in singular as I don't want to alienate my readers.

joku - some, someone

nominative: joku
  • Tuolla on joku mies. - There's some guy over there. 

genitive: jonkun
  • Menetkö sä sinne jonkun kaverin kanssa? - Are you going there with some friend?

partitive: jotakuta
  • Ajattelin jotakuta toista. - I was thinking of someone else.
  • Spoken language: Mä ajattelin jotain toista. 

inessive: jossakussa
  • Vika ei ole koskaan sinussa, vaan aina jossakussa muussa! - It's never your fault but always someone else's! (The fault is never in you.)
  • Spoken language: Vika ei ole koskaan sussa, vaan aina jossain muussa!

elative: jostakusta
  • Mitä teen, jos en tykkää jostakusta? - What will I do if I don't like someone?
  • Spoken language: Mitä mä teen, jos mä en tykkää jostain?

illative: johonkuhun
  • Yritä tutustua johonkuhun muuhun. - Try to get to know someone else.
  • Spoken language: Yritä tutustua johonkin muuhun. 

adessive: jollakulla
  • Se on jollakulla. - Someone has it.
  • Spoken language: Se on jollain. 

ablative: joltakulta
  • Sain sen joltakulta tutulta. - I got it from someone I know. 
  • Spoken language: Mä sain sen joltain tutulta.

allative: jollekulle
  • Anna se jollekulle muulle. - Give it to someone else. 
  • Spoken language: Anna se jollekin muulle. 

essive: jonakuna
  • Pidätkö minua ystävänä vai jonakuna muuna? - Do you consider me a friend or something else?
  • Spoken language: Pidätkö sä mua ystävänä vai jonain muuna?

translative: joksikuksi
  • Anteeksi, luulin sinua joksikuksi muuksi. - Sorry, I though you were someone else. 
  • Spoken language: Sori, mä luulin sua jokskuks muuks. 

jokin - some, something

nominative: jokin
  • Tämä on jokin uusi tuote.  - This is some new product. 
  • Spoken language: Tämä on joku uusi tuote.

genitive: jonkin
  • Sinä sait jonkin kirjeen. - You received some letter. 
  • Spoken language: Sä sait jonkun kirjeen.

partitive: jotakin / jotain

inessive: jossakin / jossain
  • Se on jossain laatikossa. - It is in some drawer.
  • This can also mean somewhere.

elative: jostakin / jostain
  • Mä löysin sen jostain kaapista. - I found it in some closet.
  • This can also mean from somewhere.

illative: johonkin / jonnekin
  • Mikko meni johonkin baariin. - Mikko went to some bar.
  • This can also mean to somewhere. 

adessive: jollakin / jollain

ablative: joltakin / joltain
  • Tämä kuulostaa joltain Beatlesien kappaleelta. - This sounds like some song by the Beatles. 

allative: jollekin
  • Laita se jollekin pöydälle. - Put it (to) on some table.

essive: jonakin / jonain
  • Jonain päivänä mä teen sen. - Some day I will do it. 

translative: joksikin
  • Mä menen pois joksikin aikaa. - I'll go away for some time. 



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.