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.


Anonymous said...

Whenever discussing Finnish conditional, one really should include a warning for the Turku dialect, where similar sounding construct is used to indicate the past tense.

Hanna said...

I know.. Here's an interesting blog post about it:

Hoang said...

Hi Hanna,

Sometimes I found "tultais" or "voitaisko" in the conversation. Are they all the passive conditional ??