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.

  • Luettava kirja - A book that has to be read, a book that can be read, a book that will be read
  • Lukematon kirja - A book that has not been read (Coming soon!)


  1. Hei Hanna,

    Firstly, thanks a lot for the blog and for the random Finnish lessons!
    Secondly, I need your advise. Today I tried to say to someone that I forgot one thing :'Yks juttu unohdettu" and then as always at home I started to doubt whether it should not have been "unohtanut' or 'unohtu'. I am a bit lost here.

    Another thing which is out of the toipic here though, is that I totally do not understand the difference between "parempi" and "paremmin" and misuse them all the time. Could you please give me a link to your topic if you have published such where I can read the examples. Many thanks again!

  2. Hei Anastasia! You could have said "Yks juttu unohtu(i)." or "Mä unohdin yhden jutun." (They are two different verbs, unohtua and unohtaa.)

    'Parempi' is an adjective:

    - Tämä kirja on parempi kuin tuo. - This book is better than that.
    - hyvä, parempi, paras (good, better, the best)

    'Paremmin' is an adverb, expressing style or manner:

    - Sinä laulat paremmin kuin minä. You sing better (more well) than me.
    - hyvin, paremmin, parhaiten (well, better, the best)

  3. Kiitos, Hanna!

    Sinä olet paras :-)

  4. Also, for a more colourful use of language:
    lukenut tyttö - an educated (well-read) girl
    luettu kirja - a popular (oft-read) book
    luettava kirja - an ok (passable, readable) book
    lukemattomia kirjoja - many (an untold number of) books

  5. Hey Hanna!
    I've been looking for an explanation like this for some time now.Thank you so much! My question now is, can these endings be used as a general pattern for any random verb, for example "käytää"

    1. Yes, you can use the pattern for any verbs, such as "käydä" or "käyttää". You can also make do all the work. :)

  6. Hei
    Is e.g. vaikeasti noustava mies correct?
    :-) Kiitos

  7. Mies, joka nousta vaikeasti sängyltä aamuna. A guy who finds it difficult to get up in the morning.

    1. Ahaa! :) That would be "Vaikeasti aamulla sängystä nouseva mies", but it doesn't sound very smooth. The Finnish doesn't really express that he finds it difficult, he just gets up difficultly.:)