Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I'm sure that you have noticed how pitää can mean many different things. Here are just some sentences that came to my mind. The four important forms are pitää, pidän, pidin and pitänyt.

  • Pidätkö punaviinistä? - Do you like red wine? (When speaking, I always use tykätä instead and ask Tykkäätkö sä punaviinistä?)
  • Pidä huolta itsestäsi. - Take care of yourself.
  • Pidätkö sinä häntä hyvänä johtajana? - Do you consider him / her as a good leader?
  • Pidä kiinni sun hatusta! - Hold on to your hat!
  • voit pitää sen. - You can keep it.
  • Aiotko pitää puheen? - Are you going to give a speech?
  • Meinaako se pitää isot juhlat? - Is he going to have a big party?
  • Pitäisitkö mun laukkua hetken? - Would you hold my bag for a moment?
  • Tämä pitää korjata. - This has to be fixed.
  • Se pitää paikkansa. - That's correct.
  • Oletko sä pitänyt koko viikon samoja alushousuja?! - Have you been wearing the same underwear all week?!

If you liked this, you might also like my post about tykätä and pitää.


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, June 14, 2015

How I studied Chinese and Russian

I'm almost finished with the first two weeks of my summer challenge! This is how I managed to find some time to study first Chinese and then Russian every day for a week. I'm not super proud of myself, but it's a great start.

Näin opiskelin kiinaa - This is how I studied Chinese:

  • I was very gentle with myself. For the first couple of days, I just wanted to read about Chinese and life in China, and get accustomed to the sound of it by listening to songs in Chinese. 
  • Whenever I was doing something on the computer or building legos with my children, I was listening to Chinese songs from Youtube. (Did you know that this Finnish artist also sings in Chinese?)
  • Instead of reading Keskisuomalainen while having breakfast, I was reading a Chinese course book that I borrowed from the library. The book was also the last thing to read in bed. 
  • After realizing how pointless it was to read pinyin without really knowing how to pronounce it, I started watching various Youtube Chinese tutorials. 
  • I should learn how to study in a mess. So many times I found myself cleaning in the morning when I should have been studying, and when I was ready to study, my kids woke up.
  • I didn't manage to organize a Skype or a live chat with a real Chinese person, but I'll definitely do something about it in the near future. Chinese is fascinating, but I don't want to study it all by myself.

Näin opiskelin venäjää - This is how I studied Russian:

  • I have studied Russian before, so this week was a bit different from the previous one. I read this book about Russian language, and I also studied from a texbook with a Finnish translation next to the Russian text, which I really like.
  • During the week, I skyped twice with a lovely Russian lady who helped me with this Memrise course and with my pronunciation. 
  • A friend of mine recommended this online radio channel, and I'm planning on doing all the boring household chores while listening to Russian music. (And if you don't like the music, at least you'll do the chores faster!)
  • I totally forgot to watch Yle Novosti, but I'll try to form a habit of watching it every day, since I really want to learn Russian. I think it's actually quite lame not to know the languages of your neighbouring countries. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mixcloud & Instagram

If you haven't noticed yet, I now have both Mixcloud and Instagram accounts. How exciting! I hope you'll find them useful. My goal is to interview more adults, and post at least one picture every day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How to say you're sorry in Finnish

I already have an old post about the word anteeksi, but here's what to say if you want to express symphathy and understanding. 

  • Mä oon todella pahoillani. -  I'm very sorry.
  • Otan osaa. - My condolences. (Only if someone has died.)
  • Anteeksi että häiritsen, mutta haluaisin vain tietää, onko kaikki kunnossa.  - Sorry that I'm disturbing, but I'd just like to know if everything is ok. 
  • Kuinka mä voisin auttaa? - How could I help?
  • Pärjäätkö yksin? - Are you going to be ok by yourself?
  • Haluatko seuraa? - Do you want some company?
  • Sano, jos mä voin tehdä jotain. - Please say if I can do something. 
  • Sano, jos voin auttaa jotenkin. - Please say if I can help somehow. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Expressing possibility and probability

There are several ways to express possibility and probability in Finnish.

Ehkä is maybe, perhaps.

  • tuun ehkä kuudelta. - Maybe I'll come at six.
  • Ehkä se on unohtanut. - Perhaps he has forgotten.

Kai is probably.

  • Niin kai. - I guess so.  
  • Meillä on kai ruotsin sanakoe huomenna. - I suppose we have a Swedish vocabulary quiz tomorrow. 

Kai is also used in the of course meaning in slightly irritated expressions. 

You can also use kai when you hear something positively or negatively amazing.

  • No kai mä nyt sen tiedän! - Well of course I know that!
  • Ei kai! - No way!

Varmaan also means probably.

In more official Finnish, use luultavasti.

  • Mun pitäisi varmaan opiskella. - I should probably study.
  • Niin varmaan - I guess so.
  • Hän on luultavasti oikeassa. - He's probably right. 

Varmaan  is actually kind of weird. In a negative sentence, it can be used the same way as varmasti, for sure. I'd say that the meaning depends on the tone of voice, just like in Chinese! :)

  • Tuutko sä uimaan? - En mä varmaan tuu. - I probably won't come.
  • Tuutko sä uimaan? - En VARmaan tuu! - Absolutely not!

Then the verbs. Taitaa and saattaa are almost the same. I'd say that taitaa is used when something seems or looks like something, and saattaa expresses the probability.

Taitaa (taidan, taisin, tainnut)

  • Mä taidan nyt lähteä. - I guess I'll be going now. 
  • Tämä taitaa olla rikki. - This seems to be broken. 
  • Mä taisin unohtaa kahvinkeittimen päälle. - I think I left the coffee maker on.
  • Sä taidat olla oikeassa. - I guess you're right.

Saattaa (saatan, saatoin, saattanut)

  • Se saattaa tulla myöhässä. - He might come late.
  • Tämä saattaa olla väärin. - This might be wrong. 
  • Mä saatan olla väärässä. - I might be wrong.

Oh, and here is a separate post about voida.


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.

Friday, June 5, 2015

How to say 'any' in Finnish

Here are some common sentences with the expression any in Finnish:

  • Kuka tahansa voi tehdä sen. - Anyone can do it.
  • Mikä tahansa päivä sopii mulle. - Any day is ok for me.
  • Sä voit tilata mitä tahansa sä haluat. - You can order anything you want.
  • Sä voit valita minkä tahansa kirjan. - You can choose any book.
  • Niitä myydään missä tahansa kirjakaupassa. - They are sold in any bookstore.
  • Sä voit kirjoittaa ihan mistä tahansa aiheesta.  - You can write about any topic.
  • Jos voisit matkustaa mihin tahansa, minne menisit? - If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

In spoken language, you can sometimes use vaan instead of tahansa. (Vaan is the spoken language form of vain, only. It is different from this vaan.)

Similar posts:


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.