Friday, October 23, 2015

Confusingly similar words

Here are some words that are annoyingly similar, especially if you're taking a certain exam and there is a risk that you will spend all your time talking about a wrong topic. I'll keep adding to this list as I notice more words that might be confusing.

  • Eläin is an animal. Elämä is life.
  • Liikenne is traffic. Liike is a movement or a store or a shop. Liikunta is sports.
  • Aika is time. The genitive of aika is ajan, which is also the first person conjugation of ajaa, to drive.
  • Luonto is nature. Luento is a lecture. Luonne is a personality, a temperament.
  • Kylä is a village, but it's also used in the expression käydä kylässä, to visit someone. 
  • Menestys is a success. Menetys is a loss.
  • Ohjelma is a programme. Ongelma is a problem.
  • Terveellinen is healthy. Turvallinen is safe. 
  • Patient is either a noun potilas or an adjective kärsivällinen.
  • Liha is meat, lihava is fat, lihas is a muscle. Lihaksikas is muscular. Don't confuse that with lihasika, which is a pig that is raised for its meat.
  • Valita is to choose. Valittaa is to complain. Välittää is to care or to pass on. 
  • Varata is to book or to reserve. Varastaa is to steal.

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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.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Minulla on seurava ehdotus: Välittää, Vallita, Valita ja Valitta

Anonymous said...

Vaikuttaa (to seem/influence/affect) ja vakuuttaa (to assert/convince/reassure)!

Anonymous said...

Niinpa... tyttöystäväni vielä nauraa kun muistaa minun "olen paholainen" :)

bsb said...

I always have to think about words beginning with 'yksi-' like yksinäinen (lonely), yksityinen (private).

Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Tästä voi olla apua: http:// randomfinnishlesson.blogspot.fi/2013/05/yksi.html?m=1

Çağrı Yalgın said...

I once mixed ongelma with ohjelma!

Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos, lisäsin nuo sanat listaan.

Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Yes, that is a classic.:)

idle said...

I keep confusing jäädä, jättää and jatkaa.

Rafał Bazanek said...

I always trip over vaille and vielä

Nicholas said...

Personal favourite,

Tapaan hänet = I'll greet him

Tapan hänet = I'll kill him

Finnish vowel length, a matter of life and death!

Hanna Männikkölahti said...

and "vaikeuttaa", to make something more difficult! :)

Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Yes, how could I forget that one from this list! Now it's updated.:)

Anonymous said...

Myös "välttää"

Anonymous said...

kuulua and kuulla are common ones that I mix up all the time.