Thursday, December 24, 2015

nähdä - katsoa

These verbs are often easily mixed although they surely exist in other languages, too. Nähdä is to see. Katsoa is to look or to watch.

Nähdä (näen, näin, nähnyt)
  • Näitkö sinä tuon? - Did you see that? (Spoken language: Näiksä ton?)
  • Minä en näe mitään. - I don't see anything.
  • Täällä ei ole mitään nähtävää. - There's nothing to see here.
  • Oletko nähnyt tätä elokuvaa? - Have you seen this movie?
  • Mä en nähnyt siellä ketään. - I didn't see anyone there.
  • Nähdään välipäivinä! - See you during the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Katsoa (katson, katsoin, katsonut)

Dictionaries also give you katsella, but I only use that verb in  Ei kiitos, mina vain katselen when I'm shopping and don't need any help.

p.s. Do you remember the difference between Minä en nähnyt siellä ketään and Minä en nainut siellä ketään? Check out my post about näyttää, näkyä, nähdä and naida.

Friday, December 18, 2015

How to look forward in Finnish

Looking forward to something is a phrase that doesn't really exist in Finnish. Forward is eteenpäin, but it doesn't work in this case. Here are some expressions with the same idea:

  • Mä odotan sitä innolla. - I'm waiting for it with enthusiasm.
  • Mä oon siitä tosi innoissani. - I'm really excited about it. 
  • Vähän mä oon innoissani! - I'm REALLY excited! (Vähän sometimes means the opposite.)
  • En malta odottaa! - I don't have the patience to wait!
  • On tosi hauska mennä sinne. - It's really nice to go there. 
  • Onpa kiva mennä sinne! - So nice to go there!


About the author of this blog:  

Nice to have you here! 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. You might also like my easy Finnish podcast.

p.s. Jos olet nainen ja osaat jo jonkin verran suomea, tule mukaan suomen kielen viikonloppuun Tampereelle. Odotan sitä innoissani!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Private Finnish Lessons

I've been giving private lessons since 2008. At the same time, I've taught Finnish for adults at the university language centre, summer university, open university, and recently at a vocational school for cooks and cleaners. I've realized that I like teaching private students so much that I want to do it as my main job. The timing is perfect, as my contract in the school is coming to an end.

Last spring I had a really pleasant experience with a student who came to Jyväskylä for two weeks as a tourist and took daily Finnish lessons with me. Inspired by that and in addition to the private lessons, I would like to arrange mini courses for small groups. If you want to suggest a Finnish course of your dreams or try out private lessons, please visit my super neat website and leave me a message at the end of the page.  If you work for a Finnish company, you could suggest that your boss would pay for the lessons! :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

vain - vasta

Someone suggested this topic in another postKiitos ideasta! Vain is only. Vasta can mean many different things but usually is not until or not yet. It is also vihta, the thing in the sauna.


  • Minulla on vain kaksi euroa. - I have only two euros. 
  • Ei kiitos, en tarvitse apua. Minä vain katselen. - No thank you, I don't need any help. I'm just looking around. 
  • Miksi sinulla on vain sukat jalassa? - Why are you wearing nothing but socks?

Notice that in spoken language, vain is often vaan:

  • Mulla on vaan kaks euroo. - I have only two euros. (Don't mix it with the other vaan.)


  • Minulla on vasta kolme Muumimukia. -  I have only three Moomin mugs. (But I'm going to get more!)
  • Oletko sinä vasta 30? - Are you only thirty years old?
  • Tulin kotiin vasta neljältä. - I didn't come home until four o'clock.
  • Miksi tänään on vasta maanantai eikä perjantai! - Why is it Monday today and not already Friday!

p.s. Feel free to follow my Facebook page!

Past tenses in Finnish

Here's a post about the past tense and the perfect tense in Finnish. Usually Finnish learners use too much imperfekti in situations where they should use perfekti.

Imperfekti is used when something happened in the past and is now finished. Sometimes there is a word expressing when it happened, but not necessarily. In all these examples, the verb is ostaa, to buy.

  • ostin eilen uuden auton. - I bought a new car yesterday. 

Here's when to use perfekti:

1. When the exact time is not so important:

  • Kalle on ostanut uuden auton. - Kalle has bought a new car. (It doesn't matter or I don't know when it happened.)
  • Joku on ostanut kukkia! - Someone has bought flowers! (I can see that there are flowers on the table.)
  • Oletko koskaan käynyt Lontoossa? - Have you ever been to London?

2.  When the action started in the past and still continues, or at least somehow affects the present time:

  • Mitä sä olet ostanut tällä viikolla? - What have you bought this week? (The week is not over yet.)
  • Kuinka kauan sinä olet opiskellut suomea? - For how long have you studied Finnish?

3. With the future tense:

  • Mä soitan kun olen saanut tämän valmiiksi. - I'll call when I've finished this. 
  • Mä lähetän sulle kuvan sitten kun mä olen ostanut uuden takin. - I'll send you a picture after I've bought a new jacket. 

4. When something hasn't happened, but it is still possible to happen:

  • Mä en ole koskaan ostanut ruokaa netistä. - I've never bought food online (But I might do it some day.)
  • Mä en ole vielä lukenut tätä kirjaa. - I haven't read this book yet.

Here's how to make the NUT form, and here are more examples to demonstrate the difference:

  • Mä asuin Helsingissä viisi vuotta. - I lived in Helsinki for five years. (I don't live there anymore.)
  • Mä olen asunut Helsingissä viisi vuotta. - I have lived in Helsinki for five years. (And I still live here.)

  • Ostitko sä maitoa? - Did you buy milk? (You just came from the store.)
  • Oletko sä koskaan ostanut netistä ruokaa? - Have you ever bought food online? (In general)

  • Missä sä olit eilen? - Where were you yesterday? (Exact time)
  • Missä sä olet ollut? - Where have you been?

  • Mitä sä söit? - What did you eat?
  • Mitä sä olet syönyt? - What have you eaten? (Your face is a mess and I can see that you have definitely eaten something.)

  • en lukenut tätä kirjaa eilen. - I didn't read this book yesterday. (And yesterday is over so obviously I can't read it yesterday anymore.)
  • Mä en ole lukenut tätä kirjaa. - I haven't read this book. (But it is still possible for me to read it.)

Other things that you might be interested in:


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. Here you can take a look at my available group courses and all my simple Finnish novels. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Talking about tv shows in Finnish

Here are two important words that you need when talking about tv series:

  • Jakso is an episode. 
  • Kausi is a season.

Small talk sentences: