Monday, January 25, 2016

How to turn on and off in Finnish

Sytyttää is mostly used with light and fire. The four important forms are sytyttää, sytytän, sytytin and sytyttänyt. 


Laittaa päälle and laittaa pois päältä are used with lights, machines and electric saunas. The four important forms are laittaa, laitan, laitoin and laittanut. 

  • Laita valot päälle. - Turn on the lights.
  • Kuka laittoi television päälle? - Who turned on the TV?
  • Muistitko laittaa saunan pois päältä? - Did you remember to switch off the sauna? 
  • Laittakaa puhelimet pois päältä. - Turn off the phones. 

Sammuttaa (sammutan, sammutin, sammuttanut) can be used with almost anything:

  • Kuka sammutti valot? - Who turned off the lights?
  • Muista sammuttaa televisio, kun et enää katso sitä. - Remember to turn off the TV when you don't watch it anymore.  
  • Älä unohda sammuttaa kynttilöitä. - Don't forget to extinguish the candles. 

p.s. If you're wondering about the difference between sammuttaa and sammua, you could check out my post about transitive and intransitive verbs.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Describing things

Have you noticed how sometimes the adjective is in singular partitive when you describe things in Finnish? That happens often when you describe something with just one word. Here are the most common situations when you need a singular partitive when describing things. I also have a post about the use of plural partitive.


Describing uncountable stuff:

  • Vesi on liian kuumaa. - The water is too hot.
  • Keitto on kylmää. - The soup is cold.
  • Notice: Gazpacho on kylmä keitto.  - Gazpacho is a cold soup.


Describing activities:

  • Juokseminen on hauskaa. - Running is fun.
  • Notice: Juokseminen on hauska harrastus. - Running is a fun hobby.


Describing other things that can be considered "abstract”:

  • Se on mahdotonta! - It is impossible!
  • Kaikki on mahdollista. - Everything is possible.
  • Notice: Se on yksi mahdollinen ratkaisu. - That's one possible solution.


Describing the atmosphere during a time or in a place:

  • Meillä oli eilen tosi kivaa! - We had a great time yesterday!
  • Helsingissä on aina mukavaa. - It's always nice in Helsinki.
  • Notice: Helsinki on mukava kaupunki. - Helsinki is a nice city.