Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to think in Finnish

These are the three most common verbs that mean to think in Finnish. Usually my students overuse luulla, so be careful when using it.

Ajatella (ajattelen, ajattelin, ajatellut) is to think (kind of neutrally), and to have an opinion.

  • Ketä sinä ajattelet? - Who are you thinking about?
  • ajattelin, että sä voisit tykätä tästä. - I thought that you could like this.
  • Mitä sinä ajattelet tästä asiasta? = Mitä mieltä sinä olet tästä asiasta? = Mikä sinun mielipide on tästä asiasta? - What do you think about this matter?

Luulla (luulen, luulin, luullut) is to think, not to know for sure. Sometimes it can also express and opinion.

  • Luulin, että tänään on torstai, mutta onkin keskiviikko. - I thought it is Thursday today, but it is Wednesday.
  • Mä luulen, että koulu alkaa huomenna kahdeksalta, mutta en ole ihan varma. - I think that school will start at eight tomorrow, but I'm not absolutely sure. 
  • Mitä sä luulet; onko tämä tarpeeksi? - What do you think; is this enough?

Miettiä (mietin, mietin, miettinyt) is usually used when you have to think (hard) in order to find a solution.

  • Mikä on Paraguayn pääkaupunki?  - Mun pitää miettiä.  - What's the capital of Paraguay? - I have to think.
  • Mitä sä mietit? - What are you thinking about? (You look like you're thinking very hard.)
  • Mitä on 5 kertaa 32?  - Odota, mä mietin. - What's 5 times 32?  - Wait, I'll think.

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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.

1 comment:

bsb said...

Great post! This is a problem in more than one language. I try to remember - ajattelen = I think, luulen = I believe, mietin = I ponder, consider. It works for me :-)