Monday, November 19, 2012

Having something in Finnish (minulla on)

Having something in Finnish requires using a special possessive structure. The verb is always on (or oli in the past tense), but you have to remember to have the personal pronoun or the proper name in the adessive form, the one with the lla or llä ending.

  • Minulla on  / Mulla on -  I have (the other form is a common spoken language form)
  • Sinulla on / Sulla on - You have
  • Hänellä on / Sillä on - He or she has
  • Meillä on - We have
  • Teillä on - You have
  • Heillä on / Niillä on - They have

Here's what happens if you forget the adessive ending:

  • Jussilla on koira. - Jussi has a dog.
  • Jussi on koira. - Jussi is a dog. 

Here are some everyday sentences with the possessive structure. The first one is in written language, the other one in spoken language.

  • Minulla on nälkä. Mulla on nälkä. - I'm hungry.
  • Kenellä on jano? - Who's thirsty?
  • Mitä sinulla on tänään? Mitä sulla on tänään? - What do you have today?
  • Mitä asiaa hänellä oli? Mitä asiaa sillä oli? - What did s/he have to say?
  • Meillä on tänään kaalilaatikkoa. - We're having cabbage casserole today. (The word is in partitive, because it is an uncountable food word.)
  • Onko teillä ensi viikonloppuna jotain? - Do you have something going on next weekend? 
  • Heillä on tosi hieno asunto. Niillä on tosi hieno kämppä. - They have a really nice apartment.

If you don't have something, the verb is ei ole and whatever you don't have is in partitive.

  • Minulla on avain. - I have a key.
  • Minulla ei ole avainta. - I don't have a key. 
  • Meillä on auto.  - We have a car. 
  • Meillä ei ole autoa. - We don't have a car.

(... except for things like nälkä, jano, kuuma and kylmä; hunger, thirst, hot and cold.)

The past tense form is oli: 
  • Minulla oli eilen tosi kivaa! - I had a great time yesterday!

If the name of a person ends with a consonant, add an i before the ending.
  • Haraldilla on liput ensi-iltaan. - Harald has the tickets to the premiere. 

When the name ends with as or us, the s becomes kse before the ending.
  • Matiaksella on kiire. - Matias is busy.

Notice the consonant change:

  • Matilla on upea kesämökki. - Matti has a fabulous summer cottage.

If you are talking about many things, you might need a partitive, t-plural or plural partitive:

  • Minulla on viisi avainta. - I have five keys.
  • Minulla on avaimet. - I have the keys.
  • Minulla on avaimia. - I have a random amount of keys. 
  • Minulla ei ole avaimia. - I don't have (the) keys.

Here are two questions that look almost the same, but the meaning is very different. Mikä is the basic form of what, and mitä is the partitive form.

  • Mitä sinulla on? - What do you have?
  • Mikä sinulla on? - What's wrong with you?

Another way of asking is with the ko/kö question:

  • Onko sinulla aikaa? - Do you have time?
  • Oliko sulla kivaa? - Did you have fun?

p.s. Check out this post about the adessive ending LLA. It's one of my favourite endings.:) You might also like my post about mikä and mitä.

About the author of Random Finnish Lesson: 

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti. I am a professional Finnish teacher who gives private online lessons and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please read more in and follow this blog, if you want to be the first one to know when I post something new. 


Anonymous said...

Miten sanotaan "I will have" (future tense)? Mielestäni "Minulla olisi" on väärin. Kiitos

Hanna said...

Hyvä kysymys! Se on "Minulla tulee olemaan..." tai "Minä tulen saamaan..", riippuu kontekstista.

Unknown said...

Hei! I'm feeling pretty confused ��
Sanoit, että kun meillä on "positive form" we DO NOT use partitive, while when we have negative one, we use it, mutta täällä kun kirjoitit "Onks sul kivaa?" tai "Onks sul aikaa? oot käytetty partitiivia, miks? Voisitko selittää mulle?�� Kiitos

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Hmm.. "kiva" ja "aika" ovat ainesanoja ja sen takia partitiivissa.

Unknown said...

I liked ��Мне понравились

Poet Ahmed said...

Kiitos paljon