Monday, December 17, 2012

How to use the Finnish words 'mukana' ja 'mukaan'

These two words can both be translated as with or along.


Mukana is often used with minulla on construction and with verbs that don't express direction.

  • Onhan sinulla varmasti passi mukana? - Are you sure you have your passport along?
  • Mitä ihmettä sinulla on mukana? - What on earth do you have with you? (ihme = wonder, miracle)
  • Oletteko tässä mukana vai ette? - Are you in with this or not?
  • Älä mene niin lujaa, minä en pysy mukana! - Don't go so fast, I cannot keep up with you!
  • Laula vain muiden mukana. - Just go ahead and sing along with the others.


Mukaan is often used with verbs tulla and ottaa.  As you can see from the illative ending (long vowel + n), there's the idea of to somewhere.

  • Tulkaa mukaan ensi kerralla! - Come along the next time!
  • Minä en ota mitään muuta mukaan kuin kännykän ja lompakon. - I'm not going to take anything else with me but my phone and my wallet.
  • Otatko minut mukaan seuraavalla kerralla, kun menet teatteriin? - Will you take me along next time you're going to theatre?
  • Eihän haittaa, että otin meidän kissat mukaan? - I hope it doesn't bother that I took our cats along.

In written language, add the possessive suffixes:

  • Muista ottaa mukaasi tarpeeksi vessapaperia. - Remember to take along enough toilet paper.
  • Miksi teillä on aina mukananne tuo iso matkalaukku? - Why do you always have that big suitcase with you?

Mukaan can also mean according to somebody or something, and mukana can also be involved in.

  • Mun siskon mukaan tämä on tosi hyvä kirja. - According to my sister, this is a really good book.
  • Keitetään lisää kahvia tarpeen mukaan. - Let's make more coffee if needed
  • Älä vain sano, että sinäkin olet mukana tässä jutussa! - Please don't say that you are also involved in this case!
  • Haluaisin olla mukana tämän yhdistyksen toiminnassa - I'd like to be involved in this association.


The difference between mukana and kanssa? I'd say that kanssa is being or doing something with somebody in a more active way, and mukana is more like being there, but observing or tagging along.

  • Tulin tänne Elinan kanssa. - I came here with Elina.
  • Tulin tänne Elinan mukana. - I came here with Elina. (She's the one who has something going on in here, I just came along because she was so kind and took me with her.) Terveisiä Elinalle! :)

Related posts:

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...

Can't mukana also mean something along the lines of "involved in" or maybe "responsible for"? I remember reading some news where this meaning seemed to fit.
For example, about the ex russian policeman who was involved in a journalist murder, there was a sentence that was something like "hän oli mukana murhassa".

Hanna said...

Oh yes, you are absolutely right. I'll add it to the original post. Kiitos!

Anonymous said...

Of course, since those words look inflected, one could think that muka would be related. Not so: muka means "supposedly".

Elena said...

This is extremely helpful. Kiitos!

Hanna said...

Ole hyvä! Mukavaa, että tästä oli hyötyä. Oh, 'mukava = nice' has nothing to do with 'mukana', either.:)

Anonymous said...

Why is it "Tulin tänne Elinan mukana." and not "Tulin tänne Elinan mukaan."?
Doesn't the verb "tulla" require "mukaan"?

Cara Membuat NPK Organik Cair said...

thanks for sharing

Mats said...

Why didn't Anonymous above get an answer.
It's a relevant question I Think?
Why is it "Tulin tänne Elinan mukana." and not "Tulin tänne Elinan mukaan."?