Thursday, February 7, 2013

Making the ko/kö-questions in Finnish

How to ask a question with the ending ko or ? Let's see if you can get the pattern after reading these random 10 questions and their translations:

  • Puhutko sinä suomea? - Do you speak Finnish?
  • Ymmärsitkö, mitä minä kysyin? - Did you understand what I asked?
  • Oletteko te asuneet täällä kauan? - Have you lived here for long?
  • Tuliko se autolla? - Did s/he come by car?
  • Onko Suomessa jääkarhuja? - Are there polar bears in Finland?
  • Saako täällä polttaa? - Is it ok to smoke in here?
  • Onko sinulla jano? - Are you thirsty?
  • Oliko teillä kivaa? - Did you have fun?
  • Pitääkö sinun jo mennä? - Do you have to go already?
  • Lähdetäänkö? - Shall we leave?
  • Voidaanko jutella tästä myöhemmin? - Can we talk about this later? 

How to form the ko/ko question:

  1. Take a verb and conjugate it in the correct person depending on the sentence type.
  2. Add the question ending ko or . (Ko if the basic form of the verb ends with a. if the basic form of the verb ends with ä.)
  3. Add the rest of the sentence. Don't stress too much about the endings.
  4. Ta-daa! Your question is ready to be asked.

Onko (sinulla) nälkä? = Are you hungry?
Haluatko syödä? = Do you want to eat

Lyrics from the Kaija Koo song 'Sydän vähän kallellaan',
performed by Jenni Vartiainen

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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...

It doesn't have to be a verb. That is the neutral, default choice, but in general you append the suffix on the part of the sentence that you are questioning.
"Minä olen punainen." - "I am red."
"Olenko minä punainen?" - "Am I red?"
"Minä olen punainen?" - "I am red?"
"Punainenko minä olen?" - "I am red?"

Multi-word questions are also possible.
"Punainenko auto siellä on?" - "Is the car there red?"
"Punainen autoko siellä on?" - "Is it a red car there?"

Ekaterina Trayt said...

Could you please make a post about eikä? :)

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Eikä or Eikö? I'll do both! :)

Ekaterina Trayt said...

Kiitos ^^

Unknown said...

In regards to the comment above about non-verbs, can ko/kö be used with people's names? For example . . . Teemuko pelaa jääkiekkoa?

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Joo, yes, you can also use it with names.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

I have a question. I am currently learning finnish and I have come across the question Haluatko vetta (would you like water). But in the simple form water is vesi in finnish. So why does it change to vetta?

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Vesi is the basic form. You can use it in a sentence like Vesi on kylmää. (Water is cold.) Vettä is the partitive form. The more you study Finnish, you'll realize that partitive is everywhere.:) Here's a good website about the use of partitive:

Ari said...

Voitteko kertoa lisää puhe kielistä kiitos