Thursday, March 14, 2013

Verb conjugation in spoken language

Here's a very simple and hopefully a clarifying post about the Finnish verb conjugation in spoken language or colloquial Finnish, however you want to call it. The example verb is puhua - to speak, to talk, and this is how it conjugates in written language and in the most common form of spoken language:

Present tense:

  • minä puhun = mä puhun  (I speak)
  • sinä puhut = sä puhut  (you speak)
  • hän puhuu = se puhuu  (s/he speaks)
  • me puhumme = me puhutaan  (we speak) 
  • te puhutte = te puhutte  (you speak)
  • he puhuvat = ne puhuu  (they speak)

  • minä en puhu = mä en puhu  (I don't speak)
  • sinä et puhu = sä et puhu  (you don't speak)
  • hän ei puhu = se ei puhu  (s/he doesn't speak)
  • me emme puhu = me ei puhuta  (we don't speak)
  • te ette puhu = te ette puhu   (you don't speak)
  • he eivät puhu = ne ei puhu  (they don't speak)

Past tense:

  • minä puhuin = mä puhuin  (I spoke)
  • sinä puhuit = sä puhuit  (you spoke)
  • hän puhui = se puhu (Yes, the past tense i is often dropped!)  (s/he spoke)
  • me puhuimme = me puhuttiin  (we spoke)
  • te puhuitte = te puhuitte  (you spoke)
  • he puhuivat = ne puhu  (they spoke)

  • minä en puhunut = mä en puhunu  (I didn't speak)
  • sinä et puhunut = sä et puhunu  (you didn't speak)
  • hän ei puhunut = se ei puhunu  (s/he didn't speak)
  • me emme puhuneet = me ei puhuttu  (we didn't speak)
  • te ette puhuneet = te ette puhunu  (you didn't speak)
  • he eivät puhuneet = ne ei puhunu  (they didn't speak)

Perfect tense:

  • minä olen puhunut = mä oon puhunu  (I have spoken)
  • sinä olet puhunut = sä oot puhunu  (you have spoken)
  • hän on puhunut = se on puhunu  (s/he has spoken)
  • me olemme puhuneet = me on /ollaan puhuttu  (we have spoken)
  • te olette puhuneet = te ootte puhunu  (you have spoken)
  • he ovat puhuneet = ne on puhunu  (they have spoken)

  • minä en ole puhunut = mä en oo puhunu  (I haven't spoken)
  • sinä et ole puhunut = sä et oo puhunu  (you haven't spoken)
  • hän ei ole puhunut = se ei oo puhunu  (s/he hasn't spoken)
  • me emme ole puhuneet = me ei oo /olla puhuttu  (we haven't spoken)
  • te ette ole puhuneet = te ette oo puhunu  (you haven't spoken)
  • he eivät ole puhuneet = ne ei oo puhunu  (they haven't spoken)

If this was useful, you might also like my post Spoken language tips.


Tommy Quist said...

I still feel dread every time I see an impersonal verb form used with a personal pronoun, and now that I see this extended to using a passive participle to form the past tense it's even worse...

Not too wild about the hän/he - se/ne duality either, but it at least doesn't give me goosebumps...

Hanna said...

Oh, Tommy, you'll get used to it! :)

Hanna said...

The reason for this whole mess is that the official written Finnish is a mixture of different dialects, something that the smart people in the 1800's decided together. Or argued about. It's often called "The battle of the dialects"
I guess in most of the countries, the official language form is the one spoken in the capital city area, but in Finland, we're more democratic. :) It's a real pain in the butt for teachers as well, but you cannot really avoid it, either.

Tommy Quist said...

At least it didn't split into two separate but lawfully equal written forms (like in Norway, where Nynorsk was created in a process similar to what you describe)

Olli Väisälä said...

"Me ollaan puhuttu" and "Me ei olla puhuttu" might be more common than those given above.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Totta, mä lisään sen siihen. :)