Thursday, May 9, 2013

tällainen - tuollainen - sellainen - millainen

About a month ago an anonymous reader requested a post about how to say like this in Finnish. As usual, we can blame the spoken language for the confusion. First an explanation, then some simple examples.

Like this is tällainen, which is a short form of tämänlainen. Tämä is this, and lainen is a short form of kaltainen, which means like something. Notice that lainen is also used in nationalities and describing the origin of a person like suomalainen and helsinkiläinen.


The spoken language forms of tällainen are tällänen and tämmönen. The strange ending mönen comes from moinen / möinen, which means the same as lainen. In spoken language, the last n is often dropped or assimilated to the following sound. You might want to check out this post about the words that end with nen before continuing.

  • tällainen: Oletko nähnyt tällaista? - Have you seen something like this?
  • tällänen: Ooksä nähny tällästä?
  • tämmönen: Ootsä nähny tämmöstä?


With the same logic, like that is tuollainen (tuonlainen), which in spoken language is tollanen or tommonen.

  • tuollainen: Minäkin haluan tuollaisen. - I want to have one of those, too. 
  • tollanen: Mäkin haluun tollasen. 
  • tommonen: Mäkin haluun tommosen.


Like it is sellainen (senlainen), which in spoken language turns into sellanen or semmonen.

  • sellainen: Mitä sinä sellaisella teet? - What will you do with that? What do you need that for?
  • sellanen: Mitä sä sellasella teet?
  • semmonen: Mitä sä semmosella teet?


The question word millainen (minkälainen) becomes millanen or mimmonen.

  • millainen: Millainen se oli? - What was it like?
  • millanen: Millanen se oli?
  • mimmonen: Mimmonen se oli?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

About the author of this blog:

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti. I am a professional Finnish teacher who gives private online lessons and simplifies books into easy Finnish. You can contact me through You can subscribe to this blog from the right-hand banner. 


Tommy Quist said...

Mimmonen, honestly? I see we've entered the silly side of Finnish...

Hanna said...

Yep. :) Put it on Google and you'll find quite a few conversations where people use it.

Ashley said...

I was the anonymous reader! Thank you so much, I have been checking and I am SO GRATEFUL you took the time to explain it so clearly. KIITOS!

Hanna said...

You're welcome! It's fun to write a post when I know that there is at least one person waiting for it. This one was kind of tricky, too.:)

Anonymous said...

Have been studying Finnish for over 7 years but I have never heard of "mimmonen"

Unknown said...

Very good to see these kind of words written down and explained, I´ve been hearing and even using them for years and years, mostly without really knowing how they should be written down if needed, so say in e-mails I tend to play safe and use some other form

kaef said...

Your blog is really invaluable, thanks!

Unknown said...

what does "ooksä tos" mean?? help :(

Hanna said...

Ooksä tos = Oletko sinä tuossa? = Are you there?

Unknown said...

Hey, you are probably a native speaker, but do you use sources for your articles? I would like to use this information but cannot refer to a blog.. And I cannot find this information online. If you could show me where I can find this information I would be so grateful!

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Leila White's Grammar book of Finnish is a great book. Most posts I just write without any reference books, but if I need to check something, that's the book I use.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Or this one:

Sara said...

Tuli juuri mieleeni, että kun olin töissä narikkatyöntekijänä, työkaverit usein sanoivat "semmonen" vai "tämmönen" kun he antoivat takin takaisin. Olisiko tuossa tilanteessa jotain niin kuin "tässä se on " (here you are - en ole varma, onko näin suomeksi)?