Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The agent participle in Finnish language

Here's a question that I hear a lot:

  • Missä ne meidän eilen ostamat keksit on? - Where are the cookies that we bought yesterday? (A word by word translation would be Where those ours yesterday bought cookies is?)

The agent participle is formed with

  1. the verb stem (strong grade, if there is a consonant change)
  2. the participle marker ma/mä
  3. a possible plural marker t or i
  4. a possible case ending 
  5. a possessive suffix, if you want to use the written language

Like this: 

  • ostamamme = the ones that we bought (standard Finnish)
  • meidän ostamat = the ones that we bought (spoken Finnish)
  • ostamissamme = in the ones that we bought  (standard Finnish)
  • meidän ostamissa = in the ones that we bought (spoken Finnish)

Example sentences in spoken language:

Notice that the agent participle is always used with the genitive form of a pronoun, noun or a proper name.
  • Leipoa > leipoma > Missä se mun eilen leipoma kakku on? - Where's the cake that I baked yesterday? 
  • Antaa > antama > Kiitos siitä sun antamasta kirjasta. - Thank you for the book that you gave me. 
  • Tehdä > tekemä > Mun äidin tekemät lihapullat on parempia kuin nämä. - My mom's meatballs are better than these ones. (The meatballs made by my mother.)
  • Suositella > suosittelema > Me syötiin siinä Annan suosittelemassa ravintolassa. -  We ate at the restaurant that Anna recommended.

In written language, add the correct possessive suffix after the ma or :

  • Missä ne meidän eilen ostamamme keksit ovat? (Notice how the plural t disappears before the possessive suffix. The same thing happens to the genitive n, but don't worry too much about it.)
  • Kiitos siitä sinun antamastasi kirjasta! - Thanks for the book that you gave me!

We actually buy cookies quite often, but my son rarely sees them. I usually answer something lame like Ne syödään sitten, kun isoäiti tulee kylään. - We'll eat them when grandma comes to visit. or then I'll try to distract him with the classic Hei katso, tuolla on orava! - Hey look, there's a squirrel!

p.s. Are you already familiar with the other participles?

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 www.linktr.ee/hannamannikkolahti and follow this blog, if you want to be the first one to know when I post something new.  


Laura said...

Äiti syö näkkileipää, ei Fazerin Sinistä.

Bon's Bits, Bites, and Blurbs said...

Greetings. This comment is much to do with your topic above, but I was wondering if you could address the MA - tenses = massa, masta, maan - as part of Verbit Substantiivi. Thanks. :-)