Thursday, September 19, 2013

The eleven most useful cases

In theory, the case endings are quite logical, but it all goes crazy when the word stems change. In this post, I try to keep is as simple as possible. Auto is a nice word as you already know it, it's easy to pronounce and it doesn't change no matter what ending or marker (such as the plural i) you add to it. This is the declination in singular.

1. Nominative auto - a/the car

2. Genitive auton - car's, of the car, with postpositions, in an object sentence when the action is completed.

  • Mikä teidän auton rekisterinumero on? - What's the register number of your car?
  • Kissa meni auton alle. - The cat went (to) under the car. 
  • Minä haluan auton. - I want a car. 

3. Partitive autoa

  • Minulla on kaksi autoa. - I have two cars.
  • Minulla ei ole autoa. - I don't have a car.
  • En halua autoa. - I don't want a car. 

4. Inessive autossa - in the car, inside of the car

  • Mä odotan sua autossa. - I'll wait for you in the car.
  • Meidän autossa on jotain vikaa. - There's something wrong in our car. 

5. Elative autosta - from the car, about the car

  • Tule ulos autosta! - Get out of the car!
  • Mä en tykkää meidän autosta. - I don't like our car. 

6. Illative autoon - into the car

  • Minä menen jo autoon. - I'll go into the car already.
  • Älä jätä koiraa autoon! - Don't leave the dog in (to) the car!

7. Adessive autolla - by the car, close to the car 

With very common words like  pöytä, tuoli, lattia and sänky  (table, chair, floor, bed) the adessive ending means on top. With auto, you would say auton päällä instead. 

8. Ablative autolta - from by/close the car, from on top of the car, also used with the sense verbs

  • Mä en jaksa kävellä autolta kauppaan. - I don't have the energy to walk from the car to the store.
  • Tuo näyttää meidän autolta. - That looks like our car.

9. Allative autolle - to the car (but not inside), to on top of the car

  • Mä menen jo autolle. - I'm going to the car already. (But not inside.)
  • Mä etsin ostajaa meidän vanhalle autolle. - I'm looking for a buyer for our old car. 

10. Essive autona - in the state of being a car, also used with some verbs.

  • Teidän autona tämä olisi jo mennyt rikki. - If this car was yours, it would have broken already. 
  • Me pidämme tätä ihan hyvänä autona. - We consider this an ok car. 

11. Translative autoksi - transition into a car, also used with some verbs.

  • Osaatko taitella tämän paperin autoksi? - Can you fold this paper into a car?
  • Mä luulin tuota meidän autoksi. - I thought that was our car. 

Other cases

What about abessive autotta, instructive autoin and comitatives autoineni, autoinesi, autoineen, autoinemme, autoinenne and autoineen? I'll skip those ones today, but I'll add soething later. :) The instructive is one of my favourite cases, but not so common with the word auto. 

Songs with local endings: 

The adjetive 'hieno' in positive, comparative and superlative
 in 11 different cases.

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...


Your blog is amazing!

I have seen some sentences in Finnish with the ending glued to the word with a colon (:). Unfortunately I don't remember the sentences. Could you explain this, please?

Also, when adding endings to name of people, is there any rule for foreigners names? For example, "Sarah's cat is beautiful", "Sarahn kisa on kaunis"?


Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos! You've probably seen something like EU:ssa (Euroopan unionissa). The colon is used with abbreviations. With foreign names ending with a consonant, you just add an i between the name and the ending. It also depends on whether the name is pronounced with the consonant at the end or not. I would write Sarahin although the Sarah'n might be more correct since you don't hear the h at the end of the name. It just doesn't look right.:) Here's a handy link about the topic:

José Carlos said...

Why do OIKEIN and VÄÄRIN take instructive case, not partitive?
My e-mail:

Unknown said...

Kiitoksia paljon Hanna se oli niin useful mä kiitän��

Unknown said...

Kiitoksia Hanna what a useful links u hava mä kiitän.