Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to use the Finnish words 'edes', 'jopa', 'ainakin' and 'ainakaan'

My 4,5-year-old son says edes a lot, and usually in a place where it doesn't belong to. That's no wonder, because edes can be quite tricky.

  • Minulla ei ole edes kahta euroa.  - I don't have even two euros. 
  • Minulla on jopa kaksi euroa! - I have as much as two euros!
  • Minulla on ainakin kaksi euroa.  - I have at least two euros.
  • Minulla ei ainakaan ole kahta euroa. - I definitely don't have two euros.

In a negative sentence, edes is combined with ei and it means not even.

  • Mä en edes tunne sitä. - I don't even know him.
  • Sillä ei ole edes ajokorttia. - He doesn't even have a driver's licence. 
  • Se ei edes tiedä, kuka mä oon. - He doesn't even know who I am. 
  • Älä edes kuvittele! - Don't even imagine!

Even is jopa.

  • Tämä oli uusi asia jopa minulle. - This was a new thing even for me.
  • Jopa puolet suomalaisista ajattelee näin. - As many as half of the Finns think like this.

In an imperative sentence, edes is at least.

  • Maista edes vähän. - Taste at least a little bit. 
  • Tule edes puoleksi tunniksi. - Come at least for half an hour.

Usually, at least is ainakin or ainakaan.

  • Maista ainakin vähän. - Taste at least a little bit, 
  • Ostetaan ainakin maitoa ja leipää. - Let's buy at least milk and bread. 
  • Olen lähettänyt ainakin kaksikymmentä työhakemusta! - I've sent at least twenty job applications.

In a negative sentence, use ainakaan. The meaning might change a bit depending on the word order.

  • Ainakaan minä en tule mukaan. - At least I'm not coming along. 
  • Minä en ainakaan tule mukaan! - I'm definitely not coming along!
  • Mä en ole nähnyt sitä ainakaan viikkoon. - I haven't seen him at least for a week. 

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.  


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for explaining this! Now i know how to use ainakin! But there we have also VÄHINTÄÄN which means at least. So what is the different between them?

Anonymous said...

Hi, could you give an example of when to use vähintään instead of ainakin ? I'm trying to understand the diffeence between the to "at least" words.