Saturday, March 8, 2014

How to say negative past tense in Finnish?

The negative past tense is quite a nightmare, mostly because it seems to be hard to remember. You wish it were logical, but it isn't.

There is this:
  • Minä olen. = I am. 
  • Minä en ole. = I am not

And then there is this:
  • Minä olin. = I was.
  • Minä en oli. = I was not. The correct one is Minä en ollut.

Here's how the negative past tense goes in the written language:

  • Minä en sanonut mitään - I didn't say anything.
  • Sinä et sanonut mitään. - You didn't say anything. 
  • Hän ei sanonut mitään. - S/he didn't say anything.
  • Me emme sanoneet mitään. - We didn't say anything. 
  • Te ette sanoneet mitään. - You didn't say anything. 
  • He eivät sanoneet mitään. - They didn't say anything. 

Here's how it goes in the spoken language:

  • Mä en sanonu mitään. - I didn't say anything.
  • Sä et sanonu mitään. - You didn't say anything. 
  • Se ei sanonu mitään. - S/he didn't say anything.
  • Me ei sanottu mitään. - We didn't say anything. (Hello, passive voice!)
  • Te ette sanonu mitään. - You didn't say anything. 
  • Ne ei sanonu mitään. -  They didn't say anything. 

I actually have a whole post about the verb conjugation in the spoken language.

Here's how to form the active past participle, also know as the NUT / NYT form. It's very useful to know, because you also use the same form in perfect and pluperfect tenses.

Here's a list of thirty random things that someone did not do.

  1. En noussut sängystä. - I didn't get up from the bed. 
  2. En halunnut herätä. - I didn't want to wake up.
  3. En syönyt mitään. - I didn't eat anything. 
  4. En juonut mitään. - I didn't drink anything. 
  5. En avannut ovea. - I didn't open the door. 
  6. En pessyt hampaita. - I didn't brush my teeth. 
  7. En käynyt suihkussa. - I didn't take a shower. 
  8. En vaihtanut vaatteita. - I didn't change my clothes. 
  9. En laittanut ruokaa. - I didn't cook. 
  10. En katsonut telkkaria. - I didn't watch tv.
  11. En lukenut sähköpostia. - I didn't read email. 
  12. En vienyt roskia. - I didn't take the garbage out. 
  13. En skypettänyt mun vanhempien kanssa. - I didn't skype with my parents. 
  14. En jutellut kenekään kanssa. - I didn't talk to anybody. 
  15. En nauranut kertaakaan. - I didn't laugh even once. 
  16. En itkenyt. - I didn't cry.
  17. En puhunut puhelimessa. - I didn't speak on the phone.
  18. En mennyt minnekään. - I didn't go anywhere. 
  19. En siivonnut keittiötä. - I didn't clean the kitchen. 
  20. En vetänyt vessaa. - I didn't flush the toilet. 
  21. En imuroinut. - I didn't vacuum. 
  22. En moikannut naapureita.- I didn't say "Hi" to the neighbours. 
  23. En hoitanut yhtään työasiaa. - I didn't take care of a single work-related matter. 
  24. En teettänyt valokuvia. - I didn't get pictures printed. 
  25. En järjestänyt vaatekaappia. - I didn't organize the clothes closet. 
  26. En tehnyt kotitehtäviä. - I didn't do my homework.
  27. En kirjoittanut artikkelia.- I didn't write a paper.
  28. En opiskellut suomea. - I didn't study Finnish. 
  29. En jumpannut jumppapallolla. - I didn't exercise with an exercise ball. 
  30. En ehtinyt. - I didn't have time. 

You might also like my post about the past tense and this Memrise course.
I just added these sentences into the course:

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...

This is useful! I think that the most logical but incorrect form would be minä EN oli, personally.

Hanna said...

Yes, thanks, I just noticed and corrected it. :) I always publish these posts too early and then end up correcting them. I might have to add another 30 verbs to the list..

Anonymous said...

Terve Hanna
Joo sinun blogi on todella hyödyllinen suomea oppiville ulkomaalaisille! Tosi hyvää! Tykkään sinun blogista.

Masa Yoshimi Japanista

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Hei Masa, kiva kun tykkäät! :)

Chico Seasons Jewelry said...

How would you say I did not finish something, or it had not ended? It is hard to use those types of sentences but maybe because they do not have similar structure?

Hanna said...

Hei, tästä voi olla apua:

En saanut sitä loppuun. - I didn't manage to bring it to the end.
Se ei loppunut vielä - It didn't end yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just want to tell you how helpful you have been to e i learning Finnish. I want to let you know that I appreciate your posts so much. There are things that I can't find elsewhere but I found it in your blog. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Unknown said...

Dear Hanna . This is a message to tell you how thankful I am for the study materials you have provided. I gave the test in Aug. I got 3 in 3 parts and 4 in 1. God bless you.