Thursday, July 3, 2014

The difference between 'kansa' and 'kanssa'

First of all, kansa means people or nation. Kanssa is with or as well.

  • Tulitko sä Matin kanssa? - Did you come with Matti? (Matin kaa in spoken language.)
  • Kenen kanssa sä asut? - Who do you live with?
  • Mulla menee hermot tämän esseen kanssa! - I'm losing my mind (nerves) with this essay!
  • Onko teillä kakkua? Mulle kanssa! - Do you have cake? Some for me, too! (Mulle kans in spoken language.)

Kanssa is sometimes used too much. Usually the adessive ending lla or llä works better, and you might even need a totally different structure in Finnish:

  • Syö haarukalla ja veitsellä! - Eat with a fork and knife!
  • Kaivoitko tuon kuopan lapiolla vai paljain käsin? - Did you dig that hole with a spade or with your bare hands?
  • Ei saa juosta sakset kädessä! - No running with scissors!

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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...

If you use kanssa when saying "running with scissors", it may mean the scissors are running too.

Anonymous said...

um not really. I mean, yes it could mean that but nobody would really think thats the case. anyways, what I wanted to write here in the first place, was that we actually use it like that too, "saksien kanssa, puukon kanssa".

"joku tyyppi heilu puukon kanssa baarin eessä". thats all. peace and love.

Anonymous said...

So whenever you use kanssa you also need the genitiivi? I mean,the sufix _n that is added sometimes