Saturday, January 16, 2016

Describing things in Finnish

Have you noticed how sometimes the adjective is in singular partitive when you describe things in Finnish? That happens often when you describe something with just one word. Here are the most common situations when you need a singular partitive when describing things. 

1. Describing uncountable stuff (mass nouns)

  • Vesi on liian kuumaa. - The water is too hot.
  • Keitto on kylmää. - The soup is cold.
  • Notice: Gazpacho on kylmä keitto.  - Gazpacho is a cold soup.

2. Describing activities

  • Juokseminen on hauskaa. - Running is fun.
  • Notice: Juokseminen on hauska harrastus. - Running is a fun hobby.

3. Describing other things that can be considered "abstract"

  • Se on mahdotonta! - It is impossible!
  • Kaikki on mahdollista. - Everything is possible.
  • Notice: Se on yksi mahdollinen ratkaisu. - That's one possible solution.

4. Describing the atmosphere during a time or in a place

  • Meillä oli eilen tosi kivaa! - We had a great time yesterday!
  • Helsingissä on aina mukavaa. - It's always nice in Helsinki.
  • Notice: Helsinki on mukava kaupunki. - Helsinki is a nice city.

Viikonloppuna oli aurinkoista. Vesi oli kylmää. Tampereella oli mukavaa.

What about describing things in plural? Check out my post about t-plural and plural partitive.

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...

Perfect timing for this kind of post as I'm really struggling with the partitive. Thank you!
I haven't found yet any excercises where I can practice "sijamuotoja" so that these are mixed and I have to figure out what kind of "sijamuoto" to use (gen, part, ill, etc) and if I check the excercise, there would be a sort explanation what and why is correct (part because of ainesana, gen because of..). Hanna, maybe you or some of the readers can help me with this kind of excercises?

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Hyvä idea! You could help me by writing 10-20 sentences in English that you would like to be able to say in Finnish, and I'll create the exercises.:)

Omma said...

Hei Hanna

Opetan itse vapaa-ajalla suomea ja olen monesti löytänyt blogistasi hyvän selityksen erilaisiin "miksi" tai "mitä eroa" -kysymyksiin. Tuli mieleeni, että olisiko näin adjektiiveihin liittyen mahdollista tehdä postaus suomen kielessä olevasta jännästä ominaisuudesta, että tietyt sanat muuttuvat, mikäli ne ovat osa yhdyssanaa:

syksy -> syys-
pieni -> pikku-
punainen -> puna-
neljä -> neli-
venäläinen -> venäläis-

näin muutamia mainitakseni. :)

lordgeyik said...

Thanks for the helpful post. Is this correct?
Keitto on kivaa. (Soup is uncountable)
Tämä auto on kiva. (A car is countable)

Hence, when describing how things are, is the case of the predicative depends on the subject's nature (eg. concrete or abstract/material)?