Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to think in Finnish

These are the three most common verbs that mean to think in Finnish. Usually my students overuse luulla, so be careful when using it.

Ajatella (ajattelen, ajattelin, ajatellut) is to think (kind of neutrally), and to have an opinion.

  • Ketä sinä ajattelet? - Who are you thinking about?
  • ajattelin, että sä voisit tykätä tästä. - I thought that you could like this.
  • Mitä sinä ajattelet tästä asiasta? = Mitä mieltä sinä olet tästä asiasta? = Mikä sinun mielipide on tästä asiasta? - What do you think about this matter?

Miettiä (mietin, mietin, miettinyt) is usually used when you have to think (hard) in order to find a solution.

  • Mikä on Paraguayn pääkaupunki?  - Mun pitää miettiä.  - What's the capital of Paraguay? - I have to think.
  • Mitä sä mietit? - What are you thinking about? (You look like you're thinking very hard.)
  • Mitä on 5 kertaa 32?  - Odota, mä mietin. - What's 5 times 32?  - Wait, I'll think.

Luulla (luulen, luulin, luullut) is to think, not to know for sure. Sometimes it can also express and opinion.

  • Luulin, että tänään on torstai, mutta onkin keskiviikko. - I thought it is Thursday today, but it is Wednesday.
  • Mä luulen, että koulu alkaa huomenna kahdeksalta, mutta en ole ihan varma. - I think that school will start at eight tomorrow, but I'm not absolutely sure. 
  • Mitä sä luulet; onko tämä tarpeeksi? - What do you think; is this enough?

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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. 


bsb said...

Great post! This is a problem in more than one language. I try to remember - ajattelen = I think, luulen = I believe, mietin = I ponder, consider. It works for me :-)

Baluka said...

Hello! What about think of someone or somebody?? Like in: i think of you...or I think about you?

Anonymous said...

Ajattelen sinua! Ajattelen häntä!