Sunday, May 3, 2020

How to say 'without' in Finnish

Here's a post about different ways to express withoutness in Finnish. It can be done with a preposition ilman, a derivational ending -ton, or an adessive ending -tta added to a noun stem or to a MA infinitive of a verb.

1. Ilman is the prepositon without. It is used with a partitive.

  • En voi elää ilman sinua! - I can't live without you!
  • Älä mene ulos ilman takkia.  -  Don't go outside without a jacket. 

2. To make an adjective, add the derivational suffix -ton or -tön to a noun stem or to the agent participle stem.

  • sokeri > sokeriton - sugar > sugar-free
  • työ > työtön - job, work > unemployed
  • uskoa > uskomaton - to believe > unbelievable
  • kirjoittaa > kirjoittamaton - to write > unwritten

Notice how the -ton  changes to -ttoma- when you add other case endings than partitive:

  • Onko tähän rasvattomaan maitoon lisätty D-vitamiinia? - Have they added  vitamin D into this fat free milk?
  • Sokerittomissa juomissa on muita makeutusaineta. - There are other sweeteners in sugar-free drinks.
  • Asiattomilta pääsy kielletty. - No trespassing. Stay out, if you don't have a good reason to be here. (Asia is a thing. Asiaton is a person who has no reason to be somewhere.) 
  • Onko sinulla paljon tekemättömiä töitä? - Do you have a lot of undone tasks?
  • Tämä on uskomatonta! - This is unbelievable!

Varoituskyltti Asiattomilta pääsy kielletty | Motonet Oy
Kuva: Motonet

3. To make an adverb, add the abessive ending -tta or -ttä to a noun stem.

  • Älä mene ulos takitta.  - Don't go out without a jacket. (However, it's more common to say ilman takkia.)
  • Kokous sujui ongelmitta. - The meeting went along without problems. 

4. With verbs, add -matta or -mättä to the strong verb stem. 

  • En voinut olla ostamatta tätä laukkua! - I couldn't be without buying this bag!
  • En voinut olla kertomatta tätä sinulle. - I couldn't be without telling this to you.
  • Hän lähti sanomatta sanaakaan. - He left without saying a word. 
  • Ole syömättä kaksitoista tuntia ennen leikkausta. - Be without eating for twelve hours before the operation. 

Read more and listen to songs with ilman:

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. 

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