Wednesday, July 14, 2021

How to say "through" in Finnish

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The English word through can be either läpi, kautta or myötä in Finnish. Here's how to use them: 


  • Kävelin kotiin metsän läpi. - I walked home through the forest. 
  • Pääsin testistä läpi kolmannella kerralla! - I passed the exam on the third time!
  • Näkyykö tästä läpi? - Can one see through this?


  • Mies hiihti Suomen halki. - A man skied through Finland. (Halki seems to be almost the same as läpi. You could also say that Mies hiihti Suomen läpi.)  
  • Halki, poikki ja pinoon! - A Finnish expression related to wood chopping: Split in half, cut and put in a pile. People use this when they talk about how fast and effectively something was done. (Actually, the order should be poikki, halki ja pinoon.) 


  • Kävelin kotiin metsän kautta. - I walked home through the forest. (And perhaps I stopped there for a while. Anyway, kautta is kind of stronger then läpi.)
  • Kävelin kotiin Alkon kautta. - I walked home through Alko (and I probably bought something).
  • Opin tämän asian kantapään kautta.  - I learned this through my mistakes (through my heel).


  • Valokuvaaja alkoi kuvata koiria koronapandemian myötä.  -  A photographer started to take pictures of dogs throughout / during the pandemic. (Voit lukea artikkelin täällä.)
  • Olen alkanut ymmärtää suomalaisia paremmin tämän tv-sarjan myötä.  - I have started to understand Finns better because of this tv series.

About the author of this blog: 

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 your want to be the first one to know when I post something new. 


Tommy Quist said...

My first thought was there must be situations where through would end up "ohi" in Finnish but after thinking it through (no pun intended), not really.

My instinct just to keep meanings straight in my head is to translate "kautta" as "via" even though I imagine you would rarely do this in a real translation. It helps me to think about it this way because I'm not sure läpi would ever mean "via".

I'm wondering what the rektio rules are here with läpi... I guess they are specific to which verb you are using läpi with...? As in if you had super powers and could see all the way from one end of the forest to the other (see through the forest), the forest would end up in the elative?

Unknown said...

Hi ..thanks for your blog ...can you please explain what does saanko and voitko means ..

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Hei "unknown", his blog post might help you: :)