The partitive case is a grammatical case which denotes "partialness", "without result", or "without specific identity".
In the Finnish language, this case is often used to express unknown identities and irresultative actions. For example, it is found in the following circumstances, with the characteristic ending of "a" or "ta":
Where not mentioned, the accusative case would be ungrammatical. For example, the partitive must always be used after singular numerals.
As an example of the irresultative meaning of the partitive, ammuin karhun (accusative) means "I shot the bear (dead)", whereas ammuin karhua (partitive) means "I shot (at) the bear" without specifying if it was even hit. Notice that Finnish has no native future tense, so that the partitive provides an important reference to the present (luen kirjaa) as opposed to the future (luen kirjan). The latter means "I will read the book", as a result ("the book has been read") indicates action in the future.
The case with an unspecified identity is onko teillä kirjoja, which uses the partitive, because it refers to unspecified books, as contrasted to nominative onko teillä (ne) kirjat?, which means "do you have (those) books?"
The partitive case comes from the older ablative case. This meaning is preserved e.g. in kotoa (from home), takaa (from behind).
A Western Finnish dialectal phenomenon seen in some forms of spoken Finnish is the assimilation of the final -a into a preceding vowel, thus making the chroneme the partitive marker. For example, suurii → suuria "some big --".
1. It appears after numbers larger than 6:
This can be replaced with kää´uc čâustõõǥǥ.
2. It is also used with certain postpositions:
This can be replaced with kuä´đ vuâstta.
3. It can be used with the comparative to express that which is being compared:
This would nowadays more than likely be replaced by pue´rab ko kå´ll