|hän||she or he|
Since Finnish verbs are inflected for person, personal pronouns are not required for sense and are usually omitted in standard Finnish except where used for emphasis. In spoken Finnish, all pronouns are generally used. In the third person, the pronoun is needed: "hän menee" = he goes, "he menevät" = they go. This applies to both colloquial and written language.
In colloquial Finnish, the pronouns se and ne are very commonly used as the singular and plural third person pronouns, respectively. Use of hän and he is mostly restricted to writing and formal speech. Similarly, mä and sä are used colloquially to replace minä and sinä. Te, being formal, is never reduced. Some of the most common verbs, such as olla ("to be") and tulla ("to come") exhibit similar reduced colloquial forms:
|minä olen/tulen||mä oon/tuun|
|sinä olet/tulet||sä oot/tuut|
|hän/se on/tulee||se on/tulee|
|me olemme/tulemme||me ollaan/tullaan|
|te olette/tulette||te ootte/tuutte|
|he/ne ovat/tulevat||ne on/tulee|
|Te olette/tulette||Te ootte/tuutte|
In common with some other languages, the second person plural can be used as a polite form when addressing one person. This usage is diminishing in Finnish society.
|kuka||who, which (of many)|
|mikä||what, which (of many)|
|ken||who, which (of many) - (old or dialectal word)|
|kumpi||which (of two)|
|kumpainen||which (of two) - (old or dialectal word)|
"Ken" is now archaic, but its inflected forms are used instead of those of "kuka": "ketä" instead of "kuta" ("whom"). "Ketä rakastat?" = "Whom do you love?"
|jonka (refers to preceding word)||"hän on ainoa, jonka muistan"||"[s]he is the only one whom (I) remember"|
| minkä (refers to preceding clause/|
sentence or to a pronoun or a superlative that refers to a thing)
|"se on ainoa asia, minkä muistan"||"it is the only thing that (I) remember"|
|toinen||"he rakastavat toisiaan"||"they love each other" (plural)|
|"he rakastavat toinen toistaan"||"they love one another" (double singular)|
|itse||plus corresponding possessive suffix||"keitin itselleni teetä"||"(I) made myself some tea"|
|joka (uninflected)||every, each|
|joku||some, someone (person)|
|jokin||some, something (animal, thing)|
|kumpainenkin||both (old or dialectal)|
|mikin||each thing (dialectal)|
|kenkään||anyone (old or dialectal)|
|kukaan (nom.), kene+..+kään (oblique)||anyone|
|-> ei kukaan||no one|
|-> ei kumpikaan||neither one|
|mikään||anything -> ei mikään = nothing|
|mones (nom.), monente- (oblique)||the ordinal pronoun (representing first, second, etc.)|
Each pronoun declines. However, the endings -kAAn and -kin are clitics, and case endings are placed before them, e.g. mikään "any", miltäkään "from any". It should be noted that there are irregular nominatives. As indicated, kukaan is an irregular nominative; the regular root is kene- with -kään, e.g. kukaan "(not) anyone", keneltäkään "from (not) anyone".
English lacks a direct equivalent to the pronoun mones; it would be "that-th", or "which-th" for questions. For examples, Palkkio riippuu siitä monentenako maaliin tulee "The reward depends on as-which-th one comes to the finish", or explicitly "The reward depends on in which position one comes to the finish". It would be difficult to translate the question Monesko?, but, while far from proper English, the question How manyeth may give an English-speaking person an idea of the meaning.
Some indefinite adjectives are often perceived as indefinite pronouns. These include:
|eräs||some, certain, one|
|kaikki||all, everyone, everything|
|muutama||some, a few|
|toinen (non-reciprocal, non-numeral use)||another|
|genetiivi (genitive)||-n||of||talon||of (a) house|
|akkusatiivi (accusative)||- or -n||-||talo or talon||house|
|partitiivi (partitive)||-(t)a||-||taloa||house (as an object)|
|inessiivi (inessive)||-ssa||in||talossa||in (a) house|
|elatiivi (elative)||-sta||from (inside)||talosta||from (a) house|
|illatiivi (illative)||-an, -en, etc.||into||taloon||into (a) house|
|adessiivi (adessive)||-lla||at, on||talolla||at (a) house|
|ablatiivi (ablative)||-lta||from||talolta||from (a) house|
|allatiivi (allative)||-lle||to||talolle||to (a) house|
|essiivi (essive)||-na||as||talona||as a house|
|(eksessiivi; dialectal) (exessive)||-nta||from being||talonta||from being a house|
|translatiivi (translative)||-ksi||to (role of)||taloksi||to a house|
|instruktiivi (instructive)||-n||with (the aid of)||taloin||with the houses|
|abessiivi (abessive)||-tta||without||talotta||without (a) house|
|komitatiivi (comitative)||-ne-||together (with)||taloineni||with my house(s)|
|"koirat olivat huoneessa"||"the dogs were in the room"|
|"huoneet olivat suuria"||"the rooms were large"|
|"huoneessa oli kaksi koiraa"||"there were two dogs in the room"|
|"talossa oli kolme huonetta"||"the house had three rooms"|
|"ostin tietokoneen tuhannella eurolla"||"I bought a computer for a thousand euros"|
|'huone' -> 'huoneita'||'(some) rooms'|
|-> 'huoneissa'||'in rooms'|
As a combined example of plurals
|'lintu on puussa'||'the bird is in the tree'|
|-> 'linnut ovat puissa'||'the birds are in the trees'|
|Inflection of pronouns|
|'tämä talo on minun '||'this house is mine '|
|'tämä on minun taloni '||'this is my house'|
|'minut'||accusative||'hän tuntee minut'||'[s]he knows me'|
|'minua'||partitive||'hän rakastaa minua'||'[s]he loves me'|
|'minussa'||inessive||'tämä herättää minussa vihaa'||'this provokes (lit. awakens) anger in me'|
|'minusta'||elative||'hän puhui minusta'||'[s]he was talking about/ of me'. Also used idiomatically to mean 'in my opinion'.|
|'minuun'||illative||'hän uskoi minuun'||'[s]he believed in me'|
|'minulla'||adessive||'minulla on rahaa'||'I've got some money'|
|'minulta'||ablative||'hän otti minulta rahaa'||'[s]he took some money from/off me'.|
|'minulle'||allative||'anna minulle rahaa'||'give me some money'|
|'sinuna'||essive||'If I were you' (lit. 'as you')|
|'minuksi'||translative||'häntä luullaan usein minuksi'||'[s]he is often mistaken for me'|
|English||singular||sg. gen.||sg. part.||plural||pl. gen.||pl. part.||notes|
|a fish||kala||kalan||kalaa||kalat||kalojen||kaloja||Mutation a → o before i or j.|
|a country||maa||maan||maata||maat||maiden||maita||A long vowel is shortened before the oblique plural -i-.|
|a road||tie||tien||tietä||tiet||teiden||teitä||Historically *tee, later diphthongized, but the original vowel survives in other forms.|
An exception is the word ending -i, which is elided under agglutination to produce the stem, e.g. nimi ~ nim-. In singular, an epenthetic -e- is inserted, e.g. nime-. In plural, the plural marker -i- is added, followed by the aforementioned -e-, e.g. nimie-. This is used e.g. in this manner: nimi "name", nimen "of the name", nimien "of the names".
Failure to elide the -i changes meanings. For example, the genitive case will be mistaken for the instructive case, e.g. nimen "of the name" → nimin "using names". Another good example is the accidental production of a plural, e.g. nimiä "(at the) names", as contrasted to the nimeä "at the name".
Recent loanwords are an exception to this elision, but the plural is unchanged. (Often the -i is added to nativize a word as Finnish nouns generally don't end in consonants). For example, the singular stem of taksi is taksi-, but the plural stem is taksie-. The usage is as such: taksin "of the taxi", taksien "of the taxies". Likewise, applying the elision rule to the recent loans produces unintended meanings.
The form behaves like it ended in -s, with the exception of the nominative, where it is -nen. Thus, the stem for these words removes the '-nen' and adds '-s(e)' after which the inflectional ending is added:
|'muovisessa pussissa'||'in the plastic bag'|
|'kaksi muovista lelua'||'two plastic toys'|
|'muoviseen laatikkoon'||'into the plastic box'|
Here are a few of the diminutive forms that are still in use:
|'kätönen'||käsi||'a small hand' (affectionate)|
|'lintunen'||lintu||'birdie', 'a small bird'|
|'veikkonen'||veikka||'my friend' (used in some sayings, like the English form)|
The diminutive form mostly lives in surnames which are usually very old words to which most Finns have forgotten the meaning. Some of the most common:
|'Rautiainen'||rautio||blacksmith (of a blacksmith's family)|
|'Korhonen'||korho||'deaf' (of a deaf man's family)|
|'Leinonen'||leino||'sorrowful, melancholic'; alternatively male name Leino as short for Leonard|
|'Virtanen', 'Jokinen', 'Järvinen', 'Nieminen'...||virta, joki, järvi, niemi||'the family from by the stream (virta), river (joki), lake (järvi), peninsula (niemi)'|
|'Mikkonen'||[A family name assimilated from the name of the farmhouse, after the householder's name 'Mikko']|
|'Martikainen'||possible origin Martikka, a South Karelian surname, identical to Russian surname Martika|
|'Lyytikäinen'||from 'Lyytikkä', originating to Germanic male name 'Lydecke'|
Occasionally such nouns become placenames. For example, there is a peninsula called "Neuvosenniemi" in one lake. "Neuvonen" means "a bit of advice/direction"; at this peninsula people rowing tar barrels across the lake would stop to ask whether the weather conditions would make it unsafe to continue to the other side. Placenames ending in -nen take a plural form when inflected. For instance, the illative of "Sörnäinen" is "Sörnäisiin" instead of singular "Sörnäiseen".
The weak grade stem, which is found in the 'dictionary' form results from another historic change in which a final consonant has changed to a glottal stop. This is important to word inflection, because the partitive ending is suffixed directly onto this stem, resulting in the glottal stop assimilating to a -t-. Otherwise, other case endings are suffixed on to the strong grade/vowel stem.
|huone 'room'||laite 'device'|
| kaksi huonetta |
| kaksi laitetta |
| huoneet |
| ''laitteet' |
| huoneessa |
'in the room'
| laitteessa |
'in the device'
| huoneeseen |
'into the room'
| laitteeseen |
'into the device'
More of this phenomenon is discussed in Finnish Phonology: Sandhi.
For example, here are some adjectives:
And here are some examples of adjectives inflected to agree with nouns:
|'iso|n talo|n edessä||'in front of the big house'|
|'kaksi pien|tä talo|a'||'two small houses'|
|'punaise|ssa talo|ssa'||'in the red house'|
Notice that the adjectives undergo the same sorts of stem changes when they are inflected as nouns do.
Since the comparative adjective is still an adjective, it must be inflected to agree with the noun it modifies. To make the inflecting stem of the comparative, the '-mpi' ending loses its final 'i'. If the syllable context calls for a weak consonant, the '-mp-' becomes '-mm-'. Then '-a-' is added before the actual case ending (or '-i-' in plural). This should become clear with a few examples:
|'iso|mma|n talo|n edessä'||'in front of the bigger house'|
|'kaksi piene|mpä|ä talo|a'||'two smaller houses'|
|'punaise|mma|ssa talo|ssa'||'in the redder house'|
|'punaise|mmi|ssa taloi|ssa'||'in the redder houses'|
Note that because the superlative marker vowel is an 'i', the same kind of changes can occur with vowel stems as happen in verb imperfects, and noun inflecting plurals:
|'pieni'||'small'||'pienin'||'smallest' (not *'pienein')|
Since the superlative adjective is still an adjective, it must be inflected to agree with the noun it modifies. The '-in' becomes either '-imma-' or '-impa-' (plural '-immi-' or '-impi-') depending on whether the syllable context calls for a weak or strong consonant. Here are the examples:
|'iso|imma|n talo|n edessä'||'in front of the biggest house'|
|'kaksi pien|in|tä taloa'||'the two smallest houses'|
|'punais|imma|ssa talo|ssa'||'in the reddest house'|
|'punais|immi|ssa taloi|ssa'||'in the reddest houses'|
|Main irregular form|
|'hyvä, parempi, paras'||'good, better, best'|
|More irregular forms|
|'pitkä, pidempi ~ pitempi, pisin'||'pitkä, *pitkempi, *pitkin'||'long, longer, longest'|
|'lyhyt, lyhempi, lyhin'||'lyhyt, lyhyempi, lyhyin'|| 'short, shorter, shortest'|
(although the standard forms are also used)
There are a small number of other irregular comparative and superlative forms, such as:
Where the inflecting stem is 'uude-' but the superlative is 'uusin' = 'newest'.
|'pöydän alla||under the table'|
|'joulun jälkeen||after Christmas'|
|'lasten tähden||for the sake of the children'|
|'jonkun puolesta||on behalf of somebody'|
The noun (or pronoun) can be omitted when there is a possessive suffix:
|'olen _ ''vierellä|si' ''|| '(I) am next to (you)' or|
'(I) am by (your) side'
As with verbs, the pronoun can not be omitted in third person (singular or plural): "Olin __ mukanasi" -> "I was with you" vs. "Olin hänen mukanaan" -> "I was with him/her"
"Tulen __ mukaanne" -> "I will come with you (plural or polite)" vs. "Tulen heidän mukanaan" -> "I will come with them"
|ennen joulua'||before Christmas'|
|ilman sinua'||without you'|
Some postpositions can also be used as prepositions:
|'kylän keskellä '||' keskellä kylää'||' in the middle of the village'|
There are very few irregular verbs in Finnish. In fact, only 'olla' = 'to be' has an irregular form on "is"; other forms follow from the stem ol- with an epenthetic 'e' and consonant cluster abbreviation if necessary; e.g. olet ← ol+t "you are", ovat ← ol+vat "they are". A handful of verbs, including 'nähdä' = 'to see', 'tehdä' = 'to do/make', and 'juosta' = 'to run' have rare consonant mutation patterns which are not derivable from the infinitive.
Finnish does not have a separate verb for possession. Possession is indicated in other ways, mainly by genitives and existential clauses. For animate possessors, the adessive case is used with 'olla', for example 'koiralla on häntä' = 'the dog has a tail' - literally 'on the dog is a tail', or in English grammar, "There is a tail on the dog". This is similar to Irish forms such as "There is a hunger on me".
The time when the house is being painted could be added: talo maalataan marraskuussa "the house will be painted in November". The colour and method could be added: talo maalataan punaiseksi harjalla "the house is being painted red with a brush". But nothing can be said about the person doing the painting; there is no simple grammatical mechanism to say "the house is being painted by Jim". There is a calque, evidently from Swedish, toimesta "from the action of", that can be used to introduce the agent: Taloa maalataan Jimin toimesta, approximately "One paints the house from Jim's action". This expression is grammatically incorrect, but it may be found wherever direct translation from Swedish, English, etc. has been attempted, especially in legal texts.
Hence the form maalataan is the only one which is needed. Notice also that the subject of the verb (that is, the object of the action) is in the nominative case. Verbs which govern the partitive case continue to do so in the indefinite, and where the subject is a personal pronoun, that goes into its special accusative form: minut unohdettiin "I was forgotten".
It can also be said that in the Finnish indefinite the agent is always human and never mentioned. A sentence such as the tree was blown down would translate poorly into Finnish if the indefinite were used, since it would suggest the image of a group of people trying to blow the tree down.
Because of its vagueness about who is performing the action, the indefinite can also translate the English one does (something), (something) is generally done, as in sanotaan että… "they say that…"
In modern colloquial Finnish, the indefinite form of the verb is used after me to mean "we do (something)", for example, me tullaan "we are coming", and on its own at the beginning of a sentence to make a suggestion, as in Mennään! "Let's go!". In case of the former, the me cannot be omitted without risk of causing confusion with the latter, unlike with the "standard" form tulemme.
Formation of the indefinite will be dealt with under the verb types below.
In the former case, and unlike in English, the conditional must be used in both halves of the Finnish sentence:
"ymmärtäisin jos puhuisit hitaammin" = *"I would understand if you would speak more slowly".
The characteristic morphology of the Finnish conditional is 'isi' inserted between the verb stem and the personal ending. This can result in a 'closed' syllable becoming 'open' and so trigger consonant gradation:
'tiedän' = 'I know', 'tietäisin' = 'I would know'.
cf. 'haluan' = 'I want', 'haluaisin' = 'I would like'.
Conditional forms exists for both definite and indefinite voices, and for present and perfect tenses.
The singular imperative is simply the verb's present tense without any personal ending (that is, chop the '-n' off the first person singular form):
|Definite, 2nd person imperatives|
To make this negative, 'älä' (which is the definite imperative singular 2nd person of the negative verb) is placed before the positive form:
|'älä sano!'||'don't say!'|
|'älä mene!'||'don't go!'|
|'älä valehtele!'|| 'don't lie!'|
(from 'valehdella' = 'to lie', type II)
To form the plural, add '-kaa' or '-kää' to the verb's stem:
(from 'mitata' = 'to measure', type IV)
To make this negative, 'älkää' (which is the definite imperative present plural 2nd person of the negation verb) is placed before the positive form and the suffix '-ko' or '-kö' is added to the verb stem:
|'älkää sanoko!'||'don't say!'|
|'älkää menkö!'||'don't go!'|
|'älkää tarjotko!'||'don't offer!'|
Note that 2nd person plural imperatives can also be used as polite imperatives when referring to one person.
The Finnish language has no simple equivalent to the English "please". The Finnish equivalent is to use either 'ole hyvä' or 'olkaa hyvä' = 'be good', but it is generally omitted. Politeness is normally conveyed by tone of voice, facial expression, and use of conditional verbs and partitive nouns. For example, voisitteko means "could you", in the polite plural, and is used much like English "Could you..." sentences: voisitteko auttaa "could you help me, please?"
Also, familiar (and not necessarily so polite) expressions can be added to imperatives, e.g. menes, menepä, menehän. These are hard to translate exactly, but extensively used by Finnish speakers themselves. Menes implies expectation, that is, it has been settled already and requires no discussion; menepä has the -pa which indicates insistence, and -hän means approximated "indeed".
|tehtäköön||let (sth) be done|
|älköön tehtäkö||let (sth) not be done|
|olkoon tehty||let (sth) have been done|
|älköön olko tehty||let (sth) not have been done|
|3rd person imperatives|
|'olkoon'||'let it (him, her) be'|
|'tehkööt'||'let them do'|
|'älköön unohtako'||'let him not forget', 'he better not forget'|
|'älkööt unohtako'||'let them not forget'|
|1st person plural imperatives|
|'älkäämme tehkö'||'let us not do', 'we better not do'|
The 1st person imperative sounds archaic, and a form resembling the indefinite indicative is often used instead: 'mennään!' = 'let's go!'
|'kävellös'||'oh, please walk'|
The characteristic morphology of the Finnish conditional is -ne- inserted between the verb stem and the personal ending. Furthermore, continuants assimilate progressively (pes+ne- → pesse-) and stops regressively (korjat+ne- → korjanne-). The verb "lie" always replaces the verb "olla" "to be" in the potential mood, e.g. the potential of on haettu "has been fetched" is lienee haettu "may have been fetched".
Potential forms exists for both definite and indefinite voices, and for present and perfect tenses:
|lie|ne|n||I may be / it's possible that I am|
|pes|se|e||[s]he may wash|
|korjan|ne|e||[s]he may fix|
|sur|re|vat||it is possible that they are mourning/ will mourn|
|se pes|tä|ne|en||it may be washed (by smb.)|
|lie|ne|tte nähneet||you may have seen|
|ei lie|ne annettu||possibly may not have been given (by smb.)|
In some dialects 'tullee' ('may come') is an indicative form verb ('tulee' = 'comes') but grammatically it is a potential verb.
|'kävelleisin'||'I probably would walk'|
The first infinitive long form is the translative plus a possessive suffix (rare in spoken language).
|'...soitti sano|a|kse|en...'||'...([s]he) phoned in order to say...'|
|'tietä|ä|kse|mme'||(idiomatic use:) 'as far as we know'|
|'voi|da|kse|ni lukea'||' in order for me to be able to read'|
The first infinitive only has active form.
It is recongnizable by the letter 'e' in place of the usual "a" or "ä" as the infinitive marker. It is only ever ever used with one of two case makers; the inessive "ssa/ssä" indicating time or the instructive "n" indicating manner. Finnish phrases using the second infinitive can often be rendered in English using the "-ing" verb form.
The second infinitive is formed by replacing the final 'a'/'ä' of the first infinitive with 'e' then adding the appropriate inflectional ending. If the vowel before the 'a'/'ä' is already an 'e', this becomes 'i' (see example from 'lukea' = 'to read').
The cases in which the second infinitive can appear are:
|Active Inessive (while someone is in the act of)|
|Active Inessive + Possessive Suffix (while themselves in the act of)|
|'luki|e|ssa|an'||'while he is/was reading'|
|'sano|e|ssa|si'||'while you are/were saying'|
|Passive Inessive (when or while in the act of something being done)|
|Active Instructive (by means of/ while in the act of)|
|'hän tuli itki|e|n huoneeseen'||'she came into the room crying'|
The inessive form is mostly seen in written forms of language because spoken forms usually express the same idea in longer form using two clauses linked by the word kun (when). The instructive is even rarer and mostly exists nowadays in set phrases (for example 'toisin sanoen' = 'in other words').
If the person perfoming the action of the verb is the same as the person in the equivalent relative clause, then the verb uses the appropriate personal possessive suffix on the verb for the person. If the person in the main clause is different to that in the relative clause then this is indicated by with the person in the genitive and the verb is unmarked for person.
|Second infinitive inessive||Equivalent kun phrase||English translation|
|ollessani englannissa kävin monessa pubissa||kun olin englannissa, kävin monessa pubissa||when I was in England, I went into many pubs|
|ollessaan englannissa he kävivät monessa pubissa||kun he olivat englannissa, he kävivät monessa pubissa||when they were in England, they went into many pubs|
|Jaakon ollessa englannissa Laura meni espanjaan||Kun Jaakko oli englannissa, Laura meni espanjaan||when Jaakko was in England, Laura went to Spain|
The third infinitive is formed by taking the verb stem with its consonant in the strong form, then adding 'ma' followed by the case inflection.
The cases in which the third infinitive can appear are:
|inessive||'lukemassa'||'(in the act of) reading'|
|Example: 'hän on lukemassa kirjastossa'||'[s]he's reading in the library'|
|elative||'lukemasta'||'(from just having been) reading'|
|illative||'lukemaan'||'(about to be / with the intention of) reading'|
A rare and archaic form of the third infinitive which occurs with the verb pitää:
|instructive||'sinun ei pidä lukeman'||'you must not read'|
The third infinitive instructive is usually replaced with the first infinitive short form in modern Finnish.
Note that the '-ma' form without a case ending is called the 'agent participle' (see 'participles' below). The agent participle can also be inflected in all cases, producing forms which look similar to the third infinitive.
|'Sinne ei ole menemistä'||'There is no going there' i.e. 'One must not go there'|
Though not an infinitive, a much more common -MINEN verbal stem ending is the noun construct which gives the name of the activity described by the verb. This is rather similar to the English verbal noun -ING form, and therefore as a noun, this form can inflect just like any other noun.
|-MINEN noun formation|
|'lukeminen on hauskaa'||'reading is fun'|
|'vihaan lukemista'||'I hate reading'|
|'nautin lukemisesta'||'I enjoy reading'|
|'olin lukemaisillani'||'I was just about to read'|
|'lähde|tty|ä|si kotiin'|| 'after you went home'|
[pass. II participle sg. ess.+ poss.suff.]
However, depending on the verb's stem type, assimilation can occur with the 'n' of the ending.
In type II verbs, the 'n' is assimilated to the consonant at the end of the stem:
In verbs of types IV-VI, the 't' at the end of the stem is assimilated to the 'n':
|Present passive participle|
|'minun on nuku|tta|va'||'I must sleep' [pass. I participle sg. nom.]|
|Present active participle|
|'nukku|va koira'||'sleeping dog'|
|'häikäise|vä valo'||'blinding light'|
|'olin luke|v|i|na|ni'|| 'I pretended to be reading'|
[act. I participle pl. essive + poss. suff.]
|'tytön lukema kirja'||the book read by the girl|
|'tytön lukemaa kirjaa'||(partitive) the book read by the girl|
|'tytön lukemassa kirjassa'||in the book read by the girl|
It is also possible to give the actor with a pronoun, e.g. sinun käyttämäsi "that which was used by you". In standard language, the pronoun sinun "your" is not necessary, but the possessive suffix is. In inexact spoken usage, this goes vice versa; the possessive suffix is optional, and used typically only for the second person singular, e.g. sun käyttämäs.
|'tiedän'||'I know'||->||'en tiedä'||'I don't know'|
|'tiedät'||'you know'||->||'et tiedä'||'you don't know'|
|'tietää'||'(s)he knows'||->||'ei tiedä'||'(s)he doesn't know'|
|'tiedämme'||'we know'||->||'emme tiedä'||'we don't know'|
|'tiedätte'||'you know'||->||'ette tiedä'||'you don't know'|
|'tietävät'||'they know'||->||'eivät tiedä'||'they don't know'|
Note that the inflection is on the negative verb, not on the main verb, and that the endings are regular apart from the 3rd person forms.
|'ei puhuta'||'it is not spoken'|
|'ei tiedetä'||'it is not known'|
|'en puhunut'||'I did not speak'|
|'et puhunut'||'you did not speak'|
|'ei puhunut'||'([s]he) did not speak'|
|'emme puhuneet'||'we did not speak'|
|'ette puhuneet'||'you did not speak'|
|'eivät puhuneet'||'they did not speak'|
Note one exception: when the 'te' 2nd person plural form is used in an honorific way to address one person, the singular form of the participle is used: 'te ette puhunut' = 'you (s, polite) did not speak'.
|'ei puhuttu'||'it was not spoken'|
|'ei tiedetty'||'it was not known'|
Note that in the spoken language, this form is used for the first person plural. In this case, the personal pronoun is obligatory:
|'me ei menty'||'we did not go'|
|'mikä tämä on?'||'what is this?'|
|'tämä on kirja'||'this is a book'|
|'onko tämä kirja?'||'is this a book?'|
|'tämäkö on kirja?'||'is this a book?'|
|'kirjako tämä on?'||'is this a book?'|
|'eikö tämä ole kirja?'|| 'is this not a book?'|
(note the '-kö' goes on the negative verb)
|'nopea, nopeasti'||'quick, quickly'|
|'kaunis, kauniisti'||'beautiful, beautifully'|
|'hidas, hitaasti'||'slow, slowly'|
|'helppo, helposti'||'easy, easily'|
Adverbs are modifying verbs, not nouns, therefore they don't inflect.
|'nopea, nopeasti, nopeammin'||'quick, quickly, more quickly/faster'|
|'kaunis, kauniisti, kauniimmin'||'beautiful, beautifully, more beautifully'|
|'hidas, hitaasti, hitaammin'||'slow, slowly, more slowly'|
|'helppo , helposti, helpommin'||'easy, easily, more easily'|
|'helppo, helposti, helpommin, helpoimmin'||'easy, easily, more easily, most easily'|
Because of the '-i-', the stem vowel can change, similarly to superlative adjectives, or to avoid runs of three vowels:
|'nopea, nopeasti, nopeammin, nopeimmin'||'quick, quickly, more quickly/faster, fastest'|
|'kaunis, kauniisti, kauniimmin, kauneimmin'||'beautiful, beautifully, more beautifully, most beautifully'|
|'hidas, hitaasti, hitaammin, hitaimmin'||'slow, slowly, more slowly, most slowly'|
|'hyvä, hyvin, paremmin, parhaiten'||'good, well, better, best'|
The most usual neutral order, however, is subject-verb-object:
|'koira puri miestä'||'the dog bit the man'|
|'koira on puutarhassa'||'the dog is in the garden'|
although puutarhassa "in the garden" is not grammatically an object, as well as:
|'minulla on rahaa'||'I have money'|
where minulla is not considered the subject.
Word order can be varied for emphasis:
|'miestä puri koira'||'the man was bitten by a dog'|
|'rahaa minulla on'||'money is something I do have' (although I may not have something else)|
|'rahaa on minulla'||'I, for one, have money'|
|'minulla rahaa on'||'it is I that have money' (and not someone else)|
|'on minulla rahaa'||'I do have money' (if my having money is doubted)|
and finally, a classic example:
|'minä olen valtio'||'I am the state' (matter-of-fact)|
|'valtio olen minä'||‘l'état, c'est moi’ (French)|
Besides the word-order implications of turning a sentence into a question, there are some other circumstances where word-order is important:
|'huoneessa on sänky'||'there is a bed in the room'|
The location of the thing whose existence is being stated comes first, followed by its stative verb, followed by the thing itself. Note how this is unlike the normal English equivalent, though English can also use the same order:
|'siellä seisoi mies'||'(in/out) there stood a man'|
Note what happens to the verb in the English and Finnish versions when the meaning is plural.
|'huoneessa on sänky'||'there is a bed in the room'|
|'huoneessa on kaksi sänkyä'||'there are two beds in the room'|
Note that the verb remains singular in Finnish existential statements when declaring more than one item. The English construction moves the verb to a plural form because English follows the beds as subject whereas the Finnish construction treats the beds as objects (it is essentially ADVERB-STATIVE VERB-OBJECT)