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Slow Finnish - Chapter 10b - Saisinko puolukoita?

Kuopion torilla

Kuopion tori is one of the most famous tori in Finland. It is known for verbose and humoristic stall owners, who will sell you anything. It is absolutely impossible to walk through Kuopion tori without buying something. Here are some things you can buy there. I have included the partitive plural forms of the words..

  • marja, marjat; marjoja berry
  • mansikka, mansikat; mansikoita strawberry
  • mustikka, mustikat; mustikoita bilberry
  • vadelma, vadelmat; vadelmia raspberry
  • lakka, lakat; lakkoja cloudberry
  • karpalo, karpalot; karpaloita cranberry
  • puolukka, puolukat; puolukoita lingonberry
  • punaherukka, -herukat; -herukoita redcurrant
  • mustaherukka, -herukat; -herukoita blackcurrant
  • karviainen, karviaiset; karviaisia gooseberry
  • hedelmä, hedelmät; hedelmiä fruit
  • kirsikka, kirsikat; kirsikoita cherry
  • omena, omenat; omenoita apple
  • luumu, luumut; luumuja plum
  • tomaatti, tomaatit; tomaatteja tomato
  • vihannes, vihannekset; vihanneksia vegetable
  • kurkku, kurkut; kurkkuja cucumber
  • sipuli, sipulit; sipuleja onion
  • salaatti, salaatit; salaatteja lettuce
  • kaali, kaalit; kaaleja cabbage
  • herne, herneet; herneitä pea
  • juures, juurekset; juureksia root vegetable
  • punajuuri, -juuret; juuria beet
  • peruna, perunat; perunoita potato
  • porkkana, porkkanat; porkkanoita carrot
  • nauris, nauriit; nauriita turnip
  • lanttu, lantut; lanttuja rutabaga
  • sieni, sienet; sieniä mushroom
  • kantarelli, kantarellit; kantarelleja chantarelle
  • herkkutatti, herkkutatit; herkkutatteja https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boletus_edulis
  • korvasieni, korvasienet; korvasieniä https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyromitra_esculenta
  • kukka, kukat; kukkia flower
  • ruusu, ruusut; ruusuja rose

Kaali and salaatti are usually in the partitive singular. Using the plural forms is usually restricted to talking about different types of cabbages and lettuces.

Ostaa - To buy

  • ostan
  • ostat
  • hän ostaa
  • ostamme
  • ostatte
  • he ostavat

Haluta - To want

  • haluan
  • haluat
  • hän haluaa
  • haluamme
  • haluatte
  • he haluavat

The partitive or nominative?

The partitive is used to express indefinitiness or unknown amount of something. The nominative expresses definitiness. An object in the partitive is also often used when action is incomplete, that is, when one uses the continuous verb form in English. The nominative is sometimes used when expressing intention. Hence, one often uses the future tense when translating a sentence with an object in the nominative.This does not mean that one cannot use the partitive when expressing intention.

  • Syön mansikoita. I am (in the process of) eating/ I will eat (some indefinite amount of) strawberries.
  • Syön mansikat. I (will) eat (all) the strawberries.
  • Ostan mustikoita. I am buying/ I will buy (some indefinite amount of) bilberries.
  • Ostan mustikat. I (will) buy the bilberries (that we talked about earlier).

Remember that certain verbs, like rakastaa, always have an object in the partitive.

Harjoitus 1

Käännä englanniksi. - Translate into English.

  • Ostan luumuja ja kirsikoita torilta.
  • Syöt perunoita ja porkkanoita.
  • Vanha nainen myy sieniä ja juureksia.
  • Rakastamme mansikoita.
  • Etsitte mustikoita ja vadelmia.
  • Lapset saavat lakkoja ja karpaloita.
  • Haluan kukkia.
  • Kannan hedelmät torille.
  • Kannat hedelmiä torille.
  • Nuori mies ostaa sipuleita ja herneitä ruokakaupasta.
  • Syömme tomaatteja ja salaattia.
  • Myytte nauriita ja lanttuja.
  • Pojat rakastavat karviaisia.
  • Etsin kantarelleja metsästä. (metsä forest)
  • Saat marjoja ja hedelmiä.
  • Maanviljelijä kantaa luumuja ja omenoita.
  • Haluat ruusuja.
  • Syömme punaherukat huomenna.

Harjoitus 2

Käännä suomeksi. - Translate into Finnish.

  • I will carry the cherries to the market place.
  • You (singular) will buy the beets soon.
  • The sad woman is eating berries and fruit.
  • We sell lingonberries and cloudberries.
  • You (plural) love bilberries.
  • They can/may look for the mushrooms in the forest.
  • I receive roses.
  • You (singular) want the apples.
  • They want apples.
  • I will eat blackcurrants in the morning.
  • I will eat the blackcurrants in the morning.
  • You (singular) are carrying potatoes to the grocery shop.
  • He will carry the onions to the grocery shop.
  • We are buying flowers and fruit.
  • You (plural) are eating strawberries and bilberries.
  • The men are selling peas and carrots.
  • I love gooseberries.
  • You (singular) are looking for raspberries in the market place.

  • kasvattaa to raise, to cultivate
  • muista remember (imperative)
  • ryöpätä to parboil
  • ennen before
  • syöminen eating
  • ryypätä to drink alcohol
  • ruoka food
  • Marskin ryyppy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marskin_ryyppy
  • ambulanssi ambulance
  • valmis ready

The next lesson will be dedicated to forming the partitive plural. Let me know what you thought about the lesson. Here is a link to the previous lessons: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10579104


January 4, 2016




Harjoitus 1

  • I am buying/buy plums and cherries at the market place.
  • You are eating /eat potatoes and carrots.
  • The old woman is selling/sells mushrooms and root vegetables.
  • We love strawberries.
  • You are looking for bilberries and raspberries.
  • The children get cloudberries and cranberries.
  • I want flowers.
  • I (will) carry the fruit to the market place.
  • You carry/are carrying fruit to the market place.
  • The young man buys/is buying onions and peas in the grocery shop.
  • We are eating tomatoes and lettuce.
  • You sell/are selling turnips and rutabagas.
  • The boys love gooseberries.
  • I am looking for chanterelles in the forest.
  • You will get/are getting berries and fruit.
  • The farmer carries/is carrying plums and apples.
  • You want roses.
  • We will eat the redcurrants tomorrow.

Harjoitus 2

  • Kannan kirsikat torille.
  • Ostat pian punajuuret.
  • Surullinen nainen syö marjoja ja hedelmiä.
  • Myymme puolukoita ja lakkoja.
  • Rakastatte mustikoita.
  • He voivat etsiä sienet metsästä.
  • Saan ruusuja.
  • Haluat omenat.
  • He haluavat omenoita.
  • Syön mustaherukoita aamulla.
  • Syön mustaherukat aamulla.
  • Kannat perunoita ruokakauppaan.
  • Hän kantaa sipulit ruokakauppaan.
  • Ostamme kukkia ja hedelmiä.
  • Syötte mansikoita ja mustikoita.
  • Miehet myyvät herneitä ja porkkanoita.
  • Rakastan karviaisia.
  • Etsit vadelmia torilta.


The most of the words have 3 translation to Finnish for example porkkana, porkkanat; porkkanoita carrot, but what are the differences between one to each other? which must I learn firstly/which is the most useful?


Porkkana (nominative singular), porkkanat (nominative plural); porkkanoita (partitive plural). If you have trouble recognising the first two forms, I suggest you go back to previous lessons. This lesson is about the partitive plural, but you should learn all three forms. You should be able to form the partitive singular by yourself at this point, so I have not listed it. Take your time - the lessons are not going to disappear anywhere (unless they get downvoted).


Speaking of disappearing, I hope that you keep a backup of the lessons somewhere outside Duolingo. I don't expect the discussions to just go, but accidents happen and it would be a shame to lose all this work, you must have spent a lot of time on it.


Oh, by the way… mustikka is not blueberry but bilberry.


So blueberry grows in a bush and bilberry in the forest. Am I right? Or is it a matter of European versus American?


I'm not sure actually… I just remember learning this some years ago. I think mostly it really doesn't matter much.

Had to google this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry
Blueberry is Vaccinium corymbosum and bilberry is Vaccinum spp. the Finnish variant is Vaccinum myrtillus.

So the difference is both bush/shrub and America/European.


Bilberry = mustikka, blueberry = pensasmustikka


Kiitos, Elina. :)


OK. Thank you, chi and Eva. I will edit. :)


I think it's basically European versus American, but I might be wrong, I keep confusing them too. (This is one of the moments when I feel that learning through English makes things more complicated.)



The list of fruits and vegetables is overwhelming, I hardly know what some of them are. :) But a few of the words are slowly creeping into my head, I hope they like it there and stay. Thanks for preparing the lessons.


I tried to only include stuff that are cultivated in Finland and sold at our market places, so some of these berries and mushrooms must be strange to people, who live in more southern parts of the world. As for the length of the list, do not worry about it too much. Just learn the ones you are most likely to use. You can come back to this lesson and learn more later on. :)


I want to get back to singular for a minute. Just to get this right in my head:

  • if I wanted to eat just one strawberry, I'd say Syön mansikka,

  • if I wanted to eat a lot of strawberries (or 2,3,4,...), I'd say Syön paljon (2,3,4..) mansikkaa,

correct? I'm still confusing it and from now on it won't be easier. :)

  • Syön mansikan. I am eating/I will eat just one strawberry.
  • Syön paljon mansikkaa. I generally eat a lot of strawberries.
  • Syön paljon mansikoita. I generally eat a lot of strawberries. OR I am eating/I will eat a lot of strawberries.


Also Syön mansikkaa. I'm in the process of eating a strawberry/I generally eat strawberries (I'm not allergic to them or something).

Syön mansikat. I('ll) eat the strawberries (available in the situation: for example in the bowl or in the fridge).

You can even say Syön kaikki mansikat. I'll eat all the strawberries (available).


Oh my... This is really fun! I'm certain that if I ponder it long enough, I'll find the logic behind it all :D


The choice of object cases is one of the most intricate things in Finnish grammar. There's plenty to learn about it, but it's not impossible. You seem to know Russian, so think of aspects, it helps with some situations.


Hello, it's me again. :) I want to ask what's with the onion. You list sipuleja and then it's Nuori mies ostaa sipuleita ja herneitä ruokakaupasta. Actually I consulted a dictionary and it gives two possibilities, but I would like to know if the used form depends somehow on the sentence or can I just use whichever I prefer?


Yes, some words have two forms. Normally, I would use sipuleja. I think I used sipuleita in the sentence, because of herneitä. The repetition of the ending sounds nice. This is just stylistic nitpicking. I hope chi will confirm this. :)


The choice of plural partitive (and genitive) has traditionally been linked to the number of syllables in the word (and how the word ends). But there has been merging with three syllable words and four syllable words that traditionally take different endings (honestly, I can't even remember which takes which). So the endings are equal, though there might be some local variation or older people might prefer one over the other etc. Esthetics is another valid reason for choosing something and like in this lesson, you could easily use both variants in the same text, and that's perfectly ok.

The situation is even worse with plural genitive as there can be four different endings for one word. As a learner, you can choose one ending to use with all the words that accept multiple endings, as long as you can recognise the rest of them when others use them.


Thank you! Four endings... I have to hope I will feel comfortable with the partitive before Mari introduces the genitive.


Like I said, just focus on learning one ending/word(type) and that's enough to get by, the rest is fine tuning :)


That's a good advice. I will. :)

By the way, could you add your voice to the discussion in the next lesson? I hate to nag but maybe you didn't see it.


Eliza, sorry, I must have missed it. Could you give me a link :)

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