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  5. "Istuvatko he?"

"Istuvatko he?"

Translation:Are they sitting?

June 24, 2020



So basically one must add "ko" to the verb, as a suffix, to make a question?


Basically, yes. You add "ko" or "kö" (depending on vowel harmony) to the conjugated form of the verb.


Words in Finnish can only include the vowels a, e, i, o, u OR ä, e, i, y, ö (Except compound words). e and i are neutral and can be present everywhere.

So, if you have a verb like laulaa (to sing) it would be:

Do you sing? - Laulatko?

And if you have a verb like ymmärtää (to understand) it would be:

Do you understand? - Ymmärrätkö?

It's the same with all of the syllables used for cases. For example -ssa/-ssä for the Inassive (in the house - talossa) or -lla/-llä for the Adessive (on the hill - mäkillä) and so on.


Good explanation! Just notice that 'mäki' becomes 'mäellä'.


You add -kO into the first word of the sentence. In neutral questions the verb comes first, and receives the question clitic. "Hekö istuvat" would be like "are THEY sitting?", whereas "istuvatko he?" is like "are they SITTING?", if it makes sense.


But i still don't understand what is the difference between one question or another "hekö istuvat" "istuvatko he"? Can i ask either way?


"Istuvatko he?" is the expected way to ask "Are they sitting?" If, for some reason, you want to emphasise "they" you can ask "Hekö istuvat?" but that is much more rare. In this version, you probably find it very surprising it is these people who are sitting.


I thought the word/sentence structure remained the same in a question as the basic sentence (S-V-O) like He istuvatko?


That's true for questions with a question word (mikä, miksi, milloin, kuka...).

If you want to form a yes/no question, you use the -kO suffix, and whichever word gets the suffix becomes the "question word" and thus comes first. For neutral questions, the word getting the -kO suffix is the verb. Using any other word emphasises that word.

Ovatko he nyt naimisissa? (Are they now married?)

Hekö ovat nyt naimisissa? (Are THEY now married?)

Nytkö he ovat naimisissa? (Are they NOW married?)

Naimisissako he ovat nyt? (Are they now MARRIED?)


Well answered! Thank you!


Why not "Are they sitting down?" Which comes more naturally to my English-speaking mind.


Well it could mean like that, but sitting is more an action whilst sitting down is more focused on the motion during sitting.

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