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  5. "Väinö, do you have a Finnish…

"Väinö, do you have a Finnish name?"

Translation:Väinö, onko sinulla suomalainen nimi?

June 24, 2020



Maybe if you looked at his name? Bad friend if he hasn't even seen his best friend's name on paper before... or maybe they live in california where only the english alphabet is allowed for name documentation?


I pity all the Väinös who have to write their name as Vaino when abroad since "vaino" is Finnish for "persecution".


Yes I keep on getting this one wrong, but I don't think reversing the last two words would be incorrect...

[deactivated user]

    How come it's sinulla on, but onko sinulla?


    Because we like to pull the questioning word to the head of the sentence. The ending -ko or -kö make a normal word to pose a question.

    Tämäkö? / Tätäkö? = This?

    Sinä olet Matti. -> *Sinä olet kuka? -> Kuka sinä olet?

    Sinulla on nälkä. -> *Sinulla onko nälkä? -> Onko sinulla nälkä?


    Would it not also be correct to write "Väinö, onko sinun nimi suomalainen?" I used to speak Finnish in my childhood, but haven't used it at all in the past 25 years, and bits of it are coming back, but perhaps incorrectly...



    That's correct spoken Finnish, and the structure works in written Finnish as well, but you have to add the correct personal ending to the word "nimi". :)

    "Väinö, onko sinun nimesi suomalainen?"

    Minun nimeni

    Sinun nimesi

    Hänen nimensä

    Meidän nimemme

    Teidän nimenne

    Heidän nimensä


    Wait... why are we adding these endings to the word "nimi"? Is it so it agrees with the pronoun?


    Yes. It's a possessive suffix.


    It has always struck me as amusing to use both the possessive pronouns and the possessive suffixes in formal written Finnish. It brings back memories of growing up in a French-Canadian neighbourhood where English was a second language and you hear expressions like, "my car, mine, is a Ford".



    Of course, in spoken Finnish you are much more likely to hear e.g. "mun nimi", while in written Finnish it's normal to write "nimeni" without the pronoun.


    Would "oletko sinulla" be somehow correct?


    No. Finnish doesn't have a verb form of "to have". It's formed by the adessive case personal pronouns and the third person singular of olla, on. Minulla/sinulla/hänellä/meillä/teillä/heillä plus on.


    Was wondering the same

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