1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Etsitkö radiota? Se on tääll…

"Etsitkö radiota? Se on täällä."

Translation:Are you looking for the radio? It is over here.

June 24, 2020



"a radio" makes no sense in this given answer, as it is clear from the "se" that it is a given radio. At least I can't imagine someone walking in somewhere where there would be "a" (but only one, not a shop with several), and looking for it. So "the radio" makes sense in a correct answer, "a radio" doesn't.


Haha, came here one month later to agree with myself, apparently...


In natural English use I guess the only way you'd resolve that if you began "Are you looking for a radio?" Is if you followed up with either "there is one over here" or "is it the one over here?", but since the sentence given goes straight in with "it is", it feels like definite article is more correct. To be fair I wouldn't bat an eye if someone used indefinite there, since the meaning is essentially unaffected, but "the" sits better


So why is it in partitive if it's a known object?


because it's the subject of the verb, and that changes the form of the object; for this particular verb "etsiä" it can be either the accusative or the partitive, see here, under the 'usage notes' bit: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/etsi%C3%A4

so there's (a bit confusingly for learners) more than one reason why nouns might not be in nominative


Good thing I became a course contributor in the meantime... ;-) Any changes we make take up to two weeks to take effect, though.

Edit: To clarify, "a" will still be accepted as a correct answer, I just changed the suggested translation to "the".


I think some learners will still translate "a radio" because they will see the partitive and perhaps overlook that it's there because of the preceeding verb. I guess the constraint of the verb removes the ability to make the distinction between definite and indefinite in this sentence structure. How would you rephrase to capture that distinction if it was important?


In a store would a clerk say this? Or, would it be "are you looking for the radios?"


A store clerk could absolutely say "Etsitkö radiota?". Actually more so than "radioita", the radios.

But the "se" doesn't fit into that scenario, just like the "it" doesn't. So the first sentence works for that but the second messes it up.


Could someone explain why we have suddenly transitioned to radiota from radio ? Is this the beloved partitive raising it's ugly head?


Yes, from what I've read, the partitve doesn't assume there is a radio, just that you're looking for one, and also that you could be looking for more than one, at least, because they kind of go together being more defined by the 'tai' between them then the 'via' between them. Sort of like you said "Are you looking for something from the class that includes radios?"

Learn Finnish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.