1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Haarukka on tuossa."

"Haarukka on tuossa."

Translation:The fork is right there.

June 24, 2020


  • 2266

So, does the Inessive case of 'tuo' really convey the emphasis given by 'right there' in English or was 'right there' just another way chosen by the course authors of saying 'in there?' In other words, would the translation 'The fork is in there' have been more accurate/correct? Thank you for putting this course together!


"Tuossa" means it is in sight and easily accessible (not inside anything)

"Tuolla" is "over there" (could be inside something but rarely is)

If you wanted to say it is in something, you would say the name of the thing it is inside, such as "haarukka on kaapissa" = "the fork is in the cabinet"

  • 2266

Thank you kindly!


If you use the inessive, it means something is at a specific spot. Haarukka on tuossa. = The fork is there (on that exact spot, right there). If you use the adessive, tuolla, the sentence goes as follows, "Haarukka on tuolla." = Haarukka is there (in that general direction, over there).

  • 2266

Thank you kindly!

  • 2266

So, are you saying that in the expression "Tuossa sushissa on riisiä ja kalaa, " there is no specific indication of the rice being inside the sushi?


I think the difference between these two sentences is that "Haarukka on tuossa." is more of the spot(?), it just exist close by, and "Tuossa sushissa..." is about the object aka sushi itself and it actually means that the sushi contains the rice and fish aka they literally are inside of it. -ssa is the suffix of the inessive case you mentioned and "tuo" needs to use the suffix when it points at the object or subject as well.

You could basically think this sentence as "in THAT sushi, there is rice and fish", and we sometimes use these demonstrative pronouns (tämä, tuo, se; nämä, nuo, ne = this, that, it; these, those, they/those etc.) to emphasize certain words because we don't have articles for doing that. Does this make any sense to you? I'm a native speaker and it's lots of fun to start thinking about my native language from new perspectives when trying to figure out how and why the language works the way it does :D

  • 2266

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Finnish uses Locative Cases. Like in other languages, I assumed that the Inessive case had the primary meaning of being inside something. I understand that other 'derivative' meanings could apply, but what I hear so far, is that the 'primary meaning' of being inside something is no longer the case in Finnish.

Is the link from below relevant to current Finnish? The Inessive there seems to match the usage in Hungarian and Hebrew. I am trying to figure out potential links between Finnish, Hungarian and Hebrew!!



With actual objects etc. it still means being in something. In these phrases, I imagine the word "tuo" with someone pointing at somewhere. If someone says to me "Tuossa on haarukka.", I expect it to be close by and most likely visible too, e.g. on the table we're sitting at. If someone says to me "Tuolla on haarukka.", I expect it to be not that close by and not necessarily visible, e.g. it might be in a drawer or maybe it's in the same room but on another table. That's how "tuossa" becomes "over here" and "tuolla" becomes "over there".

I think the link is pretty decent, only that I don't really understand why they are using "on" with the box model, because "on" means "päällä", not near by, and it's actuall a postposition which makes the noun use genetive case. I also think those make a lot more sense when they are in a context. But now as I look at it, that does work in certain contexts, e.g. the key and table example works, but with the box it sounds bit weird to me when it's out of context but in theory it could work. Let me explain it a bit better here:

"On the box" (when there's no movement) = Laatikon päällä. "On the box" (when there's movement) = Laatikon päälle. "From the box = Laatikolta" sounds correct, but laatikolle and laatikolla I would say differently depending on what one tries to say: - Laatikolle = e.g. to go to the box - Laatikolla = e.g. to be at the box So you use these when you or something is near or at an object, or when it's a destination you are going to. For example if you have a meeting with someone, you might say "tavataan laatikolla" or "tavataan laatikon luona", or "tule (siihen) laatikolle". But if you are talking about e.g. a table like in that example, that definitely translates into "on the table" but in Finnish you can use both: "pöydällä/-lle" or "pöydän päällä/päälle", I think the preceding is use more often with this kind of words because you normally do have objects on them anyway. And if you are/go at the table, you would say "pöydän luone/luokse". I hope I'm not confusing you even more :D Feel free to ask if any of this makes no sense!

  • 2266

MCRmadness, Thank you very much for the detailed explanation. In essence, I understand that the Inessive case has multiple meanings. Depending on context, the 'standard' meaning is used when actual objects (rather than only abstract words like 'tuo') are used. Did I summarize it OK? This is good enough information to induce me to learn more on the side. Your time and help are very much appreciated!


(I can't reply to your last message directly, so that's why I had to post like this.)

Yes, I think you understood the idea of that case pretty well :) I'm not a teacher myself, just doing this for fun, so I can't promise you that everything will be 100% how I explained, there can always come up random weird sentences and surprises what comes to Finnish, but the mainly it is used the way it is explained everywhere too. I am actually able to remember that case name (most of them escape me because I don't need to think about the case names!) because it reminds me of the English preposition: IN, as in INessive :D


@MCRmadness: Why in your above post, end of 1st paragraph, you wrote "tässä" = "over here," while zzzzz (below) wrote "right here" .. Hence, which one is true? (Oct. 2020)


I wrote it 3 months ago, when I started to help people with Finnish here and since then I have been learning a lot from my native language and at the side also something from English too ;)

These don't align perfectly with English. This is somewhat how I and others have been explaining it lately:

  • tässä = (right) here
  • täällä = over here
  • tuossa = (right) there
  • tuolla = over there

So in that message of mine, which you are pointing at, I have written:

  • tuossa = over here
  • tuolla = over there

At first I thought I had just made a typo but I see I have been trying to explain the difference between -ssa and -lla which is the distance, and 'tuossa' is closer so that's why I have written "over here". Only later on I realized that Duolingo uses the word "over" when it wants to point out that something is further away, aka matching the Finnish -lla, because English has just one word for both and you have to use extra words to really point out the difference between the Finnish words.

So to answer to your question: Zzzzz... is correct and has a more helpful message. Mine is also correct but apparently only when I explain my train of thought a bit first :)


Why is "A fork .." wrong here?? (Oct. 2020)


Because Duoligo says so and doesn't want to accept any alternative meanings.


Important elements usually go to the front, less important to the back:

  • Haarukka on tuossa. = The fork is there.
  • Tuossa on haarukka. = A fork is there. / There is a fork.

So as you can see, if English has the definitive article, Finnish often puts that word at the front; and with indefinitive article the word gets sent to elsewhere, usually to the back. (Basically the importance of words is the opposite than with German where the most important ones go to the end!)


typed "the fork is over there" and that was not accepted. For some reason it came more natural to me than "right there". Idk though, minä olen ruotsalainen and would probably say "Gaffeln är där borta" in swedish XD


tässä, "right here", and tuossa, "right there", are about location in relation to one person:

  • tässä means that the fork right here, either exactly where you are (you're standing on it or touching it), right in front of you, or so close to you that you can touch it without changing your position. For instance, if you're cooking and you're standing in front of a table and the fork is right in front of you on the table.
  • tuossa means that the fork just beyond your reach but easy to point at. Maybe it's on the same table but you can't reach it.

täällä, "over here", and tuolla, "over there", are about location in relation to two or more people:

  • täällä means that it's close to both you and your friend but still closer to you than your friend. You've been scanning the kitchen with your eyes looking for the fork and now you've spotted it by the kitchen sink. Then you move closer to it and tell your friend where you found it.
  • tuolla means that the fork is further away but still visible to both of you and your friend. It's on the other side of the room on a shelf. You're nowhere near it and neither is your friend. You point at it to tell where it is.

siinä, "in there", or siellä, "out there" are about location in relation to other people, and things you cannot see or things which are hard to locate exactly:

  • siinä means that the fork is either inside something small close to your friend, like a small box or a drawer, OR that you can see the fork but your friend cannot, although it's closer to your friend.
  • siellä means that the fork is somewhere further away in some bigger place, like a cupboard, and your friend is closer to that cupboard than you are, OR your friend has opened the cupboard door but cannot spot the fork, although you know it's there, OR it's really, really far away from both of you. For example, you remember that you left the fork in the summer cottage 200km away the last time you were there.


@zzzzz: Why in your above post you wrote "tässä" = "right here," while MCRmadness in his/her 2nd post above, end of 1st paragraph, wrote "tässä" = "over here," .. Hence, which one is true? (Oct. 2020)


Kiitos paljon for the in depth answer, have a Lingot :) I tried "here" for "tässä" and "there" for "tuossa", both of which were accepted.

So if I understand it correctly all those words are different versions of "here/there" (här/där), with their usage being based on if you're alone or not and if you can see the object in question?

When I translated tuossa as "over there" I imagined myself being in the automobile workshop of my school pointing towards a tool or something XD


Whether the fork can be seen or not is important, as well as how near it is to you, your friend, or both, and with siinä and siellä the size of the place the fork is in is often important. As for being alone, that's not significant. You don’t have to be talking to yourself to use tässä and tuossa. It just means the fork is very close to you and you are talking about your own position in relation to the fork and your friend's position is in relation how close they are to you (rather than to the fork). With the four other words, you also need to consider how close your friend is to the fork.

If the tool is in your hand, in your lap, under you, or right next to you, it's tässä. If it's very close to you just beyond your reach, for instance in an opened tool pack, it's tuossa. If you and your friend have been looking for it and you find it on one side of the workshop and your friend is on the other side, you tell them it's täällä. If you can see it on the other side of the shop and your friend is nowhere near it either, it's tuolla. If your friend is looking for the tool and you know it's in the closed tool pack right next them, you tell them it's siinä. If they are looking for the tool in a closet but cannot find it or if you left the tool home, it's siellä. :)


If it's any comfort to anyone I have to confess that, after thirty years speaking and working with Finnish in Finland, I still have not mastered this tuolla and tuossa difference. Lime I get the explanations and all thanks, but it has just never sunk in properly.


It's nice but weird and good to know that if you are not thinking about it, and just type out the translation, you get it wrong...

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