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  5. "How many Finnish children ca…

"How many Finnish children can read?"

Translation:Kuinka moni suomalainen lapsi osaa lukea?

June 25, 2020



Why children is not lapset?? Lapsi is child.. Im confused :/

  • 1921

It's because the structure requires you to use moni and it in turn requires the nominative. I admit this kind of structure is tricky because in English it's plural, in Finnish singular.

Roughly put:

  • kuinka monta lasta considers the children as individual countable objects
    • kuinka monta lasta päiväkodissa on? – "How many children are there in the kindergarten" (exact number)
  • kuinka moni lapsi then is used when talking partially about the whole
    • kuinka moni lapsi osaa lukea? – "How many children can read" (a part of the whole population)

You could see this article on how to use moni, monta, and monet: https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-vocabulary/interesting-words/moni-monta-monet-many


Why is this nominative and not partitive (kuinka monta suomalastia lasta ...), even though it is some general, unspecified amount of children?


It's probably because the children are the subjective, they are the ones who are doing something, so the nominative needs to be used so it can go with the verb.


why "osaa" and not "osaavat"?

[deactivated user]

    The "moni" construct simply uses the third person singular. It is akin to the English "many a", as in "many a whale has died this year". Many whales, but singular is used.

    In plural it would be "kuinka monet suomalaiset lapset osaavat lukea".


    I have the same question, could someone please explain this? I thought there were more than one child.

    • 172

    how many? = kuinka moni? = moniko? Still the last one is not accepted.


    Should children not be plural, lasta?

    • 172

    "Moni lapsi" means about same as "monta lasta".

    Someone else needs to explain this further because even though I am native Finnish, I can’t explain these grammar issues very well.


    It has been explained that moni lapsi is more formal written Finnish, and monta lasta is puhekieli. Not by me, of course, lol.


    Why have the course developers preferred the formal version here when they have informal spoken language words like uikkarit and termari in other lessons?


    Might be simply because "kuinke moni" is fun to say aloud.

    • 172

    In spoken language says "miten moni". It may not be grammatically correct, but so to speak.


    My Finnish cousin and my Finnish friends say the same thing!


    Actually lasta is not a plural form either, even though it is used with many kinds of numerals. Plural in the cases mentioned in this conversation would be lapsia or lapset.

    Moni lapsi means something like "many child [nominative form]" and monta lasta is "many child [partitive form]" but both mean the same as "many children." If you want to have "many children" to be also grammatically plural in Finnish, you could say "paljon lapsia" which also means "a lot of children" or "monet lapset," but at least "paljon lapsia" can't be the subject in sentences like this. I'm also unable to explain why, despite being a native Finnish speaker.


    Why not montako?


    Why "kuinka moni" and not "montako"?

    • 172

    kuinka moni -> moniko (how many)
    kuinka monta -> montako (how much)


    "Kuinka monta" on sama lausen "kuinka moni" ja "lapset" vai "lasta" on paljon lapsi

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