1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "How many universities are th…

"How many universities are there in Finland?"

Translation:Montako yliopistoa Suomessa on?

June 25, 2020



"Kuinka monta yliopistoa Suomessa on" is currently not accepted.


Yep, even though it is just as correct as the other alternative translations..


Kuinka monta yliopistoa on Suomessa, should be correct. Please amend it


"Montako yliopistoa on Suomessa" "Montako yliopistoa Suomessa on"

Both are correct!

  • 1971

By the way, the answer can be found here: https://minedu.fi/en/universities :)


Is "kuinka moni yliopisto...?" correct


"Kuinka moni yliopisto on Suomessa?" is a valid sentence, but its meaning is closer to "How many of the universities are in Finland?"


kuinka monta yliopistoa* not kuinka moni yliopisto


Why on instead of ovat? Universities is plural.


This is a passive sentence, which does not have a subject.


I would prefer to use the term "impersonal" instead of "passive".


Hey Annika, can you please elaborate? I'm not sure I understand the reason the sentence does not have a subject (not a native English speaker, if it matters)


I don't really agree with Annika's analysis of the grammar here. This sentence doesn't have an agent, but it does have a subject. Even native English speakers generally can't explain how an agent and subject are different, as they're quite often the same thing.

The agent is determined semantically; it's who is performing the action. No one's performing any action here. The subject is determined by syntax and case, and it's the focus of the sentence.

I'd say 'yliopistoa', universities, is the subject of this sentence. Most of the time subjects are in the nominative, but sometimes they're in the partitive, like here.

'On' is a verb in the active voice. The passive form of that verb would be 'ollaan', which isn't in this sentence.

There is however a zero person construction, which has no stated subject and uses the third person active singular form of the verb, like 'on'. But I believe that in such constructions, the subject is either understood clearly from context (usually I or you), or the sentence is stating a general truth with a general subject. Like 'yöllä nukkuu', 'one sleeps at night'.

But I can't see how 'Montako yliopistoa Suomessa on?' would make any sense analyzed with a null subject. 'How many universities are you in Finland?' 'How many univerisities is one in Finland?'


Thank you so much, Taurevle! I think I got it.


In the English sentence, 'many universities' is plural. In the Finnish, 'monta yliopistoa' is singular. The Finnish adjective 'moni' can pair with singular nouns. Somewhat like the construction 'many a man' in English.


What's the difference between "montako" "paljonko" and "kuinka monta"?


"Kuinka monta" and "montako" mean "how many", while "kuinka paljon" or "paljonko" could be either "how many" or "how much".

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