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Placement of ‘On’

First of all, a very big kiitos to team Suomi for making Finnish available in Duolingo.

Now, before I started the course I had some very basic knowledge of the Finnish language. I noticed when listening to spoken Finnish, it is not uncommon for the ‘on’ to be placed at the end of the sentence.

Eg: “Liisa tyttö on”, rather than ”Liisa on tyttö”.

When I did this the first time in the course, it found my answer wrong.

Hence, I’d like to know if there is a difference in meaning when the “on” is placed at the end of the sentence, rather than after the subject. In other words, does it matter if I use SOV, or SVO?


June 26, 2020



SOV is a lot more poetic, but it's not incorrect.

SVO is the default and what's usually used except maybe if it's a song or poem or something like that. I almost never see SOV anywhere, personally.


Non-Suomalainen here, but in the notes, it says that when a question begins with “Millalainen” then the “on” goes at the end of the sentence. All other example in the tree (I have done it all) “on” is not at the end of the sentence.


You can say "Millainen on Liisa?" and be understood perfectly fine. It's just poetic again.


This switched word order is not standard kirjakieli though. Might as well accept "mä" for "minä" etc. otherwise.


For me "Liisa tyttö on" sound answer to some question or argument. "who is the youngest?" "Lisa girl is"

"no one have been there." "Lisa girl had been!"

And "lisa on tyttö" is just "Lisa is girl"


(Based on your nickname, you sound like you are also from Finland..?)

The first sentence is something many Finns have problems with. That works if "Lisa girl" is the subject but in that case you have to write "Liisa-tyttö" - with the hyphen - in Finnish, otherwise it has a different meaning ("Liisa is a girl." in the wrong word order), and that is when you can say "Liisa-tyttö on." Because you are not stating that Liisa is a girl, but that "Liisa the girl is (the youngest)". This all goes under the rules of compound words and such and as I said, so many Finns have problems with this and then there's us that go crazy after seeing such mistakes from fellow Finns :D

And talking of grammar nazism, sorry for playing bit of one here with your English, but: "No one has been there." "Lisa the girl has!"

With the last sentence you have to use an article (another reason why I think you might be from Finland :D), "Lisa is a girl." (But please don't take this as me trying to insult or make fun of you or anything! Just trying to help :) )

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