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  5. "The house is close to the se…

"The house is close to the sea."

Translation:Talo on lähellä merta.

June 26, 2020



Talo on meren lähellä


Why is this "merta" and not "mertä"? There are only 'i' and 'e' in "meri".


According to tips section "meri" and "veri" are exceptions to the vowel harmony rules and go "verta" and "merta" in the partitive case.


When you're italian and you see "merta"


Whatever the Italian means in English ... Google Translate doesn't have a clue ... :(


I hope I will be asking this sort of question less and less ... but, what is the reason that 'sea' is in the partitive, here?


It can be answered with grammatical terms that you so love. In this case adpositions, which are divided to prepositions and postpositions. They are words which are used to express relations between things (in this case the house and the sea). Preposition is before the word it connects to and postposition after it.

In this sentence lähellä is a preposition and tells the spatial relation between the house and the sea (close to).

Adpositions trigger different cases in the words they connect to, usually genitive or partitive. There's no real rule for this, it's something that just has to be learned for every word. Some adpositions can be both prepositions and postpositions, and lähellä is one of them. If it's a preposition, it triggers partitive, and as a postposition genitive. So:

lähellä merta (partitive)

meren lähellä (genitive)

Unfortunately this is a bit complicated thing, and not very easy to learn.


Ha-ha - me and grammatical terms are barely on nodding terms, let alone me loving them XD.

Thanks for ID-ing the fact that this is a preposition-thing. Now I realise this, I can map it onto the handy 'Use of the Partitive Case' list -

  1. After numbers
  2. After words that express quantity
  3. With mass nouns
  4. With negative sentences
  5. With irresultative phrases
  6. With partitive verbs
  7. With prepositions

... only truly handy if I'd known what a preposition was, I guess ...


Just remember that not all prepositions use partitive. But many do.

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