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  5. "Why do you speak Finnish?"

"Why do you speak Finnish?"

Translation:Miksi puhutte suomea?

June 26, 2020



Hyva kysymys. Mina puhun suomea koska vaimoni on suomalainen. (dang if that makes sense I am impressed with myself :P) (don't have a with dots on my keyboard)


Tosi hyvähän tuo lause (virke) on! :)


Shouldn't this be "Miksi puhut suomea" because puhutte is for plural you and is otherwise super formal for singular you.


"Why do you speak Finnish" is both plural and singular, and both should be accepted.


And who says the "you" in the English sentence cannot be a plural you?


Since it is a question, why isn't it "puhutko"? Is "Miksi" enough to make the question then?


Yes, it is. Questions words like miksi, mitä etc make it a question and then you just the regular verb form. If you want to ask "do you speak..." Then you use "puhutko" the -ko makes it into a question


Miksi is why, so much like English, I guess it automatically makes it a questions.


And if i use miksi mikä etc, can i add -ko also in one sentence? Kiitos paljon!


Nope. There are three types of questions depending on the interrogative or the question word:

the m-words

  • mikä, mitä, miksi… : what, what, why…

the k-words

  • kuka, kumpi, kenen… : who, which, whose…

the ko/kö-ending

  • puhutko, näetkö… : do you speak/are you speaking, do you see/are you seeing…

Note, that while usually the ending is attached to a verb, it can be attached pretty much any word to ask about that thing.

  • Seisooko punainen talo mäellä?
  • Punainenko talo seisoo mäellä?
  • Mäelläkö punainen talo seisoo?


And for a positive answer for these ko/kö questions, you can answer either "kyllä" or refer to the word asked: you can repeat the word on which the ko/kö ending is attached to affirm that it is so:

"Punainenko talo seisoo mäellä?" "Punainen."

"Mäelläkö punainen talo seisoo?" "Mäellä."

Or replace it with a pronoun that is in accord with the thing asked:

"Mäelläkö punainen talo seisoo?" "Siellä." (adessive form of "se"="it", since "mäellä" is adessive form)


"Siellä" is not the adessive of "se". It is a lexicalized adessive of some other word ("sikä"?) that is not used in modern Finnish, and it means "there".

The adessive of "se" is "sillä"?


I wouldn't say

"Punainenko talo seisoo mäellä?"

Instead this seems more natural to me

"Punainen taloko seisoo mäellä?"


True, there are alternatives, which while grammatically correct sound old-fashioned or less natural.


Could also be singular "you" (2nd person) form...


As has been stated a couple of times… In Duolingo the language to be taught is always considered to be the original one. Here the Finnish sentence is clearly plural (or the formal one). The team should come up with a method to indicate that when one is tasked to translate from English.

[deactivated user]

    Why is this wrong: Miksi puhutte te suomea?


    I think it would be "Miksi te puhutte suomea" if you wanted to include the "te".


    Oikein, you put the pronoun before the verb it grammatically attaches to. Having said that I can come up with two exceptions.

    1) You're making a -ko/kö question with the interrogative ending attached to the verb (the most common type) and since the -ko/kö word will be the first, the pronoun will come after.

    2) In highly emphasising statements you can put the pronoun after the verb. Such rare expressions are not part of this course.


    I can confirm that singular is now accepted, great! "Miksi sinä puhut suomea?"

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