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  5. "Etsin ponia. Missä se on?"

"Etsin ponia. Missä se on?"

Translation:I am searching for the pony. Where is it?

June 26, 2020



Because it is a main clause, it can only be "where is it", while "where it is" is a subordinate clause.

Example "Minä tiedän, missä sinä olet." = "I know where you are."

"Missä sinä olet?" = "Where are you?"



Why partitive? Am I looking for part of the pony?


It's an unfinished action, that's why. Once you finish it by finding the pony, you can say "Löysin ponin.".

You could say "I will get hold of that damned pony and...[something bad, but let's not harm any imaginary animals here]". That would be "Etsin sen hemmetin ponin käsiini, ja [that bad thing]." So in that case etsiä would go with the -n, since completing the search is part of the idea expressed.


I'm still trying to get used to implying a progressive verbal tense by declining a noun...


It's a very important concept in Finnish, unfortunately. Let me give you a couple of typical examples:

If you see a headline say "Mies ampui poliisia", you know the man shot at the police officer, who did not die. If it says "Mies ampui poliisin", you know the police officer died. It was a completed action.

The other one I'll have to skirt around, as Duolingo has learners of all ages. "Minä nain hänet" means I marry/married him/her. If you swap the object to a partitive one, I am or was engaged in a completely different adult only activity with that person...


Wow. So it's almost as if Finnish considered marriage as the "endpoint" of... that action. :P


Haha, true, I never thought of that. The "once and for all" (that thing)! :-)


Great explanation. Kiitos! Have Lingot.


Can I mean it's just horse in general, instead of a specific horse?For example, instead of "the pony", can "a pony" or just "pony" be correct also?


You can indeed translate it as "I am searching for a pony." (Note that the second sentence still implies you are looking for a specific pony, but using "a" in the first means that the pony hasn't been brought up before.)

And "I am searching for the pony." is of course correct, meaning that the pony has been mentioned before.

"I am searching for pony." isn't correct English.


"I'm searching for a pony" could either be a specific or a non-specific pony. We don't really make that distinction in English. You can of course clarify with "I'm searching for a particular pony" or "I'm searching for a pony, any old pony will do," or something like that.


Sure, you might say "I'm searching for a pony" even if you are searching for a particular pony. But if that pony has been discussed already, you would then refer to it as "the" pony.


It's "looking for", "searching for" is wrong and redundant.

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