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  5. "Mämmi on mustaa ja makeaa."

"Mämmi on mustaa ja makeaa."

Translation:The mämmi is black and sweet.

June 26, 2020



why are there extra a's in this sentence?


It's the partitive case which you use with uncountable nouns (among other things).


oh okay. So it would be "peruna on musta" and not "peruna on mustaa", for example?


Yes, exactly!


Thank you so much for the help!


The grammar tips which always appeared at the start of each new section are very helpful - but there don't seem to be any more for these later sections? Maybe will be added later?


What grammar tips? All I got through the entire course was trivia, like that more Americans are learning languages on Duo than in schools, that more people are learning Irish than there are native speakers, or that the most popular language on Duo in Sweden is Swedish. And then Duo spitting on social media, as if it's less useful than this. 15 minutes on social media CAN do much, Duo! It's the only way to stay sane and in touch with people these days when everything is in lockdown and some of our loved ones are in hospital...! Would've been better to have included these tips this fellow language learner is mentioning instead of that.


Grammar tips are available on the web version of the course. In the app they are present only in the "official" courses made by Duo staff. Courses created by volunteers, like Finnish, can't have tips in the app.

All tips can also be found in Duome:



Isn't mämmi rather dark brown and not black?


Yes! Thanks for pointing it out - Mämmi/Memma IS dark brown, not black! :)


Hi! I understand why the adjectives are in the partitive, but why is the noun 'mämmi' not?


It's the subjec of the sentence. Especially when it's defined: the mämmi.


So the subject is never in the partitive...is that so?


Sometimes the subject is partitive.

In existential sentences: 'Tuolla on vettä', 'Some water is over there'.

In possessive sentences: 'Meillä on hauskaa Virossa', 'Fun is on/at/by us in Estonia' (We have fun in Estonia).

In passive sentences, depending on how they're analyzed: 'Ruokaa syödään', 'Food is being eaten'.

But 'Mämmi on mustaa ja makeaa' isn't an existential, possessive, or passive sentence.

I've also seen 'Miehiä kävelee', with a plural partitive subject, but I don't understand this construction very well yet.


Seems strange, why can't you use the partitive for things that apply in general and not to a definite instance?


The partitive is only possible for objects and predicates, not for subjects.


apparently, the partitive in the adjectives is because the noun is uncountable.


I understand that in Finnish we can't have three vowels together – at least in kirjakieli. So, shouldn't the partitive of "makea" be "makeaTA" instead of "makeaA"? Thanks in advance.


It's not uncommon to have three vowels together, but they're usually only two different vowels (like in "makeaa"). To have three different vowels together is rare. The only such combination I can think of right now is "aie", which is both a word of it's own (intent) and a part of some other words, like "aiemmin" (earlier).

Also, "makeata" is not incorrect. It's just uncommon usage, "makeaa" being the usual way to say it.

  • 1969

It's also quite common to do this with compound words. The previous example reminded me of a somewhat well-known example word, hääyöaie, which has seven vowels together. It means the intention (aie) of having a wedding night (hääyö) and thereby is a bit of made-up concept, but serves as an example.


Riiuuyöaieuutinen has 11. It means news about intention/plan for dating night.


Please would someone confirm that the adjectives in this type of construction need to be in the partitive case. This seems not to agree with examples given in Abondolo's 'Colloquial Finnish' where the adjectives are in the nominative (to agree with the sentence's subject). For example, on p.39, Irman kissa (subject, nominative case) on valkoinen (adjective, nominative); Presidentin auto on iso. Please let me know what I am not understanding here.


"Mämmi" is an uncountable noun. Those require partitive.

"Kissa" and "auto" are countable nouns.


Thank you for the explanation


First we're taught it is sweetened rye porridge (what do rye and porridge mean? I'm not a native speaker), and then we have to use the Finnish word in English... So why teach us one and require the other?


Just about every culture has some sort of porridge (I think). It's a grain boiled in water and reduced to a thick slop. Sometimes, sugar or milk are added. If you're familiar with Dickens' Oliver Twist, you'll know what porridge is.

"Please, sir. May I have some more?"

Rye is a grain (a bit like wheat) grown in Northern Europe.


Why is it wrong when I write rye pudding?


It's a valid translation. Report it as "my answer should've been accepted" using the flag


Is mämmi like Danish øllebrød, made of old dry rye bread?

  • 1969

They don't look similar. See the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mämmi

  • 1320

Yes, it's practically the same, mostly it is made from old rye bread, just without a beer.


Mämmi is not made of old rye bread, it's made of malted rye and rye flour.


When is partitive used on ajectives? Except the situation where the adjective depends on the object in partitive case


When an adjective is linked to an uncountable noun by the verb on, the adjective needs to be partitive. Thus 'Vesi on kylmää'.

But when an adjective is linked to a singular countable noun by on, it needs to be nominative. Thus 'Kivi on kylmä'.

Right before a noun (in the attributive position), the adjective matches the noun's case. Thus 'Tuolla on kylmää vettä', and 'Kylmä vesi on tuolla'.


Are "sweet" and "tasty" the same thing? This didn't accept "tasty".

  • 1969

They are not the same thing. Sweet is makea, tasty is maukas or something like maistuva.


These exercises often terminate before I finish my answer

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