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  5. "Millainen maa Viro on?"

"Millainen maa Viro on?"

Translation:What kind of country is Estonia?

June 27, 2020



Wow, this one tricked me. I forgot Viro was Estonia and not a given name.


On a related note, Viro can ultimately be traced back to the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction of *wiHrós—of which it is defined as a man, a husband, or a warrior/hero. You could pass it off as a valid given name, if you were determined! :P


Virile in English means having strength , energy typically of a man.


Se on pieni, ystävällinen ja kaunis!


Shouldn't "millainen maa on Viro" work? I got it wrong.


This wouldn’t work because remember the rule that says the “most complete noun “ where the verb (to be) goes after the noun in this case


From searching around on the Internet, I have not seen that word order used in conjunction with millainen. All of the example sentences, using that interrogative pronoun, place the verb after the subject.


Don't listen to the other answers. It should be correct. There's no real difference there.


How come some times the "On" is before, and sometimes it is after.


Do you mean Millainen maa Viro on? vs. Millainen maa on Viro?

The grammatical case system liberates the word order in Finnish, so both questions are grammatically correct. Compare this to English which is almost exclusively a subject-verb-object (SVO) language. However exposure to the Indo-European languages (mostly to germanic languages and Russian) has led to that, that the SVO order is the most common one in contemporary Finnish too.

A notable exception is, that we haven't adopted the reversed word order in questions.


  • The teacher told us what kind of country Estonia is. (the subclause is an indirect question that uses the normal SVO order)
  • What kind of country is Estonia? (a direct question uses the reversed order)


  • Opettaja kertoi, millainen maa Viro on.
  • Millainen maa Viro on?

That's the normal, neutral word order. If you use the reversed word order millainen maa on Viro, you're emphasising, as if you were comparing it some other country. Say that to an Estonian (who will fully understand the phrase) in a bar without immediately praising his/her country, and you will get a malevolent glare.

(I'm native Finnish speaker)


I think beacuse it is a cuestion then it is "on" after then last word but in classical sentencs the "on" is beafore then last word


If "What is __ like" works with all other sentences that look like "Millainen XXXX ___ on?", why is it saying that "What's Estonia like?" is incorrect?


You don't have maa in your translation.


This makes things clearer. Thanks Juha_Metsakallas.

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