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  5. "– A coffee? – Thank you."

"– A coffee? – Thank you."

Translation:– Kahviko? – Kiitos.

June 27, 2020


  • 1324

Minulla on kysymys.

The TTS voices often have problems with intonation in questions. But since Finnish uses -ko to mark questions as such, does the intonation raise at the end of a question as in so many other languagea, or is the intonation the same as in statements? Kiitos.


Intonation is falling in all kinds of sentences including questions. The intonation is apparently (based on a quick google search) a little different in questions and in statements as the questions start "higher" and the fall is then bigger.

  • 1324

the questions start "higher" and the fall is then bigger.

It makes sense to direct attention to the beginning of a question since that is where the question marker is. Thanks for your explanation!


Exactly. Don't raise at the end! (It sounds ridiculous)


Can you really use -ko on nouns? I've been asked about coffee a fair bit here in Finland and it has always just been "Kahvia?" or some variation.


Well, yes you can, very much so. But as you said it is more common to hear "kahvia" (kahvi + partitive a) than "kahviako". The first one to me feels like "coffee?" and the second a bit like "coffee, yes?". But in general the -ko/kö is used a lot, not only with verbs but also with all nominals.

Nouns: "Koirako (se) siellä juoksi?" (was that a dog that ran there?)

Pronouns: "Hänkö se oli?" (was that him?)

Numerals: "Yksikö vain?" (Only one?)

Adjectives (possible, but usually the question is formed another way): "Julmako on tämä maailma?" (Is this world cruel - note: style quite poetic) "Rankkaako? Helppoako?" (Is it tough? Is it easy? - note: partitive)


Nouns, verbs, numbers at least informally also adjectives and adverbs. (Almost) anything goes.


This sentence lacks a bit of context, and is a very weird example to use as it seems to imply a shorthand version of "(would you like to have) a coffee" in the English version, and a confirmation request ("kahviko") in the Finnish version.

Also, in a familiar environment you would ask or offer (some) coffee in Finnish language, whereas in cafés you deal in units of one/several (cups) of coffee.

For example:

Haluatko kahvia? = Do you want (some) coffee?

Haluatko kahvin? = Do you want a (cup of) coffee? (in a café)

Mikä se on? Kahviko? = What is it? A coffee?

Mitä haluaisit? Kahviako? = What would you like? (Some) coffee?


"Kahviko? Kyllä kiitos" should be accepted.

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