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  5. "Excuse me, who is she?"

"Excuse me, who is she?"

Translation:Anteeksi, kuka hän on?

June 27, 2020



Does the word order need to be ... han on? And not on han?


"Kuka on hän" is technically correct, just a bit unnatural. It sounds poetic and old. In questions like these (with a question word) I would usually, if not always, put the verb at last


The subject and the verb are inverted in English questions, but in Finnish, a subject-verb inversion is required only in questions that don't include an interrogative word, i.e. questions that begin with a verb. This question begins with an interrogative word, so the usual word order is followed.


Let's make some example questions!

Hän on X. -> Replace X with question word who/kuka: Hän on kuka? -> move the question word to the beginning: Kuka hän on?

X on Pekka. -> Replace X with "kuka": Kuka on Pekka? -> move the question word to the beginning: Kuka on Pekka?

Hän on Pekka. (Is/is not?) -> make "on" a question word of yes/no questions by adding "-ko": Hän onko Pekka? -> move the question word to the beginning: Onko hän Pekka?


That explains some things.


idk, same thing happend to me


Correct. Finnish and English have different word Orders.


Is hän gender specific in any way? Would there be a difference if I said who is he and who is he?


No difference at all. :)


It seems both on and hän are gender neutral


yes you are right


So hän which is the verb before on?


No, on is the verb. Hän would be the direct object. If my understanding is correct: Hän is a noun meaning he/she. On is the verb he/she is.


Exactly, on is the 3rd person of "to be", meaning he/she is. Hän is not exactly a noun, more of a pronoun.


Another slight correction that should be made is that the concept of "direct object" is not applicable in Finnish grammar since there are no indirect objects in Finnish, so all objects are referred to just as objects unless a distinction needs to be made between a partial object and a total object. What is an indirect object in English is an adverbial in its Finnish translation.


In the Tips belonging to the lesson 'Good luck' there might be a typo: No, terve! Minä olen Otso. Kukas sinä olet? shouldn't it be KUKA sinä olet?


It's not a typo. The -s suffix is commonly used in spoken Finnish in order to soften interrogative words.


Does that mean that I can ask Missäs tanskalainen lelu on? And if yes, does the meaning change in any way?


Yes. I'm not sure what would be the most accurate way to characterise the impact in English, but I suppose you could say it gives the question a somewhat folksy tone.

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