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  5. "Musti is a big, Finnish dog."

"Musti is a big, Finnish dog."

Translation:Musti on iso suomalainen koira.

June 28, 2020



Can the adjective order be switched in Finnish? Or do adjectives have a certain order like in English?


Well, you can say "suomalainen iso koira" as well, but it doesn't feel quite as natural. Short adjectives tend to come before long ones.

The order of adjectives is usually following:

Shape (big, small, round etc.): "iso koira" (big dog)

Age (old, young, new etc.): "iso vanha koira" (big old dog)

Colour: "iso vanha musta koira" (big old black dog)

Origin (Finnish, national, domestic etc.): "iso vanha musta suomalainen koira: (big old black Finnish dog)

  • Matter (wooden etc.), but these usually compund with the noun

Since shorter adjectives come before long ones this order is not set in stone, however, and it is also preferred that more complex adjectives follow simple adjectives.

  • 1973

I don't see any practical difference between the meanings of iso suomalainen koira and suomalainen iso koiraiso suomalainen maybe sounds easier to pronounce aloud.

I can't quickly think of any examples where the order would matter.


There shouldn't be a comma between "big" and "Finnish". Serves no purpose.


You are right. Commas between adjectives in English are only used when the adjectives are coordinate. "Big" and "Finnish" in "big Finnish dog" are cummulative, so there should be no comma between them.


@FiskeFinne: Rules for comma etc. vary per language. English f/i uses less commas than Dutch. The apostrophe 's in English denotes possession, while in Dutch it also sometimes is used in plural nouns. (Aug 2020)


It is grammatically correct to have a comma there.


No, not in English. These two adjectives don’t equally modify the noun. Easy test- put “and” between adjectives. If it fits- use comma, if not- don’t use it. Cannot say “big and Finnish dog”, hence, no comma.


I'm simultaneously doing a memrise vocabulary course and I'm wondering why 'Musti on suuri suomalainen koira' is considered incorrect for this sentence.


I think they are only doing this here to make us learn iso for big and suuri for large. As a native speaker explained to me, in most cases these words are exactly the same and can replace one another. DL is very strict with nuances :)

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