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  5. "Koira puraisee sipulia ja it…

"Koira puraisee sipulia ja itkee."

Translation:The dog bites the onion and cries.

June 28, 2020



I don't understand why "the dog is biting the onion" is wrong--present progressive is often used in English translations for present tense in Finnish in this program.


"The dog is biting" would translate to "koira puree", not "koira puraisee". The verb "puraista" (where "puraisee" is conjugated from) is temporally confined, expressing a single bite, whereas "is biting" expresses continuous/ongoing biting, just like "purra" (where "puree" is conjugated from).


Thank you. Also, now that there are tips for this lesson, this point about the verbs is clearer.


I think the implication that this is a series of events (A) bite (B) then cry, makes it seem less likely that both actions would be told as though they are underway at the same point in time (is biting ... is crying), but in principle I agree.


Please don't feed dogs onions! They are poisonous to dogs


Shouldn't the accusative for sipuli be more fitting if the verb translates as present indicative but not continuous?



The accusative is a bit tricky in Finnish since only personal pronouns as well as the pronoun "kuka" (ken, who) have forms that are clearly accusative (minut, hänet, kenet) - "Näen hänet" (I see him). If you used the word "sipulit" that would just mean "onions" (plural).

The object (accusative) can be expressed in Finnish by using the following cases:

"Syön sipulia." (partitive)

"Syön sipulin." (genitive(like accusative))

"Syö sipuli!" (nominative)

The partitive indicates a partial object, in this case that you do not eat one whole onion, but instead some undefined amount of onion.

The genitive and the nominative indicate whole objects. "Syön sipulin" (I eat the onion) means that you eat the whole onion. The -n ending helps to differentiate between subject and object, since you cannot always tell which one is which by word order alone.

"Minä syön sipulin" (I eat the onion)

"Sipulin syön minä" (I eat the onion - it's me that eats the onion)

"Syön minä sipulin" (I eat the onion)


If you wanted to express that it's the onion that eats the person, you'd then say e.g.:

"Sipuli syö minut" (The onion eats me)

"Minut syö sipuli" (The onion eats me - I'm eaten by an/the onion)


With the imperative ("Syö sipuli!" - Eat the onion!) there is no subject and therefore no need for the -n, and so the object is in the nominative case.


Why wouldn't "The dog takes a bite of the onion and cries." be accepted? Is there anything incorrect about this translation?


Why is "an onion" incorrect?


Does anybody know a site to learn to conjugate verbs.? Kiitos


If you look up a word on Wiktionary, it fully conjugates the verb.

There's also quite a few articles on https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-grammar#one.

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