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  5. "– Are you cold? – I am."

"– Are you cold? – I am."

Translation:– Onko sinulla kylmä? – On.

June 28, 2020



Yes, but literally translated the question "onko sinulla kylmä?" is " do you have/have you got cold?" to which the answer needs to be either "yes" ((kyllä) on) or "no" (ei ole), not "I am" (olen). :)


So if the question had been " oletko sinä kylmä" the answer would have been"olen"?


"Oletko sinä kylmä?" means "Are you a cold person?", cold as in cold-hearted.

If that person would admit to being a cold-hearted person, then "Olen" would be the correct answer. It's just that imagining this discussion makes me chuckle.


Have a nice day! I'm happy to contribute.


That discussion would be very Kaurismäki-esque indeed.


This is the most ridiculous language I have ever experienced. Years later and it's still annoys me every day! I must love my wife a lot.


Word-by-word translation doesn't work here because of the context. "On" answers to the question "Onko sinulla kylmä?" Eventhough in English you say that "you are hot/cold", in Finnish it is "Minulla on kuuma/kylmä", that is "I have hot/cold". This is why "olen" doesn't fit here.


Oh, so temperature is something that you "have". Interesting.


It's the same in French. If you say you ARE hot, it means something totally different than I have warmth.


Is "olen" incorrect here?


Yes. The question for "warm" or "cold" is literally: "Is there warm/cold at you?" and the answer must be "is".
While with "valmis", you ask "Oletko valmis?" - literally: "Are you ready". Then the answer is "I am."
Onko? -> On. (Is? - Is.)
Oletko? -> Olen. (Are you? - I am.)


Thank you, this explained it perfectly!


My translation attempt onko sinulla kylmä? minulla on. was marked wrong, is it wrong? Is it just not idiomatic? Did I say something completely different?


Technically speaking that's grammatically correct, but it's just not a natural way to answer this particular question. "Minulla on" emphasizes the "minulla" part, meaning it's a way of saying you in particular are cold instead of somebody else. It would be a natural response to question such as "Kenellä on kylmä?" eg "Who is cold?".


That discussion is grammatically correct, but in the discussion you're suggesting sounds like there is one person who is comparing how cold they are, compared to the other person present:

"Are you feeling cold? I (know I) am."

But as was already noted, if you get asked "Onko sinulla kylmä?", you wouldn't usually reply with "minulla on", you'd most likely say just "kyllä", "joo", or "on".


Some survival phrases here.


Would it be possible to use Oletko sinä kylmä? or is it just not used...


Technically yes, but I don't think you'd actually ask that since "kylmä" in this way refers to emotional coldness, so it would be a bit strange to ask "Are you a cold person?" just like it would be weird to ask "Are you an unlikable person?" or "Are you an evil person?" of the person in question. But you could certainly ask "Onko hän kylmä ihminen?" (Is he a cold person?") or say "Hän on kylmä ihminen". You'd just often add the word "ihminen" (person, lit. human).


Thank you :-)


Olen kylmä would mean you have a cold personality so i would assume this would be like asking if someone has a cold personality


Sekä "oletko kylmissäsi" tai "paleletko" voisivat melkein olla synonyymisiä.


Do you have cold? Yes , now I get it


When i first heard kylmä i remembered it because ot sounds a bit like 'cool' or cold. Easy tip as it sounds so similar to the non Finnish ear to kuuma


I am warm = Olen lämmin I am cold = Minulla on kylmä I am thermoactive = Olen termoaktiivinen


Why are questions such as "Who is that?" phrased "Who that is?" but this question is phrased the same way as English? "Have you cold?" not "You have cold?". Is it because of the Onko conjugation having to go first? Thanks


Words like who, when, where make a question. There is no need for changing the word order on top of that. Subject comes first as it often does in Finnish. Tuo on Matti. / Kuka tuo on? And yes, if there is no who/when/where present, the word order makes a question, so 'onko' has to start the question. (The French do the same with their est-ce que c'est and vuolez-vous...) Otherwise the word order is not changed: Tuo on Matti. / Onko tuo Matti? Subject (tuo) comes right after the verb before other parts of the sentence.

Summa summarum: the change of the word order is needed to indicate a question IF there is no question word to indicate a question. The English do both to be sure: they add the question word (e.g. who) AND change the word order (Who is that? instead of Who that is?)

More words to show nothing else changes but the placement of the verb: Tuo mies tuolla on serkkuni Matti. / Onko tuo mies tuolla serkkuni Matti? (Is that man there my cousin Matti?)


Is this like German "ist es dir kalt?" ?


Many throughout these discussions come up with sentences in English and try to find sometimes litteral translation to Finnish. But here several contextual aspects play a role. First, that when languages differ from origin, grammar etc., it is best to try to think in that other language as soon as possible. Especially when one is not a native speaker of English such would not be the best approach. I feel that Duo is doing very well in that way, despite that many complain about the sentences Duo present. Finnish is a language from totally different origin than f/i Spanish or German. It's an Uralic language, related to a/o Estonian and Hungarian. It has over a dozen cases where German has four. It has vowel harmony you also find in certain Asian languages. It uses little prepositions, but loads of declinations. And it has this phonetic spelling. Hauska tutustumaan! (Sept. 2020)


I have to say I disagree. It is not as if you can pull a switch and start thinking in another language. That understanding comes from learning the language and generally to learn you need to compare to something you already know well. I always compare to sentences from my own language or english to try to find the best understanding and to figure out where the languages differ or where they are the same and eventually by numerous trials I can feel my way into what the new language (in this case finnish) intended. So as I see it, be fearless ask away and discover:-)


I think you are both right. :)


I totally agree with you Rick - great way to put it!


But probably coincidentally, in French you also "have" cold, hunger, etc.


Pretty close, at least in terms of how it differs from English usage. Adessive case in Finnish versus dative case in German, but yeah, it's the same idea: "Do you have cold" or "is it cold at you". In both cases, in Finnish and German a question literally worded as "are you cold" would refer to your own literal temperature (or metaphorical one, as in your personality) rather than how you perceive the air around you, which is what we're really asking when we say "are you cold" in English.


That should be " ist dir kalt?", and, yes it is the same construct


Why is olen not an accepted answer?


In Finnish being cold (or hot) is not something you are, instead it is something you have. The question "Onko sinulla kylmä?" literally means "Do you have cold?", so you need to answer it with "on" meaning "Yes I have".

If you would ask "Oletko kylmä?" meaning "Are you cold?", then it would mean "Are you a cold person?" (as in a nasty individual), and someone would probably answer "Olen", but it's not a very likely discussion to have.


I chose oletteko kylma. Did i get this wrong because it is asking a question and not telling some one you are cold?


Look at the replies in the other threads. In Finnish, cold or hot temperature is something you have instead of something you are. Asking "Oletteko kylmä?" would be a polite version of asking if the person is a cold person by character, but if you want to ask if he is experiencing cold temperature, then you need to ask "Onko sinulla kylmä?" meaning "Do you have cold?".


What is the difference between "Onko sinulla" and "Oletko"...? I'm getting confused, since my Finnish book says that "Onko" is used for "Is he/she" but "sinulla" means "do you have"... Wouldn't "Hänellä" be better?


”Onko sinulla?” = ”Do you have?”

”Oletko (sinä)?” = ”Are you?”

”Onko hän?” = ”Is she/he?”

”Onko hänellä?” = ”Does he/she have?”

Note that in Finnish cold/hot is something you have, not something you are.


This is a tutorial I needed. Thanks!


KristianKumpula gave this answer above, which I think sums up the source of your confusion fairly well:

... The verb in an ownership clause (which this technically is) must always be in 3rd person singular form, whereas "oletko" is in 2nd person singular form.

So basically whenever there's an ownership clause, the verb form is the same as for "he/she/it is", and the pronoun is the part that tells who owns the thing: minulla, sinulla, hänellä, meillä, teillä, heillä.


I still can't figure out when to use "on" and when to use "olen."


"Olen" always refers to yourself, it's a first person form of the verb "olla" (to be), meaning "I am".

In this case "on" means "to have". "Minulla on" = "I have". "Sinulla on" = "You have". "Hänellä on" = "He/she has" etc.


And how to ask if someone has a cold?


"Onko sinulla flunssa?" or "Oletko sairas?", which literally translates to "Are you having a cold" or "Are you sick?" EDIT: also "Oletko vilustunut?"


Why not "oletko sinä", it's get on my nerves. Idk when I have to "onko sinulla", 'cause others lessons "sina olet"(you are) and "sinulla on"(you have).


To be honest... I am cold does not exactly describe the feeling. Generally my temperature is nearly 37°C, so I'm not colder than normal when I say I'm cold. When I really get cold I'm gone, but I will complain less then.

For me as a German it has always been strange to say I am cold. In German you say mir ist kalt literally meaning something like it is cold to me.

And Finns have cold. Oh wait... as there are no grammatical cases in English and actually no to have in Finnish (as far as I have learned so far) it's even trickier. It's the adessive case meaning something happens to the subject: minulla on may also mean it is to me. You see? Is it cold to you? - It is. You're done :-)


Actually there are a few case forms in English but they are most commonly used with pronouns, like I, me, mine, my, and so on.


The English genitive particle 's is also the remnant of a genitive case, but isn't really considered a proper noun case anymore afaik.


The French also have cold, j'ai froid. But Finnish lacks a separate verb for "to have", because that is a trait of Indo-European languages.


sorry can i use "oletko sinä kylmä" or "oletko kylmä" instead?


Technically they would be ok, but they are both extremely rare. I could think 2 cases, in which they work.

If someone doubts whether you have done your warm-up before exercise, he might ask you like that. The "kylmä" would mean that no warm-up has been done yet.

If someone doubts whether you are emphatic to someone, he might ask you like that. The "kylmä" would mean that there are no emphatic, warm feelings.


You need to think in context


Thank you for the responses. They are very helpful, but I for one need more. I understand about "having cold" meaning " being cold," etc,


More examples please


How is ' oletko sinulla kylmä' different from ' onko sinulla kylmä' ?? Both have the same answer 'on', right?


"Oletko sinulla kylmä?" doesn't make any sense in Finnish. "Oletko" means "are you", but if you are conjugating the word "sinä" into "sinulla", it means "you have". You would need to say "Oletko sinä?" which means "Are you?", but even in this case the "sinä" is not strictly needed because the verb conjugation of "olla" into "oletko" means "are you". So "Oletko sinulla" would be something like "Are you you have".

Furthermore in Finnish cold temperature is not something you are, instead it is something you have. The correct way of saying this is "Onko sinulla kylmä?" which literally means "Do you have cold?".


is it wrong to say Oletko sinulla kylmä? am i missing something?


It is. The verb in an ownership clause (which this technically is) must always be in 3rd person singular form, whereas "oletko" is in 2nd person singular form.


Why is it that sometimes 'I am' is 'On', and other times it is 'Olen'?


Olen = I am, I exist.

Minulla on = I have. Like other Uralic languages but just the opposite to Indo-European ones, Finnish doesn't have a separate verb for possession, so instead a construction of the relevant personal pronoun (who owns the thing?) + the -lla case ending + "on", the 3rd person singular for of "olla", is used for expressing possession. Minulla on, sinulla on, hänellä on, meillä on, teillä on, heillä on. In this construction the verb is always in the same form, regardless of who owns the thing.

And in Finnish you "have" cold, hot, hunger, thirst, and some others. If you've ever studied French, they have a similar construction for those: "j'ai froid", etc. "I have cold".

There are separate adjectives for being hungry, being thirsty etc., in which case you use the regular "I am" i.e. olen:

"Olen nälkäinen", "olen janoinen" etc.


In this case it’s because of the context. You can’t directly translate ”I am cold” into Finnish word for word, because in Finnish the thought process is that cold temperature is something you have, not something you are.

“I am” is always “Olen” when taken out of context as a separate phrase. For example “Olen sininen” means “I am blue”.

“Minulla on” means “I have”. Such as “Minulla on auto” means “I have a car”. You have a car, like you have cold temperature.


When is it "onko" and "oletko" ?


Out of context:

"Onko" means "Is it?"

"Oletko" means "Are you?"

However, "Onko sinulla" means "Do you have?". In this case "Onko sinulla kylmä?" means "Are you cold?", which literally translated would be "Do you have cold?".

It is like "Do you have a sore throat?".

So cold is a condition you have, not something you are.

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