1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Are they singing?"

"Are they singing?"

Translation:Laulavatko he?

June 29, 2020



Finnish Verbs conjugation (On positive present progressive) :

"vr" = Verb root

"vsc" = Verb subject conjugation

Examples with the verb "itkea"(cry) ("itkea" 's vr = "itke"

Infinitive = vr + a

•I [Minä]- vr + n (itken)

•You [Sinä]- vr + t (itket)

•We [Me]- vr + mme (itkemme)

•You (plural) [Te]- vr + tte (itkette)

•He/She \It [Hän\Se]- vr + the last vowel other time (itkee)

•They [He]- vr + vat

For the asking mode, you need to

•Asking Mode: vr + vsc + ko


Very, very clear --kiitos. I've copied-and-pasted it into my home-notes.

Still not sure why I typed laulatko he and was told "you have a typo" and corrected to Laulaatko ne, though. Laulavatko he is completely different.


Exactly the problem with this answer. Should be Laulatko he? as I had typed as well.


If you're asking about people and not animals, formal written Finnish uses 'Laulavatko he?' In colloquial spoken Finnish, I think people say 'Laulaako ne?'

But if 'Laulaatko ne?' is being suggested, I don't know why.


Sorry I meant to say Laulavatko he? is what I wrote and I assumed we were talking about people. But the answer "Laulaako ne?" was given as correct when I had not yet been taught that verb form or even that pronoun.


You are sooo amazing. Kiitos.


Kiitos! This is very helpful!


Wow! Thanks that was really helpful


I know: mina, sina, han, me, te, he; but what is ne?


'Ne' is 'they', but inanimate.


In written Finnish, like this course is teaching, it's not used for people. In spoken Finnish, it can refer to people.


Why is "Laulavatko?" not accepted? Aren't the pronouns redundant?


Minä, me, sinä, and te can be omitted, but not hän, he, se or ne.

Let's consinder the verb syövät. Without context, it can be the third-person-plural-indicative verb, or the nominative/accusative-plural-active participle. As an indicative verb, it normally follows the subject. As a participle, it normally precedes the noun it modifies.

So syövät omenat: 'the eating apples'. But he syövät omenat: 'they will eat the apples'.

In the singular, syö can be the third-person-singular-indicative verb, and also the second-person-singular-imperative verb.

So syö by itself is an order to eat, but hän syö means 'he eats'.


During review/refresher, should we alternately be able to answer "ovatko he laulaa?" or does dl perhaps not allow bringing and using this structure from a later lesson?


I don't believe 'Ovatko he laulaa?' is grammatical. It looks like "Are they laughs?"

Laulaa is one of two things. One: a finite verb that doesn't agree with he. A finite verb needs to agree with the subject, so finite laulaa can't be used. Two: a (first) infinitive verb. A first infinitive can be used after the verb haluavat, but I don't think after ovat.

Both laulavatko or ovatko would agree with he, but a sentence can only have one finite verb without a conjunction like ja. 'Laulavatko he?' works for "Are they singing/Do they sing?"

'Ovatko he?', on the other hand, doesn't mention singing at all. But I think 'Ovatko he laulamassa?' might work for "Are they singing?" The word laulamassa is a third infinitive verb in the inessive case, so it can be used after ovat. However, that construction is not currently taught in this course.


The 'he' is not needed


Actually, it is. You can leave out 1st and 2nd person pronouns (minä, sinä, me, te) just fine, but 3rd person pronouns (hän, se, he, ne) are nearly always included. In this case you cannot leave "he" out.

You can leave a 3rd person pronoun out if it's a question of unneccessary repetition or the pronoun is absolutely clear from the context.

"He sanoivat, että (he) tulevat maanantaina." - They said that they are coming on Monday.

"Sanoivatko he näin?" - "Sanoivat (he)." - "Did they say so?" - "Yes they did."

The main reason as to why you cannot leave out these pronouns is that there are more than one pronoun that cause a verb to conjugate the same.

"hän istuu" - s/he sits

"se istuu" - it sits

"he istuvat" - they sit (people)

"ne istuvat" - they sit (animals, things)


The he is not required

Learn Finnish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.