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  5. "I have a pony."

"I have a pony."

Translation:Minulla on poni.

June 29, 2020



"on" has been seemingly "is" for the lessons. Third person singular. but now we get "i have" as "minulla on". What is the function of "on"?


"On" means "is", certainly. You can also use it like that in other kinds of sentences than just 3rd person singular, like "Tuolla on koira" (There is a dog over there, lit. Over there is a dog) but with a personal pronoun like "minulla", "sinulla", "hänellä" etc., that is, when the -lla ending is used, it must be translated as "have/has" while still actually being "is".

"Minulla on" - I have (lit. On me is)

"Sinulla on" - you have (lit. On you is)

"Hänellä on" -s/he has (etc.)

"Sillä on" - it (s/he) has

"Meillä on" - we have

"Teillä on" - you have

"Heillä on" - they have

"Niillä on" - they have


'Minulla' means 'at me' or 'on me'. It's 'minä' + -lla. 'Minulla on' is translated as 'I have', but it means 'at me is'.


Well, "at me" (or "to me") would be "minulle", but certainly "minulla" is technically "on me" while just meaning "I have" in the case of "minulla on". "Minulla" isn't really used without the verb "olla" (to be). If you want to express that something is on you, you don't use "minulla" but instead say "päälläni on" (on top of me is) or some other expression entirely unrelated to "minulla".


'At' can be both stative and dynamic. 'I am at the library' vs 'I threw the ball at the dog'. -lla can be translated as both stative at and on, depending on context.


"On" is the third person singular of the word "olla", in present tense. We use it for both the meaning of "to be" and to mean possessing something, although for owning something we have a different verb, "omistaa". This Wiktionary page could be useful to examine, as it lists the many uses of the verb "olla" in Finnish: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/olla#Finnish


So the ”they” of Niillä is used for non-binary persons ?


'Binary' and 'non-binary' is utterly meaningless in Finnish because it doesn't have grammatical gender.

'Hän' = s/he se = it

he = they when talking about two or more people ne = they when talking about two or more things. Plural of 'it'.

In normal speech in southern Finland, everybody and everything is referred to as 'it' in both singular and plural.


This adessive construction reminds me of the Irish use of the "prepopsitional pronoun" using the preposition ag (at) combined with a pronoun to give "to have".

I have a pony

Minulla on poni (a pony is on me - On me is a pony)

Tá capallín agam ((There) is a pony at me. Literally Is pony at-me. I have a pony.

Tá cat agat - You have a cat (A cat is at-you)

Tá portán aige - He has a crab (A crab is at-him).


Does poni just mean pony or does it also mean horse?


'Poni' just means 'pony'. 'Horse' would be 'hevonen'.


This construction of "to have" reminds me of Russian. In Russian they also say something like "To me (dative case) is something (nominative case)", though the word "is" is not even required in Russian.

You can just say "I have a car = Мне (есть) машина (To me (is) car)."

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