1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Three Russian boys are looki…

"Three Russian boys are looking for a cute cat."

Translation:Kolme venäläistä poikaa etsii söpöä kissaa.

July 1, 2020

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derpberd

I'm confused as to why this is etsii instead of etsivät. If they are multiple people, isn't that "they?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

To be more precise, Finnish uses partitive singular after numerals that are in singular form. Numerals can also have plural forms. The plural of "kolme" would be "kolmet". That would trigger nominative plural for the noun, and a plural form for the verb. But the numeral is singular, which makes the noun singular, which makes the verb singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moomingirl

Because Finnish uses the partitive case after numbers (except 1). Think of it as them considering the "three boys" as a group.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aeslec-

What is causing the partitive in "söpöa kissaa?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

It's the target of an ongoing action.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CyclOrBit

Miksi ei 'etsivät' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

Because of the numeral prompting partitive singular for its noun phrase. Since the subject is singular, the verb has to be singular in agreement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CyclOrBit

Thanks Kristian, Which is the subject in singular for in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

The subject is "kolme venäläistä poikaa", which is in partitive singular apart from the numeral.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CyclOrBit

Thanks! I guess this rule works only for Finnish, I can´t make any parallel with any other neo-Latin or German-derived language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mustikka.

is there a way to tell for nationalities whether it will be 'venäläistä' or 'venäläinen' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

"Venäläistä" has a partitive case ending. It should be used whenever partitive case should be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moomingirl

But how do we know when the partitive case should be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Greetje548205

A big question. For now just remember that after numbers you should use Partitive Singular. Unless it's the number one, then it's Nominative. Yksi jäätelö, kaksi jäätelöä.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

By googling "Finnish partitive case" and seeing what you find.

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