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  5. "Kaisa yrittää maalata valkoi…

"Kaisa yrittää maalata valkoista kissaa."

Translation:Kaisa is trying to paint a white cat.

July 1, 2020



I assume valkoista in the partitive singular of valkoinen - onko tuo oikein?


Se on oikein :)


Why not: Kaisa tries to paint a white cat?


Could that be reported? This definitely should be accepted because Finnish doesn't have a proper form of continuous verbs like the suffix -ing in English.


A quick question, does that mean that she's drawing a cat on a paper/something else or is she painting the cat? Like, the fur? I think it's the second one, but can this verb be used in the first meaning? :o


Hmm, a good question. It can mean both actually, it's one of those things you know only from a context. But when I think about this phrase, I imagine her trying to paint an actual cat and in real life I'd usually add something to make sure people understand I mean a painting on a paper, if that's what I mean. Though, people don't often paint cats' fur, hopefully :D


I agree that it can mean both, but when I think about this phrase, I imagine her with a white canvas with no background colour and trying to paint a cat on that with only white paint...


If Kaisa is trying to paint a white cat... ONE white cat... How does this turn into a partative... Surely Kaisa yrittää maalaa valkoinen kissa... I need this tp somehow click in my head.


You can't use the object in nominative in this sentence. It has to be either accusative* or dative. Accusative does look like either nominative or genitive, so if she's trying to paint the WHOLE cat, you'd say:

Kaisa yrittää maalata valkoisen kissan.

The partitive indicates the action is either already in process and not finished and we don't know if she will succeed at finishing it or not; or that she doesn't intend to paint the whole cat in the first place but some of it.


Thank you for your help, it was frustrating me a little. Its making more sense now


This is so confusing to remember


As someone who doesnt explain all this "parative" stuff in the comments, can someone explain simply why it has suddenly changed from valkoinen to valkoista? What it the purpose of the sta?


´sta´ is the partitive ending to conjugate the word valkoinen. It can be confusing because the ending ´sta´ is also used to mean ´from´, but not in this case.

The partitive is a quite LARGE topic for finish grammar, here you have more information about it: https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-grammar/grammatical-cases/the-partitive-case-partitiivi


I think they meant a cat in a coloring book. She fills the outline (contour) with color


I wonder how would we write 'Kaisa is trying to paint the cat in white color'.


Maybe: Kaisa maalaa Kissan (Let's assume she paints the hole cat) 'Valkoisessa'?


Not quite, I would say that as

  • "Kaisa yrittää maalata kissaa valkoisella (värillä)." OR
  • "Kaisa yrittää maalata kissaa valkoiseksi."

The first one (adessive case) roughly means "with a white color" and the second one is translative case which expresses the action of becoming or turning into something. I think this is what your original idea was too, so it means that she is trying to paint the cat so it will become white.


ja, probably ´valkoiseksi´ is the best conjugation for it.

I wonder if we could set the noun as nominative ´kissan´ even though is the object of the action, cause she wants to paint it all and complete the action.


Yeah you can use 'kissan' here. With the partitive it sounds like the action is currently going on, like "Is trying to...", whereas the accusative would be closer to "Tries to..."


Can't kissaa be plural in this sentence?


"Kissaa" is a partitive singular form, so it can only be singular. However, it can refer to multiple referents when it's in a noun phrase that contains a word that expresses a number or quantity. In this particular sentence, it has only one referent. The partitive case is applied to it firstly because it is the object of the clause, and secondly because it is acted upon by a verb that expresses an ongoing action. If there were several referents, the partitive plural form "valkoisia kissoja" would be used instead because there isn't a word in the noun phrase that specifies the number or quantity.


The partitive, our best friend!


Note that whether the amount of white cat painted or the amount of painting done doesn't really make a difference to the action. Some white-cat-painting happens in any case.

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