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  5. "Are you hungry?"

"Are you hungry?"

Translation:Onko teillä nälkä?

July 4, 2020



how can I know if they are talking about "you" as an individual or as a group?


From the English sentence you can't know it, so in general both translations should be accepted. From the Finnish sentence you can see if it's "sinä" (singular) or "te" (plural).


I see, I'm going to report it next time it happens thank you!


"Te" can also be the formal singular (like "Sie" in German, or "usted" in Spanish), although it is rarely used these days in Finland.

If translating from English "Are you hungry?", both "Onko teillä nälkä?" and "Onko sinulla nälkä?" should be accepted as correct.


Why not oletko sinulla nälkä?


'Oletko nälkä?' means "Are you hunger?" I think 'Oletko sinulla nälkä?' would be something nonsensical like "Are you hunger on you?"

If you wanted to use the verb form oletko, all the other words would need to change. 'Oletko sinä nälkäinen?' This uses nominative sinä instead of adessive sinulla, and uses nälkäinen, the adjective equivalent of the noun nälkä.

But in addition to this adjective construction, Finnish uses the possessive construction. In English, it would be "Do you have hunger?", or even more literally, "Is hunger on you?" In possessive sentences, the verb only ever agrees with the thing being possessed, not the possessor. And the verb form that agrees with the noun nälkä is onko.

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