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"What is a perfect pet like?"

Translation:Millainen on täydellinen lemmikki?

July 5, 2020



Can I say 'Millainen täydellinen lemmikki on' ?


Basically yes, but here it sounds better if the "on" follows "millainen". I think it has something to do with the indefinite article - articles are always something that are a bit weird to me because I'm a native Finn and it took me lots of time to finally figure out how to use articles in English.

If the English phrase had a definite article or possessive pronoun, then I'd put the verb in the end in Finnish, for example:

  • What is the pet like? = Millainen se lemmikki on? (Here I would not leave "se" out, we sometimes can use 'se' to emphasize a certain objects the same way as English uses 'the'.)
  • What is your pet like? = Millainen lemmikkisi on?


Thank you for your detailed answer. In some previous lessons, there were sentences like 'Millainen se on?', etc. Because of those, I was wondering if the object needs to be placed before olla-verbi, so I decided to ask for more clarification.


Thank you also from me. I am still a bit confused on this point, though. I was under the impression that when one includes a question-word of some sort ("missä", "mitä", "kuka", etc.), there is no inversion of the noun and the verb as there would be in English - it is ordered exactly as it would be if it was a statement.

Based on that understanding, I also came up with "millainen täydellinen lemmikki on?". I don't understand why you can get away with what seems like an inversion to me.


"Millainen täydellinen lemmikki on?" sounds more like asking "What is the perfect pet like?" Finnish likes to draw a difference between indefinite and definite nouns by mentioning them earlier in a sentence. With this kind of sentence the line is very wavering but you can see it if I put it his way:

"Millainen se täydellinen lemmikki on?"

We sometimes use the word "se" in front of nouns the same way as "the" or even "that" works in English, it's mainly there to put even bigger emphasis on the noun/object. But unlike in English, you can also leave it out and it still (in most cases) sounds like you are talking about something specific. For example, this I could imagine that someone would have talked about their perfect pet, and then this other person answers to that with "Well, what is the/that perfect pet like, then?" or so.

(Thanks to Duolingo, I have figured out lots of things about my mother tongue that I didn't even know are there in the first place :D)


Thank you for the explanation. I take it that "millainen täydellinen lemmikki on?" is grammatically correct Finnish, then?


Could I also say minkälainen on...


Yes! Again, report that if DL doesn't accept it as correct.


Ok, great, thanks! :)


Is" Millainen lemmikki on täydellinen" right?


I'd say it's more like "What kind of pet is perfect?". "Which is the perfect pet?" means "Kumpi on (se) täydellinen lemmikki?".


This sounds more like: "which is the perfect pet"

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