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  5. "You often speak French."

"You often speak French."

Translation:Sinä puhut usein ranskaa.

July 6, 2020



Is this incorrect? "Sinä usein puhut ranskaa." (i.e., the position of "usein" is different.)


That's correct! You could also put "usein" at the end of the sentence.


what is the difference between "Ranska" and "Ranskaa". Does the meaning of the word change? When ( or why) do you write the extra A. I could not find it in the grammar explanation...


It is tough for me, a beginner, to explain exactly. In general, the object of a transitive verb is expressed in the form of a case called "partitive (partitiivi)." Not always, but in most of the sentences for the entry-level practice, objects are expressed in partitive.

To make a partitive as to language names, in general, you have only to put an extra "a" or "ä" depending on "vowel harmony" in each word. But sometimes you need to transform the ending of a word a bit more.

For instance,

Puhun englantia. <-- englanti (English)

Puhun hindiä. <-- hindi (Hindi)

Puhun suomea. <-- suomi (Finnish)

DuoLingo, unfortunately, does not give us sufficient grammatical explanation, and I'm still confused in many sentence examples, but let's keep going anyway!! Hope this will help you...


Ranska is the country, France. When referring to French, the language, it’s ranskaa, with a lower case r unless it begins the sentence. Languages are uncountable nouns, so you use partitive. Duolingo adds to the confusion by using them in the nominative case in the introductory lesson on languages.


But if French—that is, the French language as a whole—were the subject of the sentence, then it would be in the nominative. Also, according to Karlsson's Finnish: An Essential Grammar (p. 101), a partitive subject refers to "an indefinite, non-limited quantity," which I would not understand to refer to the whole of the language as the nominative would (or, for that matter, the accusative). Of course, that isn't the case with this sentence because the subject is "sinä" and the person of that subject does not speak the whole of French.


Partitiivi on niin vaikeaa -- I'm still very confused, too, in many examples using partitives :(


Ranska means both France and the French language. But Finns don't use capital letters for languages, so Ranskaa is the partitive case of Ranska (France). I would just advise you to remember that "to speak a language" in Finnish would be "puhua kielta": puhua koreaa, ranskaa, englantia, saksaa, venäjää, etc.


I used the plural of you for this which is quite annoying :/


Why "sina puhut..."? Isn't just "puhut" correct? I thought 2nd person pronouns were optional.


They are optional in formal written Finnish. I don't think it's mandatory in everyday spoken Finnish, but they're generally included in shortened form--mä puhun, sä puhut, se puhuu. Note the use of se rather than hän in casual speech.

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