1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Two Russian girls are painti…

"Two Russian girls are painting a bear."

Translation:Kaksi venäläistä tyttöä maalaa karhua.

July 7, 2020

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/An.Vaki

Why "maalaa" ? Should it be "maalavat"? Kaksi tyttoa = he.


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

It's because of the numeral. It makes it so that they are treated as a single group by the verb rather than as several individuals.


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

So would I be correct to collectively group and apply "viisi litra on_" or "kolme ihmista on_?


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

Is the partitive case exclusively unique to finnish or shared also among the turko-urgic language group, as in Hungarian, Estonian, ...? Can the partitive possibly be likened to any case in other ancient languages like say greek, aramaic, hebrew, latin, sanksrit, or does it stand alone indicating that finnish itself simultaneously belongs both as a modern vernacular as well as an ancient root language?


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

My understanding is that partitive case developed in Proto-Finnic and Proto-Sámic, so it's in other Finnic languages as well as in Sámi languages, and there's also a partitive case in Russian for some mass nouns, although some think of it as another form of genitive case because Russian generally expresses partialness with genitive case.


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

Does maalaa mean both paint as in add paint to some canvas and to paint as in depict? Or are there different words for those? I just got a very weird image in my head of two girls painting the fur of a bear.


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

Yes to the first question and no to the second one.


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

Why venalaista and not venalainen? I thought if the word was in the subject (nominative?) the "en" ending should be used, and if it's in the predicate (partitive?) the "aista" ending should be used. I'm not clear about the general rule. Thanks.


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

The possible cases for a subject are nominative, partitive, and genitive. The -en ending is one of the several charasteristic case endings of genitive plural, not nominative (singular nor plural). Nominative case doesn't have a charasteristic case ending. "Venäläinen" is in nominative case and consequently doesn't have a case ending. Its root is "venä", and the -lainen/-läinen suffix is combined with a place name to form a noun or an adjective that refers to an inhabitant of that place. Partitive singular is used in "venäläistä tyttöä" because it's modified by "kaksi". Numerals are treated as amounts.


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

Thank you. Can you recommend a book or resource for Finnish grammar? DuoLingo offers a good start, but I'm not familiar with cases. A supplementary text with examples would be helpful for understanding the rules.


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

There are a bunch of them in the wiki of the subreddit for Finnish learners: https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnFinnish/wiki/resources


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

Oiken hyva. Paljon kiitos!


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

Can't the accusative can also be the subject in rare circumstances, with pronouns? Like Hänellä on sinut.

What are some examples of a genitive subject?


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

Can't the accusative can also be the subject in rare circumstances, with pronouns? Like Hänellä on sinut.

That's an interesting observation that I haven't made before. It appears that personal pronouns can indeed be accusative case subjects in ownership clauses.

What are some examples of a genitive subject?

Genitive case subjects appear in necessive clauses, i.e. clauses that express necessity, such as "minun täytyy mennä".


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

...the bear was not pleased.

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