1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Two men are smiling, because…

"Two men are smiling, because they are now married."

Translation:Kaksi miestä hymyilee, koska he ovat nyt naimisissa.

July 7, 2020



Jee, onnea!


Represent, Duo!

  • 1562

Miksi sana ei ole "hymyilevät"? Why isn't it "hymyilevät"? Kiitos.


because, as far as I can tell, verbs for counted nouns (kaksi miestä) treat those nouns as singular.


Tuo on homo ja rakastan se.


Their brides are not happy?


There doesn't need to be brides...


In their defence I'm pretty sure that was a joke


More gay! fans face with rainbow fan


I don't really know when I should use the third plural person conjugation since the singular is more used in spoken language


But it's still good to know how to use it in case you need to do so. :)


Would I be right in thinking that if it was talking about an unlimited number of men, it would be "miehet hymyilevät"?


That would be correct. It's the singular form numeral that causes the singular form verb. All Finnish numerals have both a singular and a plural form.


The singular in the first part of the sentence ("hymyilee" after numeral and partitive) is clear to me, but why isn't the plural extended to the subordinate clause (=why is it "he ovat" and not "hän on")? Is this a general rule or caused by something special in this example?


It's quite simply because it refers to several people. This overrides the grammatical singularity in English as well. Consider, for instance, the sentence "the couple is smiling because they are now married". Even though "couple" is singular and prompts a singular verb (except maybe not in UK English), the pronoun that refers back to it is still plural. It works the same way in Finnish.

I suppose another way to put it is that there should be subject-verb concord about number within the clause, but it doesn't have to extend to other clauses if the subject in question refers to several things.


Can the adverbial not be placed at the end ?


There is no the adverbial since there are two of them, and one of them is at the end. If you're referring to "nyt", there are no syntax related reasons preventing that, but it would be rather uncommon.


What's the other adverbial?


It's "naimisissa" because of the inessive case. The fact that the English equivalent "married" is an adjective functioning as a subject predicative may be misleading.


Why not "kaksi mies"?


Because noun phrases modified by numerals in singular form apply partitive case on the noun phrase because numerals are considered amounts. But keep in mind that "yksi" (one) is technically a pronoun, not a numeral, so it doesn't apply partitive case.

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