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  5. "Kaksi surullista suomalaista…

"Kaksi surullista suomalaista etsii mustaa kissaa."

Translation:Two sad Finns are looking for a black cat.

July 8, 2020



searching for must also be accepted. It has always been searching for thus far


Yup! Did you report it using the flag?


Yea, so frustrating!


Wait, i was starting to think the new "aista/ista" ending was for object adjectives....but it isn't? Why is it not kaksi surullinen suomalainen?


Numbers (apart from yksi -one) require the partitive on the following noun and any adjective that qualifies it.


SHouldn't it be Etsivät?


No, etsii is correct, because the subject contains a numeral kaksi, so the verb is in third person singular. There is an exception to the rule, but it is more advanced and probably we will not see it in this course.


So apparently the exception to the rule is when the numeral is preceded by words like nämä, "these", or nuo, "those", in which case what is being referenced is definite and the verb is plural. Without those words, the numeral does not definitely refer to anyone or anything in particular. In this case, we only know something about two sad Finns, not which sad Finns they are in particular.


Also, viisi suomalaista hiihtävät kärjessä, five Finns are skiing in the lead, if there are only five Finns in the race.


Why suomalaista and not suomalainen? Can someone explain using simple words (like without using words like parative because i dont know what that means)?


Words in the sentence change depending on where they are located and what context is used, it is not possible to explain this properly without using terms like partitive and object. If you are serious about learning Finnish, you NEED to know about partitive. You can check some information here, for example https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-grammar/grammatical-cases/the-partitive-case-partitiivi


Nice Poets of the Fall picture! :)


how exactly does the partitive case work?


This is such a big question! Here it is used because of the numeral, and both the noun and the adjective have to be in partitive. And then partitive is used after “etsii”. When it comes to forming partitive and when it is used, I’d recommend checking out a grammar book or other online resource, there is too much to describe here. There is a good thread with questions that are frequently asked here, that you might want to take a look at https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/40624627


"look for" should be accepted as an alternative to "are looking for"


Yup, indeed. Did you report it using the flag?


I wrote "The two sad Finns..." and it was incorrect. How should we know when to use the definite article? It seems to be quite arbitrary.


According to the previous commenters, if the two people are known (definite article) then you put the verb in plural, etsivät. But this verb is in third person singular so I would take it to mean we don't use the definite article. I hope I am correct in this?


From what I've been seeing it isn't quite that simple as the definite article presence, and plural verb use is more of an exception. Simple case: "Kaksi suomalaista" is a complex noun phrase and a singular nominative, hence, kaksi etsii. If it was "nämä kaksi suomalaista", then the subject with "these" is plural. There is a good discussion here https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/40624627/Unofficial-grammar-tips-for-all-Finnish-learners-FAQ-list-Updated-on-August-12th Also, Annika has posted this link in that same thread http://www.kielitoimistonohjepankki.fi/ohje/318 . From what I understand, the plural verb use has to be preceded by an indication that the subject with the number is something very particular, like here the examples all have something like "nämä", "jonka", "Big Brotherin", "Baltian", etc., and there seems to be certain word order too... I'm not a linguist and not a native speaker, so keep that in mind. Just sharing what I found useful on that topic.


This should be accepted. Hope you reported.


Should it be "Etsivät"?


No, the numeral makes it singular. :)

"Suomalaiset etsivät..."

"Kaksi suomalaista etsii ..."

"Suomalaista" is the singular partitive form of "suomalainen", not a plural.


do we use -ista while there is a number before the word, am I right? I've been trying to figure out.


Sort of. Need to use partitive after numbers, but partitive doesn’t always have “ta/tä” ending.


unhappy should also be accepted


If it was a black cat then it should be "etsi mustan kissan"


That would mean that the men were looking for the black cat, and they also found it.

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