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  5. "kaupunki; kaupungit"

"kaupunki; kaupungit"

Translation:a city; cities

July 8, 2020



Kaupunki= city. Kunta/kylä=town.


Roughly, yes. Unfortunately the English and Finnish expressions don't translate word-to-word, but work more on a spectrum, so after getting some feedback from the users, we had a related debate among the contributors and we decided to accept "town" too. :)

  • kaupunki city, town
  • kunta municipality, town
  • kirkonkylä small town, village
  • kylä village


and to further confuse things US English use differs from the other Englishes

in Finnish use

  • suurkaupunki : city
  • kaupunki : town (any size)


Please explain why an article is needed for the singular form but not the plural. In English, I think "city, cities" or "a city, the cities" would have to be written to be consistent.


It's not necessary because there can be no article for an indefinite plural. There is only an article for definite plurals. "A city" and "cities" are both indefinite so it's consistent.


Is the pronunciation of /kaupungit/ right?


It's supposed to be /ˈkɑu̯puŋit/ and it is right.


Except that there's a long /ŋ:/ in it: /ˈkɑu̯puŋ:it/. :)


Is there a rule for dropping and adding letters for plurals? My first guess for the plural here would have been kaupunkit


The plural marker in nominative (the basic case) is -t, in most cases it is -i or -j. The word stems often undergo some changes when declinated in cases. The most notable of these changes is consonant gradation, a.k.a. KPT-gradation. The gradation means that those letters change when the word is declinated (provided the letter are in the end word). Perhaps the most known gradation is the one of the consonant pair "nk" (pronounced as [ŋ] in Finnish) that changes to "ng" [ŋŋ].

For more info about consonant gradation read the article in Uusi kielemme (in English).

Having said that, the rules of consonant gradation are quite complex, so there is no point to try learning them by heart. Rather whenever you memorise a noun or an adjective, memorise a tripple of sg. nominative, sg. genetive and sg. partitive, because those three case forms give you all stem variations.

  • [sg. nom] kaupunki, [sg. gen.] kaupungin, [sg. part.] kaupunkia

Very often two of those are same.

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