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  5. "Two wise grandmas are smilin…

"Two wise grandmas are smiling, because the baby knows how to walk now."

Translation:Kaksi viisasta mummoa hymyilee, koska vauva osaa nyt kävellä.

July 9, 2020



What is the rule on the placement of an adverb like nyt.


The word order in Finnish is pretty free so the adverb can be almost anywhere in a phrase and it doesn't sound wrong. Sometimes the placement can stress different words more than others.

  • ...koska nyt vauva osaa kävellä. = ...because, now, the baby knows how to walk.
  • ...koska vauva nyt osaa kävellä. = ...because the baby knows how to walk anyway. (Here it can sound bit rude even, it gives it a tone that it's something the other person should have known already.)
  • ...koska vauva osaa kävellä nyt. = ...because the baby knows how to walk now.

The one in the exercise and the first one from my examples are most common. The last one is also okay but not that common.


Thanks. I'll report it next time.


osaa kävellä nyt should be accepted.


Why do two grandmas hymyilee and not hymyilevät? If you asked what they were doing, the answer would be hymyilevät.


A number bigger than one in front of a noun makes it act like a singular and it also usually takes the partitive case, never the nominative case.

So you can imagine a conversation, "Mitä kaksi mummoa tekee?" and to that you can answer "He hymyilevät." since you no longer need the numeral there.


Two of grannies, or I guess really two of granny.


Wait, but in another example it was "nämä kaksi ihmistä ovat naimisissa", and it was explained that the verb was in plural form because "nämä" makes it definite. So in your sentence, shouldn't it be "Mitä nuo kaksi mummoa tekevät?"

(Or maybe "Mitä kaksi mummoa tekee?", although I don't know if a sentence like "What are two grandmas doing?" makes much sense...)


Hmm, you've got a point! It indeed should be "Mitä nuo kaksi mummoa tekevät?" and I will correct my sentences in the original message!

This is actually where the written and spoken Finnish collide, and especially since I wrote my message 5 months ago, it was around the time the course was released and I started helping people with Finnish (I'm a native) for the first time in years.

So what you see in that message is my mixing up spoken language with the written language and in spoken language we often say it that way, and sometimes it take a while to switch to thinking in written language instead. In the formal and proper written language you indeed would write "NUO kaksi mummoa TEKEVÄT" because the demonstrative pronoun is the one that affects the verb. Without it the kaksi mummoa is the noun and it stays as "Kaksi mummoa tekee."

Thank you for pointing this out! :)


I thought the correct was: kaksi ... hymyilevat ...


You mean "hymyilevÄt"? You have to pay attention to "ä" and "ö". They are not interchangeable with "a" and "o".

And no, it must be "hymyilee" because after numerals like "kaksi" you have to use partitive singular.

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