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  5. "Ainakin kuusi tuhmaa kissaa …

"Ainakin kuusi tuhmaa kissaa on pulassa."

Translation:At least six naughty cats are in trouble.

July 9, 2020



I truly do not understand why it's on and not ovat


If the noun is preceded by a numeral, then the verb is in singular. E.g. "the cats are sitting" - "kissat istuvat", but "six cats are sitting" - "kuusi kissaa istuu" (also noun changes to partitive kissat -> kissaa).


Partitiivi and singular, which might explain the singular verb.


Could be the title or first line of a treasured children's book.


I think 'bad cats' should be accepted too, not just 'naughty cats'


That's better translated as "ilkeä". It's worse than being "tuhma".


Why tuhmaa and not tuhmaista as it is with the other adjectives after a number?


Adjectives and nouns do indeed need to be in the partitive case after a number (if that number isn't 'yksi').

However, the nominative, basic form of this word is 'tuhma'. When an adjective or noun ends in 'a' (and most other vowels), the partitive is formed simply by adding an extra a/ä. So nominative 'tuhma', partitive 'tuhmaa'.

You're thinking of adjectives like 'punainen'. The nominative is 'punainen', but the root, onto which case endings are added, is 'punais(e)-'. When a word root ends in an 's', the partitive ending is 'ta'. So nominative 'punainen', partitive 'punaista'.

Going back a long ways, the partitive ending was always 'ta'. But when a root ended in a vowel, the 't' eventually disappeared.


Is this ancient -ta also historically a component of -lta and -sta? I'd be curious to learn more about the history of Finnish case endings.


Yes. 'Ta/tä' was originally the ending for the ablative case, meaning 'from/out of'. It contrasted with the locative case ending 'na/nä', meaning 'in/at', and the lative case ending 'ŋ', meaning 'to/into'.

An 's', meaning something like 'inside', was inserted before 'ta/tä' and 'na/nä', resulting in the elative case 'sta/stä', and the inessive case 'ssa/ssä'.

An 'l', meaning something like 'outside', was also inserted before 'ta/tä' and 'na/nä', resulting in the ablative case 'lta/ltä', and the adessive case 'lla/llä'.

Meanwhile, the meaning of the original ablative 'ta/tä' shifted to the partitive of today.

Or so Wikipedia and Wiktionary claim.

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