1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Täällä on turvallinen silta."

"Täällä on turvallinen silta."

Translation:There is a safe bridge over here.

July 10, 2020



I think there are two things worth noting here.

These kind, so called existential clauses (something is somewhere) are very common in Finnish. Since English has a strict word order, it requires a formal subject "there is/are". In order to emphasize, that the "there" in "there is" not a location marker, the course creators have opted for putting the location marker at the end ("over here").

Finnish has three distances, like for instance Japanese and Ukrainian:

  • täällä : here by me

  • tuolla : there by you

  • siellä : over there, neither by me nor by you

I have always found it cumbersome to express those three fluently in English, which has only two distances (here and there). The course creators seem to have opted for "over here" for täällä.


Thank you! I had my own guesses, but I hadn't considered the "by me" versus "by you" angle.

Do tässä and tuossa fit this framework too, as in "right here by me" and "right there by you," just on a smaller scale?

If so, what is the distance threshold for deciding whether to use -ssa versus -lla?

Also, does that distance threshold refer to the distance between the two people talking to one another, or between the person and the thing that's "by" the person?


You are right, those three distances apply to all words that have to do with ,eh, distances.

There are three demonstrative pronouns tämä, tuo, se in singular (this, that and that one) and nämä, nuo, ne in plural (these, those and those ones). Pronouns are regarded as nominals in Finnish, and thus they declinate in all grammatical cases. Unfortunately some of these forms are irregular, luckily only few cases are used in everyday speech.

The täällä, tuolla and siellä denotes an exterior location and their interior location counterparts are

  • tässä
  • tuossa
  • siinä

You can use those demonstrative pronouns as location specifiers to a noun (e.g. tässä talossa, in this house) or separatedly (e.g. tässä, right here). In this exercise we are talking about the latter.

When it comes to your question about the distance threshold, that is a tricky one. The rule of thumb is that the exterior cases are more vague or to put it otherway the interior cases pretty much require that you can pinpoint the exact location.

Warning! Advanced content!

Say the discussion is about a large object you cannot hold in your hand.

  • Tässä on turvallinen silta : the speaker stands on the bridge
  • Tuossa on turvallinen silta : the speaker stands next, close to the bridge
  • Siinä on turvallinen silta : the speaker can pinpoint the bridge, either it is visible or there is a map which the speaker can point

  • Täällä on turvallinen silta : the speaker sees a bridge in front of him/her, the speakee is farther away from the bridge

  • Tuolla on turvallinen silta : the speaker sees a bridge farther away or at least can pinpoint it on a map
  • Siellä on turvallinen silta : the bridge is not visible to anyone in the company, perhaps there is a map but the speaker is not pinpointing the exact location of the bridge on it

If you can hold the object at least in theory

  • Tässä on hyvä kamera : the speaker is so close than he/she could put his/her finger on it, if not holding it
  • Tuossa on hyvä kamera : the speaker is farther away from the camera than the speakee, the speakee could touch the camera
  • Siinä on hyvä kamera : there is some short distance between the camera and the persons, neither one can right away touch it

While sounding a little contrived, you can in theory say:

  • Täällä on hyvä kamera : same as with the bridge, the speaker can see the camera, e.g. in an ad in a newspaper in front of him/her
  • Tuolla on hyvä kamera : same as with the bridge, the speaker can see the camera farther away and can pinpoint it
  • Siellä on hyvä kamera : same as with the bridge, the speaker can only make a general reference to the location of the camera, it is not visible to anyone in the company


Wonderful! This helps a lot!


Nice explanation.


"here is a safe bridge" is fine as an answer.


Yup, did you report it using the flag?

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