1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Nämä kaksi ihmistä ovat naim…

"Nämä kaksi ihmistä ovat naimisissa."

Translation:These two people are married.

July 11, 2020



I would love be for there to be included an FAQ on the partitive. Very confusing.


Why is it ovat here and not on? In all the sentences where the number is followed by a noun in partitive the verb is in singular. Is it because of nämä?

  • 1404

Yes, "nämä" makes it specific, which requires "ovat". Do you know, I've never thought of that before, but it makes perfect sense...

To confuse things, in spoken Finnish you would most likely use "on" even in this sentence.


"Nää kaks ihmistä on naimisissa" in spoken Finnish :D


So, to make sure I've got this straight. In written Finnish, but not spoken Finnish, you'd write:

Kaksi ihmistä on naimisissa

(partitive singular)


Nämä kaksi ihmistä ovat naimisissa

(NOT partitive singular for some reason I don't really get, even though "ihmistä" looks like a partitive form)

Still hoping for more clarification...


I'm commenting with a degree of caution, because I'm a learner too, but I think I get this. "ihmista" is partitive singular (dictated by following a number), but the declension of the verb is determined by "nämä". Nämä... ovat / These... are. Irrespective of how you describe the things referred to by "these"!


Thanks. This would make sense, but I'm still hoping a native speaker of Finnish will confirm it.


is "two persons" wrong?


I also used persons instead of people and in my opinion it should be accepted. I'm not a native english speaking person, so maybe someone can help here ?


As an elderly native speaker, I think persons should = people in the answer!


I would say that the two words "persons" and "people" have slightly different meanings in English - one refers to a bunch of independent, discrete individuals, while the other refers to them as a collective group - but since it is not clear (to me, at least) from context which meaning is intended, or whether Finnish even makes this distinction at all, you are probably right that either should work in the translation.


Persons should ve accepted. People might be gaining fround, but persons have been the right word for a long time and is still used by many. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/people-vs-persons

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