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  5. "At least three hens are look…

"At least three hens are looking for more food."

Translation:Ainakin kolme kanaa etsii lisää ruokaa.

July 12, 2020



Why isn't it 'etsivät' if there are 3 hens?


With numerals the singular forms are used. "Kanat etsivät" but "kolme kanaa etsii".


curious why "enemmän" is wrong, though I do like the sound of "lisää"


Enemmän would sound strange in this context. Although they are both translated as "more", "enemmän" is a comparative form, "more than".

Here is a nice explanation about the difference: http://randomfinnishlesson.blogspot.com/2016/09/lisaa-enemman.html


This link helps: so just to reiterate and confirm my clarity, "lisää" refers to seconds, thirds, ... as in helpings, be it food or a refill; whereas "enemmän" would refer to an extra ample complement to sufficiently heep or fill an amount just-been/currently-being served which seems meager or inadequate?


Yes, exactly.


Could vähintään also be used for "at least"?


Not in this context. "Vähintään" would implify that there are more chickens (than just these three) and at least three of them is looking for more food.

An example where you actually could replace "ainakin" with "vähintään": Tarvitsemme vähintään kolme metriä köyttä = we need at least three meters of rope. Meaning that we could need even more but at least tree meters is absolutely necessary for the task. Tarvitsemme ainakin kolme metriä köyttä = meaning is the same, but feels less urgent and more of a statement than a command or an order.


Thanks! So could we say that “vähintään” is to be used for “at least” but when something is needed to complete or do something, and “ainakin” would be used for more general purposes?


Something like that. "Vähintään" has a feeling of amount, like the least needed amount of something. It comes from the word "vähän", which means 'a little'. "Ainakin" feels like 'at least this much'.

It is very hard to try and explain the fine differences in words, but I myself find it very useful when learning a new language.

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