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  5. "They have at least six birds…

"They have at least six birds."

Translation:Heillä on ainakin kuusi lintua.

July 14, 2020


[deactivated user]

    My question may relates to the use of "ainakin" versus "vähintään" (both in this lesson). The question I have is directed at Finns: when used for "at least" is there a difference between the use of "ainakin" and the use of "vähintään"? What is the difference and in what situation do you use each? P.S. Remark that the answer given above (ainakin) is not the answer in the choicebox (vähintään). I reported this.


    They mean pretty much the same and it's bit hard to explain the difference in English, but I'll try. "Vähintään" means literally "at least" or "at minimum". I would say "ainakin" maybe expresses that you are sure about what you are saying and will argue over the facts if someone disagrees with you. But of course you can mean the same with "vähintään" too if you really emphasize the word with your tone.

    Would actually be interesting to hear how other Finns see this because these are always questions that can vary from region to region, and how individual people have grown to use the words. But I don't think non-Finns need to worry about when to use which because they both work with all kinds of context.

    [deactivated user]

      Thank you. So, no worries, just use either. Thanks!


      Yes, the core meaning is certainly the same, but there's a difference in the nuance/use. Can't pinpoint it either.

      Anyhow, I wouldn't say "Heillä on vähintään kolme undulaattia" if no-one is asking about their parakeets or "Minulla on vähintään kymmenen paitaa," (I have at least ten shirts/blouses). In contrast, "Tästä kokeesta pitää saada vähintään 30 pistettä" (You have to get at least 30 points on this test) is much better than with "ainakin", whereas "Aion saada tästä kokeesta ainakin 50 pistettä!" (I'm going to score at least 50 points on this test!) sounds slightly more natural than "vähintään." Maybe it's about certainty or a requirement? "Hän on ainakin 18 vuotta" sounds like a random guess based on appearance or something, whereas "Hän on vähintään 18 vuotta" sounds like more solid reasoning. However, "Tähän menee ainakin lirta maitoa" and "Tähän menee vähintään litra maitoa" sound equally good but there is an undefined difference there...

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