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  5. "Olen pahoillani, meillä ei o…

"Olen pahoillani, meillä ei ole yhtään teetä."

Translation:My apologies, we do not have any tea.

July 16, 2020



"I am sorry" would be just as good or better.


It's an issue of formality


What would be the word-for-for translation of "Olen pahoillani"? "Olen" is clear to me, but the word "pahoillani" seems to be more complex. According to Wiktionnary, "pahoillani" is from "pahoilla" (adessive plural of "paha") and the possessive suffix -ni. Since "paha" seems to mean (among other meanings) "bad", could we say that "pahoillani" means something like: "bad is on me"? (a little bit like Irish, which translates "I am sorry" by "Tá brón orm" (i.e., "Sorrow is on me").


Olla pahoillaan (in the infinitive form) is treated/classified as a verb, so I don't think it's very useful to try and tease out a part-by-part meaning too "far down" into the parts. But I guess I did so below anyway (read on, but you've been warned). Only the olla part gets inflected, the pahoillaan part only gets a possessive suffix which is determined by the subject. So from that I you could say it's something like "I am my sorry", "you are your sorry" (olet pahoillasi), etc. The basic meaning for the -lla noun case is being at/on/near something (but it's used idiomatically for a bunch of stuff) and the -oi- indicates a plural form in some nouns. But just pahoilla would be "at/on the evil/bad ones", which gets pretty nonsensical, since with the 1st person singular possessive that is then "at/on my bad/evil ones".

The meaning is obviously related to pahoitella "to express regret" (or maybe "to apologize" in some contexts) and pahoittaa which is only used as pahoittaa mielensä "to be offended/have one's feelings hurt" and pahoittaa jonkun mieli (with a possessive suffix for mieli) "to hurt somebody's feelings". And they clearly come from paha "evil, bad" (which TIL is a loan from Proto-Norse and through that related to French/Italian bagarre, but I kind of suspected it would be an old loan tbh).


Thank you very much for your thorough answer.


So more casually a direct translation would be, "My bad". :-)


eh, it can mean either "I'm sorry" or "I'm feeling hurt emotionally " so it's not directly comparable :)


You can't translate things literally. That's not how languages work. It's not even "my bad", literally it's translated as: "I am on/with my bads/evils".


So... you agree, "my bad" is essentially what it means.

If not, can you explain how "I am with my evils" is different?


The English expression "my bad" would translate as "mun moka", using the vernacular shortened form of minun + moka is vernacular for "mistake" (probably from the English verb "to mock" being borrowed as a verb and then the meaning changing somewhat). If we use the literal "bad"="paha", it's still only "minun paha", or "pahani", using the 1st person singular possessive suffix -ni.

But "pahoillani" is paha + plural + adessive = "pahoilla", and then add the same possessive suffix as above for "pahoillani". The adessive usually means that the noun is at or on something, but it's also used for what passes for a possessive verb in Finnish, the construction of a pronoun or noun in the adessive case + the verb for "to be" in the 3rd person singular conjugation. So "minulla on", "sinulla on"... or "pahoilla on" = "the evil ones have" or "evil (people) have".

As I explained above, really pahoillaan+the possessive suffix after it is as far down as the components are worth analyzing IMO. That's essentially just become a word on its own through idiomatic usage, how it's constructed is no longer relevant.


It's not "Bad is on me," but "I'm on my bads," most literally.


What is the difference with "Olen pahoillani, meillä ei ole teetä"? Both mean we dont have (any) tea. What does "yhtään" add in this sentence?


Yhtään is the equivalent of "any" here. Or "at all" as "any tea at all". Neither any/yhtään are strictly necessary in either language.


Why tee tä pleas? Why not just tee


Negative sentence triggers partitive. Also, it's an uncountable noun in this case.

Minulla on teetä - Minulla ei ole teetä (uncountable noun is partitive in both cases)

Minulla on auto - Minulla ei ole autoa (countable noun changes to partitive)

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