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  5. "Are they ever homesick?"

"Are they ever homesick?"

Translation:Onko heillä koskaan koti-ikävä?

July 18, 2020



What is wrong with: "Ovatko he koskaan koti-ikävä?"


"Koti-ikävä" isn't an adjective, it's a noun - this would be like saying "Are they ever homesickness?" in English. Since there's no adjective form of "koti-ikävä", Finnish uses the adessive case "Heillä on koti-ikävä" to say "They are homesick", which translates to "They have homesickness". Translating word for word, this is something like "There is homesickness on them".


Why is it koti-ikävä and not koti-ikävää? I thought the noun should be partitive because its existence is uncertain


Onko heillä ikinä koti-ikävä?



Why are the prompts suggesting 'ovatko he' if it is wrong?


Shouldn't it be Ovatko instead of Onko since they use heillä as the subject?


No, "onko" is correct here. "Heillä" is in the adessive case, and in the Finnish sentence, it's not actually the subject, in contrast to the English sentence. This is the same situation as when you use the adessive + "on" to express possession by any party. For example, "I have" is "minulla on" and not "minulla olen"; "they have" is "heillä on" and not "heillä ovat".

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