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  5. "Mehu on melko makeaa."

"Mehu on melko makeaa."

Translation:The juice is pretty sweet.

July 18, 2020



Can anyone explain the use of partitive case in this sentence? Thanks!


Partitive case is used, among other things, for indefinite amounts.


So the partitive form is used when the subject noun is uncountable. And when it is countable the adjective is norminative???? Eg tämä kala on outo. Is that correct??


Yes. "Tämä kala on outo" would refer to an entire fish, whereas "tämä kala on outoa" would refer to the meat extracted from the fish.


But why don't we say "tämä kalaa on outoa", if it's not an entire fish. Why does only the adjective have the a at the end?


First of all, that isn't grammatical because "tämä" is in nominative case whereas "kalaa" is in partitive case. The whole noun phrase should share the same case, so "tätä kalaa" would make more sense. Secondly, when there's a subject and a predicative, partitive case can only be applied to the predicative. Partitive case on both sounds about as odd as saying "this some fish is some odd fish". The only grammatical case that a subject and a predicative can share in the same clause is nominative case.


But it's an adjective


Adjectives are very similar to nouns in Finnish. I think the partitive is used here because it's an incomplete quantity of something sweet, not an entire sweet thing or the entirety of all sweet things.


And so? In many languages, adjectives are inflected just like nouns are (Finnish, Latin, Greek, Russian, Hungarian, .........).


True, but in many, at least Latin and Greek, the adjective would be in the same case as the noun. And that is not the case in this sentence.


I know. Why would that be a relevant detail?


Looked it up in a Finnish textbook I have and it shows that at the beginning of sentences it is the first form of the word, in base form, and at the end of the sentence it's with the -a in this case, the one I like is "juustoa kotona" or something like that. It refers to a tangible amount of something and it's adjectives and such. What? The Cheese. Where? At home. So it's the item itself plus the words that correspond with it, but it's still very confusing x.x someone please correct me if I'm wrong!


Now I'm confused too because I'm not sure what exactly you're asking.


Sorry, I'm still learning, too. But it shows that when you see a word at the beginning of the sentence, such as "juusto" it's going to be in the base form; when you see it at the end of a sentence it's going to be using the "juustoa" form of the word. The -a at the end is the conjugation that denotes you're speaking about a tangible amount of something. "Cheese" in general versus "Cheese" that exists in front of you. The conjugations also tie on with the adjectives that are attached to the word with it, such as "juustoa kotona" versus just saying "juusto koti" which doesn't work properly. -- "Juusto" is cheese and "Koti" is home, but "juustoa kotona" refers to "the cheese at home". It's talking about a specific, tangible, cheese that is at home. -- I hope that makes more sense.


It may seem that way because sentences usually begin with a subject, and subjects have a very strong tendency to be in nominative case, i.e. the base form. But Finnish sentences don't always begin with a subject (or even have a subject), and subjects are not always in nominative case. Finnish has 15 different cases that determine what kind of endings nominals have, and those cases are determined by the intended linguistic functions of the words, not by the positions of those words in a sentence. Finnish word order is pretty flexible.


It's not referring to "the cheese" at home, it's referring to some cheese at home.

Juusto on kotona. = The cheese is at home.

Meillä on juustoa kotona. = We have (some) cheese at home.


Why is "The juice is quite sweet" not accepted?


It should be, it will probably be added later.


Would "Juice is pretty sweet" be acceptable? Or is there a different case for that construction?


Good info and useful website, thank you. I'll report it next time it comes up.


Wjy makeaa and not malea?


I think "Juice is pretty sweet" should also be accepted here, because "Mehu on makeaa" can be understood as a general statement of the sweetness of juice. The finnish sentence doesn't specify the need for a definite article in this case.

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