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  5. "There are a million people i…

"There are a million people in quarantine."

Translation:Karanteenissa on miljoona ihmistä.

July 20, 2020



Why not miljoona ihmistä on karanteenissa?


That's correct too!


Thanks. It wasn't accepting that answer.


Well, the structure is different, but the meaning is the same, or nearly so.


Putting karanteenissa first makes it a little bit more like a sentence with "there are" in English. It makes almost no distinction for this sentence though.

  • 1975

This is a good example of the "news" rule in Finnish. According to it, you put the familiar things in the beginning of the sentence and the news or interesting information towards the end. It doesn't matter much on the basic level but in some conversations or, say, news, it can make a meaningful difference.

(Disclaimer: nice-to-know information follows for those who are interested.)

So, if you said miljoona ihmistä on karanteenissa the news is that there's a quarantine (which would more likely be put as miljoona ihmistä joutui karanteeniin, a million people had to quarantine).

Then, putting it the other way round, karanteenissa on miljoona ihmistä would suggest that the quarantine is a known fact and the news/interesting part is that there are a million people in quarantine.

Another example that I heard somewhere was about whether a certain museum would be built in Helsinki. The debate lasted for years and if you heard someone say Katajanokalle rakennetaan taidemuseo (an art museum is going to be built at Katajanokka), only with that information, you wouldn't be so certain about what's really happening there. But, if you heard taidemuseo rakennetaan Katajanokalle (the art museum is going to be built at Katajanokka) you could be quite certain it's about the project mentioned in the link.


Would «karentenissa on yksi miljoona asukasta» correct as well?

  • 1975

No, number words corresponding to numbers beginning with one, such as kymmenen (ten), sata (a hundred), tuhat (a thousand), miljoona (a million) have the "one" baked in. With those yksi is never explicitly mentioned.


Why does ihminen become ihmista in this sentence?

  • 1975

It's your usual suspect, the partitive case. Partitive must be used after numbers (other than "one"/yksi) and quantities, see more e.g. here.


Reported on 14 October 2020

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