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  5. "He katselevat televisiota ho…

"He katselevat televisiota hotellissa."

Translation:They are watching television at the hotel.

July 20, 2020



"in the hotel" sounds more natural to my American esrs.


And to my British ears too.


And I think it would actually better match the -ssa suffix! -ssa usually implies inside the volume.


A question about "ä" ...

Why is it "He katselevat" here and (in the previous task) it was "Joku kävelee puistossa" (I'm aware they're different verbs). I'd left out the two dots in "kävelee", so confidently added them in "katselevat" though it transpires I shouldn't have!

Is there a rule for using "ä" rather than "a" or is it random? I thought I had it in my head that if there is an "o" and /or a "u" in a word you wouldn't have an "ä" ... is that right?


You are right, katsella and kävellä are different verbs. Now the person ending for the plural 3rd person is -vat or -vät depending on so called vowel harmony. Several languages have it (see for instance the Wikipedia article for a general introduction), and to get a grasp of the Finnish system, I recommend an article in Uusi kielemme.


Watching television and watching the television should both be right


katsovat vs katselevat? any opinion


The basic verb is katsoa, to look/see/watch. From that the active indicative present pl. 3rd in positive form is katsovat, they look/see/are looking/seeing/watching.

There is a verb ending -ella/ellä which denotes a repeated or continuous action. So katsoa + -ella → katsella, to keep looking/seeing/watching. The same active etc. form is that katselevat.

The difference is that you use the former ,katsoa, when the question is more about being able to see something. The latter ,katsella, is used when you follow something with your eyes. But the difference is not that strict as ,for instance, in English. Here we have a/the television and in the standard speech you use katsella when you follow a program. In colloquial speech you can use both katsoa and katsella in that sense.

Now before you ask, no, you cannot use that -ella/ellä ending systematically to translate the continuous verb forms of English.


Is television partitive because 'hotellissa' has a preposition in it?


It's in partitive because it's the target of an irresultative action.


Irresultative? Could you give some examples of resultative and Irresultative actions because I don't understand what it means exactly (I'm not a native speaker)?


In linguistics, "irresultative" refers to an event or action that has not reached a state of completion. Some verbs are inherently irresultative due to the fact that they can't have a state of completion. In the context of Finnish grammar, they are commonly referred to as partitive verbs.


As KristianKumpula said, there are inherently irresultative verbs like katsella, i.e. you may stop watching but the watching is never per se complete, "I have watched everything". Many of these irresultative verbs have with sensory observations or emotions to do.

  • Kuunteletko kevättä? : Do you listen to the spring? (to hear sounds of water from melting snow, birds' spring songs etc.)
  • Näen metsiä ja järviä : I see forests and lakes
  • Rakastan sinua : I love you

A related factor is that many transitive verbs can take both a total object and a partial one denoting wheather the action was done to the completion or not. The classical example is lukea, to read:

  • Luen kirjan : kirjan is in the accusative meaning it is a total object, "the whole book"; since you cannot possibly read a book to completion at this very moment, you should understand this to refer to the future, i.e. "I will read a/the book".

  • Luen kirjaa : kirjaa is in the partitive meaning it is a partial object, "some pages of a/the book". Since the verb is the present tense, this gets translated into English as "I am reading a/the book".


Oh yeah I'm dumb, but I still don't understand why most of the "Meillä on" sentences have partitive.


Anything that expresses an amount or a number except "yksi" and "muutama" triggers partitive case. This includes mass nouns even if the quantity of it is not specified.


I meant sentences like these

  • Onko teillä tätä vyötä mustana?

Why is it in partitive


(native speaker here)

  • Onko teillä tämä vyö mustana? : Have you this particular belt in black? Eh, if this particular belt item isn't black, how could it, the same item, exist in a black version at the same time?

  • Onko teillä tätä vyötä mustana? : Have you this (type of) belt in black?


My bet is that partitive is used because of uncertainty whether such belts exist in the shop.

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