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  5. "Metsässä on suuri vanha kuus…

"Metsässä on suuri vanha kuusi."

Translation:There is a large, old spruce in the forest.

July 20, 2020



'In the forest is a large, old, spruce' should be accepted


Big should be accepted too


Iso is big. Surri means great or large.


In many sentences Iso and Suuri are interchangeable, used in "Another correct solution:"


Could one also say that a kuusi is pitkä? I know the means something slightly different than suuri, but is it possible?


This is a good question and it boils down to how people percept the world.

I come from the western dialects' area, so I would automatically say iso kuusi meaning that the spruce is both tall and wide. People from the eastern dialects' area will say suuri kuusi in the same meaning, and I understand what they say, it is just that I do not automatically say so. See my other comment in this exercise.

You can say kuusi on korkea, the spruce is tall, but then you do not say anything about how tuuhea, dense (of plants), bushy it is. The adjective korkea is associated with that the spruce stands.

When talking about people you can say Matti on pitkä, Matti is tall, but using pitkä of other things pretty much requires that the object is in a laying position. For instance you say tuo rakennus on pitkä, because a long building is considered more to lay than to stand. So kuusi on pitkä, the spruce is long gets associated with that the spruce is logged (cut) and is now laying on the ground.


Kiitos for this elaborate answer! That makes the meaning of pitkä clearer.


WHY is this not an acceptable translation?

A big, old spruce is in the forest


I hope a native English speaker will clarify this, but IIUC "large" is more associated with width (a large river = a wide river) while "big" here will raise a mental image of a tall tree.

The original Finnish sentence has suuri which gets understood as something different than korkea, i.e. the tree is dense, wide, large. But as I have written earlier, this may depend on the speaker's dialect.


Through every example to this point iso has been used as big and suuri as large. My finnish dictionary has iso as big and suuri as great, large or big.


In the standard language iso means big is a concrete way, iso talo : a big house and suuri means something more abstract, Entinen presidentti oli suuri valtiomies : The former president was a great statesman.

In colloquial speech the difference has always been more blurred and has depended on one's dialect. In the recent years this not-so-sharp distinction has become more and more part of the standard language.

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