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  5. "Onko sinulla kameraa?"

"Onko sinulla kameraa?"

Translation:Do you have a camera?

July 22, 2020


[deactivated user]

    Why is kameraa in partitive? It is not partial. It is not unsure? Is it to indicate "a" versus "the"? I can imagine if you are referring to a specific camera, you could ask it the same way, knowing the other person will understand what you mean. I.e. did you bring the camera? (context: that we worked with yesterday). So, why the partitive? Why not nominative?


    I've explained this a couple of times under other sentences already so I'm slowly getting pro at this feature of Finnish lol. But yeah, how I'd explain it:

    "Onko sinulla kameraa?" = 'Do you have a camera?', generally speaking, maybe you need to borrow a camera which is why you're asking if the other one owns one. You can start a conversation with this one too.

    "Onko sinulla kamera?" usually happens during a conversation, maybe you started to talk about photographing and one of you sends photos, and then the other one can ask this. I also associate this usually with a positively surprised tone. It can also be used when you have heard something about someone and you then confront them as you want to know if it's true, do they actually have a camera.


    well you could use nominative here too (I think), but partitive is the most natural sounding and commonly used.


    I wish the hovering tips would show more explainations, but then it would be too long.


    How do i know that in this sentence its "kamera" whereas its "onko sinulla japanilainen kameraa" in another example that is identical except for japanilainen?


    In the sentence you're talking about, camera has only one a. Here it has two. There are two choices:

    (1) nominative: (japanilainen) kamera
    (2) partitive: (japanilaista) kameraa

    As far as I can work out, it's more usual to use the partitive in "Do you have a ...?" questions when you're really just asking about the class of thing, just a yes or a no question with no expectation either way that the person has it or not. It doesn't matter what kind of thing it is within that category. Do you have a camera, or ... no camera?

    In the question about the Japanese camera, the speaker probably knows the listener has a camera and wants to know if it is Japanese. There is a specific assumed camera there. It's not just about any old camera. I think that's why it's in the nominative.

    I can't pretend to be an expert on this point and a native or fluent speaker of Finnish can probably give a better answer, but at the very least, I am quite confident that japanilainen kameraa is not possible because the adjective needs to match the noun in number and case.

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