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  5. "There is a bird singing over…

"There is a bird singing over there."

Translation:Tuolla laulaa lintu.

July 22, 2020



Should "Tuolla lintu laulaa" also be accepted?

  • 1978

It doesn't sound inherently wrong or weird to me.


Good question. I wonder if modifying the word order might change the meaning of the sentence. For example, instead of "a bird", would it become "the bird"? (i.e., "There is a bird singing over there" vs "The bird is singing over there")

  • 1978

Yes! In Finnish, already familiar things usually are put in the beginning of the sentence, and the news in the end.

Here's a longer explanation:

Considering the example sentence tuolla laulaa lintu, the news is that there's a bird there (and it's singing). If you said lintu laulaa tuolla you would make an assumption that the others already know about the bird you are talking about.

So, if you wanted to convey something more about the bird, you would start with lintu:
Lintu asuu puutarhassamme – the bird lives in our garden [puutarha-ssa-mme: "garden-in-our"]

Then you could go on and on just by mentioning the familiar thing first:
Puutarhassa asuu myös siili – also a hedgehog lives in the garden

If you put lintu in the end of the sentence every time and said tuolla laulaa lintu and then puutarhassamme asuu lintu it could puzzle a native speaker because they would struggle to understand what is the point you are trying to make; e.g. are you talking about the same or a different bird?

Edit: to sum it up on the question about "should it be accepted": it's again a matter of context – which is pretty much nonexistent in a single sentence. I'd say more correct are the answers which respect the familiar-new principle but if you can come up with a proper situation where the translation could be used, then it should be accepted.

Hope it helps.


This helps. Thanks


Do place indicators like Tuolla always come at the beginning of the clause, or is it a matter of emphasis?

  • 1978

I answered to another comment that was asked earlier in this thread and it pretty much answers your question too. So, shortly, place indicators are not always in the beginning, and yes, word order in general can also be used to emphasize certain things and convey different meanings.


How about "Tuolla on lintu laulamassa"?

  • 1978

Not the most frequent one but can't see anything wrong with it either :)

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