"Many Finns have nestball as a hobby."
Translation:Moni suomalainen harrastaa pesäpalloa.
I got this wrong (I used "suomalaiset", thinking it needed to be plural, but didn't bother to change "moni" to match), but I may have found a way of thinking about it that makes more sense. If I think of the English translation as "Many a Finn has...", it seems to correspond more closely to the Finnish.
Would it be worth considering changing the English translation so that we don't fall into the trap of thinking we have to use the plural in Finnish here to match?
Because "monta" is partitive singular whereas "suomalaiset" is nominative plural, so there is no agreement about number nor case. Both should be nominative because it's the subject. In this instance, it doesn't really make much difference whether they are singular or plural as long as they have the same number.
"Moni suomalaiset" also has conflicting declensions because "moni" is nominative singular whereas "suomalaiset" is nominative plural. So does "monia suomalaista" because "monia" is partitive plural and "suomalaista" is partitive singular. When both have nominative plural, it would be "monet suomalaiset", and when both have partitive plural, it would be "monia suomalaisia". Partitive singular would be "monta suomalaista".
One of the differences is that the singular partitive is usually an object but can also be a subject,
whereas the plural partitive can only be an object (Edit: I'm not sure why I wrote that because plural partitive can also be a subject in ownership clauses and existential clauses). Apart from that, they are often somewhat interchangeable. I reckon that the plural form tends to imply a larger and/or more diverse group without a known exact number. It's tricky to make that distinction in an English translation since both can be translated to "many Finns". I previously stated that case needs to be nominative here because this is about a subject, but on second thought singular partitive works too. I think the difference between "moni" and "monta" is that the former is more general whereas the latter tends to refer to a more specific and smaller group, hence why using the nominative form carries the meaning of the more likely interpretation. "Monta" is a special case because it's starting to be seen as a basic form word, probably because it can be used in a subject as if it's a nominative form. As a result of this, it can actually assume the "double partitive" form of "montaa", although it can hurt the ears of grammar sticklers.
Pesäpallo is the perfect kind of word for me to practise e, a, and ä. They're all so close! ^^ And the vowels all seem to be 'moving' backwards through the mouth.
(what I mean is, pronounce "crisp"; every phoneme is made a little further forwards in the mouth)
It's difficult because I don't have the ä sound in my native language and I'm having trouble distinguishing it from a and e.