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  5. "– Good day. What can I get y…

"– Good day. What can I get you? – We would like to think for a while longer."

Translation:– Päivää. Mitä saisi olla? – Me haluaisimme miettiä vielä vähän aikaa.

July 24, 2020


[deactivated user]

    Superfluous words required


    Why is vähän there too? The English sentence says "a while longer", not "a little while longer" which would be "vielä vähän aikaa" ...


    What is the difference between ajatella and miettiä? When to use etc.


    ajatella is to think in the "I think therefore I am" way. It's about everyday brain activities, things you often do without putting too much effort in them. It just happens on its own. miettiä is about pondering about things, about setting yourself a goal and trying to reach that goal. We also teach luulla which is more about coming to an uncertain conclusion after you've done some miettiä type of thinking. :)

    • Ajattelen sitä. I'm thinking about it. (general thinking without a specific goal)
    • Mietin sitä. I'm thinking about it. (I'm trying to figure this thing out)
    • Luulen, että se on punainen. I reckon/suppose/think it's red. (after some thinking, I now have a theory)


    Can anyone explain the grammar behind "Mitä saisi olla"? It is not a literal translation of the English, and I can't figure out how the verbs work.


    I think the translation litterally is: what shall (or may) (it) be. But it is hard to explain the grammar. It is just the way Finns say this. And the way it is expressed in English.

    [deactivated user]

      Layout: the chosen words cover the last of the English sentence, making them unreadable (unless you delete what you had chosen). Reported.


      what does "saisi" mean? and what part of speech is it?


      It's a conditional form of saada, "to get". The conditional is formed by adding ISI to the conditional stem. Then, if necessary, you add the personal endings. The 3rd person singular unusually doesn't get one.

      The stem:

      • sa/ada -> sa-

      With endings:

      • sa-isi-n I would get
      • sa-isi-t you would get
      • sa-isi s/he, it would get
      • sa-isi-mme we would get
      • sa-isi-tte you would get
      • sa-isi-vat they would get

      When combined with the verb olla, the best translation is often "should/ought to"

      • Sauna saisi olla kuumempi. The sauna should/ought to be hotter.

      This particular phrase has dropped the subject and has a partitive object (mitä). We normally try to avoid structures as complicated as this one, but the idiomatic question has become so widely used that we saw it best to include it. :)

      • Mitä saisi olla? What can I get you? (used in service situations)


      Thank you very much! Your explanation is really helpful.


      I'm having trouble to understand why "vielä vähän aikaa" is needed. I always seem to try a different set of words like vähän enemmän aikaa

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