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  5. "Hyi! Miksi tämä kana on must…

"Hyi! Miksi tämä kana on mustaa?"

Translation:Yuck! Why is this chicken black?

July 24, 2020



Why does mustaa end with two 'a's here?


Because it is in partitive. :)

"Tämä kana" doesn't refer to a (one live) chicken, but to chicken as a mass noun, and so the adjective is in partitive because we are talking about an unclear amount of chicken.

If you said: "Tämä kana on musta" (this chicken is black) it would either refer to a living chicken with black feathers, or to a whole cooked chicken that's charred.

You can spot the partitive as an added -a or -ä at the end of the word, depending on which one vowel harmony neccessitates. Front vowels only go with front vowels and neutral vowels, back vowels with back vowels and neutral vowels. The partitive ending in words with just neutral vowels is -ä.

Front vowels: ä, ö, y

Neutral vowels: i, e

Back vowels: a, o, u

jäätelöä, pirtelöä, mämmiä

ketsuppia, kanaa, pullaa


"If you said: "Tämä kana on musta" (this chicken is black) it would either refer to a living chicken with black feathers, or to a whole cooked chicken that's charred."

Thanks, that clarifies it a bit.

So if I have a whole black chicken on my plate (alive or dead ;)) I'll call it "musta" and otherwise I'll see it as chicken meat and stick to the sentence in the tips section ("if an adjective appears alone as a predicative, it is in the partitive singular whenever the subject it refers to is an uncountable noun.") and call it "mustaa".

Well, so that seems to be the - small but important - difference between "Tämä koira on musta" and "Tämä koira on mustaa" (yuck!) ;).


Exactly! But koira in your last sentence only makes sense if you're eating a dog, but this is about chicken..


I know you don't want to know this, but in many places in south east asia dogs are considered a great delicacy.

Before you go hyi, think carefully about what you are doing when you eat an oyster.


But "tämä kana" refers to one countable chicken (which is already on my plate maybe). And so I don't get why "musta" should be in partitive case. As I see it, we can just use nominative case here since we are talking about one specific chicken.


We are not talking about one specific chicken here, we are talking about some chicken meat.


OKAY. But the chicken is the subject here. If it is not the object why do we still use partitive. Maybe there's a rule like any adjective describes a noun must be used in partitive. IDK


As you correctly point out, "kana" is the subject, and thus is not in partitive. But "mustaa", which is a description of the chicken, is in partitive because - if I've understood correctly - it describes an undetermined amount of chicken (meat).

So my question for the native speakers is: if one's talking about one individual (living) chicken, or even one specific breed of chicken, we could say "Miksi tämä kana on musta?", right?


That's right.

one chicken: "tämä kana on musta", "onko tämä kana musta?"

(some) chicken: "tämä kana on mustaa", "onko tämä kana mustaa?"


Oh. I got thanks.


Silkie chicken! It's delicious!


Is it possible to have an explanation as to when we need the aa form and when we don't? I could guess that mehua, salaattia meant some juice, some salad, but as for the adjectives it remaibs a big mystery.


There are different situations with the adjectives. Most of the time they follow the noun. So, if they are part of the subject, they are in nominative (no case ending - i.e. "extra a". If they are part of the object, and they qualify an uncountable noun, they will be in partitive, like the noun (and therefore get that extra a). But things are more complicated with the verb "to be", as the adjective might be a part of the subject or not. In "this red juice is sweet", "red" is part of the subject, but "sweet" is not (I believe it is called a predicative). So in Finnish red would be in nominative, but sweet would be in partitive. The same applies to sentences involving "to have", but that's because in Finnish (as in other languages - Russian, for example) is expressed in way that is close to "to be by". That's why "I have a car" becomes "Minulla on auto", using the 3rd person of "to be" ("a car is by me"). So, sen


Burnt chicken


Lights off, no one home

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