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  5. "Ketä sinä ajattelet?"

"Ketä sinä ajattelet?"

Translation:Who are you thinking of?

July 25, 2020



I am a native English speaker and I'm finding myself wondering how much better a translation "thinking about" would be for all these? Thinking of does imply a certain wistful longing that goes with the love theme, I guess. Is there a different Finnish translation for "thinking about"?


No, it's the same translation. I didn't even know that "thinking of" and "thinking about" had a such difference in meaning!


I'm a native English speaker, and to my ear, there's a lot of overlap in meaning, making the difference more subtle. Think about refers to thinking in general, whereas think of also has the specific connotation of conceiving an idea in addition to referring to thinking in general. Curiously, the second Wiktionary example sentence for think of,

I spent ten minutes thinking of Karen and the times we shared

recalls the wistful love theme. It's difficult to articulate why, but it does sound better than think about for the intended meaning of love and yearning.


I'm also a native English speaker, but to my ear, I interpret the two quite differently. (That is not to say that the other speaker is wrong, just that we interpret it differently.) "to think of" someone seems like I'm recalling them, probably for a second or two, while "to think about" someone seems more like they occupy my thoughts for an extended period, as I consider all I know about this person. But this is only my interpretation (and it may well change a year or two from now).

I do feel like either one would be an acceptable translation, as the difference in meaning is very subtle.


I wonder if "Of whom are you thinking?" would be too pedantic


You know, I might say that, but I'm weird. :)


It is a perfectly proper translation. While many English speakers would use the less formal "who are you thinking of?" there are still some of us who try not end a sentence with a preposition.


I am a native English speaker. "Of whom are you thinking?" is perfectly proper. I was taught not to end a sentence with a preposition. Therefore I suggest my translation is correct.


I think the question word might be different in this case, like 'kenestä', I could be wrong though. Ajatella at its base, answers the question words Mitä and Mistä.


The nominative form of "ketä" is "kuka"/("ken"), meaning "who". "Mitä" and "mistä" fall under the word "mikä" (what). :)

Nominative (singular): kuka (ken) / mikä

Genetive: kenen / minkä

Partitive: ketä (kuta) /mitä

Essive: kenenä (kuna) / minä

Translative: keneksi (kuksi)/ miksi

Accusative: kenet

Inessive: kenessä (kussa) / missä

Elative: kenestä (kusta)/ mistä

Illative: keneen (kuhun) / minne/mihin

Adessive: kenellä (kulla)/ millä

Ablative: keneltä (kulta) / miltä

Allative: kenelle (kulle) / mille


Plural forms:

ketkä, keiden/keitten, ketä, keinä, keiksi, ketkä, keissä, keistä, keihin, keillä, keiltä, keille

For "mikä" the plural nominative is "mitkä" but otherwise the forms are the same


I agree with jesbau


Just a note that while the sentence is "fine" and reflects how it is spoken, strict English grammarians would remind us that we shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.


But the strict grammarians came up with that rule long after the fact:

Preposition stranding was in use long before any English speakers objected to it. Many sources consider it to be acceptable in standard formal English. "Great literature from Chaucer to Milton to Shakespeare to the King James version of the Bible was full of so called terminal prepositions." [...]

The proscription against preposition stranding in English was probably first created by the poet John Dryden in 1672 when he objected to Ben Jonson's 1611 phrase "the bodies that those souls were frighted from". Dryden did not explain why he thought the sentence should be restructured to front the preposition. Dryden often modeled his writing on Latin, which he considered concise, elegant, and a long-lived language to compare his writing to. As Latin does not have sentences ending in prepositions, Dryden may have applied Latin grammar to English, thus forming the rule of no sentence-ending prepositions, subsequently adopted by other writers.

I suspect they were content to make people feel stupid for not knowing Latin. It then turned into an opportunity for teachers to correct their students' vernacular. Maybe it's time to move on.


Some wag - reputed to be Churchill but probably not - mocked this schoolteacher usage rule with the quip "That's a rule with which I will not up put."


Yes, probably not Churchill. But more often quoted as something along the lines of: "This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put." 


For non-native speakers, the more natural contrucion is "That's a rule I won't put up with."


"up with which I will not put" is how I've heard it.


Thats not a real rule though


'Of whom are you thinking?' Would be more correct. 'whom' for the object obviously, and ending a clause on a preposition should really be avoided - at least in formal English.

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