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  5. "Sängyt ovat hotellissa."

"Sängyt ovat hotellissa."

Translation:The beds are in a hotel.

July 26, 2020



Could you tell that this is not "There are beds in the hotel" or would you need more context?


Yeah, your sentence translates to "Hotellissa on sänkyjä.".

(I'd actually suggest "The beds are in the hotel" as a more natural translation of the given Finnish sentence here, but the given one is also correct.)


Why sänkyjä? What case is that? Why not Hotellissa on sängyt?


Its plural partitive. More about the partitive for instance in the Wikipedia article.

If you have not taken this course with a webbrowser, I strongly suggest doing so at least once, because that version has grammar lessons. The mobile application version lacks those.


I am only using a web browser for this course but partitive has only been introduced for the singular so far so I'm surprised it even exists in plural.


Depending how you calculate there are about 15 grammatical cases in Finnish. I think this course takes up only four most common ones. All those have separate singular and plural forms.

  • nominative: sänky/sängyt
  • genitive: sängyn/sänkyjen
  • accusative: sängyn/sängyt
  • partitive: sänkyä/sänkyjä

Only some of the rarest cases, which this course does not teach, have just one form.


This sentence is so called existential clause, jotakin on jossakin : something is somewhere, which very common in Finnish. Duolingo seems mostly to have opted for "There is/are..." for these existential clauses.

An additional fact is, that in Finnish one prefers a clear structure from theme to rheme, more than in English. So here the old, given thing is the beds and the new info is their location.

Given those two points I agree with Annika, that "The beds are in a/the hotel" better captures the meaning of the original sentence.


Exactly - re the beds in a' vsv'the' hotel.


What are you saying?


I was expecting the pronunciation of "sängyt" to sound more like SANG-oot, but here it sounds like SAN-noot. Not hearing the G at all. Tried it in Google Translate and it sounds like SANG-oot there, so have reported audio sounding wrong. Anyone else hearing this a bit off?


While sticking to the standard speech, you have probably heard that Finnish follows the principle that every letter is always pronounced the same way. Well, eh… There are a few exceptions to that otherwise very true rule.

  • nk as in kenkä is pronouced as [keŋkä], see voiced velar nasal
  • ng as in kengän is pronounced as [keŋŋän]
  • gn as in magneetti is pronounced as [mɑŋneetti] (note, the letter combination gn always indicates a loanword)
  • np as in onpi is pronounced as [ompi]

So in the word sängyt you are not supposed to hear a sharp g but a double nasal sound in the middle. Having said that the text-to-speech generator is known to make mistakes, so it is fully possible that the audio is wrong.


Thanks for this! I wasn't meaning a sharp g, though (like in the Liverpudlian accent) - I wasn't very clear on that - I meant the effect of the g (or soft g), if that makes sense? There's clear difference between Duolingo's version of "sängyt" and that which is on GT.

Anyway, that link was great ... I lived in NZ as a child, so grew up hearing the ŋ sound a lot in Maori words and placenames (e.g. the word 'the' is 'nga'. Never knew it was called a voiced velar nasal, though :)


Finnish has a really soft G, I cannot go into Juha's level of detail but my Finnish family surname has a G in the middle of it, and I spoke Finnish as my first language, sadly now rusty, and my G sound starts in the nose and finishes in the back of my throat. There is no exact sound in English. Soft is the best I can offer.


I think I understand. Like taking the standard UK English of the word "singer" (not rhotic) and taking away the "si" part?


Spot on - that is the mouth shape I make for Helsingissä or sängyt.


It's the first time I see G in a Finnish word, hahaa. I was starting to think that it's absent from the Finnish alphabet.


And if a G is ever in a native Finnish word (i.e. not a word that's 'borrowed' from elsewhere) it is always preceded by a N.


Säng means bed in swedish

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