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For anyone who is like me trying to learn Finnish and struggling with the object forms I’ve made a little flowchart. When trying to determine what form the object of a clause should take, just follow the questions from top and hopefully this will lead you to the right form. Remember: Partitive always takes priority, if there is any reason to use partitive, do so.

Flowchart Finnish Object

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11 thoughts on “Finnish Grammar: The object

    1. It’s called WPGlobus – it’s very straightforward to use, and I think it’s quite good apart from the fact that I can’t place the button to swap language anywhere else than on the very bottom (although I think that’s actually the fault of the template, not the plugin)

  1. Hi, great idea again to tell about the complexity of our language. By the way, as a Finn I’d rather say ‘I don’t eat apples’ – ‘En syö omenoita’ if it’s about apples in general. If it’s about the present then it could be ‘En syö omenaa vaan päärynää’ – ‘I’m not eating an apple, I’m eating a pear.’. If I’d be in a shop I would say ‘Otetaanko omenia/muutama omena/omenoita?’ – ‘Shall we take some apples?’ and so on. 😀

    1. Thanks =) Yes, I thought that “I don’t eat apple” example was a bit weird, but I wanted to stick with the same sentence wherever possible – your suggestion would have been great, but apparently I didn’t think that far =)

  2. Hey, great chart, but you say when the clause is täytyy, on pakko, pitää then it goes to nominitive, mutta mutta, Minun täytyy opiskella matematiikkaa ja minun pitää ajaa autoa. Onko?

    1. Errmmm… no idea why that is =( Apparently partitive always has priority over nominative, but I don’t know why that applies in these cases…

      1. Minun täytyy opiskella matematiikkaa. Minun pitää ajaa autoa.

        Just follow the flowchart.

        Is the clause negative or positive? positive
        Is the object an indefined quantity or does it contain a numeral? No
        Is the object part of a process that is not finished yet? Yes
        The object is in partitive.

        For the sake of comparison, consider also the following sentences.

        Opiskelen itselleni ammatin. Minun täytyy opiskella itselleni ammatti.
        Ajan auton korjaamolle. Minun pitää ajaa auto korjaamolle.

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