Finnish – Word Cases – Grammatical Function

Finnish works the way that it adds something at the end of the word (and maybe change the middle of the word) to make it mean things like: location, possession, from, receipient, future, channel, how, …, there is 16 of them – obviously I find this a little difficult!

I will try to make sense of them (or at least describe them) in this article series.

I put in some color coding to visualize the words in each sentence as they are translated – there might very well be some mistakes there – if you see one, please let me know :)

Cases expressing grammatical function


Meaning/function: Base form / subject, object
Singular ending: Ø
Plural ending: -t
Example: hotelli /t

Is the hotel open? – Onko hotelli auki?
Are the hotels open? – Ovatko hotellit auki?


Possession / object
Ending: -n or -en
Example: Hotellin / Hotellien

The names of the hotels are Vaakuna and Presidentti. – Hotellien nimet ovan Vaakuna ja Presidentti.
Who owns this hotel? – Kuka omistaa tämän hotellin?


Object of personal pronouns
Ending: -t
Example: hänet

Example: Do I know him/her – Tunnetko hänet?


Meaning/function: vage amount, negative complement, greetings, etc
Ending: -a/-ä and -(t)ta/ -(t)tä
Example: rahaa, häntä, huonetta, taksia, päivää

I have (some) money. – Minulla on rahaa.
I do not know him/her. – Minä en tunne häntä.
I do not have a room yet. – Minulla ei ole vielä huonetta.
There aren’t any taxis in the street. – Kadulla ei ole vielä taksia.
Hyvää päivää! – Good day!

Part two: Locative Cases
Part three: Others
Part four: Non-productive

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