Friday 1/21/22

Finnish for foreigners course - Lesson 10: The local cases

In this lesson you will learn to answer the questions where?, where to?, and where from?

Jenni Turunen Lesson 10
The Finnish language teacher Jenni Turunen.

Where?, where to? and where from?

In this lesson we will study how to answer questions missä? (where?), mistä? (where from) and mihin? (where to?). You will learn many new endings.


Let’s start with the question missä? (where?). When someone asks: Missä sinä asut? (Where do you live?), the answer ends usually with suffix -ssa or -ssä . Minä asun Espoossa  I live in Espoo.

The suffix is added to the stem of the word. You have to remember KPT-changes, for example with cities Helsinki and Turku: Minä asun Helsingissä. Minä asun Turussa. (I live in Helsinki. I live in Turku).

Sometimes you will need suffix -lla or -llä instead of -ssa. Unfortunately there is not any rule for this - you just have to remember, when to use ending -ssa and when -lla. For example: Asun Vantaalla / Tampereella / Rovaniemellä. I live in Vantaa / Tampere / Rovaniemi. Or: Olen kurssilla / metroasemalla / lentokentällä. I’m in a course / at a metro station / at the airport.


Next question is mistä? (where from?). The answer ends usually with suffix -sta or -stä. If someone wants to know where you are from (Mistä sinä olet kotoisin?), you can answer: Olen kotoisin Ruotsista. (I’m from Sweden.) If the name ends with a consonant, you will need an extra letter i before the ending: Irak -> Irakista. Olen kotoisin Irakista. I’m from Iraq.

Remember the KPT-rule! For example Amerikka -> Amerikasta: Olen kotoisin Amerikasta. I’m from America.

Sometimes you will need suffix -lta or -ltä instead of -sta or -stä. Tulen Vantaalta / Tampereelta / Rovaniemeltä. I’m coming from Vantaa / Tampere / Rovaniemi. Or: Tulen kurssilta / metroasemalta / lentokentältä I’m coming from the course / the metro station / the airport.


The last question is mihin? (where to?). The suffix used in the answer is usually long vowel and letter n. For example: koulu + un, Helsinki + in. Menen kouluun (I’m going to school). Menen Helsinkiin (I’m going to Helsinki). The KPT-rule doesn’t apply with this ending.

Again, we have a group of words that take another ending, suffix -lle . For example: menen Vantaalle / Tampereelle / Rovaniemelle (I’m going to Vantaa / Tampere / Rovaniemi). Or: menen kurssille / metroasemalle / lentokentälle (I’m going to the course / to the metro station / to the airport).

Then we have a couple of exceptions. For example word koti, home. It is used like this: olen kotona (I’m at home), tulen kotoa (I’m coming from home) and menen kotiin (I’m going home).

Another exception is the word for work: työ . It is used normally in plural form: Olen töissä (I’m at work), tulen töistä (I’m coming from work), menen töihin (I’m going to work).

Game and Video

If you want to memorize which words take -ssa and which words -lla, you can play this TinyCards game:

If If you cannot see well the game in your device, you can also play it by clicking HERE

Here you will find my video about questions missä?, mistä? and mihin?:


Jenni Turunen