Friday 1/21/22

Asking questions in Finnish

In this lesson you will learn how to make questions in Finnish.

When you want to ask something, you have two options: you can use question words or you can use a question ending -ko or - with a verb.

Let’s start with question words

The word “what” is expressed with mikä or mitä.

For example: Mikä tämä on? - What is this? Tämä on puhelin. - This is a phone.

The word mitä is used for example when you ask: Mitä sinulle kuuluu? - How are you?

The answer is: Minulle kuuluu hyvää. - I’m fine.

Another example: Mitä sinä teet? - What are you doing? To this question you answer with a verb: Minä opiskelen . - I’m studying.

Where” is asked by the words missä, mistä and mihin. This is how you use them:

Missä sinä asut? - Where do you live?

Asun Helsingissä. - I live in Helsinki.

Mistä sinä olet kotoisin? - Where are you from?

Olen kotoisin Irakista. - I am from Iraq.

Mihin sinä menet? - Where are you going?

Menen kotiin. - I’m going home.

When asking about people you can use the words kuka, kenellä or kenelle.

Kuka sinä olet? - Who are you?

Kenellä on auto? - Who has a car?

Kenelle sinä soitat? - To whom are you calling?

Time related question words are milloin and kuinka kauan.

Milloin kurssi alkaa? - When will the course start?

Kurssi alkaa maanantaina. - The course will start on Monday.

Kuinka kauan olet asunut Suomessa? - How long have you lived in Finland?

Olen asunut Suomessa viisi vuotta. - I have lived in Finland for five years.

When you want to know the reason for something, you can use the word miksi. For example:

Miksi sinulla on pipo? - Why are you wearing a hat?

The answer starts often with the word koska.

Koska on kylmä. - Because it is cold.

One more question word: millainen. The answer is usually an adjective:

Millainen sää on? - How is the weather?

Sää on pilvinen. - It is cloudy.

Millainen testi oli? - What was the test like?

Testi oli helppo. - The test was easy.

Questions with a sufix -ko or kö

Now let’s learn how to make questions with a suffix -ko or -. The suffix is added to a verb. For example: when you want to transform a normal phrase sinä tykkäät suklaasta (you like chocolate) into a question, you start with the verb tykkäät and add the ending kö: tykkäät+kö

Then you add the personal pronoun “sinä” and other words of the phrase. Now you have a question: Tykkäätkö sinä suklaasta? Do you like chocolate?

The answer is yes or no - kyllä tai ei .

Kyllä, minä tykkään suklaasta. - Yes, I like chocolate.

Ei, minä en tykkää suklaasta. - No, I don’t like chocolate.

Some other examples:

Sinä puhut suomea. (You speak Finnish.) -> Puhutko sinä suomea? (Do you speak Finnish?)

Sinä voit auttaa. (You can help.) -> Voitko sinä auttaa? (Can you help?)

Nähdään huomenna. (See you tomorrow.) -> Nähdäänkö huomenna? (Will I see you tomorrow?)

Great! Now you have learned the basic questions in Finnish. You can practice the question words with this TinyCards game:

If for some reason you can not see well the game on your device, you can also access it by clicking HERE

Here you will find my video about questions:

Nähdäänkö ensi viikolla?

Jenni Turunen