Tuesday. 09.08.2022

Finnish for foreigners course - Lesson 9: making questions in Finnish

In this lesson you will learn the question words and the question ending -ko/kö

Jenni Turunen Mitä sinä teet

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.

Here you will find my video about questions:

Nähdäänkö ensi viikolla?

Jenni Turunen

Finnish for foreigners course - Lesson 9: making questions in Finnish