Specific location case uses

This page contains some random information about the use of the location cases. It would be good to learn these by heart.

1. Käydä

"Käydä" is a verb that includes going somewhere, staying there for a short while, and then coming back to the place you left from. It usually gets translated as "to visit", but you wouldn't use it when you're visiting friends. It always comes with the inessive (-ssa) form of the place you visit.

Finnish English
Minä käyn kaupassa. I visit the shop.
Sinä käyt usein suihkussa. You visit the shower often.

2. Sitting

Finnish English
Minä istun sohvalla. I sit on the couch.
Sinä istut tuolilla. You sit on a chair.
Minä istun nojatuolissa. I sit in the armchair.

3. School

"Minä käyn koulussa" and "Minä käyn koulua" are two very different statements. "Koulussa" refers to the school building, "koulua" refers to the actual lessons given in the school.

Finnish English
Minä käyn koulussa. I visit the school.
Minä käyn koulua. I go to school.


Finnish English
Anni on toisella luokalla. Anni is in the second grade.
Ari on toisessa luokassa. Ari is in the second classroom.

4. Bed

Finnish English
Äiti nukkuu sängyssä. Mother sleeps in the bed.
Kissa nukkuu sängyllä. The cat sleeps on the bed.

5. TV

Finnish English
Onko tänään mitään hyvää televisiossa? Is there anything good on ("in") tv today?

6. Roof versus ceiling

Finnish English
Lamppu on katossa. The lamp is on the ceiling.
Lintu on katolla. The bird is on the roof.

7. Countryside versus ground

Finnish English
Maalla on puhdas ilma. In the countryside there's clean air.
Maassa on vielä lunta. On the ground there's still snow.

8. Sky versus heaven

Finnish English
Lintu lentää taivaalla. The bird flies in the sky.
Mummo on taivaassa. Grandma is in heaven.

9. Clothes

When two things are really close to each other, you use -ssa instead of -lla. As an example, "Hattu on päässä" means you are wearing a hat, while "hattu on päällä" would mean that there's a hat wobbling on your head, ready to fall off any second now.

Finnish English
Housut ovat jalassa. Pants are on ("in") the leg.
Saapas on jalassa. The boot is on ("in") the foot.
Käsine on kädessä. The glove is on ("in") the hand.
Sormus on sormessa. The ring is on ("in") the finger.

10. Good mood

Finnish English
Jaana on aina hyvällä tuulella. Jaana is always in a good mood.
This means literally that she is "on a good wind".

11. Exceptional

Finnish English
Menen ulos. I go outside.
Olen ulkona. I'm outside.
Tulen ulkoa. I come from outside.
Menen kotiin. I go home.
Olen kotona. I'm at home.
Tulen kotoa. I come from home.

12. Juna

Finnish English
Istuimme junassa. We sat in the train.
Matkustamme junalla. We travel by train.

13. Short

-ssa -lla
järvessä (in the lake) järvellä (on the lake)
kaupungissa (in the city) kaupungilla (shopping)
kirkossa (in the church) kirkolla (in the village)
ongessa (on the fishing rod) ongella (fishing)