Uusi kielemme - Finnish for Busy People

Clitics or liitepartikkelit

Finnish has a large number of clitics. These are like the cases (inessive, abessive,...) in the sense that they get added behind words. The difference is that a word doesn't inflict when you add these endings. Compare: nainenpa <> naiseni, huonehan <> huoneessa

The clitics get added behind the other case endings: kielessäkin, huoneestakohan, naisellepa,...

Important: the meaning of a suffix will always depend on the situation, the content of the sentence, the tone of voice one uses, the look on one’s face and other challenging indicators. Many of these endings do not have a translation in other languages.

1. -KIN

1.1. Means the same thing as "myös"
Finnish English
Jussikin oli siellä. Jussi was there as well.
Matti tuntee Liisankin. Matti knows Liisa as well.
Bill on käynyt Oulussakin. Bill has visited Oulu as well.
Minä soitin ja kirjoitinkin hänelle monta kertaa. I called, and wrote, many times to him.

1.2. Expresses that something happened according to the expectations
Finnish English
Minä odotin häntä, ja viimein hän tulikin. I waited for him and in the end he did come.
Hän etsi töitä, ja hän pääsikin työhön. He searched for work, and he did get a job.
Me toivoimme sitä, ja niin tapahtuikin. We wished it, and it happened like that.

1.3. Expresses that something happened as a surprise or didn’t happen according to the expectations
Finnish English
Hän aikoi hankkia koiran, mutta hankkikin kissan. He planned a get a dog, but he got a cat after all.
Minä en uskonut hänen tulevan, mutta hän tulikin. I didn't expect him to come, but he did come.
He puhuivatkin sujuvasti suomea! They did speak Finnish fluently!

1.4. Makes orders or exclamations stronger
Finnish English
Menekin nyt heti kotiin! Go home right away now!
Sano vielä sanakin, niin minä suutun! Say even one word, and I'll get angry!
Eikö hän olekin kaunis! Isn't she beautiful!

2. -KAAN

-Kaan is used in the same situations as -kin, when the sentence is negative, or a question.

2.1. Means the same thing as “myöskään”
Finnish English
Jussikaan ei ollut siellä. Jussi wasn't there either.
Matti ei tunne Liisaakaan. Matti doesn't know Liisa either.
Bill ei ole käynyt Oulussakaan. Bill hasn't visited Oulu either.

2.2. Expresses that something happened according to the expectations
Finnish English
Minä en usko, että hän tulisi, eikä hän tulekaan. I don't believe she'll come and she didn't.
Hän ei etsinyt töitä eikä hän niitä saanutkaan. He didn't search for work, and neither did he get it.

2.3. Expresses that something happened as a surprise or didn’t happen according to the expectations
Finnish English
Minä odotin häntä, mutta hän ei tullutkaan. I waited for him, but he didn't come.
Alille luvattiin sitä, mutta hän ei saanutkaan sitä. Ali was promised it, but she didn't get it.
He eivät autakaan minua, vaikka sovimme niin. They don't help me, eventhough we agreed so.

2.4. Makes orders or exclamations stronger
Finnish English
Älä ajattelekaan mitään sellaista! Don't think anything like that!
Älkää sanoko enää sanaakaan! Don't say another word!
Minä en tunne teitä enkä haluakaan! I don't know you, nor do I want to!

3. -PA

3.1. To make whatever is being said stronger
Finnish English
Onpa siinä ruma talo! Wow, what an ugly building!
Tässäon mukava istua! Wow, it's nice to sit here!
Sinäolet muuttunut! Wow, you've changed!

3.2. The speaker is (strongly) of a different opinion
Finnish English
- Minä voitin! - I won!
- Etvoittanut! - No you didn't!
- Sinä et rakasta minua enää. - You don't love me anymore.
- Rakastanpa! - I do!

3.3. An impatient (sometimes angry) command from a superior to an inferior (mom to child, boss to employee)
Finnish English
Avaapa ovi! Open the door already!
Olkaapa nyt hiljaa! Be quiet already!
Älkäähäiritkö minua! Don't bother me now!

3.4. When a question is rhetorical, but emotional
Finnish English
Kukapa minulle soittaisi? Who would call to ME?
Mitäsanottavaa meillä olisi? What would WE have to say?
Miksiminä en tekisi sitä? Why wouldn't I do so?

3.5. When expressing a wish
Finnish English
Olisipa Jussi täällä! If only Jussi was here!
Menisikaikki hyvin! If only everything would go fine!
Eisataisi! If only it wouldn't rain!

4. -HAN

4.1. When implying that the other person should already know the information
Finnish English
Suomihan on tasavalta. Finland is a republic after all.
Hänhän on suomalainen. He is a Finn after all.
Kaikkihan niin tekevät! Everyone does so, after all!
4.2. The speaker is calmly of a different opinion
Finnish English
- Minä en osaa edes tanssia! - I can't even dance!
- Osaathan sinä! - Yes you can!
- Minä en tule sinun mukaasi. - I'm not coming with you.
- Sinähän tulet, kun minä sanon niin! - Oh yes, you'll come!
4.3. The speaker is surprised about something
Finnish English
Tehän puhutte hyvin suomea! You speak good Finnish!
Sinähän valehtelit minulle! You lied to me!
Tuossahan se etsitty avain on! There that searched key is!
4.4. A polite or softer order or refusal: friendly, patient
Finnish English
Otahan vain lisää kakkua! Go ahead and take some more cake!
Tulkaahan sisään! Please come in!
Älähän mene mihinkään! Don't you go anywhere!
4.5. When a question is calm and rhetorical
Finnish English
Missähän Jussi on? Where is that Jussi?
Ovatkohan he vihaisia meille? Are they angry at us?
Mitähän minä sanoisin hänelle? Hmmm, what would I say to him?
4.6. Making questions more polite
Finnish English
Voisittekohan sanoa, missä posti on? Would you be able to say where the post office is?
Avaisitkohan oven minulle? Could you please open the door for me?
Soitatkohan takaisin? Could you call back please?
4.7. When coming up with a new idea
Finnish English
Mattihan voisi auttaa meitä! Hey, Matti could help us!
Mehän voitaisiin ottaa ehkä koiramme mukaan! Hey, we could take the dog with us!
Tehän voisit vaikka tulla heti! Hey, maybe you could come right away!

5. -KA

5.1. eikä = ja ei
Finnish English
Minulla ei ole vaimoa eikoiraa. I don't have a wife nor a dog.
He eivät osaa suomea eivätruotsia. They can't speak Finnish nor Swedish.
Älä pudota rahoja eiunohda asiaasi! Don't drop the money nor forget your shoppings!
5.2. Makes a negation word stronger
Finnish English
- Tule tänne! - Come here!
- Entule! - No way!
- Minä istun tähän. - I'll sit here.
- Etistu! Se on Mikon paikka. - No you won't! That's Mikko's place.
5.3. When added to question words, it makes the sentence more casual
Finnish English
Mihinte menette? Where is it that you are going?
Milloinka he lähtivät? When is it that they left?
Mitenkä minä voin auttaa? How is it that I can help you?


Added to make a sentence more casual, usually used among friends
Finnish English
Mitäs sinulle kuuluu? How are you?
Tules tänne! Come here!
Äläs nyt itke! Don't cry!