To have

1. Having something

Finnish doesn't have a separate verb for "to have". Instead it uses a different sentence construction, centered around the verb "olla", "to be".

Person + lla Verb Object
Minulla on yksi lapsi.
Sinulla on oma huone.
Hänellä on vanha talo.
Meillä on auto.
Teillä on kaksi lasta.
Heillä on kissa.
Jaanalla on koira.

It's interesting to note that the "minulla on" literally means"on me there is". Furthermore, you can see from the sentences above that the "olla" verb doesn't get conjugated! It is always written in the third person singular "on".


2. Not having something

Not having something follows the same pattern:

Person + lla Verb Object
Minulla ei ole poikaystävää.
Sinulla ei ole omaa huonetta.
Hänellä ei ole parveketta.
Meillä ei ole perhettä.
Teillä ei ole autoa.
Heillä ei ole kissaa.
Tiinalla ei ole koiraa.

The object of a "minulla ei ole" sentence will be written in the partitive.

There are five exceptions to this rule:

Affirmative Translation Negative Translation
Minulla on kiire. I'm in a hurry Minulla ei ole kiire. I'm not in a hurry.
Sinulla on nälkä. You're hungry. Sinulla ei ole nälkä. You're not hungry.
Hänellä on jano. He's thirsty. Hänellä ei ole jano. He's not thirsty.
Meillä on kuuma. We're hot. Meillä ei ole kuuma. We're not hot.
Heillä on kylmä. They're cold. Heillä ei ole kylmä. They're not cold.

For the examples above, the object is written in the nominative even in a negative sentence! Notice also that these are phrases that are very different from English: in English you say ""I am hungry, not "I have hunger" for example.


3. Things that have something

Important to notice is also that this rule only counts for living things. If a room has 2 windows, in Finnish you will say "In the room there are two windows."

Affirmative Translation Negative Translation
Asunnossa on ikkuna. In the apartment there is a window. Asunnossa ei ole ikkunaa. In the apartment there isn't a window.
Pihalla on kori. In the yard there is a basket. Pihalla ei ole koria. In the yard there isn't a basket.