Verb types

There are six verb types in Finnish. It's important to know which verb type a verb belongs to, because every verb type has its own rules when you conjugate them.


1. Verb type 1

Verb type 1 is the most commonly used verb type. These types of verbs end in 2 vowels (-aa, -ea, -eä, -ia, -iä, -oa, -ua, -yä, -ää, -öä).

To find this type of verb's infinitive stem (this is the stem to which you add the endings that are typical for the minä form, the sinä form, etc): remove the -a or -ä.

Remember that verb type 1 verbs undergo consonant gradation if possible!

  Puhua (to speak) Sanoa (to say) Istua (to sit)
Person Conjugation English Conjugation English Conjugation English
minä puhun I speak sanon I say istun I sit
sinä puhut you speak sanot you say istut you sit
hän puhuu he speaks sanoo he says istuu he sits
me puhumme we speak sanomme we say istumme we sit
te puhutte you speak sanotte you say istutte you sit
he puhuvat they speak sanovat they say istuvat they sit

Examples of verb type 1 that undergo consonant gradation

Some other common type 1 verbs: ajaa (to drive), alkaa (to start, to begin), antaa (to give, to let (someone do something), to allow), asua (to live in a place, to reside), auttaa (to help), etsiä (to look for, to seek), herättää (to wake (someone) up), hoitaa (to take care of), huutaa (to shout), katsoa (to look at), kieltää (to deny), kiertää (to go around), kirjoittaa (to write), kysyä (to ask), laajentaa (to expand), laskea (to count), lukea (to read), lähteä (to leave), maksaa (to pay, to cost), muistaa (to remember), neuvoa (to give advice), odottaa (to wait, to expect), ostaa (to buy), ottaa (to take), paistaa (to fry, to shine), puhua (to speak), rakastaa (to love), rakastua (to fall in love), saartaa (to shatter), sallia (to allow), sanoa (to say), soittaa (to call, to play (an instrument)), sortaa (to collapse), tietää (to know something), tuntea (to feel), unohtaa (to forget), unohtua (to forget oneself), vaatia (to demand), ymmärtää (to understand)


2. Verb type 2

These types of verbs end in -da/-dä. To find this type of verb's infinitive stem, you remove the -da/-dä.

Notice that the third person singular doesn't get the final letter doubled like in verb type 1!

  Saada (to get) Juoda (to drink) Syödä (to eat)
Person Conjugation English Conjugation English Conjugation English
minä saan I get juon I drink syön I eat
sinä saat you get juot you drink syöt you eat
hän saa he gets juo he drinks syö he eats
me saamme we get juomme we drink syömme we eat
te saatte you get juotte you drink syötte you eat
he saavat they get juovat they drink syövät they eat

Some other common type 2 verbs: juoda (to drink), jäädä (to stay), käydä (to visit), luennoida (to lecture), myydä (to sell), pysäköidä (to park), saada (to get, to be allowed), soida (to ring (out), syödä (to eat), terrorisoida (to terrorize), tuoda (to bring), tupakoida (to smoke), uida (to swim), viedä (to take), voida (to be able to)


3. Verb type 3

This type of verbs ends in -lla/-llä, -nna/-nnä, -ra/-rä, -sta/-stä (in other words: in two consonants and a vowel). To find this type of verb's infinitive stem, remove the -la or -lä, -na or -nä, -ra or -rä, or -ta or -tä.To this stem, you add an -e- before adding the personal ending!

Remember that verb type 3 verbs undergo consonant gradation if possible!

  Tulla (to come) Mennä (to go) Nousta (to rise)
Person Conjugation English Conjugation English Conjugation English
minä tulen I come menen I go nousen I rise
sinä tulet you come menet you go nouset you rise
hän tulee he comes menee he goes nousee he rises
me tulemme we come menemme we go nousemme we rise
te tulette you come menette you go nousette you rise
he tulevat they come menevät they go nousevat they rise

Examples of verb type 3 that undergo consonant gradation

Some other common type 3 verbs: ajatella (to think about something), hymyillä (to smile), julkaista (to publish), kiistellä (to quarrel), kuulla (to hear), kuunnella (to listen), kävellä (to walk), mennä (to go), nousta (to rise, to get up), olla (to be), ommella (to sew), opetella (to learn), opiskella (to study), panna (to put), pestä (to wash), purra (to bite), ratkaista (to solve), riidellä (to fight), surra (to mourn), suudella (to kiss), tapella (to fight), tulla (to come, to become), työskennellä (to work)


4. Verb type 4

These types of verbs end in -ata/-ätä, -ota/-ötä, -uta/-ytä. To find this type of verb's infinitive stem, you remove the -t. (so NOT the final -a!)

The third person singular gets an -a added to the end when the two vowels from the stem are different vowels. When the two vowels are -aa- it wouldn't make sense to add a third one, so we add nothing.

Remember that verb type 4 verbs undergo consonant gradation if possible!

  Haluta (to want) Osata (to be able to) Pakata (to pack)
Person Conjugation English Conjugation English Conjugation English
minä haluan I want osaan I am able to pakkaan I pack
sinä haluat you want osaat you're able to pakkaat you pack
hän haluaa he wants osaa he's able to pakkaa he packs
me haluamme we want osaamme we're able to pakkaamme we pack
te haluatte you want osaatte you're able to pakkaatte you pack
he haluavat they want osaavat they're able to pakkaavat they pack

Examples of verb type 4 that undergo consonant gradation

Some other common type 4 verbs: avata (to open), erota (to divorce), hakata (to beat), haluta (to want), herätä (to wake up), huomata (to notice), hypätä (to jump), hävetä (to be ashamed), hävitä (to lose, to disappear), juoruta (to gossip), kadota (to disappear), kiivetä (to climb), lakata (to stop), luvata (to promise), maata (to lie (down)), määrätä (to determine), osata (to be able to), pelata (to play), pelätä (to be scared), piffata (to treat), pihdata (to skimp), pudota (to fall), ruveta (to start), selvitä (to become clear), siivota (to clean), tarjota (to offer, to serve), tavata (to meet), tilata (to order), todeta (to state), tykätä (to like), vastata (to answer), älytä (to get something, to understand)


5. Verb type 5

These types of verbs end in -ita/-itä. Ocassionally, you will come across verbs that have this ending but do not conjugate the same way; these verbs belong to verb type 4.

To find this type of verb's infinitive stem, you remove the final -ta/-tä.
To this stem, you then add -tse- before adding the personal ending!

  Häiritä (to disturb) Tarvita (to need)
Person Conjugation English Conjugation English
minä häiritsen I disturb tarvitsen I need
sinä häiritset you disturb tarvitset you need
hän häiritsee he disturbs tarvitsee he needs
me häiritsemme we disturb tarvitsemme we need
te häiritsette you disturb tarvitsette you need
he häiritsevät they disturb tarvitsevat they need

Some other common type 5 verbs: hallita (to rule, to govern, to be able to), havaita (to perceive), hillitä (to restrain, to check, to control), häiritä (to disturb), kyyditä (to give someone a lift, to drive), mainita (to mention), merkitä (to mark), palkita (to reward, to award), tarvita (to need), tulkita (to interpret)


6. Verb type 6

Verb type 6 is very rarely used. This type of verb ends in -eta/-etä. The meaning will always be "to become something", meaning it implies a change from one state to another. If a verb of this type doesn't mean a change, it will be conjugated like a normal verb type 4 verb.

To find this type of verb's infinitive stem, you remove the final -ta/-tä.
To this stem, you then add -ne- before adding the personal ending!

Remember that verb type 6 verbs undergo consonant gradation if possible!

  Vaaleta (to whiten) Lämmetä (to become warm)
Person Conjugation English Conjugation English
minä vaalenen I whiten lämpenen I become warm
sinä vaalenet you whiten lämpenet you become warm
hän vaalenee he whitens lämpenee he becomes warm
me vaalenemme we whiten lämpenemme we become warm
te vaalenette you whiten lämpenette you become warm
he vaalenevat they whiten lämpenevät they become warm

Some other common type 6 verbs: paeta (to run away), kylmetä (to get cold), vanheta (to become old), kalveta (to turn pale), valjeta (to brighten up), tarjeta (to stand the cold), rohjeta (to presume), nuoreta (to become younger), pidetä (to become longer), lyhetä (to become shorter), tummeta (to darken), kyetä (to be able to), vaieta (to become silent), aueta (to come loose)

Examples of verb type 6 verbs that get conjugated like verb type 4: kiivetä (to climb), ruveta (to start) and hävetä (to be ashamed)