Finnish for busy people

Tuossa Tuosta Tuohon – “Over There” in Finnish

In this article, we look at these three words: tuossa, tuosta and tuohon, which are inflected forms of the demonstrative pronoun tuo. Tuossa, tuosta and tuohon all can mean “there, over there”, but are used in different contexts. You might want to get acquainted with the missä, mistä and mihin forms first.

This article focuses on cases where tuossa, tuosta and tuohon are used on their own, without a noun attached to them. This is a pretty specific use of tuo which fits best in the tässä-täällä, tuossa-tuolla, siinä-siellä scheme of words to say “here” and “there”. The general use of tuo is as a pronoun attached to a noun, where it means “that” rather than “there” (eg. tuo kirja, tuota kirjaa, tuossa kirjassa).

Table of Contents
  1. Tuossa (missä?)
    1. Concrete meaning of tuossa
    2. More abstract uses of tuossa
    3. Phrases with tuossa
  2. Tuosta (mistä?)
    1. Concrete meaning of tuosta
    2. More abstract uses of tuosta
  3. Tuohon (mihin?)
    1. Concrete meaning of tuohon
    2. More abstract uses of tuohon

1. Tuossa (missä?)

1.1. Concrete meaning of tuossa (over there)

You will use tuossa for a place that’s close-by, which you will specify by either looking in that direction or by pointing. Tuossa will refer to a relatively small area with clear borders. This is in contrast with tuolla, which refers to a relatively expansive area without clear borders.

Finnish English
Puhelimesi on tuossa. Your phone is over there (eg. on the night table).
Lahjapöytä on tuossa. The present table is over there (eg. in that corner).
Voit istua tuossa. You can sit over there (eg. at the head of the table).
Kuka tuo tuossa on? Who’s that over there (eg. sitting at the bar)?
Tuossa on ovi, ulos. There’s the door, get out.

1.2. More abstract uses of tuossa

We can use tuossa to refer to something that just happened or was just said. Often it refers to a point in time rather than a location: eg. “muistin tuossa, että” can loosely be translated to mean that you remembered something “a moment ago” rather than “over there”.

Finnish English
Tuossa saatat olla oikeassa. You’re probably correct there.
Tuossa kävellessäni mietin, että… While walking there, I was thinking that…
Tuli tuossa mieleeni, että – –. It just now came to mind that – –.
Tuossa ei ole tippaakaan järkeä. That doesn’t make any sense.
Tuossa sen nyt kuulit! There you have it! You heard it now!
Sain tuossa tietää, että minusta tulee isä! I just now found out I’m gonna be a dad!
Keskustaan kävelee [tuossa tuokiossa]. You can walk to the city center [in a jiffy].

In spoken language, tuossa will often be said as tossa, eg. “Istu tossa ja odota”.

2. Tuosta (Mistä?)

We don’t generally use the form tuosta to express a concrete movement of action away from an area in close proximity. It’s usually either used as a demonstrative pronoun attached to a noun (eg. tuosta talosta “from that house”, tuosta kirjasta “from that book”), or in more abstract sentences. If you do want to express “from over there” in a concrete way, you will usually use tuolta.

Finnish English
Menehän tuosta jo töihin! Get to work there already!
Tuosta ei tule mitään. Nothing will come from that.
Häneltä tulee tuosta palautetta. He will give feedback on that.
Tuosta tulikin mieleen! That reminds me!
Ei tuosta ole haittaa sinulle. That won’t cause problems for you.
Se ei onnistu [tuosta vain]. It won’t succeed [just like that].
Pystytko [tuosta vaan] lopettamaan? Can you quit [just like that]?
Oravia näkyy [tuon tuosta]. Squirrels show up [every little while].

In spoken language, tuosta will often be said as tosta, eg. “Tosta ei tuu mitään“.

3. Tuohon (Mihin?)

Tuohon refers to a movement or action towards an area within pointing distance. Go there: to that exact spot! The area the movement or action is targeted towards has to be small and well-defined. If the area is wider or less specific, we use tuonne. For example, istu tuohon refers to a specific spot, which istu tuonne is used for a wider area.

Tuohon is commonly accompanied by a noun. In these cases it is functioning as a demonstrative pronoun and less as an adverb. For all the concrete examples below, we can clear think of a noun to add (eg. tuohon paikkaan, tuohon kohtaan).

3.1. Concrete meaning of tuohon (to there)

Finnish English
Istu tuohon! Go sit over there.
Kirjoita nimesi tuohon noin. Write your name in that spot there.
Ja allekirjoitus tuohon. And sign there.
Mies parkkeerasi autonsa tuohon. The man parked his car over there.

3.2. More abstract uses of tuohon

In more abstract situations, tuohon can refer to the topic or situation that we’re currently discussing rather than a location. Most of the time, the mihin-form is used because the verb has a rection that requires mihin: uskoa mihin, pystyä mihin.

Finnish English
Miten hän pystyy tuohon? How is he able to do that?
Miten ihmeessä pystyt tuohon? How in heaven’s name can you do that?
Et usko tuohon itsekään. You don’t believe that yourself either.

In spoken language, tuohon will often be said as tohon, eg. “Pystyksä tohon?“.

 

That’s it for this article. I hope you have a better grasp on how to use the words tuossa, tuosta and tuohon! You can find links to other related articles below!

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