The Allative Case (Mille) – Finnish Grammar

If you’re looking for an overview about missä, mistä and mihin, look here.

Table of Contents
  1. The Use of the Allative Case
    1. Like -lla, But for Going TO Something
    2. When Using Certain Verbs
  2. The Formation of the Allative Case
    1. Words ending in a single vowel
    2. Words ending in an -e
    3. Words ending in -nen
    4. Words ending in -i
      1. New words ending in -i
      2. Old words ending in -i
      3. Old words ending in -si
  3. Consonant Gradation in the Allative Case

1. Use of the Allative Case (Mille)

1.1. Like -lla, But for Going TO Something

When the missä-form ends in -lla, then you can be pretty sure the mihin-form will end in lle. So if you’re at the kiosk (-lla), you will also go to the kiosk (-lle).

When Talking about Open Places
-lla -lle
Odotan kioskilla. Tulen ajoissa kioskille.
Seison pihalla. Menen pihalle.
Keskustelen keskustorilla. Saavun keskustorille.
When Something is Put on Top of Something
-lla -lle
Leipä on pöydällä. Laitan leivän pöydälle.
Kirja on hyllyllä. Laitan kirjan takaisin hyllylle.

1.3. When Using Certain Verbs

Finnish has this concept of “rections”: most words will require other words that they get combined with to appear in a certain case. There are several verbs that require -lle. You can learn more about rections here.


2. The Formation of the Allative Case

The allative is one of the six location cases. Its ending -lle gets added to the same form as most of the other locations cases (-ssa, -sta, -lla, -lta)

2.1. Words ending in a single vowel (-a/-ä, -u/-y, -o/-ö): add -lle

This is also true for some words ending in -i and -e, but they generally have a different rule. See below!

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
kala kalalle tyyny tyynylle talo talolle
seinä seinälle työ työlle melu melulle

2.2. Words ending in -e: add an extra -e- before the -lle

Words ending in -e get a second -e- in any case except the partitive.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
huone huoneelle perhe perheelle kappale kappaleelle
kirje kirjeelle lentokone lentokoneelle taide taiteelle
parveke parvekkeelle koe kokeelle aste asteelle

2.3. Words ending in -nen: replace the -nen with -se/-se before the -lle

This is the same change that -nen words go through when being used in any case except the partitive.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
nainen naiselle hevonen hevoselle suomalainen suomalaiselle
eteinen eteiselle iloinen iloiselle ihminen ihmiselle
sininen siniselle toinen toiselle tavallinen tavalliselle

2.4. Words ending in -i

2.4.1. New words ending in -i: add -lle

New words are often loanwords. Usually they’re recognisable because they resemble words in other languages, like “pankki” for “bank”, or “paperi” for “paper”. Loanwords are easier than Finnish words because they don’t undergo as many changes when you add endings.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
banaani banaanille paperi paperille kahvi kahville
pankki pankille posti postille maali maalille
tili tilille adverbi adverbille dollari dollarille

2.4.2. Old words ending in -i: replace -i- with -e- and add -lle

Old words are very often nature words. After all, nature has been around for so long that Finns have had names for them since the very beginning. Some words’ age can be confusing, for example “äiti” (mother) is actually a new Finnish word, eventhough mothers have been around since the beginning of time!

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
suomi suomelle ovi ovelle järvi järvelle
kivi kivelle suuri suurelle nimi nimelle
pieni pienelle lehti lehdelle pilvi pilvelle

2.4.3. Old words ending in -si: replace -si- with -de- and add -lle

More old words, but this time with -si at their end. This group has its own additional change

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
uusi uudelle vuosi vuodelle si delle
kuukausi kuukaudelle vesi vedelle reisi reidelle

3. Consonant Gradation in the Allative Case

Wordtype A
Nominative Mille Nominative Mille Nominative Mille
tyttö tytölle pankki pankille puku puvulle
pöytä pöydälle hattu hatulle kauppa kaupalle
silta sillalle kampa kammalle hiekka hiekalle

I have a separate article on wordtype A.

Wordtype B
Nominative Mille Nominative Mille Nominative Mille
savuke savukkeelle opas oppaalle keitin keittimelle
tavoite tavoitteelle rakas rakkaalle hammas hampaalle
soitin soittimelle puhallin puhaltimelle allas altaalle

I have a separate article on wordtype B.


That concludes the article on the allative case!

 

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