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The Allative Case (Mille) – Finnish Grammar

The allative case is one of the 6 Finnish location cases. 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
    3. Adjectives + Noun in the -lle form
  2. The Formation of the Allative Case
    1. Words ending in a single vowel
    2. Words ending in an -e
    3. Words ending in -i
      1. New words ending in -i
      2. Old words ending in -i
      3. Old words ending in -si
    4. Words ending in a consonant
      1. Words ending in -nen
      2. Words ending in -as
      3. Words ending in -is
      4. Words ending in -os/-us
      5. Words ending in -ton
      6. Words ending in -in
      7. Words ending in -ut
      8. Words ending in -tar
  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 in general here.
  • You can learn more about rections that answer the question kenelle here.

1.4. Adjectives + Noun in the –lle form

Some adjectives also have mistä rection. Below, you can find a couple of examples, but there are plenty more in the article about adjective rections. Knowing English won’t help you at all in this situation, as you can see from the translations of the examples.

Finnish English
Olen allerginen siitepölylle. I’m allergic to pollen.
Oletko vielä vihainen minulle? Are you still angry with me?
Se on hänelle tyypillistä. It’s typical for him.
Tupakointi on vaarallista terveydelle. Smoking is dangerous to health.

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 vowel (-a/-ä, -u/-y, -o/-ö): add -lle

This is also true for some words ending in -i and all words ending in -e. See below!

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
kala kalalle tyyny tyynylle
talo talolle seinä seinälle
työ työlle melu melulle
vaikea vaikealle radio radiolle

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. Words ending in -e belong to wordtype B, which means their basic form will be weak (eg. parveke, koe) and their allative strong (eg. parvekkeelle, kokeelle).

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

2.3. Words ending in -i

You can read more about the difference between the different kinds of words ending in -i here.

2.3.1. 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
banaani banaanille paperi paperille
kahvi kahville pankki pankille
posti postille maali maalille
tili tilille adverbi adverbille

2.3.2. 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 nature words since the very beginning. Some words’ age can be confusing, for example äiti (mother) is actually a fairly new Finnish word, even though mothers have been around since the beginning of time!

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

2.3.3. 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: the -si will turn into -de-.

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

Find out more about the inflection of the different types of words ending in –i!

2.4. Words ending in a consonant

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

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

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

2.4.2. Words ending in -as: replace -as with -aa- + -lle

Words ending in -as (or –äs, depending on vowel harmony rules) belong to wordtype B, so they will have the weak grade in their basic form (eg. rakas, opas) and the strong grade in the ablative (eg. rakkaalta, oppaalta). Read more about words ending in -as here.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
rakas rakkaalle rikas rikkaalle
taivas taivaalle lipas lippaalle
opas oppaalle itsekäs itsekkäälle

2.4.3. Words ending in -is: two groups

For words ending in -is, we have two groups: words like kallis that get -ii- when inflected, and words like roskis which that get -ikse- when inflected.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
kallis kalliille roskis roskikselle
kaunis kauniille kirppis kirppikselle
kauris kauriille fiilis fiilikselle
ruis rukiille futis futikselle

2.4.4. Words ending in -us/-os: two groups

Words ending in -os will get -okse- when inflected. Words ending in -us can belong to two groups: some get -ukse-, others get -ude- before the -lle. You will want to check out this article to get the specifics.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
mahdollisuus mahdollisuudelle vastaus vastaukselle
rakkaus rakkaudelle kysymys kysymykselle
ystävyys ystävyydelle keskus keskukselle
pimeys pimeydelle tarjous tarjoukselle

Some general guidelines:

  • If the word is based on a verb (such as opettaa > opetus), it will generally get –ukse-.
  • If the word is based on an adjective (such as pimeä > pimeys), it will get –ude-.
  • If the word is based on a noun (such as ystävä > ystävyys), it will get –ude-.
  • If the word ends in –uus/yys (double vowel), you will get –ude-.

2.4.5. Words ending in -ton: replace -ton with -ttoma- + -lle

Read more about words ending in -ton here.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
työtön työttömälle koditon kodittomalle
rahaton rahattomalle rasvaton rasvattomalle
maidoton maidottomalle alkoholiton alkoholittomalle

2.4.6. Words ending in -in: replace -in with -ime- + -lle

Read more about words ending in -in here.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
puhelin puhelimelle keitin keittimelle
avain avaimelle kiharrin kihartimelle
puhallin puhaltimelle suoritin suorittimelle

2.4.7. Words ending in -ut: two groups

Words that end in -ut/yt can belong to two wordtypes. The smallest group of the two contains words such as olut, kevyt and lyhyt. For these words, you will replace the final -t with an –e- before the allative’s case ending.

The much larger group is made up of NUT-participles such as väsynyt and tottunut. For the words, you will replace the -ut/yt with -ee- before the allative’s case ending.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
kevyt kevyelle väsynyt väsyneelle
olut oluelle ollut olleelle
ohut ohuelle mennyt menneelle

2.4.8. Words ending in -tar

Words ending in -tar are rare, but at least tytär (daughter) is a common word. In the mille-case, these words get -ttare- in place of the basic form’s -tar.

Nominative Allative Nominative Allative
tytär tyttärelle kuningatar kuningattarelle
herttuatar herttuattarelle jumalatar jumalattarelle

3. Consonant Gradation in the Allative Case

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

I have a separate article on wordtype A.

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

I have a separate article on wordtype B.


That concludes the article on the allative case!

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Quyen Doan

Title of 2.2 you typed lta/ltä instead of lle 😀