Finnish for busy people

Mä Mää Mie – Pronouns in Spoken Language

Finnish spoken language has its own vocabulary, grammar and rules. In this article, we will be looking solely at how the personal pronous minä, sinä, hän, me, te and he change in spoken language. Oletko valmis? Mä, mää, mie olen!

Please note that the example sentence used in this article aren’t the only way to say certain things in spoken language. For example, the question tykkäätkö musta (“do you like me”) could also be tykkääksä musta or tykkäätsä musta in spoken language.

Spoken Written Translation
Mä/mää/mie tuun! Minä tulen! I’m coming!
Sä et tiedä. Sinä et tiedä. You don’t know.
Auta mua! Auta minua! Help me!
Rakastan sua. Rakastan sinua. I love you.
Tykkään susta. Tykkään sinusta. I like you.
Se ei ymmärrä. Hän ei ymmärrä. He/she doesn’t understand.

The pronoun minä in spoken language

Mä, mää and mie are three ways to say minä in Finnish spoken language. There are more than that, eg. in some dialects in the South-West of Finland, you can hear mnää. We’ll be focusing on and mää in this article. These are the two widely used versions with a full inflection paradigm. The forms marked with a star (*) are theoretically possible but not in use.

Written Spoken Example Translation
Nominative minä mä, mää Mä tuun. Minä tulen.
Partitive minua mua Mua väsyttää. I feel tired.
Genetive minun mun Se on mun. That’s mine.
Missä minussa mussa Mitä näet mussa? What do you see in me?
Mistä minusta musta Tykkäätkö musta? Do you like me?
Mihin minuun muhun Älä luota muhun. Don’t trust me.
Millä minulla mulla Mulla on kissa. I have a cat.
Miltä minulta multa Näytät multa. You look like me.
Mille minulle mulle Anna se mulle! Give it to me!
Translative minuksi* muksi*
Essive minuna* muna*
Accusative minut mut Hyväksy mut! Accept me!

The pronoun sinä in spoken language

Just like mä, mää, mie, you can say sä, sää and sie in spoken Finnish. There are more options than that, eg. in some dialects in the South-West of Finland, you can hear snää. We’ll be focusing on sä/sää in this article. These are the two widely used versions with a full inflection paradigm. The forms marked with a star (*) are theoretically possible but not in use.

Written Spoken Example Translation
Nominative sinä sä, sää Sä et tuu. You’re not coming.
Partitive sinua sua Rakastan sua. I love you.
Genetive sinun sun Onko tää sun? Is this yours?
Missä sinussa sussa Mitä näin sussa? What did I see in you?
Mistä sinusta susta Pidän susta. I like you.
Mihin sinuun suhun Luotan suhun. I trust you.
Millä sinulla sulla Sulla on koira. You have a dog.
Miltä sinulta sulta Sain sen sulta. I got it from you.
Mille sinulle sulle Annan sen sulle. I give it to you.
Translative sinuksi suksi*
Essive sinuna suna*
Accusative sinut sut Näin sut. I saw you.

The pronoun hän in spoken language

Important to note is that se (“it”) will be used in spoken language to replace hän! Just like the pronoun hän, the spoken language se can refer to both men and women. The forms marked with a star (*) are theoretically possible, but rare in spoken language.

Written Spoken Example Translation
Nominative hän se Se ei tuu. She won’t come.
Partitive häntä sitä Vihaan sitä. I hate her.
Genetive hänen sen Sen nimi on Ari. His name is Ari.
Missä hänessä siinä*
Mistä hänestä siitä* Tykkään siitä. I like her.
Mihin häneen siihen* Luotatko siihen? Do you trust her?
Millä hänellä sillä Sillä on kultakala. She has a goldfish.
Miltä häneltä siltä Sain sen siltä. I got it from her.
Mille hänelle sille Annoin sen sille. I gave it to her.
Translative häneksi* siksi*
Essive hänenä* sinä*
Accusative hänet sen Tapasin sen. I met him.

The pronoun me in spoken language

The main thing that happens to personal pronouns in spoken language is that they’re made shorter. For the pronoun me this means there will be barely any change, because it’s already so short on its own. In fact, some dialects actually make me longer: myö is used in some dialects.

The spoken language form of meidän is interesting because the letter d regularly gets replaced in spoken language with other letters, mainly r (meirän) and j (meijän). Other forms are also possible, for example meiren, meitin and meen. The accusative meidät will also have its d replaced: eg. meirät, meijät.

Written Spoken Example Translation
Nominative me me Me istutaan. We’re sitting.
Partitive meitä meit(ä) Oota meitä! Wait for us!
Genetive meidän meijän Se on meijän. It’s ours.
Missä meissä meis(sä) Meis on voima. We have the power.
Mistä meistä meist(ä) Tykkäätsä meist? Do you like us?
Mihin meihin meihi(n) Ota yhteyttä meihi. Contact us.
Millä meillä meil(lä) Meil on kiire. We’re in a hurry.
Miltä meiltä meilt(ä) Saat sen meilt. You get it from us.
Mille meille meille Älä valehtele meille! Don’t lie to us!
Translative meiksi* meiksi*
Essive meinä* meinä*
Accusative meidät meijät Näitkö meijät? Did you see us?

The pronoun te in spoken language

The main thing that happens to personal pronouns in spoken language is that they’re made shorter. For the pronoun te this means there will be barely any change, because it’s already so short on its own. In fact, some dialects actually make te longer: työ is used in some dialects.

The spoken language form of teidän is interesting because the letter d regularly gets replaced in spoken language with other letters, mainly r (teirän) and j (teijän). Other forms are also possible, for example teiren and teitin. The accusative teidät will also have its d replaced: eg. teirät, teijät.

Written Spoken Example Translation
Nominative te te Te meette. You’re (pl.) going.
Partitive teitä teit(ä) Ootan teitä. I will wait for you (pl.).
Genetive teidän teijän Teijän takki haisee. Your (pl.) coat stinks.
Missä teissä teis(sä) Teis on voimaa. There is power in you (pl.)
Mistä teistä teist(ä) Tykkään teist. I like you (pl.).
Mihin teihin teihi(n) Mä luotan teihin. I trust you (pl.).
Millä teillä teil(lä) Teil on mut. You (pl.) have me.
Miltä teiltä teilt(ä) Teiltä ei saada mittää. Can’t get anything from you.
Mille teille teille Tää on teille. This is for you (pl.).
Translative teiksi* teiksi*
Essive teinä teinä Teinä en tekis noin. I wouldn’t if I were you.
Accusative teidät teijät Haluun tavata teijät. I want to meet you (pl.)

The pronoun he in spoken language

The pronoun he is the plural of hän. Because of this, you can see a similar change in both: hän becomes se and he becomes ne. Se and ne are usually used for things; not people. However, in spoken language, you will use ne when talking about people, too. The verb will exceptionally be conjugated in the third person singular (find out more).

Written Spoken Example Translation
Nominative he ne Ne ei tuu. They’re not coming.
Partitive heitä niitä Näitkö niitä? Did you see them?
Genetive heidän niiden Toi on niiden talo. That’s their house.
Missä heissä niis(sä) Niis on potentiaalia. There’s potential in them.
Mistä heistä niistä Niistä ei ikinä tiiä. You never know with them.
Mihin heihin niihin Mä luotan niihin. I trust them.
Millä heillä niil(lä) Niil ei oo kissaa. They don’t have a cat.
Miltä heiltä niilt(ä) En kysy niilt. I won’t ask them.
Mille heille niille Anna se niille! Give it to them!
Translative heiksi* niiksi*
Essive heinä* niinä*
Accusative heidät ne Tapasin ne. I met them.

More Spoken Language Grammar

Spoken language has its own vocabulary, but it also has its own grammar. There are many differences between written and spoken language in Finnish.

One such difference is the conjugation of the verb in the third person plural. For example, he menevät becomes ne menee in Finnish. Find out more about ne menee, ne tulee, ne katsoo!

Here’s another interesting thing! Spoken language is known for how it’s a condensed/shortened version of written language. Minulla on is a great example of that. There are multiple levels of condensation for this phrase.

I have a cat. You have a cat. She has a cat.
Minulla on kissa. Sinulla on kissa. Hänellä on kissa.
Mulla on kissa. Sulla on kissa. Hällä/Sillä on kissa.
Mullon kissa. Sullon kissa. Häl/Sil on kissa.
Mull o kissa. Sull o kissa. Sill o kissa.
Mulon kissa. Sulon kissa. Silon kissa.

That’s it for , mää and mie! Did you find these examples useful?

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