Finnish for busy people

Finnish Postpositions and Prepositions List

This Finnish postpositions and prepositions list is meant to show you words that can be used in post- or prepositional phrases. The idea of Finnish postpositions and prepositions (adpositions) is that they express how/where something is in relation to something else – their relative location.

Meaning of Postpositions and Prepositions

Finnish postpositions and prepositions can indicate relative location, time, cause, consequence or relation. Below, you can find the ways I’ve marked these adpositions in the table.

  • Static location: these words express that the subject is in a fixed position relative to the main word (missä)
  • Motion towards: these words express that the subject is moving towards a relative location (mihin)
  • Motion away: these words express that the subject is moving away from a relative location (mistä)
  • Motion along: these words express a motion past something the main word (→○→)
  • Cause or consequence: express the reason or result of the main word
  • Time: these words express a relative point of time or timespan relative to the main word
  • People: these words express the relation between people, either spacial or abstract
  • Abstract relation: these words express an abstract relation between things
  • Addition or lack: these words express adding or remove something

How to Use this List

This list allows you to more dynamically get a look at postpositions and prepositions. Ways in which you could use it:

  • Alphabetically: Shows you similar-looking adverbs and how they differ from one another in construction and meaning.
  • By construction: Shows you which words come with the partitive or genitive case and whether they’re placed before or after the main word.
  • By translation: Shows you the English translations, allowing you to see which words are similar in English and how they differ.
  • By category: Shows you what type of relation these words express (time, location, motion, etc.).

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Some Notes and Remarks

While making this list I many times hit obstacles that required me to figure out what type of words I wanted to include. One such obstacle is that some of these postpositions can also appear on their own as adverbs. For example,

    • Hän tuli [ennen minua]. “He came before me” – preposition
    • Elämä oli [ennen] erilaista. “Life was different earlier/before” – adverb
    • Ymmärsin juonen vasta [kirjan lopussa]. “I only understood the plot at the end of the book – postposition
    • Vessapaperi on [lopussa]. “The toilet paper is almost up” – adverb
  • ALAS
    • Hän tuli portaita alas. “He came down the stairs” – postposition
    • Hän tuli alas. “He came down” – adverb

Read More Elsewhere

That’s all for Finnish postpositions and prepositions for now! I hope you find this list useful. More related articles will be linked here as I publish them.

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