Finnish for busy people

Location Case Verb Rections – Rektiot Missä Mistä Mihin

Location case verb rections are rections that require their complement to be in one of the location cases (missä, mistä, mihin). There are many different kinds of rections, but the location case verb rections are usually the first to be taught.

Table of Contents
  1. What are rections?
  2. Rections that answer the question “mistä”
    1. Rections with only -sta
    2. Rections with both -sta and -lta
  3. Rections that answer the question “mihin”
    1. Rections with only the illative
    2. Rections with both the illative and -lle
  4. Rections that answer the question “missä”
  5. Perceptional Verbs

1. What are rections?

“Verb rections” is the term used for when certain verbs demand the usage of a certain case for words connected to it. This does exist in English at some level, but I’ve never heard the term “rection” in regards of English.

An example in English:
to look at,
to look for,
to look in,
to look out for,
to look out and
to look like.

While Finnish rections are much like what I listed above, Finnish uses suffixes to express the English prepositions (-ssa instead of “in”). Note: the English translations hereunder are often a bit wonky. This is done on purpose to ensure that you understand the Finnish sentence construction.

Something else to understand is that — while I put these verbs in this list — that doesn’t mean this is 100% the only way to use them. For example, the verb “kertoa” can be used both with -lle and -sta. In fact, you can use both of them in the same sentence: “Minä kerron sinulle (to you) kissasta (about the cat).”, “I tell you about my cat.” There are many verbs like that which can have multiple rections. In addition, sometimes the same meaning can be covered with two verbs. “Hän haisee pahalle” and “Hän haisee pahalta” are both allowed, but both mean “He smells bad”.

The form I’m using in these sentences is the most common one. My approach is that it’s better to have some idea of these to start with, and complete your knowledge later. I find that preferable over having to work your way through all the theory and options that are possible.

Now let’s take a look at some location case verb rections!


2. Rections that answer to the question “mistä”

2.1. Rections with only -sta

You can read more about the -sta/-stä form on the page about the elative.

Many of the phrases in English where you would use “about” (eg. talk, chat, worry about something) will have -sta in Finnish. This is not a definite rule, but a fairly common occurance.

Verb Sentence English
tietää Tiedän paljon Suomen historiasta. I know a lot “from” (about) Finnish history.
puhua Puhutteko minusta? Do you talk “from” (about) me?
kertoa Kerron hänelle Ranskan matkasta. I tell him “from” (about) the trip to France.
jutella Juttelimme asioista. We chatted “from” (about) the things.
keskustella Keskustelemme Suomen politiikasta. We chat “from” (about) Finnish politics.
kirjoittaa Me kirjoitetaan kuninkaasta. We write “from” (about) a king.
sopia Me sovimme tapaamisesta. We agreed “from” (about) meeting.
ilmoittaa Isännöitsijä ilmoitti jostakin. The landlord informed “from” (about) something.
kiittää Hän kiitti hyvästä ruoasta. He thanked “from” (for) the good food.
nauttia Nautimme kesäsäästä. We enjoyed “from” the summer weather.
riippua Se riippuu ilmasta. It depends “from” (on) the weather.
kiinnostua Hän on kiinnostunut sinusta. He’s interested “from” (in) you.
pitää Pidän suklaasta. I like “from” chocolate.
tykätä Tykkäätkö jäätelöstä? Do you like “from” icecream?
ajatella Mitä sinä ajattelet minusta. What do you think “from” (about) me?
unelmoida Mistä sinä unelmoit? “From” (of) what do you dream?
haaveilla Mitä haaveilen omasta yrityksestä. I dream “from” (of) my own business.
huolehtia Minä huolehdin sinusta. I look “from” (after) you.
huolestua Nuoriso huolestuu politiikasta. The youth worries “from” (about) politics.
innostua Nuoriso innostuu blogeista. Youth gets interested/excited “from” (in) blogs.
kilpailla Me kilpailemme mestaruudesta. We compete “from” (for) the title.
koostua Kaikki koostuu atomeista. Everything consists “from” (of) atoms.
kärsiä Hän kärsii kuumasta kesästä. He suffers “from” the hot weather.
luennoida Hän luennoi aiheesta. He lectured “from” (about) the subject.
luopua Hän luopui tupakoinnista. He gave (up) “from” smoking.
neuvotella He neuvottelevat yhteistyöstä. They discuss “from” (about) a collaboration.
palkita Äiti palkitsi hänet työstään. Mom rewarded him “from” (for) this work.
riidellä Me riitelemme rahasta. We argue “from” (about) money.
selvitä Onneksi selvisimme tilanteesta. Luckily we recovered “from” the situation.
vapautua Voiko vesimaksusta vapautua? Can one be excempted “from” the water bill?
yllättyä Yllätyimme lahjoista. We were surprised “from” (by) the gifts.

2.2. Rections with both -sta and -lta

Verbs that allow both -sta (elative) and -lta (ablative) are verbs that give the answer to the question “mistä”. The possibility of having either -sta or -lta is dependent on the word we’re using to answer the question mistä. For example, buying food from the store would be “kaupasta”, but buying food from the market place would be “torilta”. This is due to the fact that tori will always have -lla, -lta and -lle (rule 1.1 on this page).

Verb Sentence English
ostaa Ostan ruokaa Lidlistä. I buy food from Lidl.
Ostan kalaa torilta. I buy fish from the market.
etsiä Etsin pyörää monesta kaupasta. I search for a bike “from” many stores.
Etsimme lompakkoani pöydältä. We search for my wallet “from” the table.
löytää Löysin pyörän torilta. I found a bike “from” (in) the market.
Löysitkö kirjeen laatikosta? Did you find the letter “from” (in) the box?
lukea Luin lehdestä, että on homeongelmia. I read “from” (in) the newspaper that there are mold problems.
Luimme uutisen etusivulta. We read the news “from” (on) the front page.
katsoa Katson nettisivulta mikä päivä on. I check from the website what day it is.
Katso sana sanakirjasta! Check the word from the dictionary!
myöhästyä Me myöhästyimme kurssilta. We were late “from” (for) the course.
Älä myhästy bussista! Don’t be late “from” (for) the bus!
lainata Keneltä lainasit rahaa? Who did you borrow money from?
Lainasimme rahaa pankista. We borrowed money from the bank.
pelastaa Pelastan keittiön repimiseltä. I save the kitchen from demolishing.
Sankari pelasti minut pulasta. The hero saved me from trouble.

 

3. Rections that answer to the question “mihin”

3.1. Rections with only the illative

The illative answers the question “mihin“, but its uses are pretty different than in English. Many of these are just cases when you have to learn the location case verb rections without translating too much. You will see that when you look at the straight translations. Most of those just don’t make sense in English.

Verb Sentence English
liittyä Liittyikö Suomi EU:hun? Did Finland join “into” the EU?
rakastua Rakastuin häneen. I fell “into” love with him.
tutustua Hauska tutustua sinuun! Nice to meet “into” you!
tottua En koskaan totu pimeään talveen. I never get used “into” the dark winter.
käyttää Käytätkö paljon aikaa urheiluun? Do you use lots of time “into” sports?
mahtua Mahdutteko kaikki tuohon autoon? Do you all fit into that car?
kuulua Mikä ei kuulu joukkoon? What doesn’t fit into the group?
vastata Vastaa puhelimeen! Answer “into” the phone!
erikoistua Petri erikoistui hermokirurgiaan. Petri specialized “into” nerve surgery.
haastaa Haastoin hänet oikeuteen. I sued him “into” court.
ihastua Roope oli ihastunut Niinaan. Roope was infatuated “into” (with) Niina.
keskittyä He kestkittyvät naisten oikeuksiin. They focus “into” (on) women’s rights.
kiinnittyä Huomioni kiinnittyy punaiseen autoon. My attention is drawn “into” the red car.
kuolla Hän kuoli syöpään. He died “into” (of) cancer.
luottaa Enemmistö luottaa Kelaan. The majority trusts “into” Kela.
nojata Minä nojasin seinään. I leaned “into” the wall.
osallistua Me osallistuimme tutkimukseen. We participated “into” the study.
osua Nuoli osui maaliin. The arrow hit “into” the goal.
perustua Hänen menestys perustuu kovaan työntekoon. His success stems “into” (from) hard work.
sairastua Sairastuin influenssaan. I got sick “into” (with) the flue.
sekoittaa Sekoita sokeri jauhoihin. Mix the sugar into the flour.
sisältyä Vesimaksu sisältyy vuokraan. The water bill is included “into” the rent.
suhtautua Miten hän suhtautui siihen? How did he feel “into” (about) it?
tarttua Tartun mahdollisuuteen sanoa jotain. I grasp “into” the opportunity to say something.
tyytyä Vähempään en tyydy. I won’t settle “into” (for) less.
törmätä Auto törmäsi puuhun. The car bumped into the tree.
vaikuttaa Liikunta vaikuttaa terveyteen. Excercise influences “into” your health.
valmistautua Miten valmistaudut työelämään? How do you prepare “into” (for) working life?
vedota Vetoat hänen tunteisin. You’re appealing “into” his feelings.
viitata Wikipediaan ei saa viitata. It’s not allowed to refer “into” Wikipedia.
väsyä Minä väsyin lukemiseen. I got tired “into” (of) reading.
yhtyä Hän yhtyi lauluun. He joined “into” the singing.

3.2. Rections with both illative and -lle

Verbs that allow both the illative and -lle (allative) are verbs that give the answer to the question “mihin”.

The possibility of having either of these two cases is dependent on the word we’re using to answer the question mihin. You will need to learn these by heart because they are very different form English.

Verb Sentence English
jäädä Jään kotiin. I stay “into” (at) home.
Lompakkoni jäi pöydälle. My wallet stayed “onto” (on) the table.
jättää Jätän tämän kirjan sinulle. I will leave this book “onto” for you.
Jätin kirjat kotiin. I left the books “into” (at) home.
unohtaa Unohdin paperit luokkaan. I forgot the papers “into” (in) the class room.
Unohdit avaimesi pöydälle! You forgot your keys “onto” (on) the table!
päästä Milloin me pääsemme kotiin? When do we get to go “into” home?
Pääsimme kielen kurssille. We got “onto” (into) the course.
kiinnittää Kiinnitin taulun seinälle. I attached the painting “onto” (to) the wall.
Kiinnitin heti huomiota hänen. I noticed “into” him right away.

4. Rections that answer to the question “missä”

Next is the group of location case verb rections that only have one rection: -ssa (aka the inessive).

Verb Sentence English
epäonnistua Hallitus on epäonnistunut työssään. The government has failed “in” their job.
erehtyä Hän erehtyi yksityiskohdissa. He was wrong “in” (about) the details.
hylätä Hän hylkäsi vaimonsa sateessa. He left his wife “in” the rain.
neuvoa Hän neuvoi minua monessa asiassa. He advised me “in” many things.
onnistua Ruotsi on onnistunut integraatiossa. Sweden has succeeded “in” the integration.
voittaa Hän voitti kilpailussa. He won “in” the competition.

5. Perceptional verbs

These preceptional verbs (aistiverbit, aistimusverbit, vaikutelmaverbit) come with both -lta/ltä (the ablative) or -lle (the allative). Most Finns seem to recognize a small difference in meaning between the two, but aren’t able to explain it very well. As a non-native speaker, I stick to -lta in all situations, althought both are possible.

I have a whole separate article on these perceptional verbs.

Verb Sentence English
maistua Lounas maistui herkulliselta. Lunch tasted delicious.
näyttää Hän näyttää eksyneeltä. He looks lost.
tuoksua Hajuvesi tuoksuu ruusuilta. The perfume smells like roses.

 

These are not all the location case verb rections that exist, but they are the most common ones. Good luck in your studies!

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Ülkem

Hi! 3.2. Rections with both illative and -lle
Lompakkoni jäi pöydälle. My walled stayed ”onto” (on) the table.
Kindly replace “walled” with “wallet”. Greetings.

Inge (admin)
Inge (admin)

Thanks! That weird typo has been fixed!