Finnish for busy people

Perceptional Verbs – Aistiverbit – Finnish Vocabulary

Tuntua “to feel”, näyttää “to look like”, maistua “to taste like”, haista “to smell (badly) like”, tuoksua “to smell (nicely) like” and kuulostaa “to sound like” are verbs which are based on our senses, aka perceptional verbs.

They are always followed by miltä (the ablative) or mille (the allative). This occurrence is called a “rection”, where a word requiring other words related to it to appear in a certain form.

You can learn some additional vocabulary about the senses as well when you’ve had a chance to learn these perceptional verbs!

Miltä tämä asia tuntuu? How does this object feel?
Se tuntuu painavalta. It feels heavy.
Tämä tuntuu vaikealta. This feels difficult
Miltä ilma näyttää? How does the weather look?
Ilma näyttää kauniilta. The weather looks beautiful.
Näytänkö lihavalta tässä mekossa? Do I look fat in this dress?
Miltä sitruuna maistuu? How does a lemon taste?
Sitruuna maistuu happamalta. A lemon tastes sour.
Kakku maistuu herkulliselta. The cake tastes delicious.
Miltä täällä haisee? What does it stink of here?
Täällä haisee homeelta. It stinks of mold here.
Hengityksesi haisee valkosipulilta. Your breath stinks of garlic.
Miltä ruoka tuoksuu? What does the food smell like?
Ruoka tuoksuu herkulliselta. The food smells delicious.
Ruusu tuoksuu ihanalta. The rose smells wonderful.
Miltä suunnitelma kuulostaa? How does the plan sound?
Lintu kuulostaa onnelliselta. The bird sounds happy.
Suunnitelma kuulostaa hyvältä. The plan sounds good.
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I cant see the difference between “Miltä se maistuu” and “Mille se maistuu”, for example.

Inge (admin)

These are generally synonyms of course, so you can use either of the two.

Regardless, in some cases people “feel” there is a difference. What about haista for example? Many people do feel there’s a difference between mille and miltä for the verb haista 🙂


How would you describe that perceived difference between the two in this case?

Inge (admin)

You’ll have to ask a native speaker that! The explanations probably differ from speaker to speaker, as well as from situation to situation.