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Rektio – What are rections? – Finnish Grammar

The Finnish words rektio and verbirektio are likely to pop up when you’re studying in a Finnish course. This concept can be completely foreign to you, which means when I make an article mentioning “rections” or “verb rections”, you might not quite understand what I mean by that.

This article looks at what rections are and what type of rections I have addressed on the Uusi kielemme website.

1. What are rections?

Words in a sentence have an effect on each other. Words form clusters which are connected to one another. When two words are connected, one word may require the other to appear in a certain form.

Depending on the source you’re using, this phenomenon is often expressed in two different ways:

  • The verb luottaa requires a word connected to it to appear in the illative case.
  • The verb luottaa takes the illative case.

Using the verb “to take” is how this is expressed in most languages in English language sources. Personally, I prefer to use the round-about phrase of saying a verb requires a case.

2. Different types of rections

The most common word type where you’ll hear the term rektio used are verbs. Thus, you’ll hear the compound word verbirektio (verb rection). This means that a verb in a sentence will require another word attached to it to appear in a certain form. This word is usually another verb or a noun. When adding a verb, the rection might require, for example, the -maan form or the -misesta form. When adding a noun, the verb might require, for example, the -sta/stä case ending or the -lle ending. Most commonly, you will run into “verb + verb rections” and “verb + noun rections”.

In addition to verb rections, we can also have noun rections (ie. noun + noun, where a noun requires a specific form) and adjective rections (ie. adjective + noun) where an adjective requires a specific form).

Some words can have multiple rections, depending on what type of word you are attaching to it. For example, the verb etsiä (to search) can require TWO rections. There’s the THING you search for and the PLACE where you search for it.

3. Verb + verb rections

3.1. Infinitive verb rections

The first group of rections you will probably be introduced to are infinitive verb rections. This verb + verb rection is the type where the second verb has to appear in its basic form (the infinitive). You can read more about infinitive verb rections here.

Rection Finnish English
haluta + infinitive Haluan jäädä kotiin. I want to stay home.
osata + infinitive Osaan uida. I know how to swim.
päättää + infinitive Päätin lähteä. I decided to leave.
voida + infinitive En voi auttaa sinua. I can’t help you.

3.2. Third infinitive verb rections

The third infinitive is very commonly used in verb + verb clusters. The three cases used of the third infinitive in rections are the illative (ie. the “mihin form” which ends in -maan/mään), the inessive (ie. the “missä form” which ends in -massa/mässä) and the elative (ie. the “mistä form” which ends in -masta/mästä). Read more about third infinitive rections here.

Rection Finnish English
mennä + -maan Mene nukkumaan! Go to sleep!
oppia + -maan Opin hiihtämään. I learned how to ski.
olla + -massa Olin nukkumassa. I was sleeping.
lakata + -masta Lakkaa häiritsemästä minua! Stop bothering me!

3.3. Fourth infinitive verb rections

The fourth infinitive (-minen form) is also commonly used in verb + verb sentences. The four cases used here are the genitive (which for verbs ends in -misen), the partitive (which ends in -mista), the elative (which ends in -misesta) and the illative (which ends in -miseen). Read more about fourth infinitive rections here.

Rection Finnish English
lopettaa + -misen Lopetin opiskelemisen. I stopped studying.
rakastaa + -mista Rakastan opiskelemista. I love to study.
pitää + -misesta Pidän opiskelemisesta. I like to study.
keskittyä + -miseen Keskityn opiskelemiseen. I focus on studying.

4. Verb + noun rections

4.1. Location case rections

Many verbs require the noun connected to them to appear in the missä, mistä or mihin form. This is a verb common verb + noun rection type. Read more about location case rections here.

Rection Finnish English
pitää + -sta Pidän suklaasta. I like chocolate.
tutustua + mihin Hauska tutustua sinuun! Nice to meet you!
neuvoa + -ssa Ari neuvoo minua monessa asiassa. Ari advises me in many things.
näyttää + -lta Vaimoni näyttää kauniilta. My wife looks beautiful.

4.2. Keneltä kenestä keneen -rections

Technically, these verbs could be included in the previous section because the cases you use to answer the questions kenelle and keneltä are also location cases. I have a separate article for these because the verbs in this type of rection are all combined with a noun referring to a person. For example, kenelle (to whom) is the -lle form (allative case) of kuka (who). Read more about this type of rection here.

Rection Finnish English
antaa + kenelle Annoin lahjan Annalle. I gave a present to Anna.
saada + keneltä Sain lahjan Annalta. I got a present from Anna.
pitää + kenestä Pidän Annasta. I like Anna.
luottaa + keneen Luotan Annaan. I trust Anna.

4.3. Translative verb rections

Certain verbs require the noun connected to them to be inflected in the translative case. These rections are usually only taught to intermediate and advanced students. You can read more about translative verb rections here.

Rection Finnish English
opiskella + -ksi Opiskelin opettajaksi. I studied to become a teacher.
luulla + -ksi Luulin Annaa Maijaksi. I thought that Anna was Maija.
tulla + -ksi Anna tuli kodittomaksi. Anna became homeless.
kääntää + -ksi Käännä lause englanniksi! Translate the sentence to English!

5. Noun + noun rections

You’re less likely to be taught noun + noun rections in a Finnish course because this phenomenon is less common. However, you can find a list of the most common noun + noun rections here.

Rection Finnish English
vastaus + mihin Missä on vastaus kysymykseen? Where is the answer to the question?
kutsu + mihin Sain kutsun juhliin. I got an invitation to the party.
kysymys + -sta Minulla on kysymys verotuksesta. I have a question about taxation.
kooste + -sta Tämä on kooste tuloksista. This is a summary of the results.

6. Adjective rections

Another less commonly explained type of rection consists of an adjective followed by a noun or verb. You can read more about this topic in the more detailed article on the topic here.

Rection Finnish English
ylpeä + -sta Olen ylpeä Annasta. I’m proud of Anna.
allerginen + lle Olen allerginen maidolle. I’m allergic to milk.
hyvä + -maan Olen hyvä uimaan. I’m good at swimming.
hidas + -maan Olen hidas oppimaan. I’m slow at learning.

That’s all the types of rections I currently have covered on Uusi kielemme. There are some less common groups of rections that I could also write an article about, but you will get very far already if you know all the types of rections I have already covered.

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Hi, in section 4.1., “Location case rections”, there seems to be a small error, in the table it says “voittaa + -ssa”, but the corresponding example sentence in the same line is for the verb “neuvoa”