Finnish for busy people

Translative Verb Rections – Translatiivi Rektiot

The translative case‘s ending is -ksi. It’s used to express a change in state or a transition. This form appears in a wide range of sentence constructions. In this article, we take a closer look at verb rections that require the translative.

In addition to verb rections, there are also some other verb constructions and some participle uses that require the translative case.

Table of Contents
  1. Translative verb rections
    1. Valmistua
    2. Opiskella
    3. Ryhtyä
    4. Päästä
    5. Joutua
    6. Muuttua
    7. Osoittautua
    8. Sopia
  2. Partitive + translative verb rections
    1. Luulla
    2. Sanoa
    3. Väittää
    4. Nimittää
    5. Kutsua
  3. Object + translative verb rections
    1. Kääntää
    2. Maalata
    3. Määrätä
    4. Todeta
    5. Äänestää
    6. Tuntea
  4. The verb tulla

1. Translative Verb Rections

1.1. valmistua + translative

The translative is used with the verb “valmistua” because semantically it means a change from one state to another: first you are a student, then you’re not anymore.

Finnish English
Hän valmistui insinööriksi. He graduated as an engineer.
Valmistun kohta lastentarhanopettajaksi. I will soon graduate as a kindergarden teacher.

1.2. opiskella + translative

The verb “opiskella” can be a partitive verb when you’re referring to the subject you’re studying (eg. opiskelen suomea, matematiikkaa ja biologiaa). The translative is used when you’re talking about the goal (the profession) of your studies.

Finnish English
Hän opiskelee toimittajaksi. He’s studying to be a journalist.
Opiskeletko sinä lähihoitajaksi? Are you studying to be a nurse?

1.3. ryhtyä + translative

The verb “ryhtyä” (to start doing/being) is used for when you actively change your own status from one thing to another (eg. you start your own business, so you actively “make yourself into” a businessman.

Finnish English
Ryhdyin yrittäjäksi vuonna 2018. I became an entrepreneur in the year 2018.
Haluan ryhtyä tubettajaksi. I want to become a youtuber.

1.4. päästä + translative

The verb “päästä” is hard to translate, but it’s used when you want to express that you became something or made it somewhere without having had any certainty that you would achieve it. When you “pääset” somewhere, it’s a reason to celebrate! Another rection for the verb “päästä” would be the mihin-form: eg. “Pääsen kotiin klo 2” or “Pääsin kokeilemaan sähköautoa”.

Finnish English
Pääsin opettajaksi yliopistoon. I became a teacher at the university.
Pääsin ylioppilaaksi vuonna 2017. I became a graduate in the year 2017.

1.5. muuttua + translative

Finnish English
Jää muuttuu keväällä vedeksi. The ice turns into water in spring.
Prinssi muuttui sammakoksi. The prince became a frog.

1.6. osoittautua + translative

The verb “osoittautua” means to “turn out a certain way” and expresses that we had certain expectations that were not fullfilled.

Finnish English
Homma osoittautui vaikeammaksi kuin luultiinkaan. The job turned out to be harder than we expected.
Pekonileipä osoittautui suureksi pettymykseksi. The bacon bread turned out to be a huge disappointment.

1.7. sopia + translative

In this context, “sopia” means to be suitable/fit for something. It also has different uses, eg. “to agree” or “to fit together”. These other usages don’t come with the translative.

Finnish English
Aino sopii lentoemännäksi. Aino is suitable to be a stewardess.
Suklaakakku ei sovi jälkiruoaksi. Chocolate cake is not a suitable dessert.

2. Partitive + translative verb rections

Some verbs require two rections. In this section, you will find verbs that require the partitive case for the object of the sentence, and the translative for the adverb.

2.1. luulla + partitive + translative

The verb “luulla” (to think) in the past tense is used to express that you thought something that turned out not to be true.

Finnish English
Kaikki luulivat naista kuolleeksi. Everyone thought that the woman was dead.
Hän luuli Annaa Maijaksi. He took Maija for Anna.

2.2. sanoa + partitive + translative

The verb “sanoa” (to say) is used for accusations which could actually be true.

Finnish English
Hän sanoi minua itsekkääksi. He called me selfish.
Minä sanoin hän valehtelijaksi. I called him a liar.

2.3. väittää + partitive + translative

When using the verb “väittää” (to claim), you’re expressing that you’re not taking sides as to whether the accusation is true or not.

Finnish English
Pekka väitti Mattia valehtelijaksi. Pekka swore that Matti was a liar.

2.4. nimittää + partitive + translative

The verb “nimittää” (to name, call) is used for when you call someone by a different name than their official name. It’s usually used when the nickname is either completely new, or in the very least new to the person you are talking to.

Finnish English
Hän nimittää Kaita Kaitsuksi. He calls Kai Kaitsu.
Minä nimitän Erkkiä Egeksi. I call Erkki Ege.

2.5. kutsua + partitive + translative

The verb “kutsua” will be used exactly like “nimittää”, only it expresses that the use of the alternative name is already well-established.

Finnish English
Kastejuhlaa kutsutaan konfirmaatioksi. The holy communion is called “confirmation”.
Me kutsutaan hän Sakuksi. We call him Saku.

3. Object + translative verb rections

This section is meant for other verbs with what you call a double rection: verbs with a normal object in addition to the translative. The object can appear in the basic form (or accusative), the partitive or the genetive, according to the general object rules.

3.1. kääntää + object + translative

Finnish English
Käänsin tekstin englanniksi Googlen avulla. I translated a text to English with the help of Google.
Käännä tämä lause viroksi! Translate this sentence to Estonian!

3.2. maalata + object + translative

Finnish English
Maalasin yhden seinän punaiseksi. I painted one wall red.
Hänen täytyy maalata auto vihreäksi. She has to paint the car red.

3.3. määrätä + object + translative

This is another verb with many meaning. In this context, the verb “määrätä” means to appoint someone or to be appointed.

Finnish English
Hänet määrättiin oppaaksi. He was appointed as the guide.

3.4. todeta + object + translative

One of the uses of the verb “todeta” is with the translative in order to express that something was declared to be a certain way.

Finnish English
Lääkäri totesi miehen kuolleeksi. The doctor declared the man to be dead.
Aidan rakentaminen todettiin liian kalliiksi. The building of the fence was declared to be too expensive.

3.5. äänestää + object + translative

The verb “äänestää” can be used with the partitive: “Äänestän presidenttiä”, which refers to the act of voting. When adding the translative, we’re voting someone (the object of the sentence) for a certain position (which will appear in the translative).

Finnish English
Hänet äänestettiin parhaaksi urheilijaksi. He was voted to be the best sportsman.
Ministeri äänestettiin presidentiksi. The minister was voted to be the president.

3.6. tuntea + itse + translative

Some learners of Finnish find they have a hard time to express their feelings in Finnish. The verb “tuntea” is one way to do so, but it will require this specific sentence construction, which includes the pronoun “itse”. You will need to add the appropriate possessive suffix to this.

Finnish English
Tunsin itseni väsyneeksi ja kiukkuiseksi. I felt tired and irritable.
Maarit alkoi tuntea itsensä epätoivoiseksi. Maarit was starting to feel desperate.
Tunnetko itsesi ujoksi puhuessasi tuntemattomalle? Do you feel shy when talking to strangers?

 

4. The verb tulla

The verb “tulla” gets its own section on this page because the same phrase can be said both using the translative and the mistä-form (the elative case). In addition, there is the participle construction “tulla tehneeksi/tehdyksi”, which will be discussed elsewhere.

Translative Mistä (elative) English
Hän tuli äidiksi 39-vuotiaana. Hänestä tuli äiti 39-vuotiaana. She became a mother at 39 years old.
Hän tuli kodittomaksi. Hänestä tuli koditon. She became homeless.
Me tulimme kuuluisiksi. Meistä tuli kuuluisia. We became famous.

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