Finnish for busy people

Hänestä tuli lääkäri – Tuloslause – Change and Result Sentences

This article deals with one “change and result” sentence type, which in Finnish is called tuloslause. This sentence type utilizes the elative case, such as in Hänestä tuli lääkäri, to express a development or change. These sentences contain a verb that expresses change, and a noun or adjective that expresses the end result of the change.

1. Elative Case + tulla: Hänestä tulee lääkäri

Change and result sentences often start with the elative case (-sta/stä), followed by a verb that expresses a development, and lastly the result of the development.

For example, the phrase Minusta tulee sairaanhoitaja “I will become a nurse” follows this pattern:

  1. Minusta: subject which will undergo a development “I”
  2. tulee: verb that expresses a development “will become”
  3. sairaanhoitaja: result of the development “nurse”
Finnish English
Hänestä tuli lääkäri. He became a doctor.
Tytöstä tuli kuningatar Elisabet. The girl became Queen Elizabeth.
Tästä tulee hyvä päivä. This will become a good day.
Ei minusta tule koskaan mitään. I will never become anything.
Silloin Eerosta tuli paras kaverini. It was then that Eero became my best friend.

2. The subject: Hänestä / Tampereesta / Puusta tuli suuri.

The subject (if you can call it a subject) of a sentence such as Hänestä tuli lääkäri can be both human and not. Things (#2) can be the subject of a development equally well as a person (#1).

Notice that we will use the –sta form even in situations where you might have been instructed to always use –lta, such as Tampere and Venäjä.

# Finnish English
1 Minusta tuli mummo! I became a grandmother!
1 Miten joulupukista tuli joulupukki? How did Santa become Santa?
2 Viikonlopusta tuli aurinkoinen The weekend became sunny.
2 Suomesta tuli itsenäinen valtio vuonna 1917. Finland became an independent state.
2 Tampereesta tuli suurkaupunki. Tampere became a large city.

3. The Verb: Pojasta tuli / kehittyi / kasvoi vahva mies

The verb of this elative sentence construction will very often be the verb tulla. In this sentence type, the verb can’t appear in any other form than the third person singular. Even if your subject is plural (#2), the verb will be singular.

We can, however, conjugate the verb in all the Finnish tenses, such as the perfect tense (#3) and the perfect conditional (#4). Negative sentences are also possible (#5).

# Finnish English
1 Pojasta tuli vahva mies. The boy became a strong man.
2 Pojista tuli vahvoja miehiä. The boys became strong men.
3 Pojasta on tullut opettaja. The boy has become a teacher.
4 Pojista olisi tullut opettajia. The boys would have become teachers.
5 Pojasta ei tullut opettajaa. The boy didn’t become a teacher.

In addition, we’re not limited to only using the verb tulla. Other verbs that also express a development are also candidates for this sentence construction.

Finnish English
Taimesta kasvoi suuri puu. The seedling grew into a large tree.
Tytöstä kasvoi kaunis neito. The girl grew into a beautiful maiden.
Toukasta kehittyi perhonen. The larva developed into a butterfly.
Opiskelijoista muovautui ammattilaisia. The students developed into professionals.
Pojasta kypsyi perheenisä. The boy matured into a family man.
Asiasta kehkeytyi kiivas keskustelu. The issue unfolded into a heated debate.

4. The Result: Pojasta tuli lääkäri / iloinen

The end result of the development can be a noun (#1), an adjective (#2) or a noun phrase (#3).

In order to pick the right case for the word at the end of the sentence, it might be good to brush up on your knowledge of complement sentences. These sentences follow the same pattern, so:

  • When the subject is singular, the result will also be singular (1, 2, 3).
  • When the subject is a mass noun, the result will appear in the singular partitive (4)
  • When the subject is plural, the result will appear in the plural partitive (5)
  • With plurale tantum words, the result will appear in the T-plural (6)

In contrast with the complement rules, the negative sentences of this type will get the partitive case for the result (#7).

# Finnish English
1 Pojasta tuli mies. The boy became a man.
2 Pojasta tuli viisas. The boy became wise.
3 Pojasta tuli viisas mies. The boy became a wise man.
4 Kahvista tuli vahvaa. The coffee became strong.
5 Pojista tuli viisaita miehiä. The boys became wise men.
6 Häistä tuli hienot. The wedding became great.
7 Annasta ei tullut lääkäriä. Anna didn’t become a doctor.

5. Transitive version of this sentence construction

Many sources also mention that change and result sentences can be both intransitive and transitive. All the examples about are intransitive sentences: there is no object in them. This is in contrast with the following type of sentences, which all contain the following elements:

  1. A subject: who or what is causing the development?
  2. A verb: generally the verb tehdä, can be passive (in which case we don’t have a subject)
  3. An object: who’s undergoing the development?
  4. A result: what is the end result of the development?
Finnish English
Hän teki pojasta onnellisen. He made the boy happy.
Luonteeni tekee minusta hyvän poliisin. My character makes me a good cop.
Keskittymisongelmat tekivät pojasta levottoman. Concentration problems made the boy restless.
Pojasta tehtiin poptähti. The boy was made into a pop star.

5. Tulla + translative: Hän tuli lääkäriksi

Instead of saying Hänestä tulee lääkäri, we can also say Hän tulee lääkäriksi. Both of these sentences mean that he will become a doctor.

This article dives deeper into the difference in meaning between these two sentence types, which both express a development or change and the end result of said change. While often both sentences can mean the same thing, there are plenty of restrictions for this similarity.

6. Some useful example sentence

Finnish English
Mitä sinusta tulee isona? What will you become when you grow up?
Minusta tulee isona astronautti. I will be an astronaut when I grow up.
Helsingistä tuli Suomen pääkaupunki. Helsinki became Finland’s capital city.
Tästä ei tule mitään. Nothing will come from this.
Onpas sinusta tullut iso tyttö! What a big girl you have become!
En tiedä, tulisiko minusta hyvä isä. I don’t know if I’d be a good dad.
Miten sinusta tuli lakimies? How did you become a lawyer?
Lopulta siitä tuli minulle tapa. Eventually, it became a habit for me.
Tuleekohan minusta koskaan aikuista. I guess I will never become an adult.
Minusta tuli tänään täti! I became an aunt today!
Uskon, että tästä tulee hauska vuosi. I believe this will be a fun year.

Read more elsewhere

 

You could also practice this sentence construction in Anssi Kela’s song, which I’ve analyzed in the following article:

Anssi Kela – 1972 – Meistä tuli muurareita – Song Analysis

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