Finnish for busy people

Causative Verbs -TTAA – Loppua Lopettaa – Transitivity

In this article, we will look at causative verbs ending in -ttaa/-ttää. Verbs ending in -ttaa/-ttää often carry a meaning of causation: the subject of the sentence causes something to take place.

1. Transitivity and Intransitivity

Transitive verbs are verbs that get an object, eg. Minä sammutin valon. “I turned the light off”. Intransitive verbs don’t get an object, eg. Valo sammui “The light turned off”. As you see, a transitive verb’s object can be an intransitive verb’s subject. You can read more about transitivity and intransitivity.

In this article, you can find examples of intransitive verbs that can be turned into causative verbs with the -ttAA marker (eg. kasvaa and kasvattaa).

There are many other verbs that belong completely or partly in this semantical group, but I’m limiting the scope of this article considerably. In addition, many of these verbs have several meanings. I’m only presenting the translations that make the most sense within the causative derivate system.

2. List of causative verbs ending in -ttaa/ttää

I have marked the most basic verbs in green, so you know which ones to focus on when you’re just getting started. This is another of those word lists that are useful to look through, but that you shouldn’t just copy, paste and learn by heart. Pick the ones you will actually be using!

sth = something, sb = somebody

Verb English -ttaa English
hajota to break down hajottaa to “make break”
heilua to swing heiluttaa to “make sth swing”, to shake
herätä to wake up herättää to wake sb up
hävitä to disappear, lose hävittää to “make disappear”, to dispose
jäätyä to freeze over jäädyttää to “make sth freeze”
kadota to disappear kadottaa to “make sth disappear”, to lose
kasvaa to grow kasvattaa to “make sth grow”, to raise
kohota to rise kohottaa to “make sth rise”, to raise, lift
kulkea to move, to pass kuljettaa to “make sth move”, to transport
kulua to wear down kuluttaa to wear sth down, to consume
lihota to get fat lihottaa to “make fat”, fatten up
liikkua to move liikuttaa to “make sth move”, to affect
loppua to end lopettaa to “make sth end”, to stop
lähteä to leave lähettää to “make sth/sb leave”, to send
paisua to swell up paisuttaa to “make sth swell”, to inflate
perehtyä to get familiar perehdyttää to “make sb familiar”, to orientate
pudota to fall pudottaa to “make sth fall”, to drop
sammua to burn out sammuttaa to extinguish, to turn off
selvitä to become clear selvittää to “make clear”, to sort out
sulaa to melt, to thaw sulattaa to “make sth melt or thaw”
syntyä to be born synnyttää to give birth
syttyä to ignite sytyttää to “make sth ignite”, to light
säilyä to last, remain säilyttää to “make sth last”, store, conserve
tottua to get used to totuttaa to “make sb get used”, to condition
upota to sink, go under upottaa to “make sink”, to immerse
viihtyä to be happy viihdyttää to “make happy”, to entertain sb

3. Examples of causative verbs ending in -ttaa/ttää

Intransitive (no object) Transitive (object)
Tietokone hajosi.
= The computer broke down.
Antti hajotti tietokoneeni.
= Antti broke my computer.
Koiran häntä heiluu.
= The dog’s tail is wagging.
Koira heiluttaa häntäänsä.
= The dog wags his tail.
Minä herään viideltä.
= I wake up at 5 am.
Minä herätän lapset viideltä.
= I wake up the kids at 5 am.
Vihkisormukseni hävisi.
= My wedding ring disappeared.
Hävitin vihkisormukseni.
= I got rid of my wedding ring.
Omenapuut jäätyvät.
= The apples trees freeze over.
Pakkaset jäädyttivät omenapuut.
= Cold weather froze the apple trees.
Avaimeni katosivat.
= My keys disappeared.
Kadotan jatkuvasti avaimeni.
= I keep losing my keys.
Lapsi kasvaa.
= The child grows.
Äiti kavattaa lasta.
= Mother raises the child.
Kerma kohoaa pinnalle.
= Cream rises to the top.
Kohotan lapsen ilmaan.
= I raise the child in the air.
Bussi kulkee siltaa pitkin.
= The bus goes along the bridge.
Bussi kuljettaa matkustajia.
= The bus transports passengers.
Rahaa kuluu liikaa.
= Too much money is spent.
Kulutan liikaa rahaa.
= I spend too much money.
Minä lihoan.
= I’m getting fatter.
Noita lihottaa lapsia.
= The witch fattens children up.
Hänen varpaansa liikkuvat.
= Her toes move.
Hän liikuttaa varpaitaan.
= She moves her toes.
Työt loppuu viideltä.
= Work ends at 5 pm.
Minä lopetan työt kuudelta.
= I stop working at 6 pm.
Lähden matkalle.
= I’m going on a journey.
Kunginas lähettää minut matkalle.
= The king sends me on a journey.
Joki paisuu sateessa.
= The river swells in the rain.
Sade paisuttaa joet.
= The rain made the rivers swell.
Hän perehtyi sääntöihin.
= He got familiar with the rules.
Pomo perehdytti häntä.
= The boss brought him up to speed.
Kynäni putoaa lattialle.
= My pen fell on the floor.
Pudotan kynäni lattialle.
= I drop my pen on the floor.
Tietokoneeni sammui.
= My computer turned off.
Sammutin tietokoneeni.
= I turned off my computer.
Syyt selviävät.
= The reasons will become clear.
Selvitän syyt.
= I will find out the reasons.
Pakasteet sulavat.
= The frozen foods are melting.
Sulatan pakasteet.
=I defrost the frozen foods.
Hän syntyi aamulla.
= She was born in the morning.
Hän synnytti vauvan aamulla.
= She gave birth in the morning.
Tuli syttyi keskiyöllä.
= The fire broke out at midnight.
Minä sytytin tulen keskiyöllä.
= I lit the fire at midnight.
Marjat säilyvät hyvin.
= The berries preserve well.
Säilytän marjat pakastimessa.
= I preserve the berries in the freezer.
Koira tottuu lapsiin.
= The dog will gets used to kids.
Totutan koiran lapsiin.
= I accustom the dog to kids.
Lusikka uppoaa keittoon.
= The spoon sinks into the soup.
Upotan lusikan keittoon.
= I immerse the spoon in the soup.
Viihdyn hyvin itsekseni.
= I can keep myself entertained.
Viihdytän naapurin lapsia.
= I entertain the neighbor’s kids.

Did you find this article useful? Let me know in the comments!

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