Finnish for busy people

How Do You Say “to Cook” in Finnish

Cooking is interesting in Finnish. Just like in any other language, there are many verbs that you could use, e.g. to boil, to fry, to slice up, to defrost. I have an article on cooking verbs here. As a beginner, however, the first thing you’ll wonder would simply be “How do you say to cook in Finnish”, right?

However, there hasn’t been a verb for it in Finnish until one was born in spoken language. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t say that you cooked, just that you couldn’t say it with one verb.

So what are some ways to say that you’re cooking? First, there is the option of saying “I make food”, using “tehdä ruokaa”. Secondly, you can also use the verb “laittaa“, which usually means “to put, to lay”. Both of these verb are very commonly used and sound equally natural to a Finnish speaker. Thirdly, the verb “valmistaa” (to prepare) is also an option: “I prepare food”. Just like in English, it sounds a little too formal, but it is possible. Luckily spoken language offers us a verb now to be used to say “to cook”! It’s “kokata“, which is based on the Swedish verb.

tehdä ruokaa
minä teen ruokaa
sinä teet ruokaa
hän tekee ruokaa
me teemme ruokaa
te teette ruokaa
he tekevät ruokaa
laittaa ruokaa
minä laitan ruokaa
sinä laitat ruokaa
hän laittaa ruokaa
me laitamme ruokaa
te laitatte ruokaa
he laittavat ruokaa
valmistaa ruokaa
minä valmistan ruokaa
sinä valmistat ruokaa
hän valmistaa ruokaa
me valmistamme ruokaa
te valmistatte ruokaa
he valmistavat ruokaa
minä kokkaan
sinä kokkaat
hän kokkaa
me kokkaamme
te kokkaatte
he kokkaavat

So that’s the answer to the question “how do you say to cook in Finnish”! As I said at the beginning of this post, there are a lot of other verbs that can be used while cooking. You can learn more about those on my vocabulary post about cooking!

5 4 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joanna Marie Fulgencio

Kiitos paljon


Shouldn’t the 3rd plural form of ‘valmistaa’ be ‘valmistavat’ instead of ‘valmistatte’?

Inge (admin)

yeah, absolutely, thanks! 🙂

Maribel Dahan

Kiitos paljon.