Finnish for busy people

The Verb Katsoa – Many Meanings #3

This page is all about the verb katsoa. This is part of a series about verbs with many meanings. Katsoa certainly fits the bill with its wide arrange of phrases employing the verb.

The verb katsoa is one of the first verbs you come across when you start learning Finnish: Minä katson televisiota. This verb is also useful to demonstrate the difference between objects: it can get a partitive object (katsoa televisiota) and a total object (katsoa koko elokuvan).

  1. To watch something
  2. To look (focus on something)
  3. To go see, visit someone
  4. To search, to go look for
  5. To see
  6. To regard, to consider (katsoa + -ksi)
  7. To consider (katsoa + VA-participle)
Finnish English
1 Katson televisiota. I’m watching television.
1 Katsoin koko elokuvan. I watched the whole movie.
2 Katso minua silmiin! Look me in the eyes!
2 Katso kun minä hyppään! Look when I jump!
2 Kävin katsomassa kaveria sairaalassa. I went to see my friend in the hospital.
3 Käydään katsomassa isoäitiä. Let’s go see (visit) grandma.
4 Kävin katsomassa uutta asuntoa. I went to look for a new apartment.
5 En tiedä, katsotaan vielä. I don’t know yet, let’s see.
5 Katsokaa itse! See for yourself!
5 Katson mitä voin tehdä. I will see what I can do.
6 Hän katsoi parhaaksi lähteä. He thought it was best to leave.
6 Oikeus katsoi tapahtuman pahoinpitelyksi. The court regarded the event as assault.
6 Hän katsoi tarpeelliseksi huomauttaa asiasta. He considered it necessary to point it out.
7 Hän katsoi olevansa kuuluisa. He considered himself famous.
7 Hän katsoi voivansa tehdä mitä vaan. He thought he could do whatever.
7 Hän katsoi sen johtuvan siitä, että.. He considered it to be the result of…

2. Phrases with the verb katsoa

The verb katsoa is used in many phrases. Below, you can find some of the more common ones.

2.1. Looking in a certain direction

Finnish English
Hän katsoi minua suoraan silmiin. He looked me straight in the eye.
Hän katsoi ulos ikkunasta. He looked out of the window
Hän katsoi peiliin. He looked into the mirror.
Hän katsoi tännepäin. He look in this direction.
Hän katsoi ylös / alas. He looked up / down.
Hän katsoi eteenpäin / taakse. He looked forward / back.
Hän katsoi minua olan yli. He looked at me over his shoulder.
Hän katsoi minua salaa. He secretly looked at me.
Hän katsoi muualle. He looked elsewhere.
Hän katsoo jatkuvasti kelloa. He’s constantly checking the time.

2.2. Looking with an certain emotion

Finnish English
Hän katsoi minua vihaisesti. He looked at me angrily.
Hän katsoi minua rakastavasti. He looked at me lovingly.
Hän katsoi minua hämmästyneenä. He looked at me confused.
Hän katsoi minua ymmällään. He looked at me puzzled.
Hän katsoi minua peloissaan. He looked at me scared.
Hän katsoi minua säälivästi. He looked at me pityingly.
Hän katsoi minua lempeästi. He looked at me gently.
Hän katsoi minua odottavasti. He looked at me expectantly.
Hän katsoi minua ylimielisesti. He looked at me arrogantly.
Hän katsoi minua halveksien He looked at me with contempt.
Hän katsoi minua vakavasti. He looked at me seriously.

2.3. Looking in a certain manner

Finnish English
Hän katsoi minua kulmiensa alta. He looked at me from under his brows.
Hän katsoi minua suurilla silmillään. He looked at me with wide eyes.
Hän katsoi minua silmät viiruina. He looked at me with squinting eyes.
Hän katsoi minua silmät pullollaan. He looked at me with bulging eyes.
Hän katsoi minua silmät kipinöiden. He looked at me with sparkling eyes.
Hän katsoi minua tuhahtaen. He looked at me as he snorted.
Hän katsoi minua ilmeettömästi. He looked at me with a blank expression.
Hän katsoi minua kysyvästi. He looked at me questioningly.
Hän katsoi minua tarkasti. He looked at me closely.
Hän katsoi minua vihjailevasti. He looked at me suggestively.

Sayings with the verb katsoa

There isn’t a huge amount of sayings with the verb katsoa, but below you can find the ones that are in common usage!

Saying Literally Explanation
Hän katsoi sitä läpi sormien. “He watched it through his fingers.” He let someone off easily.
Hän katsoi häneen ylöspäin “He looked to him upwards.” He looked up to him.
On parempi katsoa kuin katua. “It’s better to look than to regret.” Look before you leap.
Hän katsoi mua nenäänsä pitkin. “He looked at me along his nose.” He looked down on me.
Hän katsoo mua kuin halpaa makkaraa. “He looks at me like a cheap sausage.” He looks down on me.
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One of the most common katsoa expressions – “Katsotaan!” “We’ll see.” Or “Let’s see.” Or even “It may happen (or not).”