Finnish for busy people

Loppu Lopussa Loppuun Lopuksi

In each of the chapters below, we will be looking at one specific inflection of the word loppu at a time: loppu, lopussa, loppuun, lopuksi. Each has their own use, making them a little confusing to learners of Finnish.

1. Lopussa – Inessive

1.1. Phrasal Verbs with Lopussa

A phrasal verb is a verb that’s used combination with an adverb to express something different than the verb on its own (e.g. in English “to use up”, “to go down”, “to take out”). The inessive form of loppu is used to say that something has run out or has been used up. As an adverb on its own, it’s only used with the verb olla.

Lopussa is interesting when compared to loppu, because in some cases, loppu and lopussa can both be used in a phrase. In these cases, lopussa usually means that something is about to run out, while loppu means it has run out completely. This distinction is especially common in spoken language.

Example Translation
Kahvi on lopussa. The coffee is about to run out.
Kahvi on loppu. The coffee is up.
Käsidesit on loppu. (pic) (We’re) out of hand sanitizers.
Tulostimen paperi on lopussa. The printer’s paper is near its end.
Tulostimen paperi on loppu. The printer’s paper is up.
Kärsivällisyyteni alkoi olla lopussa My patience was starting to run out.
Olen aivan lopussa I’m exhausted.

1.2. Lopussa as a postposition

The word loppu can be used as a postposition to indicate the end of something. This very common with expressions of time (end of the year, the month, the day), but it can be used more widely.

Example Translation
Kokoonnutaan vuoden lopussa. Let’s meet at the end of the year.
Lomani päättyy elokuun lopussa. My vacation ends at the end of August.
Olin uupunut päivän lopussa. I was exhausted at the end of the day.
Lauseen lopussa on piste. There’s a period at the end of the sentence.
Ottelun lopussa hän lyyhistyi. At the end of the match he collapsed.
Sanan lopussa on vokaali. There’s a vowel at the end of the word.

2. Loppuun – Illative

2.1. Phrasal Verbs with Loppuun

The illative form of loppu is pretty common with all kinds of verbs. In English, loppuun can be translated many ways, because these are phrasal verbs. Some possible translations are “up”, “out” and “over”.

Phrase Example Translation
myydä loppuun Konsertti myytiin loppuun tunnissa. The concert was sold out in an hour.
syödä loppuun Syö nyt loppuun, niin päästään lähtemään. Eat up now, so we can leave.
tehdä loppuun Älä jätä asioita kesken; tee ne loppuun! Don’t leave things; complete them!
palaa loppuun Anja, 25, paloi loppuun töissä. Anja, 25, burned out at work.
käyttää loppuun En käyttänyt huulipunaa loppuun. I didn’t use the lipstick all the way.
puhua loppuun Anna minun puhua loppuun. Let me finish what I’m saying.
lukea loppuun Sain Heinleinin kirjan luettua loppuun. I read Heinlein’s book to the end.
viedä loppuun Armeija vie sotatoimensa loppuun. The army concludes its military action.
saattaa loppuun Saatamme loppuun sen, minkä aloitimme. We’ll bring to a close what we started.
käsitellä loppuun Tämä asia on nyt käsitelty loppuun! This matter has now been dealt with!
maksaa loppuun Maksoin opintolainani loppuun. I finished paying my student loan.
kulua loppuun Akku kuluu loppuun päivässä. The battery runs out in a day.
miettiä loppuun Et ole miettinyt tätä loppuun. You haven’t thought this through.

The verbs listed in the table are used often and have in some cases become more abstract. In addition to this, Finns may employ loppuun with less common phrases. For example, you could say “neulo kerros loppuun” (Finish knitting the row) or “Syreenit olivat jo kukkineet loppuun” (The lilacs had already finished blossoming). These are not common phrases, but they do sound natural.

2.2. Loppuun asti, saakka, mennessä

Many verbs that you can come across with loppuun are more natural when you add “asti” or “saakka” to it (kuunnella loppuun asti, päästä loppuun asti). In these cases, loppuun isn’t an independent adverb.

Example Translation
Se kestää vuoden loppuun asti. It will last until the end of the year.
Se tulee markkinoihin vuoden loppuun mennessä. It will be on the market by the end of the year.
Minua jännitti ottelun loppuun saakka. I was tense until the end of the match.

3. Loput – T-plural

Loput can be used to express the last of something, the rest. In the phrases below, loput is used as an independent entity, but in these phrases the context will always tell you the rest of what. For example in “saanko syödä loput”, we could learn from the context if it’s the rest of the strawberries, the cookies or the casserole.

Example Translation
Saanko syödä loput? Can I eat the rest?
Maksan loput myöhemmin. I’ll pay the rest later.
Menetin loputkin rahoistani. I lost even the last of my money.
Yritys hoitaa loput. The company takes care of the rest.
Otan yhden ja sinä otat loput. I take one and you take the rest.

4. Lopulta – Ablative

The word lopulta has one one meaning: finally, at long last.

Example Translation
Lopulta onnistuimme. We finally succeeded.
Lopultakin hän tuli. The came at long last.

5. Lopuksi – Translative

Lopuksi has two meanings. Firstly, it can mean finally, eventually, at last. In this context, it often appear as part of the phrase loppujen lopuksi (at the very end, when all is said and done.) It can also be used as a phrase within a speech or paper to draw a conclusion at the end: ensiksi, toiseksi, lopuksi.

Example Translation
Täytä lopuksi vielä itsearviointilomake. Finally, complete the self-assessment form.
Tee lopuksi naruun uusi solmu. Finally, make a new knot in the string.
Hän lopuksi sai tikun syttymään. He eventually got the stick to burn.
Hän palasi lopuksi kotiin. He returned home at long last.

6. Nouns with loppu

In addition to loppu, lopussa, loppuun, lopuksi being a word on their own, loppu can also be used in compound words. Below, you can find some very common compound words.

Finnish English
loppukesä the rest of the summer
loppusyksy the end of autumn
loppumatka the rest of the trip
loppupäivä the rest of the day
loppuunmyynti the end of the sale
loppukohtaus the finale
loppuhuipennus the grand finale
loppusumma the total price, sum
loppukiri the final sprint
lopputaipale the final stretch
loppupäätelmä the final conclusion
loppuraportti the final report
lopputarkastus the final inspection
lopputili the final account
loppuvaihe the final phase
lopputuote the final product
Finnish English
maailmanloppu end of the world, apocalypse
viikonloppu weekend
äkkiloppu sudden and brutal end
loppusointu rhyme
loppusuora homestretch
lopputulos the result
loppukoe final exam
lopputyö final assignment
loppuosa the remainder
loppupiste end point
loppupuoli the latter half
loppunäytös epilogue
loppukäyttäjä end user

We have made it to the end of the article, which is the perfect place to add two Finnish sayings:

  • “Loppu hyvin, kaikki hyvin.”
    • Translation: The end well, all well.
    • Explanation: All’s well that ends well.
  • “(Alku on aina hankala,) lopussa kiitos seisoo”
    • Translation: The beginning is always hard, but in the end stands thanks.
    • Explanation: good things will come to those who work for them.

Do you know when to use loppu, lopussa, loppuun, lopuksi now? Let me know in the comments!

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Teeny tiny typo: “The battery runs out in a days” –> “day” (feel free to delete this comment later ofc, was just the quickest way to write here)