Finnish for busy people

Mones Monesko Monentena – How does mones work?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the word mones, which is used in questions to get the answer to an enquiry about “the howmanieth”. As you can see, this isn’t really a word in English. Because of that, it can cause confusion for learners of Finnish.

The most common way you will see mones used is with -ko at its end, this making it a question word. For example, Monesko päivä tänään on? literally means “The howmanieth day is it today?”, or more liberally translated “What day of the month is it?” or “What’s today’s date?”.

This article is based on a question by shannabell in our Discord server. Come ask your own questions!

Table of Contents
  1. Inflection of Mones
  2. Nominative – Mones Monesko
  3. Partitive – Monetta Monettako
  4. Essive – Monentena Monentenako
  5. Translative – Monenneksi Monenneksiko
  6. Less useful forms on mones
  7. Ties kuinka mones – Who knows

1. Inflection of Mones

The word mones can be inflected in all the Finnish cases; both singular and plural. However, the usefulness of most of these forms is extremely low. As such, you should not learn the whole paradigm for this word, because you’re wasting precious brain cells on something that only theoretically exists.

Marked in green are the forms you can come across of. Note that if you’re a beginner – or even an intermediate student – you will only need the singular nominative form of this word! Notice that I haven’t put any of the plural forms in green!

Case Singular Plural
Nominative mones monennet
Genetive monennen monensien
Partitive monetta monensia
Missä monennessa monensissa
Mistä monennesta monensista
Mihin monenteen monensiin
Millä monennella monensilla
Miltä monennelta monensilta
Mille monennelle monensille
Translative monenneksi monensina
Essive monentena monensiksi

2. Nominative – Mones Monesko

  • [Monesko päivä] tänään on? = [Kuinka mones päivä] tänään on?
    Literally: “The howmanieth day is it today?”
    Meaning: “What day of the month is it?” or “What’s today’s date?”
    Answer: Tänään on viides päivä. Tänään on syyskuun viides päivä.
  • [Monesko] olit kilpailussa? = [Kuinka mones] olit kilpailussa?
    Literally: “The howmanieth were you in the competition?”
    Meaning: What place did you end up on in the ranks for the competition?
    Answer: Olin ensimmäinen. Olin toinen. Olin viidennes.

3. Partitive – Monetta Monettako

  • [Monettako kertaa] voitit jo? = [Kuinka monetta kertaa] voitit jo?
    Literally: “For the howmanieth time did you win already?”
    Meaning: “How many times have you won already?”
    Answer: Voitin [ensimmäis kertaa]. Voitin nyt [viidennettä kertaa].
  • [Monettako vuotta] opiskelet? = [Kuinka monetta vuotta] opiskelet?
    Literally: “The howmanieth year are you studying?”
    Meaning: “How many years have you been studying?”
    Answer: Opiskelen [toista vuotta]. Opiskelen [kuudennetta vuotta].

4. Essive – Monentena Monentenako

  • [Monentena päivä] teillä alkaa loma?
    Literally: “On the howmanieth day does your vacation start?”
    Meaning: “What date does your vacation start?”
    Answer: Loma alkaa [kahdeksantena päivä]. Loma alkaa [kahdentenakymmenente päivä].
  • [Monentena] olet jonossa? = [Monentenako] olet jonossa?
    Literally: “The howmanieth are you in the queue?”
    Meaning: “How many people are before you in the queue?”
    Answer: Olen jonossa seitsemänte. Olen jonossa ensimmäise.
  • [Monentenako päivä] tikit poistettiin?
    Literally: “On the howmanieth day were the stitches removed?”
    Meaning: “How many days later were the stitches removed?”
    Answer: Tikit poistettiin [kymmenente päivä].

5. Translative – Monenneksi Monenneksiko

  • [Monenneksi] Kimi Räikkönen sijoittui sunnuntaina?
    Literally: “To the howmanieth did Kimi Räikkönen get ranked on Sunday?”
    Meaning: “What place did Kimi Räikkönen get ranked at on Sunday?”
    Answer: Kimi Räikkönen sijoittui kolmanneksi.
  • [Monenneksiko lapseksi] satuit syntymään?”
    Literally: “As the howmanieth child did you happen to be born?”
    Meaning: “How many siblings were born before you?”
    Answer: Satuin syntymään [kolmanneksi lapseksi].

6. Less useful forms of mones

  • [Monenneltako asiakkaalta] sait tämän?
    Literally: “From the howmanieth customer did you get this?”
    Meaning: “Which customer gave you this?”
    Answer: Sain tämän [neljänneltä asiakkaalta].
  • [Monennessako diassa] tämä oli? = [Kuinka monennessa diassa] tämä oli?
    Literally: “In the howmanieth slide was this?”
    Meaning: “In which slide was this?”
    Answer: Se oli [kahdennessatoista diassa].
  • [Monenteenko lokeroon] laitoit paketin? = [Kuinka monenteen lokeroon] laitoit paketin?
    Literally: “Into the howmanieth compartment did you put the package?”
    Meaning: “What was the number of the compartment in which you put the package?”
    Answer: Laitoin sen [viidenteen lokeroon]. Laitoin sen [kahdeksanteen lokeroon].

7. Ties Kuinka Mones – Who knows

The word ties expresses uncertainty or indecisiveness. Basically it is used to express that nobody knows, but that it’s bound to be a large number. In English, you can use the word umpteenth in the same function.

The word mones will be inflected in the just like in questions.

  • Tämä on jo [ties mones kerta] että yritän lopettaa.
    Literally: “This is the who knows how manieth time that I try to quit. This is already the umpteenth time that try to quit.”
    Meaning: I’ve tried to quit unsuccessfully many times.
  • Se oli [ties kuinka mones kerta].
    Literally: “It was the who knows how manieth time.”
    Meaning: This has been repeating over and over.
  • Hän kompastui [ties monettako kertaa].
    Literally: He tripped for the who knows how manieth time.
    Meaning: He tripped for the umpteenth time. He has tripped many times.
  • Olen töissä [ties kuinka monentena kesänä] putkeen.
    Literally: “I’m working for the how manieth summer in a row.”
    Meaning: I’m working for the umpteenth summer in a row. I can’t count the number of summers I have been working in a row.
  • Huomasin asian vasta [ties monennella katselukerralla].
    Literally: “I only noticed it on the how manieth time watching.
    Meaning: I only noticed after watching many, many times.

Did you find the answers you needed about the word mones? Let me know!

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