Finnish for busy people

Tahansa – Anything Anyone Anywhere

The word tahansa is used when expressing that a choice between available options is indifferent (eg. anything anyone and anywhere). Tahansa can be used with all the question words.

Table of Contents
  1. Overview for Beginners
  2. Information for More Advanced Students
    1. Anything Any Whatever
    2. Anywhere Wherever
    3. Anyone Anybody Whoever
    4. Whenever
  3. Rarer Cases and Fixed Phrases

1. Overview for Beginners

If you’re just a beginner, your goal is to understand the meaning of each of these phrases without looking much deeper into it. This is a fairly advanced topic. You could perhaps focus on the question words first.

In the table below, each phrase has been used in combination with tahansa. A synonym for tahansa is hyvänsä. In spoken language, vaan/vain also fills this function. So kuka tahansa = kuka hyvänsä = kuka vaan/vain. Likewise for example, mikä tahansa, mikä hyvänsä, mikä vaan and mikä vain are all possible.

Finnish English
mikä tahansa any, anything, whatever (usually for subjects)
mitä tahansa any, anything, whatever (usually for objects)
missä tahansa anywhere, wherever
mistä tahansa from anywhere, from wherever
mihin tahansa to anywhere, to wherever
miten tahansa however, no matter how
milloin tahansa whenever
koska tahansa whenever (spoken)
kuka tahansa whoever, anyone, anybody
kenen tahansa anybody’s

2. Information for More Advanced Students

Below, you can find some more information and examples for each of the phrases mentioned above. Some of these, like kuka tahansa and ketä tahansa are tricky and will take you some time to master completely.

2.1. Anything Any Whatever

Mikä/Mitä Tahansa - Anything Any Whatever

Mikä/Mitä Tahansa – Anything Any Whatever

Let’s kick of this article with the hardest of all: mikä tahansa and mitä tahansa. Both mean “whatever”, “any” or “anything”. This issue is closely related to the difference between mikä and mitä in general.

My tip for deciding which one to pick is to make the sentence an actual question. For example, the sentence “Mikä tahansa väri sopii mustan kanssa” give us the question “Mikä väri sopii mustan kanssa?”. The sentence “Mitä tahansa voi tapahtua” leads to the question “Mitä voi tapahtua?”.

Question Finnish English
Mikä? [Mikä tahansa väri] sopii mustan kanssa. [Any color] suits with black.
Mikä? [Mikä tahansa näistä kolmesta] auttaisi. [Any of these three] would help.
Mikä? Minulle kelpaa [mikä tahansa asunto]. I’m fine with [whatever apartment].
Mikä? Minulle kelpaa melkein [mikä tahansa]. I’m fine with almost anything.
Mitä? On niin nälkä, että söisin [mitä tahansa]. I’m so hungry I’d eat anything.
Mitä? [Mitä tahansa] voi tapahtua. Anything could happen.
Mitä? Rakastan sinua teetpä [mitä tahansa]. I love you whatever you do.
Mitä? Auttaisin [mitä tahansa apua pyytävää]. I would help [any seeker of help].

2.2. Anywhere Wherever

Finnish has several cases that can commonly be translated as “wherever” or “anywhere”. That’s because Finnish makes the distinction between being in a place (missä), going to a place (mihin) and coming from a place (mistä). In addition to this concrete use, there are also more abstract verbs that use one of these three cases.

Missä Tahansa - Anywhere Wherever

Missä Tahansa – Anywhere Wherever

Wherever and anywhere are translated as missä tahansa, missä hyvänsä, missä vaan or missä vain. This is used with verbs such as asua, yöpyä, istua and maata; verbs that express a static location.

Finnish English
Voisin asua [missä tahansa] sinun kanssa. I could live anywhere with you.
Tämä voisi tapahtua [missä tahansa]. This could happen anywhere.
Voisin asua [missä tahansa paikassa]. I could live [anywhere / in any place].
Yöpyisin [missä tahansa hotellissa]. I would spend the night [in any hotel]
Mistä Tahansa - From Anywhere, From Wherever

Mistä Tahansa – From Anywhere, From Wherever

While mistä tahansa gets translated as “from anywhere”, this is only one use of the elative case. In Finnish, the mistä-form is used with other verbs as well, such as tykätä (to like), puhua (to talk about) and hakea (to buy from). You can learn more about such verbs on our page on location case rections.

Finnish English
Hae lääke [mistä tahansa apteekista]. Buy the medicine [from any pharmacy].
Olet tervetullut [mistä tahansa tuletkin]. You’re welcome, [wherever you come from].
Tykkään [mistä tahansa eläimestä]. I like [any animal].
Me voimme puhua [mistä tahansa aiheesta]. We can talk [about any topic].
Mihin Tahansa - To Anywhere, To Wherever

Mihin Tahansa – To Anywhere, To Wherever

The mihin form is used for movements to a place or towards a destination. It’s also used in more abstract cases, which you can read more about on our page about location case rections. Some more abstract verbs are eg. sopeutua (to adapt to), palauttaa (to return to) and tutustua (to meet, get to know)

Finnish English
Menen [mihin tahansa] paitsi Helsinkiin. I go (to) anywhere except Helsinki.
Menisin [mihin tahansa töihin]. I would go [to any kind of work].
Ihminen sopeutuu [mihin tahansa]. Man adapts [to anything].
Palauta kirjat [mihin tahansa kirjastoon]! Return the books [to any library]!

2.3 Anyone Anybody Whoever

The English “anyone” most commonly can be translated in a multitude of ways, including kuka tahansa, kenellä tahansa, keneltä tahansa, and kenelle tahansa. This is due to the fact that English doesn’t have cases, nor rections.

Kuka Tahansa - Anyone Anybody Whoever

Kuka Tahansa – Anyone Whoever

Finnish English
[Kuka tahansa] voi olla huijari netissä. Anyone can be a crook online.
[Kuka tahansa muu] ymmärtäisi asian. [Any other person] would understand it.
Jos minä pystyn, niin [kuka tahansa] pystyy. If I can do it, anyone can do it.
[Kuka tahansa joka haluaa] voi opiskella siellä. [Whoever wants] can study there.
Ketä Tahansa - Anyone Anybody Whoever

Ketä Tahansa – Anyone Anybody Whoever

This is a tricky one! In much the same way as mikä and mitä, ketä is very hard to distinguish from kuka based on how it’s translated to English. Ketä is the partitive form of kuka, and ketä tahansa will be used in situations where you’d usually use the partitive, eg. with partitive verbs (ketä rakastat, ketä autat) or with an object in a negative sentence (en valitse ketään) or with feeling verbs (ketä ärsyttää).

Finnish English
Minulla on oikeus rakastaa [ketä tahansa]. I’m allowed to love anyone.
Auttaisin toki [ketä tahansa]! Of course I’d help anyone!
En valitsisi [ketä tahansa] tähän tehtävään. I wouldn’t choose just anybody for this job.
[Ketä tahansa] ärsyttäisi tässä tilanteessa. Anyone would be annoyed in this situation.
Keneltä Tahansa - From Anyone From Anybody

Keneltä Tahansa – From Anyone

Keneltä is the –lta form of kuka, so it means “from who”. It’s used with eg. the following verbs: kysyä (to ask), pyytää (to request), and saada (to receive).

Finnish English
Kysy [keneltä tahansa]. Ask anyone.
Tämä onnistuu [keneltä tahansa]. This is possible for anyone.
Varaa aika [keneltä tahansa lääkäriltä]! Book a time [from any doctor]!
Pyydä palautetta [keneltä tahansa]! Ask for feedback [from anyone]!
Kenelle Tahansa - To Anyone To Whoever

Kenelle Tahansa – To Anyone To Whoever

Kenelle is the –lle form of kuka, which refers to people. Some verbs that require an allative rection include antaa (to give), lainata (to lend), and sopia (to suit, to fit).

Finnish English
Hän lainaa rahaa [kenelle tahansa]. He lends money to whoever.
Se voi tapahtua [kenelle tahansa]. It can happen to anyone.
Lääke voi antaa [kenelle tahansa potilaalle]. The med can be given [to any patient].
Kurssi sopii [kenelle tahansa]. The course suits anyone.
Kenellä Tahansa - On Anyone, Anyone Has

Kenellä Tahansa – On Anyone, Anyone Has

Kenellä is mainly used in the “I have” construction (eg. kenellä on jano, minulla on jano). You can have the right (oikeus) or the opportunity (mahdollisuus), and you can also have a problem (ongelma), a friend (ystävä) or a thirst (jano). You can also see the shorter version of this: kelle tahansa.

Finnish English
Saharassa [kenellä tahansa] olisi jano. Anybody would be thirsty in the Sahara.
[Kenellä tahansa] on oikeus valittaa. Anyone has the right to complain.
[Kenellä tahansa] on mahdollisuus valita. Anybody has the possibility to choose.
[Kenellä tahansa] voi olla talousongelmia. Anybody can have financial issues.
Kenen Tahansa - Anyone's Anybody's

Kenen Tahansa – Anyone’s Anybody’s

Kenen is the genetive form of kuka. It’s used for possession (kenen kirja? – whose book?). It’s also important when you’re using postpositions, eg. kanssa (ystävän kanssa – with a friend), vieressä (ystävän vieressä – next to a friend) and takana (ystävän takana – behind a friend).

Finnish English
Tämä ei ole [kenen tahansa puhelin]! This isn’t [just anyone’s phone]!
Saan selville [kenen tahansa palkkatason]. I can find out [anyone’s wages].
Hän on [kenen tahansa kaveri], jos juotavaa saa. He’s [anybody’s friend], if he gets a drink.
En menisi [kenen tahansa kanssa] naimisiin. I wouldn’t get married [with just anybody].

2.4. Whenever

Milloin Tahansa - Anytime Whenever

Milloin tahansa can also be koska tahansa (or koska vaan) in spoken language.

Finnish English
Lapsi voi syntyä [milloin tahansa]. The child can be born anytime.
Käytä [missä ja milloin tahansa]! Use [wherever and whenever]!
Tule [milloin tahansa] haluatkaan. Come whenever you want.
Peruuta tilaus [milloin tahansa]! Cancel your order anytime!

3. Rarer Cases and Fixed Phrases

What follows are some random phrases that seem to be fairly regularly used.

Finnish English
Olkoon [kuka hyvänsä]. I don’t care who he is.
Niin voi käydä [kenelle hyvänsä]. This can happen to anyone at all.
Minä hetkenä hyvänsä. Any moment now.
Tulen, oli sää [millainen hyvänsä]. I’m coming, whatever the weather.
Hinnalla millä hyvänsä. Whatever the cost.
Keinolla millä hyvänsä. By any means necessary.
Voit ottaa [kumman auton tahansa]. You can take whichever car.
Tässä voi käydä [ihan miten vaan]. Anything could happen here.

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