The Days of the Week – Viikonpäivät

This article has a very narrow focus; it only deals with the days of the week. If you’ve just started learning Finnish, you should focus on part 1 and 2 of this page and postpone learning the other expressions until a little later.

If you’ve advanced far enough, you may also want to learn more about other expressions of time, you can do so on our overview page of expressions of time. You should also check out our page on questions of time (eg. Kuinka kauan? Mihin mennessä? Moneltako?). We also have separate pages about the clock, the months and the years.

1. Wednesday – On Wednesday

The week starts on Monday in Finland. When you want to say you do someone on Monday, you have to use the essive case (-na). This form is used for things that happen one time.

Notice how the weekdays don’t start with a capital letter in Finnish!

Finnish English Finnish English
maanantai Monday maanantaina on Monday
tiistai Tuesday tiistaina on Tuesday
keskiviikko Wednesday keskiviikkona on Wednesday
torstai Thursday torstaina on Thursday
perjantai Friday perjantaina on Friday
lauantai Saturday lauantaina on Saturday
sunnuntai Sunday sunnuntaina on Sunday

2. On Wednesdays – Every Wednesday

When you’re dealing with recurring events on certain weekdays, you can express that in two ways: by attaching the -(i)sin ending to the weekday, or using the determiner “joka”. After joka, you will always use the basic form of the weekday.

Finnish English Finnish English
maanantaisin on Mondays joka maanantai every Monday
tiistaisin on Tuesdays joka tiistai every Tuesday
keskiviikkoisin on Wednesdays joka keskiviikko every Wednesday
torstaisin on Thursdays joka torstai every Thursday
perjantaisin on Fridays joka perjantai every Friday
lauantaisin on Saturdays joka lauantai every Saturday
sunnuntaisin on Sundays joka sunnuntai every Sunday

3. From Wednesday – Until Wednesday

If you want to express a timespan by saying on what weekdays something began and when it ended, you can use the elative (-sta) and the illative (mihin) for this purpose. This way, you can express, for example, that you’re working from Monday until Friday (Olen töissä maanantaista perjantaihin).

Finnish English Finnish English
maanantaista from Monday maanantaihin until Monday
tiistaista from Tuesday tiistaihin until Tuesday
keskiviikosta from Wednesday keskiviikkoon until Wednesday
torstaista from Thursday torstaihin until Thursday
perjantaista from Friday perjantaihin until Friday
lauauntaista from Saturday lauantaihin until Saturday
sunnuntaista from Sunday sunnuntaihin until Sunday

In addition to being able to express between which weekdays something takes place, we can use the forms above also in combination with certain adverbs. The words “lähtien” and “alkaen” can be used to express the starting day of the action, in combination with the mistä-form. Likewise, the word “asti” can be used to express the last day of the period, in combination with the mihin-form. Lastly, you can use the word “mennessä” to express by when (by what weekday) something has to be finished.

Finnish English
FROM
Olen lomalla maanantaista alkaen
I’m on vacation starting from Monday.
Keskiviikosta alkaen työvuorot pitenevät.
Starting from Wednesday shifts will get longer.
Tiistaista lähtien työskentelen osa-aikaisena. I’m working half-time starting from Tuesday.
Perjantaista lähtien bussit kulkee harvemmin.
Starting from Friday the buses ride more rarely.
UNTIL
Olen lomalla sunnuntaihin asti. I’m on vacation until Sunday.
Aurinko paistaa maanantaihin asti . The sun will shine until Monday.
BY
Kirjat täytyy palauttaa keskiviikkoon mennessä. The books have to be returned by Wednesday
Tiistaihin mennessä minun pitää olla valmis. I have to be ready by Tuesday.

4. Last Wednesday – Next Wednesday

Last but not least, we can use the days of the week to express something happened last week or next week. For this, we will be using the words “viime” (last), “tänä (this) and “ensi” (next) in combination with the essive case (-na).

Last (Monday) This (Monday) Next (Monday)
viime maanantaina tänä maanantaina ensi maanantaina
viime tiistaina tänä tiistaina ensi tiistaina
viime keskiviikkona tänä keskiviikkona ensi keskiviikkona
viime torstaina tänä torstaina ensi torstaina
viime perjantaina tänä perjantaina ensi perjantaina
viime lauantaina tänä lauantaina ensi lauantaina
viime sunnuntaina tänä sunnuntaina ensi sunnuntaina

5. Some random sentences

Finnish English
Koulu alkaa maanantaina. School starts on Monday.
Viime maanantaina myöhästyin bussista. I was late for the bus last Monday.
Käyn joka tiistai kuntosalilla. I go to the gym every Tuesday.
Ensi tiistaina on syntymäpäivänä. Next Tuesday is my birthday.
Olen sairauslomalla keskiviikkoon asti. I’m on sickness vacation until Wednesday.
Meillä on vapaata keskiviikosta perjantaihin. We’re free from Wednesday until Friday.
Torstaista lähtien ilma paranee. Starting from Thursday the weather gets better.
Torstai on viikon paras päivä. Thursday is the best day of the week.
Perheemme syö ravintolassa perjantaisin. Our family eats in a restaurant on Fridays.
Talo valmistuu perjantaihin mennessä. The building will be ready by Friday.
Tänä lauantaina on pääsiäinen. On this Saturday is Easter.
Haluan lauantaista alkaen olla tupakoimatta. I want to stop smoking starting from Saturday.
Kävin uimassa viime sunnuntaina. I went swimming last Sunday.
Hiihtoloma alkaa maanantaina. Spring break starts on Monday.

That’s it for the days of the week!

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