Finnish for busy people

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 (e.g. 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 something on a weekday, you have to use the essive case (-na). This form is used for things that happen once.

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

Finnish English Finnish English Abbreviation
maanantai Monday maanantaina on Monday ma
tiistai Tuesday tiistaina on Tuesday ti
keskiviikko Wednesday keskiviikkona on Wednesday ke
torstai Thursday torstaina on Thursday to
perjantai Friday perjantaina on Friday pe
lauantai Saturday lauantaina on Saturday la
sunnuntai Sunday sunnuntaina on Sunday su

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 on what day 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
lauantaista from Saturday lauantaihin until Saturday
sunnuntaista from Sunday sunnuntaihin until Sunday

In addition to being able to express the time span of something taking place, we can use the forms above 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
Olen lomalla maanantaista alkaen
I’m on vacation starting from Monday.
Keskiviikosta alkaen olen työtön.
Starting from Wednesday I’m unemployed.
Tiistaista lähtien toimin osa-aikaisena. I will work half-time starting from Tuesday.
Perjantaista lähtien asun yksin.
Starting from Friday I will live alone.
Olen lomalla sunnuntaihin asti. I’m on vacation until Sunday.
Aurinko paistaa maanantaihin asti . The sun will shine until Monday.
Lue kirja keskiviikkoon mennessä! Read the book by Wednesday!
Tiistaihin mennessä 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

Next, you can find some random sentences including the days of the week, so you can get a feel of how they’re used in a sentence.

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 lomalla keskiviikkoon asti. I’m on vacation until Wednesday.
Matkustan keskiviikosta perjantaihin. I travel from Wednesday till Friday.
Torstaista lähtien on myrskyisää. Starting from Thursday it’s stormy.
Torstai on viikon paras päivä. Thursday is the best day of the week.
Me syömme ravintolassa perjantaisin. We eat in a restaurant on Fridays.
Talo on valmis perjantaihin mennessä. The building will be ready by Friday.
Tänä lauantaina on pääsiäinen. On this Saturday is Easter.
Aion lauantaista alkaen olla tupakoimatta. I plan not to smoke from Saturday on.
Kävin uimassa viime sunnuntaina. I went swimming last Sunday.
Hiihtoloma alkaa maanantaina. Winter break starts on Monday.


That’s all for now about the days of the week! Hopefully this page contained some useful information for you!

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The translative form of the days can also be used in the same manner as mennessä. I learned that years ago in a class.


So easy and so useful

Ole Kirkeby

“Tiistaihin mennessä pitää olla valmis” is translated as “I have to…”. Surely that can’t be right since ‘pitää’ is used instead of ‘pidän’.

Inge (admin)

It could be translated either as “I have to” or as “we have to” depending on the context. These are part of the “minun/meidän pitää/täytyy” (I/we have to) sentence construction, where the subject is implied rather than written. Very common. You could say “pitää mennä” rather than “minun pitää mennä” to express “I have to go”.

“Pidän” would be “I like” rather than “I have to”


I’m not sure if it changes the original Finnish sentence, but the sentence “Olin lauantaista alkaen tupakoimatta” should translate to “I haven’t smoked since Saturday” (simply because “didn’t smoke since” doesn’t sit right in English). 🙂