Finnish for busy people

Body Parts: Beginner Finnish Lesson Plan #5

This Body Parts article is Beginner Finnish Lesson Plan #5. It contains some suggestions on how to approach Finnish when you’re just getting started. It’s not an exhaustive explanation, but rather meant to give you some pointers to get started. We’ll be focusing on vocabulary and grammar around body parts in this lesson.

This series will not be a step-by-step guide to learning Finnish. Just reading this article won’t magically teach you Finnish: you will need to make an effort, click the links and study the subjects mentioned in this series. All the current topics currently are part of the beginner level A1.

Body Parts

The main topic of this lesson is talking about bodyparts, illnesses and doctor visits. Time to learn to form proper sentences!

1. Finnish Vocabulary for Beginners

As a beginner, it’s useful to start with vocabulary lists. After all, you can’t make sentences if you don’t know any vocabulary!

Please note that the vocabulary pages on my website try to offer something for learners of any proficiency. This means that even the beginner subjects will have some information for intermediate and advanced learners. Use common sense and pick the words you will need rather than blindly learning the whole list.

Useful Vocabulary for Sick Beginner Finnish:

2. Finnish Grammar for Beginners

Below, you can find some grammar topics that will allow you to talk about your body and being sick. It’s important to realize that you can’t learn these topics in isolation. You will need to combine them with the vocabulary topics above that you’ve learned.

Please note that grammar topics like the partitive have super many different uses. As a beginner, you should only focus on what is important for you right at the time when you’re studying. In the case of body parts, all you need is to know that the partitive is used with numbers and in negative sentences. Ignore everything else!

3. Combining Grammar and Vocabulary

We can combine our newly learned vocabulary with the grammar we’re learning in order to talk about illnesses.

  • Using the minulla on -construction, the partitive and numbers, you can talk about your body parts, eg:
    • Minulla on kaksi jalkaa. “I have two legs.”
    • Minulla on kymmenen sormea. “I have ten fingers.”
    • Hänellä on vain yksi käsi. “She only has one arm.”
  • The same sentence construction often also works for illnesses, eg:
    • Minulla on sokeritauti. “I have diabetes.”
    • Matilla on syöpä. “Matti has cancer.”
  • Using adjectives, we can give more information about body parts, eg:
    • Minun selkä on suora. “My back is straight.”
    • Sinulla on pitkä nenä. “You have a long nose.”
    • Hänellä on lyhyt tukka. “He has short hair.”
  • We can use the T-plural to describe plural body parts, eg:
    • Hänellä on pitkät jalat. “She has long legs.”
    • Minun silmät ovat pienet. “My eyes are small.”
  • The imperative can be used to have some fun and play “Simon says“. In addition, you can make sentences a doctor would use, eg:
    • Sulje silmäsi! “Close your eyes!”
    • Koske nenääsi! “Touch your nose!”
    • Nosta kätesi! “Raise your hands!”
  • The At the Doctor’s page is pretty much already set up for you to learn the phrases as they are. It also includes a bunch of imperative phrases.
    • Minulla on pää kipeä. “I have a headache.”
    • Minua oksettaa. “I feel nauseous.”
    • Hengitä ulos hitaasti! “Breathe out slowly!”

That’s it for this Body Parts Beginner Finnish Lesson Plan suggestion. I know this is not a complete lesson. It’s not meant to be one. The goal is to show you that grammar and vocabulary should be combined with the purpose of getting a message across, rather than just for the sake of learning individual words or grammar.

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Hi, Inge! Handy page as always. Just spotted in the very last paragraph, line two, you have: “The goal is to show you have grammar and vocabulary should be […]” 😉

Inge (admin)

Thank you! 🙂