Finnish for busy people

Family: Beginner Finnish Lesson Plan #1

This Family Beginner Finnish Lesson Plan #1 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.

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.

Family Members

The main topic of this lesson is family members.

1. Finnish Vocabulary for Complete 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.

Vocabulary that would be useful to learn in relation to family members:

2. Finnish Grammar for Complete Beginners

Below, you can find some grammar topics that will allow you to talk about your family. 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 family members, 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

The vocabulary related to family members is a great example to show you how you can combine knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in order to make sentences.

  • The minulla on -construction allows for you to talk about your family and who it consists of, eg:
    • Minulla on sisko. “I have a sister.”
    • Minulla on isä ja äiti. “I have a father and mother.”
    • Anjalla on lapsi. “Anja has a child.”
  • The partitive case is used in combinations with the numbers and negative statements, eg:
    • Minulla on kaksi siskoa. “I have two sisters.”
    • Minulla on kuusi tätiä. “I have six aunts.”
    • Minulla ei ole veljeä. “I don’t have a brother.”
  • The genetive case will allow you to give more information about a relative, eg:
    • Minun siskon nimi on Maria. “My sister’s name is Maria.”
    • Isän äiti on minun isoäiti. “Father’s mother is my grandmother.”
  • Adjectives allow you to give more information about relatives, eg:
    • Minun veli on laiska. “My brother is lazy.”
    • Minun vanha isoisä on hauska. “My old grandfather is funny.”
    • Minun laiskan veljen nimi on Harri. “My lazy brother’s name is Harri.”
    • Minulla on kolme laiskaa veljeä. “I have three lazy brothers.”

That’s it for this Family Beginner Finnish Lesson Plan #1 suggestion. I know this is not a complete lesson. It’s not meant to be one. The goal is to show you have 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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