Finnish for busy people

Levällään Ammollaan Sukkasillaan Finnish Adessive Phrases

In this article, you can find phrases like levällään, ammollaan and sukkasillaan, which consist of a word in the adessive case (-lla/-llä) and a possessive suffix. In some cases, the possessive suffix is fixed in the third person (eg. tyhjillään, valloillaan) even if the subject is a different person.

Table of Contents
  1. Wearing something (eg. sukkasillani “on my socks”)
  2. Position of a person (eg. polvillani “on my knees”)
  3. Bodyparts in a certain pose (eg. suu ammollaan “mouth wide open”)
  4. Describing the state of something (eg. tyhjillään “unoccupied, vacated”)
  5. Expressions centeres around time (eg. parhaillaan “currently”)
  6. Expressing static location (eg. paikallasi “where you are”)
  7. Expressing emotions (eg. hämillään “confused”)
  8. Expressing intent (eg. tahallaan “on purpose”)
  9. Superlative phrases (eg. parhaimmillaan “at its best”)

Here’s an overview of the possessive suffixes:

Pronoun Phrase English
minä Olen varuillani. I’m on my guard.
sinä Ole varuillasi! Be on your guard!
hän Hän on varuillaan. He’s on his guard.
me Olemme varuillamme. We’re on our guard.
te Olkaa varuillanne! Be on your guard!
he He ovat varuillaan. They are on their guard.

The original version of this list can be found in the book Suomen kieli kuntoon 2 by Ulla Lehtonen and Tarja Ruohonen. I’ve added a large amount of other words to it as I’ve come across them. I’ve also made use of Michael Hämäläinen’s phrases in the comments of the article on the adessive case. He in fact covered most of these.

1. Wearing something

There is a fairly large group of adverbs that express that you’re going around wearing something. Often, it expresses the lack of proper clothing, like when someone’s going out housusillaan, it means he’s wearing just his pants. Likewise, in winter it’s not wise to go out paitahihasillaan aka in just a long-sleeved shirt.

Finnish English
Näytän hyvältä alusvaatteisillani. I look good in my underwear.
Hän istui alusvaatteisillaan sohvalla. She sat on the couch in his underwear.
Istuin sohvalla kalsarisillani. I sat on the couch in my long johns.
Asukas pakeni kalsarisillaan ulos. The resident escaped in his long johns.
Hengailin kalsareisillani huoneessani. I hung out in my underwear in my room.
Hän lähti kalsareisillaan pakkaseen. He went out into the snow in his underwear.
Olin kelteisilläni kun hän saapui. I was naked when she arrived.
Hän kertoi nukkuvansa kelteisillään. He told that he slept naked.
Kävimme ilkosillamme saunassa. We went to the sauna stark naked.
Hän kulki kotona ilkoisillaan. He went through his home stark naked.
Joudut nukkumaan paitasillasi. You have to sleep wearing your shirt.
Pappi on pappi vaikka paitasillaan. A priest is a priest even in his regular shirt.
Tuli vilu, kun ulkoilin puseroisillani. I caught a cold when I was out in my shirt only.
Hän hytisi ulkona puseroisillaan. She shivered outside in her shirt only.
Juoksin pyjamasillani hänen avuksi. I ran in my pajamas to help her.
Hän meni pyjamaisillaan alakertaan. She went downstairs in her pajamas.
Kuljetko kotona sukkasillasi? Do you go through the house on your socks?
Mies lähti sukkasillaan ulos. The man went out in his socks.
Lähdin T-paitasillani vesisateeseen. I went out into the rain in my T-shirt.
Ulkona pärjää hyvin T-paitasillaan. You’re fine outside in a T-shirt.
En tykkää näyttäytyä uimapukusillani. I don’t like to be seen in my swimsuit.
Lapset leikkivät uimapukusillaan. The children played in their swimsuits.
Hän meni ulos yöpukusillaan. She went out in her nightclothes.
Hän pakeni naapuria yöpaitasillaan. She escaped the neighbor in her nightgown.

2. Position of a person

The most typical of these phrases allow you to express whether you sleep on your back, side or stomach. These phrases will have a different possessive suffix for each person because it’s my back, your back or her back.

Finnish English
Istuin kyykkysilläni reunalla. I sat on my hunches at the edge.
Olimme kyykyllämme kamiinan edessä. We were squatting in front of the fireplace.
Me olemme kaikki varpaisillamme. We’re all on our toes.
Hän pitää minut varpaillani. She keeps me on my toes.
Makaan rannalla mahallani. I lay on the beach on my tummy.
Vauva viettää aikaa mahallaan. The baby spends time on their tummy.
Vauva nukkuu parhaiten vatsallaan. The baby sleeps best on their stomach.
Nukutko mieluiten vatsallasi? Do you prefer to sleep on your stomach?
Älä nuku selälläsi! Don’t sleep on your back!
En voi nukkua selälläni. I can’t sleep on my back.
Hän oli polvillaan lattialla. He was on his knees on the floor.
Ryömin eteiseen polvillani. I crawled to the hallway on my knees.
Kyljellään nukkuva kuorsaa harvemmin. They who sleep on their side snores less.
Nukahdin vasemmalla kyljelläni. I fell asleep on my left side.
Hän kyyhötti kontallaan. He squatted on all fours.
Olin kontallani pöntön edessä. I was on all fours in front of the toilet bowl.
Olen pitkälläni sängyllä. I’m laying flat on the bed.
Hän ei pysynyt pitkällään. He didn’t stay laying down.
Hän oli pötköllään sohvalla. He was laying flat on the couch.
Olin pötkölläni viltin alla. I was laying down under the blanket.
Olin rähmälläni maalin edessä. I was flat on my stomach in front of the goal.
Takaa-ajajat olivat kintereillämme. The pursuers were on our heels.
Hän juoksi poliisi kintereillään. He ran with the police on his heels.
Röntgenkuva otetaan seisaallaan. An X-ray is taking while standing.
Pystyn nukkumaan seisaallani. I’m able to sleep standing up.
Onneksi olin istuallani. Luckily I was sitting down.

3. Bodyparts in a certain pose

This group of phrases consist of a bodypart, followed by a description of how that bodypart looks. These will all have the third person possessive suffix.

Finnish English
Hän katsoi minua suu ammollaan. He watched me with his mouth wide open.
Hän seisoi jalat haarallaan. He stood with his legs wide apart.
Tunnustele vatsaa sormet harallaan. Feel the stomach with your fingers splayed.
Hän seisoi jalat levällään. He stood with his legs wide apart.
Hän kuunteli pää kallellaan. She listened with her head tilted.
Hän kulki pää riipallaan. She went with her head hanging.
Hän katsoi minua silmät killillään. He watched me with his eyes wide open.
Menin nukkumaan vatsa killillään. I went to bed with my tummy sticking out.
Hän seisoi vatsa pömpöllään. He stood with his stomach bulging.
Kani istui posket pullollaan. The rabbit sat with its cheeks bulging.
Odotin sydän syrjällään vastausta. I waited very worriedly for the answer.
Koira istui korvat lurpallaan. The dog sat with his ears hanging.
Koira juoksi kieli lerpallaan. The dog ran with its tongue hanging.
Odotin kädet ojollaan halaukseen. I waited hands outstretched for a hug.
Hän pysähtyi huulet supullaan. She stood still with her lips clamped.
Hän katsoi silmät sirrillään. She watched with her eyes squinting.
Hän nauroi silmät sikkarallaan. She laughed with her eyes squinting.
Kissat olivat karvat pörhöllään. The cats were with their fur puffed up.
Kanat nukkuivat höyhenet pörröllään. The chickens slept with feathers fluffed up.
He istuivat huulet mutrullaan. They sat with their lips pouted.
Hevonen seisoi korvat höröllään. The horse stood with its ears cocked.
Hän on aina nenä nirpallaan. She’s always dissatified and disgruntled.

4. Describing the state of something

These phrases describe how something is positioned, or the state it is in. This group gets only the third person possessive suffix.

Finnish English
Ojassa oli kumollaan oleva auto. There was a car upside down in the ditch.
Tiellä oli puita kumollaan. There were fallen trees on the road.
Kirja oli lappeellaan pöydällä. The book was laying flat on the table.
Tavarat olivat levällään pöydällä. The things were spread out on the table.
Pyörä oli nojallaan seinää vasten. The bike was leaning against the wall.
Huone oli pullollaan tavaroita. The room was bursting with stuff.
Ovi oli raollaan. The door was ajar.
Kori oli kukkurallaan hedelmiä. The basket was overfull with fruit.
Suklaarasia on enää puolillaan. The box of chocolates is only half full now.
Talo on rempallaan. The house is neglected, decaying.
Talo on tyhjillään. The house is unoccupied, vacated.
Myytti on yhä valloillaan. The myth is still rampant.
Istun muista erillään. I sit apart from the other.
Sokerit ovat kohollaan. The sugars are elevated (diabetes).
Ovi oli vinksallaan. The door was slanting.
Tavarat olivat levällään lattialla. The things were spread out on the floor.
Hiukseni olivat irrallaan. My hair was loose.
Tietoja on hajallaan. Information is scattered.

5. Expressions centered around time

Another group without variation in the possessive suffix. These are related to time.

Finnish English
Kaikki tapahtuu ajallaan. Everything will happen at its time.
Kaikki on pysynyt ennallaan. Everything has remained unchanged.
Talo on säilynyt vanhoillaan. The house has been preserved in its old state.
Hanke oli alullaan. The project was just beginning.
Hanke oli aluillaan. The project was still in its beginning phase.
Suuri urakka on lopuillaan. The big job is coming to an end.
Valtatie on nykyisellään liian kapea. The highway is too narrow in its current state.
Kirjoitan parhaillaan kirjeen. I’m currently writing a letter.
Hän on viimeisillään raskaana. She at the last stage of pregnancy.
Kokous oli jo meneillään. The meeting was already in progress.
Määrä pysyy entisellään. The quantity stays as it was.

6. Expressing static locations

Finnish English
Pysy alallasi! Stay put! Stay where you are!
Mies seisoi aloillaan. The man stood where he was.
Pysy paikallasi! Stay put! Stay where you are!
Aika seisoo paikoillaan. Time stands still.
Seisoin sijoillani. I stood on my place, where I was.
Linna on seissyt sijoillaan 600 vuotta. The castle has stood in its place for 600 years.
Tuletko toimeen omillasi? Are you doing well on your own?
Nuori mies asuu omillaan. The young man lives on his own.

7. Expressing emotions

Finnish English
Olen hämilläni ja pettynyt. I’m confused and disappointed.
Tutkijat olivat hämillään. The researchers were confused.
Katselin häntä aivan ymmälläni. I watched him quite perplexed.
Asiantuntijatkin olivat ymmällään. Even the experts were puzzled.
Hän oli hyvillään palkankorotuksesta. He was pleased with the pay rise.
Te ette olleet hyvillänne. You weren’t pleased.
Olen lääpällään häneen. I’m in love, obsessed with her.
Olen aika hajallani tänään. I’m kind of all over the place today.
Olen vähän vinksallani. I’m a little bit crazy, unusual.
En oikein ollut tolallani. I wasn’t really okay, I was upset.
Olet pian taas entiselläsi. You will be the old you in no time.
Ole varuillasi, ettet kaadu. Be careful that you don’t fall.
Hän on aina varuillaan. He’s always on the alert.
Olen pahoillani. I’m sorry.
He olivat pahoillaan tapahtuneesta. They were sorry about what happened.
Otan mielelläni toisen keksin. I gladly take another cookie.
Hän lukee mielellään. He likes to read.

8. Expressing intent

Finnish English
Kerron uhallani kaiken. I tell everything regardless of the consequences.
Hän ärsytti minua ihan uhallaan. He annoyed me just because.
Hän ärsytti minua tahallaan. He annoyed me on purpose.
Teit sen tahallasi! You did it on purpose!
Tein sen kurillani. I did it as a joke.
Häntä nimitellään kurillaan äidiksi. She’s being called mom as a joke.
Hän sanoi sen piloillaan. He said it in jest.
Tein sen ihan piloillani. I did it just to kid you.
Kissa puri häntä vain leikillään. The cat bit her in a playful manner.
Älä leikilläsikään sano sitä. Don’t say that even in a joking manner.

9. Superlative phrases: “At its best” and “at its worst”

Not all of these phrases work very well with the different possessive suffixes, but some do.

Finnish English
Marjat ovat nyt parhaimmillaan. The berries are at their best now.
En ole aamuisin parhaimmillani. I’m not at my best in the mornings.
Yskä on pahimmillaan yöaikaan. A cough is at its worst during the night.
Pahimmillani painoin 130 kiloa. At my worst I weighed 130 kilos.
Äärimmillään tilanne johtaa sotaan. At its most extreme, the situation leads to war.
Äärimmilläni olen parhaimmillani. At my most extreme, I’m at my best.
Luut ovat vahvimmillaan 30-vuotiaana. The bones are at their strongest at 30 yo.
Riski on suurimmillaan talvella. The risk is at its highest during winter.
Aurinko on korkeimmillaan. The sun is at its highest point.

10. Odd ones out

Finnish English
Hän on tavallaan oikeassa. He’s kind of right.
Syön karkit yksi kerrallaan. I eat the candies one at a time.
Se ei sinällään ole vaarallista, mutta.. It’s not dangerous as such, but..

That’s that for phrases like levällään, ammollaan and sukkasillaan. Do you like these types of articles? Let me know in the comments!

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Trang

Hi, thanks for this article.

I wonder could you write about other cases like inessive(e.g. tosissaan) allative (e.g. paikoilleen) and many others more since it seems that these adverbs/phrases didn’t get much attention. One is usually expected to pick these up as they study.

Thanks again.

Inge (admin)

Yes, there are really many phrases like this that are important to learn, and I will try to add more.

For now, you can find:
– the adessive: https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-grammar/adverbs/olla-xlla-finnish-adessive-phrases-olla-kahvilla-meneilla-treffeilla/
– the inessive: https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-vocabulary/vocabulary-lists/missa-phrases-menossa-tukossa-pystyssa-jaassa/
– Adverbs ending in -uksissa(an): https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-grammar/adverbs/juovuksissa-nukuksissa-uksissaan-adverbs/

Adverbs like the ones you mentioned with possessive suffixes are the most interesting by far. Thank you for your comment!

Trang

Kiitos, en huomannut näitä. These are super helpful. Thank you for your hardwork again!