[Course Forum] Learning Possessive Suffixes

Finnish Grammar: Possessive Suffixes
Lets talk about possessive suffixes and practice it together. For those who are more educated please correct and explain. For those who don’t know about possessive suffixes I suggest going to http://www.uusikielemme.fi/grammar.html

I am trying to learn possessive suffixes and I get the basic idea.

minun my book = kirja ni
sinun your book = kirja si
hänen his/her book = kirja nsa
miedän our book = kirja mme
teidän your (plu.) book = kirja nne
heidän their book = kirja nsa

I understand just adding the personal ending but I have a few questions for those who have a better understanding of this.
I learned what I know of this from Uusi Kielemme (website) so I understand the formula for when the word ends in -nen, -si, -e, -as/äs,… etc
I am a little uncertain of the consonant gradation taking place and I I don’t have smeone to correct me if I’m wrong so I really don’t want to start studying and practicing these if I don’t have a clear understanding of these concepts. In what I’ve read I only see examples of consonant gradation from weak to strong and not strong to weak so my first question is; do I consonant gradate from strong to weak? Planetta has a -tt- which is strong so it would go to -t-. Or when working with possessive suffixes is it only weak to strong? Teltta, kännykkä, reppu, paketti,… etc.

Planeetta (planet)
? or ?
my planet = planeetani OR planeettani
your planet = planeetasi OR planeettasi
his/her planet = planeetansa OR planeettansa
our planet = planeetamme OR planeettamme
your (plu.) planet = planeetanne or planeettanne
their planet = planeetansa OR planeettansa

I also have trouble identifying what words are old Finnish words, as with the rule: Old Finnish words ending in -i: -i changes to -e. I have a list of words I am working with and I want to know if they fall under this category or if they are worked out normally.

I don’t think passi is an old word so therefore it would be conjugated as below but it doesn’t look right. Prinssi, pussi, … etc.
-si changes to -te ?
Passi (passport)
? or ?
my passport = pasteni OR passeni
your passport = pastesi OR passensi
his/her passport = pastensa OR passensa
our passport = pastemme OR passemme
your (plu.) passport = pastenne OR passenne
their passport = pastensa OR passensa

Also what do I do what I have a word that ends in a consonant such as aivot (brain) ? and all words that end in a -t indicating more than one: pelit (games), leffat (movies), astiat (dishes), kengät (shoes),…etc.

my brain =
your brain =
his/her brain =
our brain =
your (plu.) brain =
their brain =

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I hope that as some point someone will see this and offer any corrections or verification of correctness. Until that time I will study and practice what I know. Based on my understanding of Possessive suffixes I made a list of words and wrote them with the possessive suffix. I would like to make a course with these at some point for further study and practice but I want to make sure they are correct. So come here Finnish pupils and natives and offer support to your peers! Again, this is based off of what I learned on http://www.uusikielemme.fi/grammar.html under possessive suffixes.

Here’s some examples under the rule…
Words ending in -e: -e becomes -ee, then add possessive suffux.

hame (skirt) --------- pyyhe (towel) ----------------- osoite (address)
--------------------------(h->hk) (vowel harmony)---------------------------
hameeni ------------- pyyhkeeni -------------------------------- osoitteeni
hameesi ------------- pyyhkeesi --------------------------------- osoitteesi
hameensa ---------- pyyhkeensa ------------------------------ osoitteensa
hameemme -------- pyyhkeemme -------------------------- osoitteemme
hameenne ---------- pyyhkeenne ----------------------------- osoitteenne
hameensa ---------- pyyhkeensa ------------------------------ osoitteensa

terveys (health) ----- maine (reputation) – (t->tt) toive (wish)
tervykseni ------------ maineeni ----------------- toiveeni
tervyksesi ------------ maineesi ------------------ toiveesi
tervyksensa ---------- maineensa -------------- toiveensa
tervyksemme -------- maineemme ------------- toiveemme
tervyksenne ---------- maineenne -------------- toiveenne
tervyksensa ---------- maineensa -------------- toiveensa

tilanne (situation) - perinne (tradition) - perhe (family) (h->hk vowel -------------------------------------------------------------------------harmony)
tilanteeni ----------- perinteeni ------------- perhkeeni
tilanteesi ----------- perinteesi ------------- perhkeesi
tilanteensa -------- perinteensa ----------- perhkeensä
tilanteemme ------- perinteemme -------- perhkeemme
tilanteenne -------- perinteenne ---------- perhkeenne
tilanteensa -------- perinteensä ----------- perhkeensä

I can only really correct what you have posted since I don’t use these a lot if at all.

Planeetta - planeettani, but I feel like this is very abstract/not so useful word to try and apply it to.
Passi is a new word, the only problem was that you conjugated it like an old word: passi - passini

Generally the more words you come to know the easier it becomes to spot ‘old finnish’ words, like nature/family (except äiti) words are the most common.

In the last part you have -t suffixed words, if you read the ‘1. Use’ part of the uusikielemme article it says ‘However, the construction hides the number of possessed objects; käteni may mean either “my hand” or “my hands”.’ so the -t suffix becomes redundant.

pelini - pelisi etc
leffani - leffasi etc
astiani - astiasi etc
kenkäni - kenkäsi etc

Generally though these are not the most useful suffixes to know as they don’t really get much use.

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So you do not consonant gradate strong to weak when dealing with possessive suffixes? Because if you did it would be planeetani but you have planeettani. So the -tt- remains unchanged. Correct?

So passi is new and because it ends in -si- it turns into -te-
pasteni, pastesi, etc… So the first bunch is correct.

And when the word is plural it’s like the -t isn’t there. Okay I thank you. I just wanted to make sure but it makes a difference to hear it from someone else.

So if what you were implying above with planeetta, words do not consonant gradate from strong to weak only weak to strong. This is what Ive struggles with because there are not a whole lot of examples and Google is so very unreliable. So kenkä keeps the k because k is strong and we don’t consonant gradate from strong to weak so it doesn’t cange to g.
kenkäni, kenkäsi etc.

The words I have in my lists to practice with are words I would use the most. But I am still learning Finnish and how I string together sentences may very well be different that in English, this I don’t doubt.

I also posted a bunch of words to this thread. It’s the first post if you get the chance to look it over, I appreciate it!

Thanks for your input!:slight_smile:

I can’t say if this is a rule or not but those examples the -si is preceeded by vowels, I think passi falls into the ‘most words just put it on the end’

I’ve been lax with my grammar the last few months but, there are no examples for consonant gradation on that article.

All of the -e ending words you did seem correct (I could be wrong, I don’t often practice these suffixes or use them).

I was going to write a somewhat detailed explanations on how I would approach the grammar, but I decided to hold off as I’m not sure what you have/haven’t done and how you choose to approach it but I may look at writing a small ‘guide’ style thing on my own experience but it may not be so insightful as its coming from someone who is definitely not an expert on Finnish grammar.
The only thing I will offer up is, try to use words and phrases you can implement into everyday situations, start forming an internal dialogue with yourself with grammar and words you know, even if its not perfect it starts the process of intuitively being able to use cases/tenses/infinitives/suffixes.

I hope this was of some help :slight_smile:

I guess passi is just one of those rogue words that don’t follow the rules. :dizzy_face:
If it’s not too much trouble perhaps you can make a list of words you use or would use the most and I can put the suffix on them.
I am trying to start putting sentences together but I figured I would start here because lately in my studies I come across the question on how to say my object or your object and I want to for simple sentences and include this. I am learning the local cases now too so I want to form sentences together with the possessive but I need to learn possessive.
But thanks for your help it really does help because even if we aren’t experts we’ll figure it out along the way and it’s better to work together than alone because you learn more when you work together :slight_smile:

Generally when forming sentences about ‘my object/your object’, its easier to omit one of the personals instead of adding both, formal speech or in books will use both but outside of that it is quite impractical.

Hänen koira - koiransa
Minun auto - autoni
Sinun talo - talosi
Meidän ystävä - ystävämme
Teidän vaatteet - vaatteenne
Heidän äidit - äitinsä

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Omit one of the personals. That is interesting. A language that lets you choose how you want to speak it xD
Which is proper Finnish and which is what the newer generations speak?

Here are some examples under the rule…
Words ending in -nen: -nen changes to -se

aamiainen (breakfast) - lautanen (plate) - likainen (dirty)
aamiaiseni ----------------- lautaseni ------------ likaiseni
aamiaisesi ----------------- lautasesi ------------ likaisesi
aamiaisensa -------------- lautasensa --------- likaisensa
aamiaisemme ------------ lautasemme -------- likaisemme
aamiaisenne -------------- lautasenne --------- likaisenne
aamiaisensa -------------- lautasensa --------- likaisensa

ihminen (human) - ulkomaalainen ----- hampurilainen
------------------------------(foreigner) ----------- (hamburger)
ihmiseni -------------- ulkomaalaiseni --------hampurilaiseni
ihmisesi -------------- ulkomaalaisesi -------- hampurilaisesi
ihmisensa ----------- ulkomaalaisensa ----- hampurilaisensa
ihmisemme --------- ulkomaalaisemme — hampurilaisemme
ihmisenne ----------- ulkomaalaisenne ---- hampurilaisenne
ihmisensa ----------- ulkomaalaisensa ---- hampurilaisensa

onnellinen (happy) – sininen (blue) – valkoinen (white)
onnelliseni ------------- siniseni ------------ valkoiseni
onnellisesi ------------- sinisesi ------------ valkoisesi
onnellisensa ---------- sinisensa --------- valkoisensa
onnellisemme -------- sinisemme ------- valkoisemme
onnellisenne ---------- sinisenne --------- valkoisenne
onnellisensa ---------- sinisensa --------- valkoisensa

On Uusi Kielemme they include examples that are adjectives and this confuses me. So if you were to say “My red ball” it would be Minun punaiseni palloni. So you would at the suffix to the adjective and the noun?

@kivenkantaja Can you check these too please!

Words ending in -us, -ys, -os, -ös, -is, -es: remove -s and add -kse

ystävyys ----------- onnellisuus -------------- käytös
(friendship) --------- (happiness) ------------- (behavior)
ystävyykseni ------- onnellisuukseni -------- käytökseni
ystävyyksesi ------- onnellisuuksesi --------- käytöksesi
ystävyyksensa ---- onnellisuuksensa ------ käytöksensa
ystävyyksemme — onnellisuuksemme ---- käytöksemme
ystävyyksenne ---- onnellisuuksenne ------ käytöksenne
ystävyyksensa ---- onnellisuuksensa ------- käytöksensa

mies (husband) — ostos (purchase) - kaunis (beautiful)
miekseni ------------- ostokseni ----------- kaunikseni
mieksesi ------------- ostoksesi ------------ kauniksesi
mieksensa ---------- ostoksensa -------- kauniksensa
mieksemme -------- ostoksemme ------- kauniksemme
mieksenne --------- ostoksenne --------- kauniksenne
mieksensa ---------- ostoksensa --------- kauniksensa


Here are a bunch of words that I just want to be sure that I’m doing right.

(underwear) alusvaatteet - alusvaatteeni
(jacket) jakku - jakkuni ------------------ (cup) kuppi - kuppini
(sock) sukka - sukkani ------------ (city) kaupunki - kaupunkini
(corset) korsetti - korsettini ----------- (tea) tee - teeni
(nipple((s)) nännit - nännini --------- (soap) saippua - saipuani
(face) kasvot - kasvoni -------- (sandwich) voileipä - voileipäni
(heart) sydän - sydäni ------------ (brush) harja - harjani
(shoes) kengät - kengäni ----------- (ticket) lippu - lippuni
(eyes) silmät - silmäni ------------ (teacher) opettaja - opettajani

These words end in -i and I am not sure what are old or new.

(rice) riisi ----------------- (cabinet) kaappi
(culture) kulttuuri ------ (city) kaupunki
(gender) sukupuoli ----- (home) koti
(posture) ryhti ------------ (garlic) valkosipuli
(location) sijainti -------- (sugar) sokeri
(moment) hetki ----------- (salad) salaatti
(chair) tuoli --------------- (knife) veitsi
(game) peli -------------- (cup) kuppi
(bag) pussi -------------- (glass) lasi

Proper Finnish would use both, which is what you would use in formal situations (work writing/reports/etc), books, exams and in general is used as a more ‘written format’ so you may write to someone minun autoni/mun autoni, but spoken between friends/family more relaxed environments you could choose to omit one of the personals. It isn’t proper Finnish but it is still done frequently.

All of the -nen ending words seem correct.
Ystävyys should be ystävykseni etc. Again not sure if this is a rule but when its a long vowel like that at the end yy/uu etc. it should become short. I could be wrong on this but I learned a lot of these things intuitively from reading texts and it just looks a bit off with the long vowels before the suffix.

Mies becomes miehe-;
mieheni - miehesi etc.
Sydän becomes sydäme-;
sydämeni - sydämesi etc.
Kengät - use the singular form kenkä as this suffix does not denote amount;
kenkäni - kenkäsi etc
The ones I’m not 100% on and can’t really offer anything on are;
saippua, nännini and kasvot as I’ve never come across using it with those. The rest I haven’t listed seem correct.

Yes adjectives also take the cases/suffixes of the word they are enhancing or describing, but I don’t think colors would take personal suffix (I could be wrong on this it is again something that looking at looks off).

Punaiset pallot - The red balls
Bussipysäkillä on pieniä kissoja - There are small cats on the bus stop

I’m not sure about all of them but most of them are new words. You can generally tell as it looks a lot like a loanword that has had its syntax adjusted to fit in with Finnish.
Old Finnish words generally share nothing in common with English/don’t resemble it at all;
meri - sea
järvi - lake
kivi - rock/stone
pieni - small
suuri - large
suomi - finland
sieni - mushroom
tuli - fire
kieli - tongue/language
uni - sleep/dream


If sieni is an old word wouldn’t sipuli be too? Or did they not have onions in “ancient” Finland xD

I’m not 100% sure on the logistics of it but I just checked with a native to be sure and sipuli is a new Finnish word.

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Can someone explain what “old” and “new” Finnish words are? What’s the distinction?

@cos, I’ve never come across anything officially definitive but there is a section in this article under the heading “The ancient core” which you may find helpful. In any case, I found it an informative and entertaining piece, worth adding to my growing pile of reference documents: http://www.cityofsound.com/blog/2012/10/old-and-new-finnish-grammar.html

This goes h -> hk.

pyyhe (towel)
(I know you have seen complex explanation about vowel harmony, but it really is just that, if word has a, o or u, ending with a are used, otherwise ending with ä.)

terveensa -> terveensä (word does not have a, o or u)
Adjective. Explanation is below.
(terve = healthy, terveys = health)

nn -> nt

tilanne (situation)

perinne (tradiation)
perinteensä (<-- notice ä)

No a, o or u, so perheensa -> perheensä.

There aren’t possessive suffixes for adjectives.

(Minun) sininen palloni (my blue ball)
(Minun) siniseen pallooni (to my blue ball)
(Minun) siniselle pallolleni (onto(?) my blue ball)
Heidän sinisellä pallollansa (with their blue ball)

No a, o or u, so ihmisensa -> ihmisensä.

ystävyys (friendship)

No, but ystäväystävys(friend) does become ystävykseni(my friend).

onnellisuus (happiness)

No a, o or u, so ending with ä is used:

Adjective. Can’t decline to possessive.

Good, but:
saippua - saippuani
sydän - sydämeni
kengät - kenkäni

I divided these based on whether they have i or e on genitive.



Why does ystävyys ad onnellisuus have -te in it when it describes in the grammar on Uusi Kielemme that when it ends in -ys, -us we remove the s an it changes to -kse?

For some reason it doesn’t have the declination of words ending in -uus and -yys, which decline differently from those ending in -ys and -us.

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