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Thread: I am about to go, actually.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Pariisi
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    kiina
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    754

    I am about to go, actually.

    At a café, someone comes to my table and asks if the seat is available there.

    I want to say that the seat is available and I am actually about to leave, so that they can use the whole table. How can I say this?

    "Paikka on vapaa. Minä on itse asiassa lähteämään, jotta sinä voit käyttä koko pöytä." (?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    English, USA
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    4,776

    Re: I am about to go, actually.

    You could say,

    Olen itse asiassa juuri lähtemäisilläni, joten pöytä on pian vapaa.

    "As a matter of fact, I'm just about to leave, so the table will soon be free."

    I'm not sure if "vapaa" is the most common word in this context, but I think it will be understood. (Hopefully, the native speakers will let us know if there is a better way of saying this.)

    lähtemäisilläni = "(I am) about to leave". You can add the -maisilla- suffix onto various verbs, with a possessive suffix corresponding to the subject of the verb:

    nukahtaa
    "fall asleep"
    Hän on nukahtamaisillaan "He is about to fall asleep"

    astua "step"
    Varo, olet astumaisillasi banaaninkuoren päälle! "Careful, you're about to step on a banana peel!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
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    Finland, Finnish
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    70
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    4,352

    Re: I am about to go, actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    Olen itse asiassa juuri lähdössä, joten pöytä on pian vapaa.

    I'm not sure if "vapaa" is the most common word in this context, but I think it will be understood. (Hopefully, the native speakers will let us know if there is a better way of saying this.) "Vapaa" is a perfect word here.

    lähtemäisilläni = "(I am) about to leave". You can add the -maisilla- suffix onto various verbs, with a possessive suffix corresponding to the subject of the verb:

    Hän on nukahtamaisillaan "He is about to fall asleep"
    Varo, olet astumaisillasi banaaninkuoren päälle! "Careful, you're about to step on a banana peel!"

    This form is grammatically OK but we usually use it when something happens unintentionally. I wouldn't say "olen lähtemäisilläni" but "olen lähdössä / lähtemässä".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Native language
    English - USA
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    316

    Re: I am about to go, actually.

    Would the word vähällä be appropriate in this context?

    I've seen it in contexts like this:
    Olin vähällä pudota alas portaita, mutta onneksi tartuin käsipuuhun.
    "I was about to fall down the stairs, but luckily I grabbed the handrail."

    But:
    Olen vähällä lähteä.
    "I'm about to leave." (?)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
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    70
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    Re: I am about to go, actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by akana View Post
    Would the word vähällä be appropriate in this context?

    I've seen it in contexts like this:
    Olin vähällä pudota alas portaita, mutta onneksi tartuin käsipuuhun.
    "I was about to fall down the stairs, but luckily I grabbed the handrail."

    But:
    Olen vähällä lähteä.
    "I'm about to leave." (?)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Native language
    Finnish
    Age
    25
    Posts
    26

    Re: I am about to go, actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hakro
    This form is grammatically OK but we usually use it when something happens unintentionally. I wouldn't say "olen lähtemäisilläni" but "olen lähdössä / lähtemässä".
    By no means the olin lähtemäisilläni form is used only when something happens unintentionally. In fact, I don't think it has any direct relation to unintentionality.

    "Olin juuri keittämäisilläni kahvit, kun naapuri soitti ovikelloa."
    "Etelä-Suomen järvijäät ovat jo hyvin heikkoja ja lähtemäisillään."
    "
    Toinen postipaketti saapui viikon odotuksen jälkeen juuri, kun olin jo soittamaisillani tulikivenkatkuisen tiedustelupuhelun, missä paketti luuraa."

    This form is the so-called viides infinitiivi or propinkvatiivi - the latter name already referring to its intended meaning: something that was/is about to happen (it is going to happen in the temporal propinquity).

    Also VISK tells us that:
    Quote Originally Posted by VISK §1521
    "Verbiliitto olla tekemäisillään ilmaisee, että teelinen tapahtuma melkein toteutuu tai toteutui; rakenne implikoi tapahtuman toteutumattomuutta kyseisellä hetkellä. Lause on aspektiltaan rajattu."
    So EVOO, Gavril and akana, please go ahead and say "olen/olin juuri lähtemäisilläni"
    Last edited by Gwydda; 19th July 2013 at 12:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Native language
    Finnish, Swedish
    Posts
    3

    Re: I am about to go, actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by akana View Post
    Would the word vähällä be appropriate in this context?

    I've seen it in contexts like this:
    Olin vähällä pudota alas portaita, mutta onneksi tartuin käsipuuhun.
    "I was about to fall down the stairs, but luckily I grabbed the handrail."

    But:
    Olen vähällä lähteä.
    "I'm about to leave." (?)
    The first sentence is correct, but in the second context you should use the word "lähdössä", which means about to leave.

    "Olen lähdössä."

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