ensimmäinen ... toinen

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Gavril, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    Supposing that you were answering a multiple-choice question with only two choices:

    Mikä on luvun 324 neliöjuuri?

    A) 19
    B) 18

    How would you say "The second [answer] is correct, the first is incorrect"?

    I would guess that "the first" would be translated as ensimmäinen and "the second" as toinen. However, since toinen ... toinen normally means "one ... the other", I'm not completely sure.

  2. kirahvi Senior Member

    Toinen on oikein, ensimmäinen on väärin.

    Toinen can be ambiguous, but especially if you add ensimmäinen on väärin, there's no real possibility of being misunderstood.
  3. altazure Junior Member

    If the choices have been labeled A) and B), we might say "A on oikein" or "B on oikein" to avoid the ambiguity of toinen.
  4. Määränpää

    Määränpää Senior Member

    Maybe that's why we distinguish toka ("second") from toinen ("other") in spoken language!

    On the other hand, we can use the literary jälkimmäinen ("latter") when there are only two choices, and if there are more than two choices, toinen can only mean "second".

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