How to decline compound words in Finnish?

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by kakamme, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. kakamme New Member

    When in Finnish you decline compound words, which one do you decline, the first one, the second one or both? For example how do you say ''I like Formula One'' in Finnish?

    ''I like football'' would be ''pidan jalkapallosta'', but how can I say ''I like Formula One'' in Finnish?
  2. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    We usually just say: Pidän formuloista, but of course you can say: Pidän formula ykkösistä/yhdestä.
  3. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I'm sorry to disagree, GOM. Pidän formuloista is a commonly used but incorrect expression. Formula doesn't mean neither a racing car nor a certain racing car class, it means simply kaava or sääntö. There is (or has been) Formula 1, 2, 3, 4, Formula Libre, Formula Ford and whatever. If you say Pidän formuloista it means that you like all these classes.

    Pidän formula-ykkösistä (note the hyphen, it's a compound!) can mean either "I like Formula One racing cars" or "I like Formula One races". Pidän formula-yhdestä is seldom heard although it's grammatically correct; Pidän formula-ykkösestä is more common.

    To answer the original question: There are different cases.

    Generally only the last part is declined.

    If the first part is an adjective, it's possible but not necessary to decline also the first part. Both mustamakkaraa and mustaamakkaraa is correct. On the other hand, the first part of isoisä and similar words is never declined. In some cases the only correct way is to decline both parts, for example nuoripari - nuorenparin.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  4. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    I know all that. You need not apologize for disagreeing with me. I just wrote what is commonly said, not what linguists consider correct.
  5. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Finland (North)
    I don't think this has to do with "linguistic" correctness rather than the language of a specialised subject field. I would say a ordinary Finn with no special background in automobiles or interest in racing would understand "Pidän formuloista" to mean "I like Formula 1 racing", just because Formula 1 is the most widely known and because watching the races is the most common pastime associated with them (as opposed to just being interested in the car mechanics, for instance).
  6. kakamme New Member

    Okay, now that's clear, thanks.

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