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Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by the pensive wombat, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. the pensive wombat Senior Member

    Adelaide, Australia
    English - British & Australian
    I've stared to teach myself Finnish and have already had help with a previous thread from some good people. I am at an early stage and use a software program along with internet sources.

    I am confused about the use of kuinka and miten to translate 'how' in English. Wiktionary suggests that kuinka is more formal than miten.

    One example in the software is: Miten sinä menet sinne? 'How do you go there?' Is it more formal to say:Kuinka sinä menet sinne?

    And can I say miten paljon for 'how much' or must I say kuinka paljon?

  2. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    My native ear detects no difference in formality in your examples. Miten / Kuinka paljon se maksoi? are both fine. I would probably say kuinka paljon? but I can't think of a reason for that! :D
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I'm not a native speaker, but my impression (from the time I've spent studying Finnish so far) is that miten is more common than kuinka in standard Finnish. I most often see kuinka used to modify an adjective or adverb -- kuinka nopeasti "how quickly ... ?", kuinka iso "how big ... ?", etc. -- whereas miten is more commonly applied to a whole clause: Miten voimme tehdä sen? "How can we do it?", Miten hän karkasi? "How did he escape?", and so on.
  4. the pensive wombat Senior Member

    Adelaide, Australia
    English - British & Australian
    Many thanks to both of you. Clearly at my age I'm never going to master Finnish grammar. I'd need another lifetime. But when I return to Finland I would like to be able to conduct a few basic transactions and all this helps.

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