I am about to go, actually.

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Senior Member

    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. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    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:

    "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. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
  4. akana Senior Member

    English - USA
    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."

    Olen vähällä lähteä.
    "I'm about to leave." (?)
  5. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
  6. Gwydda Junior Member

    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:
    So EVOO, Gavril and akana, please go ahead and say "olen/olin juuri lähtemäisilläni" :)
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  7. henseri New Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish, Swedish
    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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