partitive/nominative in exclamations

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Gavril, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    If you see something for the first time, and you make an exclamation referring to that something, I think you can use the nominative to refer to it in Finnish:

    Käärme! "A snake!"

    However, "snake" is a singular, countable item. In the case of plurals or uncountable things, would you use the partitive or the nominative?

    For example,

    "Look, pigeons! Can I have some of your bread to feed them with?"
    Kas, puluja/pulut. Saisinko sinulta leipää, jota syöttää niille?

    "Sewer water in the street! I wonder if a pipe burst?"
    Jätevettä/jätevesi kadulla! Katkesiköhän viemäriputki?

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  2. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    The partitive is correct in both your examples. Katkesikohan... A Finn might also say: Onkohan viemäriputki katkennut?
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks, all I can guess is that I was confusing (in terms of pronunciation) katketa with kätkeä.
  4. Grumpy Old Man Senior Member

    These things happen. I just wrote illatiiviä or something in another thread.:confused: The weirdest thing is that I have typed an a or an o instead of ä or ö on my own computer. I spend a few weeks abroad every year and as computers don't have the Scandinavian alphabet in those countries, using a and o is more or less a must. How I have managed to "import" that usage to Finland is beyond me, though.

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