Finnish / Estonian: leaving out possessive markers

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Senior Member
English, USA
In Finnish or Estonian, is it possible to say sentences like the following, in which there is no explicit possessive pronoun/suffix, and you can only tell from context who the possessor is?

(I suspect that none of these sentences would be OK in written Finnish, but what about the spoken language?)

"I told cousin [= my cousin] the whole story yesterday."

"He can't play today -- arm [= his arm] is broken."

"When he got home, he brushed teeth [= his teeth] and went to bed."

"He got in car [= his car] and drove away."

Kiitos / Aitäh
Last edited:
  • Grumpy Old Man

    Senior Member
    The answer is 'yes' to all your examples. In the first sentence the people would have to know which cousin is talked about.

    Kerroin serkulle koko tarinan eilen.
    Hän ei voi pelata tänään. Käsi on murtunut/poikki.
    Kun hän tuli kotiin, hän pesi hampaat ja meni nukkumaan.
    Hän meni autoon ja ajoi pois.

    In formal Finnish the possessive pronouns*/suffixes would be used.

    *In Finnish grammar, the equivalents of words like my, your, our etc. are called possessive pronouns, not possessive adjectives.

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