Inflection of numerals in spoken language


New Member
Moi kaikki!

So, as I have learned, the inflection of Finnish numerals is quite complicated because every part of the number needs to be inflected.

For example:

35 persons: kolmekymmentäviisi henkeä

when adding "for", it becomes

for 35 persons: kolmellekymmenelleviidelle hengelle

However, regarding the tendency of Finns to shorten their words a lot when speaking colloquially, I wonder how this is dealt with in puhekieli.
I suppose the number 35 should be pronounced by most persons like "kolmkytviis", so how would a person say "for 35 persons" in a shorter way? Do really all parts of the number get inflected in everyday language, too?
  • Kristoffer71

    New Member
    35 is usually shortened kolkytviis, but "for 35" but I would actually say kolmellekymmenelleviidelle. How about the rest of you Finns? Do any of you shorten this? But in any case we wouldn't generally write that. In writing it would be for example "35 ihmiselle".

    And when we write the thirty fifth it would be with a period as in 35.
    So this one would be spoken as kolmaskymmenesviides
    Last edited:

    Maunulan Pappa

    For my part, I often say e.g. kolkytviidelle, i.e., I only conjugate the last part of the numeral. To say "for 135" in Finnish, I would say sadallekolkytviidelle :D

    One can also try to find a way to circumvent the problem of long, clumsy ordinals. You can, for example, say "hän tuli sijalle 135" instead of "hän tuli sadanneksikolmanneksikymmenenneksiviidenneksi". :eek:

    But all this depends on the situation, the degree of formality, etc.


    Senior Member
    As already stated, we sometimes use another case to avoid long words. For example, if we serve coffee in a meeting and we talk about the number of the cups, we can say:
    A: Monelle mä laitan?
    B: 35 (kolkytviis) on tulossa.
    [instead of: kolmellekymmenelleviidelle]


    New Member
    Finnish :(
    Interesting replies, I would most definitely say"kolmelkymmenelviidel", definitely not "kolmellekymmenelleviidelle" and kolkytviidelle sounds very weird to me too, since it combines informal and formal language.