Plural of Finnish surnames

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Anna Mozdzonek, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Anna Mozdzonek New Member

    Dear All, is it possible to refer to a whole family in Finnish, as we do in English (The Newmans) or in French (Les Sarkozy)? How do we form the plural if we have the surname in singular?
  2. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Of course. You decline the surname the same way as you would decline any other noun of that type. For example, surnames that end in -nen (by far the most common) will decline like nouns of the same type:

    perhonen 'butterfly' – perhoset 'butterflies' → VirtanenVirtaset
    sairaala 'hospital' – sairaalat 'hospitals' → AnttilaAnttilat
    sade 'rain' – sateet 'rains' → AhdeAhteet
    'river' – joet 'rivers' → Alajoki – Alajoet
    'hill' – mäet 'hills' → RintamäkiRintamäet

    There may be some exceptions, but most of the time the rule will work.
  3. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    One notable exception to this rule is the surname Manner, at least when it comes to the Finnish MEP Riikka Manner. Her surname is* declined as Manner - Mannerin, not Manner - Mantereen (as in, 'continent').

    (Still, note that another person named 'Manner' might prefer different declensions; it is therefore usually the owner of the name who decides on how it should be declined.)

    * or "was", as she's nowadays known by her birthname Pakarinen

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