Possessive suffixes in speech

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Maabdreo, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Maabdreo

    Maabdreo Member

    English - USA

    I know that in formal language my dog would be (minun) koirani, and that in more colloquial language it would usually be mun koira. (Hopefully that much is right.) However, there seem to be certain words where even in speech I hear the possessive suffix used a lot, at least in the first person singular: mieheni, tyttäreni, elämäni, etc. Are these forms more common in speech than mun mies, mun tytär, mun elämä? If so, what other words would tend to take a possessive suffix rather than the pronoun in spoken Finnish?

  2. Määränpää

    Määränpää Senior Member

    In general it's easier to use a possessive suffix in speech when the corresponding person ("the owner") is the subject of the clause. If the subject is someone else, the suffix sounds always literary.

    But even if minä was the subject, I'd still use mun mies, mun tytär, mun elämä in speech:

    Mä rakastan/vihaan mun elämää.

    I think the only words I'd consistently use with a suffix in speech are the pronouns itse and toinen that cannot follow a genitive pronoun:

    '(you) to yourself'
    toisillemme '(we) to each other'

    In some more or less fixed combinations a suffix is preferred even in speech:

    Mä sain päähäni et...
    'I got it into my head that...'

    Some of these are rude:

    Mutsis oli.
    'No, that's what your momma was.'
  3. Maabdreo

    Maabdreo Member

    English - USA
    Thanks Määränpää!

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