Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina! Welcome back to FinnishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 8 - Have You Lost Your Favorite Finnish Coffee Mug?
Paula: Hei! Minä olen Paula.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn to ask where something is, and how to use the inessive case.
Paula: The conversation takes place at home. Helen is an exchange student and Jussi is the son of her host family. They will be speaking in standard Finnish.
Gina: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gina: So, Jussi has lost his mug. But what is this dish drying cabinet thing?
Paula: It’s a special kind of cabinet in Finnish kitchens. The full name is ‘astiankuivauskaappi’, but it can also be shortened to ‘kuivauskaappi’, if it’s obvious you’re talking about the cabinet in the kitchen and not about a drying cabinet for clothes. Anyway, it’s a cabinet with draining racks instead of shelves so you can put handwashed things directly there and let them dry by themselves.
Gina: And the water drips down on the counter? Doesn’t sound very nice to me.
Paula: No, the cabinet is directly above the sink, so the water drips straight into the sink. You just load the wet dishes in, close the doors, and you’re done. No soggy towels and no draining racks cluttering the counter space.
Gina: Well, I suppose there is a point there. And these are common in Finland?
Paula: Yes, you’d be hard put to find a kitchen that doesn’t have one!
Gina: That’s interesting. Now let’s see some vocabulary.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paula: The first word is the verb ‘tietää’, or “to know”.
Gina: When do you use this verb?
Paula: It basically means “to have information about something”, so if you keep that in mind, you’ll pretty much know when to use it.
Gina: Hmm, so that would mean you can’t use it to say you know someone personally?
Paula: That’s right. It would only mean you know who the person is, not that you know them personally.
Gina: OK. What’s our next word?
Paula: ‘Päin’. Its basic meaning is “towards” or “against”, but when combined with a word such as ‘missä’ or ‘tuolla’, it indicates a more general location. For example, ‘tuolla’ is “over there”, but ‘tuolla päin’ is “somewhere over there”, or “somewhere in that direction”.
Gina: I see. Let’s move on to grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Gina: In this lesson, you’re going to tackle the next case, the inessive.
Paula: The meaning of this case is pretty much the same as that of the English preposition “in”. You can use it to say “in the cabinet”, “in the kitchen”, “in Finland”, and so on.
Gina: And you form it just like the partitive, by adding an ending to the stem of a word?
Paula: Yes. The only problem is that, well, some Finnish words have two stems and you have to pick the right one.
Gina: Oh boy. Two stems?
Paula: Yeah. You see, Finnish has a limited number of allowed consonant clusters, and a word can never end in two consonants. However, some of the case endings are single consonants and some start with two consonants, so you need a vowel before them, while other endings do not need a vowel before them.
Gina: So you’re saying that there are two stems, and one of them ends in a vowel and the other one in a consonant?
Paula: Exactly. The partitive ending does not require a vowel before it, so it’s attached to the consonant stem. The inessive, however, must have a vowel before it.
Gina: What is the inessive ending?
Paula: It’s ‘-ssa’, double ‘s’ ‘a’ or ‘-ssä’, using ‘a’ with an umlaut, above the letter ‘a’ to make it sound like ‘-ssä according to vowel harmony. In the lesson notes, we’ve listed all the words we’ve had in the dialogues so far in both the partitive and inessive forms, so I’d strongly recommend checking them for this lesson.
Gina: OK. Let’s have some examples. How about “in the cabinet”?
Paula: Cabinet is ‘kaappi’, and the stem you need here is ‘kaapi-’, so it would be ‘kaapissa’.
Gina: Alright. Now how about “in that blue mug”?
Paula: That is ‘tuo.’ “Blue” is ‘sininen’, with the stem ‘sinise-’, and “mug” is ‘muki’, which has a stem similar to the dictionary form. So altogether, it would be ‘tuossa sinisessä mukissa’. Remember, you have to inflect all the words, not just the noun.
Gina: I think it’s time to let the listeners try their hand at this. Listeners, I’ll say a phrase, and Paula will give you the Finnish translation in the nominative form. Your job is to convert the phrase into the inessive case and say it aloud in clear loud voice. Paula will give the correct answer after a few seconds. OK? The first one is “this pie”.
Paula: The nominative form is ‘tämä piirakka’. And the stem you want for the pie is ‘piiraka-’.
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Paula: ‘Tässä piirakassa.’ For example, you could say ‘tässä piirakassa on omenaa’, “there’s apple in this pie”.
Gina: Here’s the next one - “black coffee”
Paula: The nominative form is ‘tuo musta kahvi.’
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Paula: ‘Tuossa mustassa kahvissa.’ A sentence to use this in could be ‘tuossa mustassa kahvissa on sokeria’, which is “there’s sugar in that black coffee”.
Gina: Okay, it’s time to wrap up this lesson. Please do check the lesson notes for this lesson. We’ve listed the partitive and inessive forms of all words covered so far, and there are lots of examples. I think you’ll find them useful.

Outro

Gina: Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
Paula: Hei hei!

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