Partitive plural

Basic rules

When the ending is -a?

The partitive ending is -a, when the root ends with a single vowel. You get the root from genitive by removing the last n.


You drop the last e or i:

When the ending is -ta?

The partitive ending is ta, when the root ends with 2 vowels. You drop the first vowel and add i + ta.


There are some long words, which are exeptions.

Ending is -a

ending is -ta

Some examples of words where both are possible:

When to use plural partitive

The basic meaning of plural partitive is "indefinite amount of numerous things", for example: "Syön piirakoita" / "I'm eating some pies".

To express the object

Partitive, singular or plural, is used typically with the object of the sentence.

Opiskelija lukee kirjaa.
A student is reading a book.
Opiskelijat lukevat kirjoja.
Students are reading (some) books.
Muista ostaa maitoa.
Remember to buy (some) milk.
Muista ostaa perunoita.
Remember to buy (some) potatoes.

Also genitive ("n-object") is a possible case. See the difference between the different kinds of objects:

To express the subject in an existential sentence

Existential sentence can be used to express where things are (or are not) or possession (there is - sentence in English).

Torilla on ihmisiä.
There are (some) people on the market square.
Kirjastossa on opiskelijoita.
There are (some) students in the library.

More about the existential sentence.

You are here > > > > Grammar: Plural partitive

More grammar topics