Typical sentence structures

In addition to the 3 basic sentence types there are other kind of typical structures in Finnish.

Necessive structure

Genitive + pitää/täytyy + verb

Meidän pitää mennä.
We must go.
Hänen pitää syödä lääkkeitä.
He must take medicine.
Sinun täytyy ymmärtää
You must understand.

Ability and permission

With verbs osata, voida, haluta, aikoa, luvata, sanoa, unohtaa you use 1st infinitive.

Noun + verb + 1st infinitive

Hän osaa laulaa.
He can sing.
Hän osaa puhua suomea.
He can speak Finnish.
Hän ei voi tulla.
He can't come.
Hän haluaa syödä jäätelöä.
He want's to eat ice cream.
Minä aion matkustaa Helsinkiin huomenna.
I'm going to travel to Helsinki tomorrow.

Third infinitive (ma-infinitive)

A typical use for 3rd infinitive is to tell what is happening, going to happen or just happened.

(Noun) + verb + 3rd infinitive

Kutsuin hänet syömään meille.
I invited him to eat at our place.
Olen kirjastossa lukemassa kirjaa.
I'm in the library reading a book.
Tulen pelaamasta jalkapalloa.
I come from playing football.

Instruments, tools and vehicles

Adessive case has many uses, and it corresponds to English prepositions like by, at or with.

Matkustan Turkuun junalla.
I travel to Turku by train.
Mies lyö naulaa vasaralla.
A man hits the nail with a hammer.
Suomen kieltä oppii opiskelemalla.
You learn Finnish by studying.

Temporal structure

Temporal structure is used to tell about two things happening simultaneously.

(Genitive) + 2nd infinitive

Hän lukee kirjaa syödessään.
He's reading a book while he's eating.
Käyttö kielletty junan liikkuessa.
Not allowed during running of the train.

However, you can substitute this structure with a sentence starting "kun" ("when"), and in colloquial speech it's much more common:

Hän lukee kirjaa, kun syö.
He's reading a book when he's eating.
Käyttö kielletty, kun juna liikkuu.
Not allowed, when the train is moving.

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