Which case to use?

Case goverment means, that the verb governs the grammatical case on it's complement. Often times the case is different in different languages. Especially with abstract things it's not easy to choose which one to use. In our own language they might feel "natural", but other languages might use different cases:

Olen kiinnostunut urheilusta.
I'm interested in sports. ("from sports")

In English you are "interested in", but in Finnish you are "interested from".

More examples


The basic meaning of elative is away from something It's also used with some certain verbs.

elative examples
Finnish English
Pidän sinusta. I like you.
Kirja kertoo sodasta. The book tells about war.
Hänestä tuli leipuri. He became a baker.


Essive case is often translated in English with the preposition "as".

essive examples
Finnish English
Työskentelen opettajana. I work as a teacher.


The basic meaning of translative is to become something and you use it with verbs which denote some kind of transition. You use it with verbs like muuttua, muttua, tulla.

translative examples
Finnish English
Ilma muuttui paremmaksi. The weather became better.
Paha noita muutti prinssin sammakoksi. The evil witch turned the prince into a frog.
Lääke parantaa hänet terveeksi. The medicine is healing him.


The basic meaning of ablative is "from", but you use it with verbs like "näyttää" (looks like), "tuoksuu"/"haisee" (smells like), "kuulostaa" (sounds like) and in some other constructions.

ablative examples
Finnish English
Uusi kampauksesi näyttää hyvältä. Your new haircut looks good.
Tämä elokuva on lapsilta kielletty. This film is forbidden for children.
Roskis haisee pahalta. The trash bin smells bad.
Hajuvesi tuoksuu kukilta. The perfume smells like flowers.


Allative's basic meaning is "to", but has same usages as ablative, and you can use it with "näyttää", "tuoksua", "haista" and other verbs like that.

Tämä siideri maistuu mansikalle. This cider tastes like strawberry.


illative examples
Finnish English
Tyttö rupesi itkemään. The girl started to cry.
Se perustuu ihmisten kertomuksiin. It's based on peoples stories.
Liikunta vaikuttaa terveyteen positiivisesti. Exercise affects health positively.

"To find" , "to leave" and "to stay"

Verbs like "to find" , "to leave" and "to stay" express rather concrete action in a location. Still, different languages have different ideas how to deal with this. In English, you say "I left home", in Finnish you "leave from work" ~ "lähdin töistä" (that sounds logical, because there's movement involved, so you should use the elative case).

Finnish English
Takki löytyi kaapista. The coat was found in the closet
Lähdin kotoa aamulla. I left home in the morning.
Halusin jäädä sänkyyn. I wanted to stay in bed.

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