Describe your family

Kuvaile perhettäsi

When you tell about yourself, you need to tell about your family, too. Here's how the members of the family are called in Finnish.


Matti ja Maija istuvat junassa ja juttelevat.

Juna saapuu asemalle.


Perhe ja sukulaiset - Family

Modern Finnish family is quite small. Usually, it includes parents and 1-3 children. Because today many people divorce and remarry, there's often children from an earlier marriage in the family. Traditionally, the whole family with grandparents, sisters, brothers and cousins lived in the same house, but today it's very unusual to have many generations under the same roof. When children turn 18 and graduate from the high school, they usually move to their own flat. In Finnish society, it's quite common that couples live together for years before getting married. That is called avoliitto

In Finnish, there are two words for family. Perhe is the most common translation for the English word "family". It includes the inner family, such as parents and children, namely those, who live in the same house. Suku includes other family members, such as grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

family members
= suku
isä father
äiti mother
lapsi child
veli brother
sisko sister
= suku
mummo/isoäiti grandmother
pappa/isoisä grandfather
täti aunt
setä uncle (father's brother)
eno uncle (mother's brother)
serkku cousin
Olen ollut naimisissa kaksi vuotta.
I've been married for two years.

Minulla on - I have

In Finnish, olla can mean both to have and to be. That's why:

Hän on suomalainen.
He is Finn.
Minulla on suomalainen ystävä.
I have a Finnish friend.

Remember, that the personal pronoun is in adessive case. See more in the grammar section.

Asking "do you have"

If you want to ask Do yo have something in Finnish, you must combine the ko-question and the to have- construction above:

Onko sinulla vaimoa?
Do you have wife?

Exercises based on the lesson 7

Previous lesson: - Next lesson: