Finnish Almost Similar Verbs

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Singular
Wednesday 10th of December 2008 10:26:29 PM
Almost similar verbs: Those who have studied more Finnish have noticed for their horror/pleasure that Finnish verbs come in bunches. You may or may not guess the difference of meaning between the verbs from their syntactic form. If you use a wrong verb form, a native will understand what you try to say but doesn't bother to correct you because you might ask a troublesome question: "What's the exact difference between these verbs?".

Almost similar verbs are used to convey the point of view, except when they are not:
"Lehmä lypsää maitoa", "Lypsäjä lypsää lehmän", "Meillä on seitsemäntoista lypsävää" (lypsävä = a cow, which produces milk). And think that "lypsäjä" is just another verb based grammatical construction which didn't make its way to the official grammar in 19th century.

And which one of the following verbs doesn't belong to the same bunch:
a) kutista
b) kutistaa
c) kutistua

Syntactically they clearly belong to the same verb family, but ...


Marja
Tuesday 16th of December 2008 09:08:26 AM
Moi Singular,
Goodness knows it's good to get another native Finn on board! As I am still a student of Finnish myself so sometimes there are things that I cannot help other students with.

It can be very confusing for non natives when you do have all these words that are similar or have several words to mean the same thing depending on context. Adding to that all the ways the words can change depending on the grammatical case, it can be rather overwhelming at times!

Had to check the dictionary for those words as I haven't come across them yet but the first word 'kutista' is the one that doesn't belong. It means 'itch' (noun) and the other two are different verbs meaning 'to shrink'. 'kutistaa' also means 'reduce' and 'kutistua' also means 'dwindle' so slight variations on the same meaning.


Singular
Tuesday 16th of December 2008 12:44:46 PM
The difference between the two is the point of view:

kutistaa - this stresses the cause:
"Kuuma vesi kutistaa vaatteita""For your information, hot water shrinks clothes"

kutistua - done by itself: "Vaatteet kutistuvat kuumassa vedessä"/ "As you already know, clothes shrink in hot water". This is a flat statement of a fact.

(It is the drying which makes clothes to shrink but never mind).

kutista - to itch. By the looks this should be the the base verb of the previous too.

From Wikipedia:

Verbal suffixes are extremely diverse; several frequentatives and momentanes differentiating causative, volitional-unpredictable and anticausative are found, often combined with each other, often denoting indirection. For example:
hypätä "to jump",
hyppiä "to be jumping",
hypeksiä "to be jumping wantonly",
hypäyttää "to make someone jump once",
hyppyyttää "to make someone jump repeatedly" (or "to boss someone around"),
hyppyytyttää "to make someone to cause a third person to jump repeatedly",
hyppyytellä "to, without aim, make someone jump repeatedly",
hypähtää "to jump suddenly" (in anticausative meaning),
hypellä "to jump around repeatedly",
hypiskellä "to be jumping repeatedly and wantonly",
hyppimättä "without jumping",
hyppelemättä "without jumping around".

Often the diversity and compactness of this agglutination is illustrated with juoksentelisinkohan "I wonder if I should run around aimlessly".



Sometimes the precise translation takes two or three sentences in another language. And I did not yet start with the word order.

So, what do these absurd, but grammatically correct sentences mean in English:

Kuuma vesi kutistuu vaatteista.
Vaatteet kutistavat kuumaa vettä.


Singular
Wednesday 17th of December 2008 04:44:37 PM
These verbs show the point of view machinery behind Finnish logic:

oppia - to learn
opettaa - to teach

Teaching and learning are just the same thing, just the point of view is different! The following verbs imply with -lla ending that the process might take some time:

opiskella - to study
opetella - be in the process of learning

"Opettelen vielä puhumaan suomea" - I'm still learning to speak Finnish. (I speak Finnish but I have to continue my Finnish studies).

"Opin vielä puhumaan suomea jonain päivänä!" - I will learn to speak Finnish some day! (Then my Finnish will be perfect!)



anneli_j
Tuesday 30th of December 2008 03:20:19 PM
Terve!

I think i'll dare a reply, if nothing else so for the fun of it :D More fun than working day before New Years at least..:)

Kuuma vesi kutistuu vaatteista = Hot water shrinks clothes.
Vaattet kutistavat kuumaa vettä = Clothes are shrinking in hot water.

I guessed kutistavat was a passive parciple, and don't really know how to express that in english. But it should be like "something that is/was done"? At least that would be the swedish way to use it. A verb used as an adjective or soemthing ;)

Moikka :)
Anneli


Singular
Monday 05th of January 2009 01:26:43 AM
Kuuma vesi kutistuu vaatteista = Hot water shrinks clothes.

Google Translate suggested exactly the same answer. Zero points.

"-sta" usually means "from" which implies the cause! So, "hot water becomes smaller because of the clothes".

kutistua (note the refleksive -ua) -> kutistuu (singular 3rd present)

Vaatteet kutistavat kuumaa vettä = Clothes are shrinking in hot water. (It is "vaatteet")

"Clothes make the hot water smaller" - "kuumaa vettä" seems to be the object.

kutistaa (-aa assumes object?) -> kutistavat (plural 3rd present)

These are good test questions because trying to use information outside the test context will lead to wrong answers.

I guessed kutistavat was a passive parciple, and don't really know how to express that in english. But it should be like "something that is/was done"? At least that would be the swedish way to use it. A verb used as an adjective or soemthing ;)

kutistaa -> kutistava (aktiivinen 1. partisiippi)-> kutistavat (plural)

You were probably thinking:
"kutistavat vaatteet" = clothes which shrink something. Did you eat too much during Christmas? They are already invented and they are called black clothes or vertical stripes.




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