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Passive past

Posted: 2019-03-15, 0:26
by Woods
Finnish has been impossible for me to learn so far... Been here for months, and yet I haven't even gone through 10% of the grammar, let alone learn vocabulary etc. But anyway I got myself another book from the library a few days ago, hopefully I will have time to learn some phrases and use them blindly (I mean without proper grammar :D) And of course I'm learning from context but at the same time not that much because the language is so different...

Anyway, don't want to disappoint you, Naava, I will get back on track at some point :)

So the last thing I was thinking of asking and writing a post in the forum about was the formation of passive past. That was about a month ago, but I couldn't even finish the post... Anyway here it is:

I got the following awesome explanation about how the passive past is formed from Finnish: An Essential Grammar:

“The past tense of the passive is formed from one of the endings -ta/-tä or -tta/-ttä with the final vowel being dropped before the past tense -i- (…) and the personal ending -Vn.”

In other words, “[t]he passive past is formed by using:
a) -ttiin in place of the passive present -taan/-tään when occurring after a vowel
b) -tiin in place of all other instances of passive present endings.”

Of course you can see it’s not the kind of explanation that smoothly takes the missing place in one’s understanding of Finnish grammar :D

In other words it doesn’t make any sense, so I (and I guess any human being) would need a better explanation. In my notes from last year I can see I wrote down the following. I would like to hear your opinion about how far it’s correct/complete:

If the infinitive ends in a/ä, in the passive past a double -tt- is introduced. If there’s already a -t- in the infinitive ending, this -t- doubles. But if the infinitive ends in -da/-dä, the passive past gets only one -t- (the ending is -tiin and its -t- is not preceded by another one.)

Beware this is from my notes from one year ago. I’m going through them and trying to get some understanding of the basic Finnish grammar, so that I can actually start learning this language while I’m here (otherwise it would be a shame). So I might have forgotten what exactly I was getting into, but at the same have heard some more examples of usage of the Finnish language.

So I guess there’s a much better explanation of what is going on in the formation of the passive past than Fred Karlsson’s or mine – something to do with consonant gradation and vowel changes, I guess, or some other systematic pattern?

Re: Passive past

Posted: 2019-03-16, 15:10
by Virankannos
If you want to use the verb infinitive as the starting point, I suggest thinking in terms of verb types (1 - 6):

Types with -ttiin
Verb type 1: infinitive ends in two vowels, ie. vowel + a/ä (lukea : luettiin, yrittää : yritettiin)
Verb types 4 - 6: infinitive ends in vowel + -ta/-tä (avata : avattiin, lykätä : lykättiin, juoruta : juoruttiin, kadota : kadottiin, tarvita : tarvittiin, paeta : paettiin)

Types with -tiin
Verb type 2: infinitive ends in -da/-dä (saada : saatiin, juoda : juotiin, tupakoida : tupakoitiin)
Verb type 3: infinitive ends in -la/-lä, -na/-nä, -ra/-rä, -sta/-stä (tulla : tultiin, panna : pantiin, purra : purtiin, juosta : juostiin)

Re: Passive past

Posted: 2019-03-17, 17:25
by Woods

And so if I write this down and abide by these rules, is that all I need to know to choose between -ttiin / -tiin, or will there be exceptions?

Re: Passive past

Posted: 2019-03-17, 22:16
by Virankannos
I rarely say this but there are no exceptions to this rule :D