Difference between "mutta" and "vaan"?

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trungthanthong
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:04 am

Difference between "mutta" and "vaan"?

Post by trungthanthong » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:51 pm

Hello,

Could you please tell me the difference when using "mutta" and "vaan"? They have the same meaning in english "but".

Thanks in advance.



Difference between "mutta" and "vaan"?

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leisl
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:26 pm

Re: Difference between "mutta" and "vaan"?

Post by leisl » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:34 pm

They don't actually have the same meaning in English, even though they use the same word. I think you're talking about when it's used something like this?

En ole töissä, vaan kotona. I'm not at work, but rather, home.

"mutta" is your standard but. "vaan" is "but rather / actually / alternatively" when used at the end of a sentence and indicates a negative... "no, something else instead".

"vaan" also appears in a bunch of slang expressions though... "tee mitä vaan" (do what [you'd] rather) I think should probably be "tee mitä vain" (do whatever). And often as the last word of a sentence when used as emphasis - again I think it's kind of slang but is very commonly used and rather than learn the translation of every use, just get used to how they exist :)


trungthanthong
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:04 am

Re: Difference between "mutta" and "vaan"?

Post by trungthanthong » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:46 pm

leisl wrote:They don't actually have the same meaning in English, even though they use the same word. I think you're talking about when it's used something like this?

En ole töissä, vaan kotona. I'm not at work, but rather, home.

"mutta" is your standard but. "vaan" is "but rather / actually / alternatively" when used at the end of a sentence and indicates a negative... "no, something else instead".

"vaan" also appears in a bunch of slang expressions though... "tee mitä vaan" (do what [you'd] rather) I think should probably be "tee mitä vain" (do whatever). And often as the last word of a sentence when used as emphasis - again I think it's kind of slang but is very commonly used and rather than learn the translation of every use, just get used to how they exist :)
Many thanks, so I should understand that:
- "mutta" like st against st, and
- "vaan" like better alternatively or something else instead ?


Jukka Aho
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Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Difference between "mutta" and "vaan"?

Post by Jukka Aho » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:02 pm

trungthanthong wrote:Many thanks, so I should understand that:
- "mutta" like st against st, and
Things turned out against the expectation or hope set forth in the preceding text. Something was tried or hoped or considered, but it did not work out or could not work out; alas, it was not to be, and it isn’t going to happen. The part of the sentence that comes after the mutta explains why, or at least that it failed.

Hän yritti nostaa laatikkoa, mutta ei pystynyt.
“He tried to lift the box but couldn’t.”

Hän harkitsi tuotteen ostamista, mutta se oli liian kallis.
“He considered purchasing the product but it was too expensive.”

Mutta emme voi tehdä niin!
“But we cannot do that!”

(This is the “but” in “there’s always a ‘but’”.)
trungthanthong wrote:- "vaan" like better alternatively or something else instead ?
Yes. Correcting a mistaken assumption, explaining that something happened in a different way than what one could expect, against the grain, instead of something, often deliberately. The preceding clause is typically using a negative form.

Hän ei noudattanut neuvoja, vaan jatkoi kielloista huolimatta.
“He didn’t take advice but continued despite having been told not to.”

Hän ei enää ollut mies, vaan jättiläismäinen hyönteinen.
“He was no longer a man but a giant insect.”

Then there’s vain:

Hän oli vain mies, ei supersankari.
“He was but a man; not a superhero.”

Here, the “but” could be replaced with “only”.

Standard written Finnish keeps vaan and vain separate. In spoken language, you often use vaan in place of vain as a colloquialism — but not the other way around.

See this Kielikello article for more on the subject:

http://www.kielikello.fi/index.php?mid=2&pid=11&aid=532
znark


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