Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

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Old Mate
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:19 pm

Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

Post by Old Mate » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:48 pm

Moi,

I have tried looking on the internet but I can't find anything that explains the difference.
I am only beginning to learn the basics of Finnish, so please correct me if I am wrong, but here are the example questions with my rough translations:

- Millainen sää sinun kotimaassa on nyt?
= What is the weather like in your country now?

- Millaista sinun kotimaassa on kesällä?
= What is it like in your country in summer?

From what I can see, they both mean "what is it like/what kind of", but I'm not sure when to use one over the other.

Also, when I answer the question, do I have to add a specific ending?
For example: "Millaista sinun kotimaassa on kesällä?" - Does the answer have to be: "Kaunista", "Sateista", "Aurinkoista", "Sumuista", "Tuulista", "Pilvistä" etc?
Does the ending for a "Millaista" question, have to end in -sta/stä?

Similarly, when answering a question that begins with "Millainen", does the answer have to have a specific ending?

All help is greatly appreciated - thank you!



Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

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podzap
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:32 am

Re: Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

Post by podzap » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:49 pm

This stuff is a whole lot easier to understand if you speak proper i.e. "Churchill English".

Correct: From which country did you just come?
Incorrect: What country did you just come from?

Correct: Which kind of music do you like?
Incorrect: What kind of music do you like?


etc... You can go on and argue about what is acceptable usage of the English language, but you really need to get your own grammar and usage into order before attempting to learn a new language.


Jukka Aho
Posts: 5238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:46 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

Post by Jukka Aho » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:10 pm

Old Mate wrote:- Millainen sää sinun kotimaassa on nyt?
= What is the weather like in your country now?

- Millaista sinun kotimaassa on kesällä?
= What is it like in your country in summer?

From what I can see, they both mean "what is it like/what kind of", but I'm not sure when to use one over the other.
One notable difference is that the former contains an obvious subject (sää) and the latter doesn’t.

It is better to learn these as expressions that adhere to a certain pattern rather than overthinking them.

Note that proper written Finnish would call for a possessive suffix (sinun kotimaassasi or just kotimaassasi rather than sinun kotimaassa) whereas casual spoken Finnish would drop it and replace the pronoun with a more colloquial variant (sun kotimaassa)
Old Mate wrote:Also, when I answer the question, do I have to add a specific ending?
For example: "Millaista sinun kotimaassa on kesällä?" - Does the answer have to be: "Kaunista", "Sateista", "Aurinkoista", "Sumuista", "Tuulista", "Pilvistä" etc?
Yes, that’s how it works.
Old Mate wrote:Similarly, when answering a question that begins with "Millainen", does the answer have to have a specific ending?
Put in in the nominative. (kaunis, tuulinen, lämmin, ...)
znark


Old Mate
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:19 pm

Re: Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

Post by Old Mate » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:43 am

Kiitos Jukka Aho for the detailed explanation.

So, would it be accurate to say that:

- Millainen - is used to ask what something specific is like, for example: Millainen olut on? (Directed towards a specific beer; what is the beer like?) Olut on kylmä.

- Millaista - is used to ask what something in general is like, for example: Millaista olut on? (Had never tasted beer before; what is beer like?) Olut on hyvä.

But you're right, learning them as expressions would be better; it's just nice to have general rules to follow.

Thanks again :)


Jukka Aho
Posts: 5238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:46 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

Post by Jukka Aho » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:13 pm

Old Mate wrote:So, would it be accurate to say that:

- Millainen - is used to ask what something specific is like, for example: Millainen olut on? (Directed towards a specific beer; what is the beer like?) Olut on kylmä.

- Millaista - is used to ask what something in general is like, for example: Millaista olut on? (Had never tasted beer before; what is beer like?) Olut on hyvä.
Maaaybe (sort of), but if coming from that angle, a better distinction can be made between countables and uncountables.

Millainen konsertti oli?
Referring to a particular concert you attended. Concerts are countable.

Millaista olut on?
The type of beer you’re drinking right now — liquid, uncountable. (Millaista wants the partitive for an answer.)

Olut of course, is a bit ambiguous choice for these sample sentences as it can be taken to mean “beer” as an uncountable liquid, and it can also refer to a single serving of beer (a can of beer, a bottle of beer, a pint of beer poured in a glass), which would be countable. But if you’re asking someone’s opinion on what is it like, you’re probably referring to (a certain type of) beer as a substance rather than it being about the serving unit, so off to the partitive land you go.
znark


Old Mate
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:19 pm

Re: Millainen vs. Millaista - what's the difference? :(

Post by Old Mate » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:18 pm

Thank you Jukka Aho for your help; I understand more now than I did before :P


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