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Locative cases

Paikallissijat, or locative cases in English, is the way Finnish grammar identifes where someone or something is, is going to, or has come from.

The most common types of locative cases are classified by internal or external locations. Listed below are brief overviews of the different types of internal and external cases and the idea behind them. A very in-depth explanation about locative cases can be found from this locative cases article by Joel Yliluoma.

Internal locative cases

Illative (illatiivi) - Mihin?

Suffixes: -Vn, -hVn, -seen

  • When something is going to and into something else.
  • When phrasing or expressing time.

Read more about the Illative locative case.

Inessive (inessiivi) - Missä?

Suffixes: -ssa/ssä

  • When something is inside of something else.
  • When an object has or contains something.
  • When phrasing or expressing time.

Read more about the Inessive locative case.

Elative (elatiivi) - Mistä?

Suffixes: -sta/stä

  • When something comes from somewhere.
  • When giving an opinion.
  • When using certain verbs.

Read more about the Elative locative case.

External locative cases

Allative (allatiivi) - Mihin?

Suffix: -lle

  • When something is going to (but not necessarily into) something else, such as an open space.
  • When giving something to someone.

Read more about the Allative locative case.

Adessive (adessiivi) - Missä?

Suffixes: -lla/llä

  • When something is at, near or around something.
  • When something is on top of something.
  • When referring to open spaces.
  • When describing possession.
  • When being or going by or with something.
  • When phrasing or expressing time.

Read more about the Adessiivi locative case.

Ablative (ablatiivi) - Mistä?

Suffixes: -lta/ltä

  • When something is going away from a place it is near or around.
  • When phrasing or expressing time.
  • When using certain (and often perceptional) verbs.

Read more about the Ablative locative case.