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Illative

The Illative (illatiivi) case is part of the internal locative cases. It typically corresponds to the “into” preposition in English, and usually refers to a change or observation of something going “from outside to inside”. In Finnish it is indicated by the -Vn suffix, where the V is a vowel followed by an -n.

There are a number of rules for the formation of the Illative locative case. This page via Tampereen Yliopisto showcases the rules with examples.

Concept

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

Usage

When going to and into something

When something is going to and into something else, double the vowel and add the appropriate -Vn or -hVn suffix.

WordTranslationExampleTranslation
TaloHouseTaloon,
taloihin
Into the house(s)
KaappiCupboardKaappiin,
kaappeihin
Into the cupboard(s)
LaatikkoBoxLaatikkoon,
laatikoihin
Into the box(es)
TaskuPocketTaskuun,
taskuihin
Into the pocket(s)
AutoCarAutoon,
autoihin
Into the car(s)

When phrasing or expressing time

To identify the time until something occurs the Illative case is used.

WordTranslation
Kolmeen astiUntil 3
Iltaan astiUntil the evening
Elokuuhun astiUntil August
Keskipäivästä keskiyöhön astiFrom noon until midnight
Ensi vuoteen astiUntil next year

Formation

When words end in a single vowel

Words that end in a single vowel of -a/-ä, -o/-ö or -u/-y double their last vowel before adding the -n suffix.

WordConjugation
TaloTaloon
SänkySänkyyn
KaappiKaappiin

When word stem ends with 2 same vowels

Words which have a stem that ends in 2 of the same vowels simply add the -seen suffix.

WordConjugation
Huonee-Huoneeseen
Osoitee-Osoitteeseen
Espoo-Espooseen

When word stem ends with 2 different vowels

Words which have a stem that end in 2 different vowels double their last vowel before adding the -n suffix.

WordConjugation
MuseoMuseoon
VaikeaVaikeaan
PimeäPimeään

When words are 1 syllable and end in 2 vowels

Words that are only 1 syllable and end in 2 vowels add an -hVn pattern suffix, where the vowel in the middle of the suffix is the same as the last vowel of the word.

WordConjugation
KuuKuuhun
MaaMaahan
Yöhön

When words end in -nen

Words that end in -nen change to -se before adding the -en suffix.

WordConjugation
SuomalainenSuomalaiseen
SininenSiniseen
UkkonenUkkoseen

New Finnish words

New Finnish words typically look or sound like words in other languages. They perhaps most commonly seem to resemble English words. These words double their last vowel before adding the -n suffix.

WordConjugation
PankkiPankkiin
BussiBussiin
KahviKahviin

Old Finnish words

Old Finnish words that end in -i change to -e before adding the -en suffix.

WordConjugation
SuomiSuomeen
JärviJärveen
KiviKiveen

Old Finnish words ending in -si

Old Finnish words that end in -si change to -te before adding the -en suffix.

WordConjugation
UusiUuteen
KuukausiKuukauteen
VuosiVuoteen