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Verb type 1

In Finnish the first verb type is the most common type and are subject to consonant gradation.

Pattern

Verbs ending in 2 vowels, such as -aa, -ea, -eä, -ia, -iä, -oa, -ua, -yä, -ää, -öä). For example:

Stem

Verbs categorized as type 1 have 2 stems: A weak stem and a strong stem. The weak stem can easily be found by conjugating the first person singular (minä) form and removing the last -n, while the strong stem can easily be found by conjugating the third person plural (he) form and removing the -vat/-vät ending.

Strong stems are used for third person conjugations, such as with Hän and He.

Example of weak and strong stems

  • Minä luen → The weak stem is Lue-.
  • He lukevat → The strong stem is Luke-.
  • Minä ymmärrän → The weak stem is Ymmärrä-.
  • He ymmärtävät → The strong stem is Ymmärtä-.
  • Minä odotan → The weak stem is Odota-.
  • He odottavat → The strong stem is Odottaa-.

More about type 1 verb stems can be found from Figuring out the Finnish verb stems by Random Finnish Lesson.

Examples of type 1 conjugations

Puhua, To talk

Conjugation Translation
Minä puhun I talk
Sinä puhut You talk
Hän puhuu He/she talks
Me puhumme We talk
Te puhutte You all talk
He puhuvat They talk

Lukea, To read

Conjugation Translation
Minä luen I read
Sinä luet You read
Hän lukee He/she reads
Me luemme We read
Te luette You all read
He lukevat They read

Istua, To sit

Conjugation Translation
Minä istun I sit
Sinä istut You sit
Hän istuu He/she sits
Me istumme We sit
Te istutte You all sit
He istuvat They sit

Ymmärtää, To understand

Conjugation Translation
Minä ymmärrän I understand
Sinä ymmärrät You understand
Hän ymmärtää He/she understands
Me ymmärrämme We understand
Te ymmärrätte You all understand
He ymmärtävät They understand

Odottaa, To wait for

Conjugation Translation
Minä odotan I wait for
Sinä odotat You wait for
Hän odottaa He/she waits for
Me odotamme We wait for
Te odotatte You all wait for
He odottavat They wait for

Type 1 verb gotchas

Some type 1 verbs don’t behave the same as each other when conjugated. For example, the verbs Tietää, Hoitaa and Säätää, share similar ending patterns but their past tense conjugations differ. Tietää becomes minä tiesin while Hoitaa and Säätää become minä hoidin and minä säädin respectively. It may be possible that minä tiedin was once used but minä tiesin became the preferred usage.

Common type 1 verbs