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

ConjugationTranslation
Minä puhunI talk
Sinä puhutYou talk
Hän puhuuHe/she talks
Me puhummeWe talk
Te puhutteYou all talk
He puhuvatThey talk
ConjugationTranslation
Minä luenI read
Sinä luetYou read
Hän lukeeHe/she reads
Me luemmeWe read
Te luetteYou all read
He lukevatThey read
ConjugationTranslation
Minä istunI sit
Sinä istutYou sit
Hän istuuHe/she sits
Me istummeWe sit
Te istutteYou all sit
He istuvatThey sit
ConjugationTranslation
Minä ymmärränI understand
Sinä ymmärrätYou understand
Hän ymmärtääHe/she understands
Me ymmärrämmeWe understand
Te ymmärrätteYou all understand
He ymmärtävätThey understand
ConjugationTranslation
Minä odotanI wait for
Sinä odotatYou wait for
Hän odottaaHe/she waits for
Me odotammeWe wait for
Te odotatteYou all wait for
He odottavatThey 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