In what order do you study topics and grammar?

Here’s an interesting question: in what order should the topics and the grammar be studied in Finnish? Let’s look at the first 6 lessons of the two textbooks: the popular Suomen Mestari 1 (authors Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann) and the newer book Oma Suomi 1 (authors Kristiina Kuparinen, Terhi Tapaninen).

Suomen Mestari 1 Oma Suomi 1
Grammar: personal pronouns, verb “to be”, vowel harmony.
Vocabulary: getting to know, greetings, days of the week, alphabet, numbers.
Grammar: verbs “to be, to talk, to live” (olla, puhua, asua), personal pronouns, vowel harmony.
Vocabulary: numbers, alphabet, countries and languages, greetings and getting to know.
Grammar: verb type 1, negation, questions and question words, KPT-changes.
Vocabulary: countries and languages, nationalities, verbs, questions.
v: questions, Genitive case (+ pronouns in Genitive), pronouns in spoken language.
Vocabulary: family, simple questions.
Grammar: Genitive case, KPT-changes in verb type 1.
Vocabulary: weather, seasons, months, times of day, adjectives, colors.
Grammar: verb types 1-5, negation.
Vocabulary: every day life, day and routine, verbs, clock, days of the week.
Grammar: “I have” -phrases, Partitive case and Partitive verbs.
Vocabulary: family, appearance, adjectives.
Grammar: Partitive case.
Vocabulary: food, purchases, numbers in spoken language.
Grammar: verb types 1-5.
Vocabulary: daily routine, verbs, clock.
Grammar: “I have” -phrases, grammar cases “where” and “on what”, KPT changes in nouns and adjectives.
Vocabulary: house, furniture, colors, places in the city, adjectives.
Grammar: plural, local cases, sentence type “there is / there are”, demonstrative pronouns, imperative mood (order).
Vocabulary: house, furniture, adjectives.
Grammar: KPT changes in verb type 1, postposition.
Vocabulary: clothes, weather, seasons, everyday life.

As you can see, the topics are almost the same, the order varies quite a bit. The book Oma Suomi has that advantage, that it contains a lot of examples of spoken language. Suomen Mestari has another advantage: it contains a lot of exercises.

What logic are guided by building the curriculum? Of course, thinking of what a person may need in everyday life, to solve usual problems. At the same time usually they try to start from the simple things and continue with more complex. So it’s standard to start with personal pronouns “I, you, she/he, we, you, they” and the verb “olla – to be” – I don’t think you can talk without them. Plus numbers at least from 1 to 10. After that – 2 main Grammar cases: Genitive and Partitive, and then famous Finnish locative cases. КРТ changes are payed a lot of attention, as you can see them in all kind of words – verbs, adjectives, nouns. Vocabulary replenishment follows the rule “look around – what do you see?”: colors, food, clothes, house, time.

After learning those topics, you will finish the elementary level of Finnish language and will be ready to go to the basic level.

Partitiivi – useful links

Partitive case is one of the most important and very difficult themes in Finnish language. You will use this case really a lot, if you’re going to speak Finnish, so take your time to learn all the endings, changes and using it.

You can find here use and formation of the Partitive case, and here the list of Partitive verbs.

Grammar from Tampere University: formation of the Partitive case in singular and plural, with different types of words; when to use it, with lots of examples, all translated into English. Partitive verbs with examples. Few exceptions. Finally, the object problem: Partitive VS Accusative.

One more table with Partitive formation both in singular and plural.

About Partitive case from The Finnish Teacher, both formation (singular) and use.

Here you can find a short lecture about Partitive case with many explanations and thoughts about using it.

If you want to check more advanced grammar and explanations, visit this page, where you can find information about Partitive stem and different types of words.

Why is the Partitive case so tricky? Read here different opinions.

One more page with short information on Partitive case, with formation and exceptions.