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How does one express the agent in a passive in Finnish? I know Finnish frequently uses the passive where the agent is not stated. But how would one say something like, "The cup was knocked off the table by the cat"?
Jan 28, 2016 8:29 PM
Answers · 5
If we know the agent then we never put it in a passive form like in the above example. It works fine in English but sounds very silly in Finnish. Literally translated, we could say in Finnish: "Kuppi kaadettiin pöydältä kissan toimesta". But in reality, no one would ever use that kind of sentence. We would simply translate that to "Kissa kaatoi kupin pöydältä". So the word "toimesta" in Finnish does refer to the saying "by someone", but you would mainly see that being used in some extremely official documents, e.g. some political or legal texts.
January 28, 2016
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Shanghainese), English, Finnish, French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Shanghainese), Finnish