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Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
James Joyce
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-hän (in words with front vowel harmony, i.e. in words that include ä, ö, y or i or e alone or with ä, ö, y – compare -han)

  1. (enclitic) A particle to express that the speaker had some (more or less) certain view on something but is surprised after having got to know the truth about it:
  2. (enclitic) A particle to express that the speaker had some (more or less) certain view on something but is surprised at the controversial view expressed by some other person:
    • Olet kyllä turhaan masentunut kokeesta, sillä sehän meni hienosti.
      • You're sad about the exam for no reason, since it went good(, though).
  3. (enclitic) A particle to express that the speaker is determined about or resistant towards something:
  4. (enclitic) A particle attached to an indicative (more rarely: conditional or potential) verb form in order to express the speaker's wish about something; also to politely ask someone to do something – i.e., to avoid the imperative:
    • Näytithän sinä valokuvat äidillesi?
      • You showed the photos to your mother, did'nt you?
    • Teethän nämä tehtävät perjantaihin mennessä?
      • Please, do these exercises by Friday, will you?
  5. (enclitic) With a negation verb form and the enclitic particle -kö to express "I suppose":
  6. (enclitic) With the particle -kö (kö required by the vowel harmony) to express "I wonder if":

Usage notes

  • As seen above, this particle is used in subjective expressions or opinions and thus especially in spoken language. It can, depending on the context, have several meanings that, in English, can usually be expressed only by accentuating the words differently or by adding extra words.
  • Note also that this particle is very often attached to the first or the second word of the clause.
  • In everyday speech, this particle is used quite often even if there were no intention to give some special message.


  • (when surprised at something, softer than -hän) -pa / -pä

See also

Elsewhere on the web