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There is a law that man should love his neighbor as himself. In a few hundred years it should be as natural to mankind as breathing or the upright gait; but if he does not learn it he must perish.
Alfred Adler
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-kö (in words that include back vowels ä, ö, y or the vowels i or e alone)

  1. (enclitic) Turns any word into an interrogative. When appended to a verb, it corresponds clauses formed with e.g. do, does, don't and doesn't in English or the inversion with auxiliaries. When appended to another word, it is expressed in English by intonation.
    Näkee hän? (näkee > + -kö, not -ko)
    Does s/he see?
    Pitäisi hänen tulla tänne? (pitäisi > + -kö, not -ko)
    Should s/he come here?
    kirjeessä = in the letter (kirjeessä > + -kö, not -ko)
    kirjeessä? = in the letter?
  2. (enclitic) In indirect questions, -kö appended to the verb corresponds the conjunctions if and whether in English.
    En tiedä, näkee hän.
    I don't know if she sees.
  3. (enclitic) With the negation verb (en, et, ei, emme, ette, eivät) and the particle -hän (hän required by the vowel harmony), expresses "I suppose".
    Emmehän me jotenkuten tule toimeen.
    I suppose we'll get by somehow.
  4. (enclitic) With the particle -hän (hän required by the vowel harmony), expresses "I wonder if".
    Menihän hän kouluun tänä aamuna?
    I wonder if he went to school this morning.

Usage notes

  • (interrogative particle) The particle -kö is used when there is no other interrogative word, in both direct and indirect questions. The answer is expected to be simply affirmative or negative.
  • (I wonder if) Note that, unlike in English, the sentence meaning "I wonder if" is an interrogative sentence in Finnish, so it ends with a question mark.

See also

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