Finnish (Uralic, Finnic)

Mismatch: morphosyntax: person

Finnish distinguishes active verb forms (which mark person-number of subject) from an impersonal/passive, e.g.:

active impersonal/passive active impersonal/passive
1SG sanon sanotaan sanoin sanottin
2SG sanot sanoit
3SG sanoo sanoi
1PL sanomme sanoimme
2PL sanotte sanoitte
3PL sanovat sanoivat
(pp. 251-252)

In the impersonal/passive there can be no overtly expressed subject.

In the colloquial language, the impersonal/passive may be substituted for the 1st person plural. This is similar to the use of impersonal on (with 3rd singular agreement) for the 1st plural in colloquial French. However, what is striking about the Finnish case is that impersonal/passive verb form may used with the 1st plural subject pronoun me:

me sanotaan 'we say' me sanottin 'we said'
(p. 248)

This would be parallel to *Nous y va in place of On y va 'let's go' in French.


Karlsson, Fred. 1999. Finnish: an essential grammar (Digital edition). London: Routledge.