Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


(index kä)


From Proto-Finnic *käüdäk. Cognates include Estonian käima.


  • Hyphenation: käy‧dä
  • IPA(key): /ˈkæydæˣ/



  1. (intransitive, of a clock) to go
  2. (intransitive, of time) to go by
  3. (intransitive, + inessive or adessive) to visit, go to (and return), attend (a place)
    Kävin eilen Madridissa.
    I visited Madrid yesterday.
    Milloin tulet käymään luonamme?
    When will you visit us?
    käydä kirkossa, sunnuntaijumalanpalveluksessa
    to attend church, the Sunday service.
    Tänään meidän pitää käydä kaupassa.
    We must go to the grocery store today.
    Odota hetki, käyn vessassa.
    Wait a moment while I go to the toilet.
  4. (intransitive, + adessive) to go do
    Mennään käymään kahvilla.
    Let's go get some coffee.
    Osaako pikku-Pekka käydä itse kakalla?
    Is little Pekka able to go poo by himself?
  5. (intransitive, + partitive) or (transitive, + accusative), depending on the completeness of the action: to go to school
    Käyn lukiota.
    I'm attending high school.
    Kävin lukion Jyväskylässä.
    I went to high school in Jyväskylä.
    Kävin kaksi vuotta lukiota.
    I was in high school for two years.
  6. (intransitive, monopersonal, inessive or adessive + 3rd-pers. sg. + an adverb) to happen, go (with the subject "it")
    Miten siinä kävi (sinulle)?
    How did it go (for you)?
  7. (genitive + 3rd-pers. sg. + an adverb) to happen (to somebody)
    Minun kävi huonosti.
    Things went badly for me.
  8. (an adjective in partitive singular, or "mitä" in a question + 3rd-pers. sg. + allative) to happen (to something)
    Mitä sinun jaloillesi on käynyt?
    What has happened to your feet?
  9. (intransitive, + allative) to please, suit, make content, be okay (with)
    Meidän siitä tapaamisesta, miten sinulle kävisi sunnuntai?
    About our meeting, would Sunday work for you?
    Minulle käy se hyvin.
    I am okay with that.
  10. (intransitive, + elative) to pass (for)
    Tämä varmaan käy ruoasta.
    This could probably pass for food.
  11. (intransitive) to run, operate, work
    Moottori käy.
    The motor is running.
  12. (intransitive, + translative) to get, grow, become
    Vaikeudet kävivät hänelle liian suuriksi.
    The difficulties got too big for her.
  13. (intransitive, chemistry) to ferment, become fermented, yeast
  14. (intransitive, obsolete) to step, tread, pace, stride
  15. (transitive) Used in very many collocations with nouns and with more or less idiomatic value, translated often into "engage in", "have", "do", "transact" , "pursue", "keep up", "maintain" etc.
    käydä kauppaa: to transact, do business
    käydä keskustelua: to have a conversation
    käydä neuvotteluja: to have a conversation
    käydä vuoropuhelua: to engage in, maintain a dialogue


Usage notes[edit]

  • (to step, tread, pace, stride): The older meaning "to step" has originally produced the frequentative derivative kävellä with the meaning "to walk" (the literal translation of which would be approximately "to step around"). However, the meaning "to step" has stood the tests of time e.g. in the interjection Käy/Käykää peremmälle! ("Come on in!"), which is an invitation to a guest, standing at the door, to "step further in".
  • Using käydä instead of mennä (to go) implies that the subject will return afterwards.
  • (in collocations) Pitää is quite synonymous with käydä, although pitää has a nuance that the subject is not so active a part in the activity and he or she is more of a supervisor rather than an equal participant in the activity.


  • (to please, suit, make content, be okay): kelvata, sopia
  • (to step, tread, pace, stride): astua
  • (to engage in, pursue, have): pitää

Derived terms[edit]