Estonian/Cases and Pronouns

< Estonian

The Estonian language includes declension, in which the role of nouns and adjectives in text is shown by their case. Here is a full list of the 14 cases used in Estonian with examples in singular:

# Name (eng) Name (est) Example noun (singular) Question
(inanimate)
Example adjective (singular) Question Positional Non-Positional Derived from
I Nominative Nimetav (naming) see (this) mis? selline (like this) missugune?
milline?
- subject -
II Genitive Omastav (owning) selle mille? sellise missuguse?
millise?
- having-determiner
whole
-
III Partitive Osastav (partitive) seda mida? sellist missugust?
millist?
- direct object
partitive
-
IV Illative Sisseütlev (into-saying) sellesse millesse? sellisesse missugusesse?
millisesse?
into - II
V Inessive Seesütlev (in-saying) selles milles? sellises missuguses?
millises?
in - II
VI Elative Seestütlev (out-of-saying) sellest millest? sellisest missugusest?
millisest?
out of - II
VII Allative Alaleütlev (onto-field-saying) sellele millele? sellisele missugusele?
millisele?
onto dative/giving II
VIII Adessive Alalütlev (on-field-saying) sellel millel? sellisel missugusel?
millisel?
on having II
IX Ablative Alaltütlev (off-of-field-saying) sellelt millelt? selliselt missuguselt?
milliselt?
off of taking II
X Translative Saav (becoming) selleks milleks? selliseks milliseks?
missuguseks?
- - II
XI Terminative Rajav (establishing) selleni milleni? selliseni missuguseni?
milliseni?
up to/until - II
XII Essive Olev (being) sellena millena? sellisena missugusena?
millisena?
as - II
XIII Abessive Ilmaütlev (without-saying) selleta milleta? selliseta missuguseta?
milliseta?
without - II
XIV Comitative Kaasaütlev (with-saying) sellega millega? sellisega missugusega?
millisega?
with - II

Each form of each noun or adjective can only be in one case at a time. A single case can have many different uses. The endings of the last four cases are memorized with the mnemonic "ninataga" (behind the nose).

PronounsEdit

Estonian pronouns have long and short forms. Here are the singular Estonian pronouns in the first three cases:

English Nominative - short Genitive - short Accusative - short
I mina ma minu mu mind -
you (singular) sina sa sinu su sind -
he/she tema ta tema ta teda -
we meie me meie me meid -
you (plural) teie te teie te teid -
they nemad nad nende nad neid -

First Estonian wordsEdit

VocabularyEdit

Pronunciation is written according to Pronunciation respelling key

  • ja [ee-a] - and
  • laps [ləps] - child
  • mees [me-s] - man
  • naine [NAEYE-ne] - woman
  • poiss [poyss] - boy
  • tüdruk [TEW-druk] - girl
  • õun [own] - apple
  • toit [toyt] - food

PhrasesEdit

Here are some phrases that do not include verbs.

Words that are in forms that haven't been learned yet are in bold and can be hovered over to reveal their meaning and case. The meaning of the entire phrase can be revealed by clicking on Translation.

  • Mehe ja naise laps
Translation

The man and woman's child
A man's and a woman's child

  • Lapse õun
Translation

The child's apple
A child's apple

  • Naine, laps ja õun
Translation

Woman, child and apple

  • Poisi ja tüdruku toit
Translation

The boy's and girl's food