Estonian/Cases and Pronouns


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



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

English Nominative - short Genitive - short Accusative
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

Estonian wordsEdit


Pronunciation is written according to Pronunciation respelling key

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


Nominative Genitive Partitive
laps lapse last
mees mehe meest
poiss poisi poissi
tüdruk tüdruku tüdrukut
õun õuna õuna
toit toidu toitu
naine naise naist


Here are some phrases that do not include verbs.

Words that are in forms that haven't been learned yet are in blue and can be hovered over to reveal their meaning and case.

  • Mehe ja naise laps
    • The man and woman's child
  • Lapse õun
    • The child's apple
  • Naine, laps ja õun
    • Woman, child and apple
  • Poisi ja tüdruku toit
    • The boy's and girl's food

Pronuons & casesEdit

Omastav kääne

Kelle?   whose?  
Minu ema My mother
Sinu isa your father
Tema taldrik His/her plate
Meie õpetaja Our teacher
Teie õde Your sister
Nende vend Their brother

Here we have some tenses in genitive case.

  • Kelle oma? : Who own is?
    • Venna õpik : The brother's textbook
    • Minu õpik : My textbook
    • Õe kleit : The sister's dress
    • Tema kleit : Her dress
  • Kelle pall see on? : Who is this ball?
    • See on lapse oma : The child's own this
    • See on lapse pall : The child's this ball
  • Kelle oma see on? : Who own this is?
    • See on minu õe oma : My sister's own this
  • Kelle vihit see on? : Who notebook this is?
    • See on õpilase vihik : The student's this notebook
    • See on õpilase oma : The student's own this

Osastav kääne

Keda?   Whom?  
Mind ei ole Don't is me
Ma armastan sind I love you
Ma vihkan teda I hate him/her
Ta ootab meid He/she waits us
Ta nägi teid He/she saw you
Ta kuulis neid He/she heard them

Nouns & casesEdit


  • See sinine auto on minu (oma)
  • This blue car is mine
  • See uus kell oli kallis
  • This new clock was expensive


  • Selle sinise auto aken on katki
  • The window of this blue car is broken
  • Uue kella patareid on tühjad
  • The batteries of the new clock are empty


  • Ma tahan seda sinist autot
  • I want that blue car
  • Ma vajan uut kella
  • I need a new clock


  • Nad murdsid sinisesse autosse sisse
  • They broke into the blue car
  • Uude kella on vaja patareisid
  • New batteries are needed into the new clock


  • Sinises autos on valge koer
  • There is a white dog in a blue car
  • Uues kellas on nüüd patareid
  • There are now batteries in the new clock


  • Kaks meest väljusid sinisest autost
  • Two men came out from the blue car
  • Uuest kellast tulevad veidrad helid
  • Weird noises are coming from the new clock


  • Pane see kleebis sinisele autole
  • Put that sticker onto the blue car
  • Ära joonista midagi uuele kellale
  • Don't draw anything onto the new clock


  • Sinisel autol on värviline kleebis
  • There is a colorful sticker on the blue car
  • Uuel kellal on juba tolm
  • On the new clock already has dust


  • Eemalda see kleebis siniselt autolt
  • Remove this sticker from the blue car
  • Pühi tolm uuelt kellalt
  • Wipe the dust from the new clock


  • Kas sa saad selle autoks muuta?
  • Can you turn this into a car?


  • Ma saadan sind su autoni
  • I will accompany you to your car


  • Sa võid kasutada seda autona
  • You can use it as a car


  • Nüüdsest olen autota
  • From now on I am without a car


  • Mida sa teed minu autoga?
  • What are you doing with my car?