Estonian/Indicative Verbs and Accusative

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In this lesson we'll learn about the Indicative mood of verbs and the Accusative (ACC) case.

Accusative case[edit | edit source]

Without the Accusative case, we can't form transitive verbs that allow nouns to affect other nouns. The Estonian Nominative case marks the subject and the Accusative case marks the direct object. Here are some examples of declension:

English Nominative Genitive Accusative
this see selle seda
home kodu kodu kodu
house maja maja maja
curtain kardin kardina kardinat
machine masin masina masinat
book raamat raamatu raamatut
dog koer koera .koera
cat kass kassi .kassi
I/me mina minu .mind
you (singular) sina sinu .sind
him/her tema tema teda

The last two provide an example of the Estonian Long and Overlong "quantities" or "stress". The syllables that are Overlong are marked with a dot. In Estonian, the stress in a word is usually on the first syllable. The stress on Overlong words is required (but not always incomprehensible to the listener), and the overlong syllable can be stretched 'forever' while Long syllables cannot.

.kassi can be stretched easily from the ss without becoming incomprehensible. .koera can be stretched from the e, or the oe diphtong, although the latter might be more difficult for the listener (and the speaker). Not all Accusative cases infer the Overlong quantity, and this makes Estonian cases for each word more difficult to remember. The last 3 words in the table are the singular pronouns - two of these are Overlong but have only one syllable.

Morphological types[edit | edit source]

The Estonian Language Institute publishes with each grammatical dictionary a list of morphological types (muuttüübid) that classify each noun, adjective and verb according to a type number for words that decline or conjugate in a similar way. There are 26 types for words that decline (nouns and adjectives) and 11 types for words that conjugate (verbs).

First Estonian verbs[edit | edit source]

Indicative Present
I mina you sina he/she tema we meie you teie they nemad
to be olema olen oled on oleme olete on
to know teadma tean tead teab teame teate teavad
to want tahtma tahan tahad tahab tahame tahate tahavad
to see nägema näen näed näeb näeme näete näevad
to hear kuulma kuulen kuuled kuuleb kuuleme kuulete kuulevad
to eat sööma söön sööd sööb sööme sööte söövad
to look for otsima otsin otsid otsib otsime otsite otsivad
to read lugema loen loed loeb loeme loete loevad

Example Phrases[edit | edit source]

Estonian has no definite or indefinite articles, so "a/an" and "the" can be used interchangeably.

Words that might need explanation are in blue and can be hovered over to reveal their meaning and/or case.

  • See on tüdruk
    • This is a/the girl
  • Ta sööb õuna
    • He/She eats a/the apple
  • See maja on minu kodu
    • This house is my home
  • Ta tahab õuna
    • He/She wants an/the apple
  • Sina tead seda
    • You know that
  • Ma kuulen sind
    • I hear you
  • Ma loen raamatut
    • I read a book
  • Poiss otsib tüdruku koera
    • The boy is looking for the girl's dog

Adjectives[edit | edit source]


The adjetives have a positive, comparative and superlative degree.

Ainsus Flag of Estonia.svg Singular Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Punane auto Red car
Kollane lill Yellow flower
Roheline pall Green ball
Loll laps Stupid kid
Sinine pliiats Blue pencil
Mitmus Flag of Estonia.svg Plural Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Punased autod Red cars
Kollased lilled Yellow flowers
Rohelised pallid Green balls
Lollid lapsed Stupid kids
Sinised pliiatsid Blue pencils
  • Ma olen kurb : I am sad
  • Ma olen vihane : I am angry
  • Ma olen rõõmus : I am happy
  • Ma olen väsinud : I am tired


DegreeFlag of the United Kingdom.svg AinsusFlag of Estonia.svg SingularFlag of the United Kingdom.svg MitmusFlag of Estonia.svg PluralFlag of the United Kingdom.svg
Positive ilus beautiful ilusad beautiful
Comparative ilusam more beautiful ilusamad more beautiful
Superlative ilusaim most beautiful ilusaimad most beautiful

In singular

  • Kiire : Fast
    • Kass on kiire : The cat is fast
  • Kiirem : Faster
    • Lõvi on kiirem : The lion is faster
  • Kiireim : Fastest
    • Gepard on kiireim : The cheetah is the fastest

In Plural :

  • Nartsissid on ilusad
    • The daffodils are beautiful
  • Tulbid on ilusamad
    • The tulips are more beautiful
  • Roosid on ilusaimad
    • The roses are most beautiful


Võrdlused Flag of Estonia.svg Comparisons Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Noorem kui Younger than
Sama noor kui As young as
Väga noor Very young
Liiga noor Too young
  • Ma olen noorem kui mu õde
    • I am younger than my sister
  • Ta on sama noor kui tema naine
    • He is as young as his wife
  • Meie uus kolleeg on väga noor
    • Our new colleage is very young
  • Ta on liiga noor et autot juhtida
    • He is too young to drive a car

Comparison in creates adjectives with the suffix -ne

  • Poisi pikkune : As tall as the boy
  • Lille lõhnaline : Small like the flowers
  • Sambla roheline : Green as the moss

Postpositions[edit | edit source]


Tagasõnad Flag of Estonia.svg Postpositions Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Taga Behind
kõrval Near
Ees In front of
All Under
Sees Inside
Peal On
Vahel Between

In phrases

  • Laua peal : On the table
  • Diivani all : Under the couch
  • Karbi sees : Inside the box
  • Staadioni kõrval : Next to the stadium
  • Kapi taga : Behind the cupboard
  • kahe tooli vahel : Between two chair.

In tenses

  • Kell on seina peal
    • The clock is on the wall
  • Jari on ema kõrval
    • Jari is next to mother
  • Kruus on laua peal
    • The cup is on the table
  • Siga on akna juures
    • The pig is near the window
  • Ma panen vihiku laua peale
    • I am putting the notebook onto the table
  • Vihik on laua peal
    • The notebook is on the table
  • Ma võtan vihiku laua pealt
    • I take the notebook from the table