• Estonian grammar
  • 1 Estonian sentence structure [0/2]
  • 2 Estonian nouns [0/3]
  • 3 Estonian pronouns [0/3]
  • 4 Estonian cases [0/11]
  • 5 Estonian verbs [0/8]
  • 6 Estonian adjectives [0/1]
  • 7 Estonian prepositions and postpositions [0/1]
  • 8 Estonian adverbs [0/1]
  • Abessive and comitative cases in Estonian


    1. Exercise: abessive and comitative case Score -/-

    When to use the abessive case?

    The abessive (ilmaütlev kääne in Estonian) answers the questions kelleta? 'without whom?' and milleta? 'without what?'.

    It is often used with the preposition ilma, which also means 'without'.

    • Päikeseta on külm. --- Without the sun it's cold.
    • Ilma sõpradeta oleks mul igav. --- Without friends I would be bored.
    • Ära sisene ilma loata! --- Don't enter without permission!


    How to form the abessive case?

    The suffix -ta must be added to the genitive form of the word.

    Nominative Genitive Abessive English
    Sõber Sõbra Sõbrata Friend
    Luba Loa Loata Permission
    Auto Auto Autota Car
    Õpilane Õpilase Õpilaseta Student
    Tüdruk Tüdruku Tüdrukuta Girl


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    When to use the comitative case in Estonian?

    The comitative case (kaasaütlev kääne in Estonian) answers the questions kellega? 'with whom?' and millega? 'with what?'. 

    • Ma räägin oma emaga. --- I am talking with my mother.
    • Tüdruk sarnaneb oma õega. --- The girl resembles (has a resemblance with) her sister.
    • Poiss sõidab autoga tööle. --- The boy drives (with the car) to work.


    How to form the comitative case?

    The suffix -ga is added to the genitive form.

    Nominative Genitive Comitative English
    Poeg Poja Pojaga Son
    Pliiats Pliiatsi Pliiatsiga Pencil
    Rong Rongi Rongiga Train
    Telefon Telefoni Telefoniga Phone
    Mees Mehe Mehega Man


    enlightened When an adjective appears as an attribute before a noun in the comitative or abessive case, the adjective does not take the ending of these cases like the noun does, but remains in the genitive case.

    • Poiss tantsib noore (gen.) tüdrukuga (com.). --- The boy is dancing with a young girl.
    • Nad kuulasid õpetajat suure (gen.) huviga (com.). --- They were listening to the teacher with great interest.
    • Ilma raske (gen.) tööta (abe.) ei jõua sa kuhugi. --- Without hard work you will not get anywhere.

    enlightened When there are two or more nouns in a row, the comitative or abessive suffix is usually only added to the last noun. (Typically in English the prepositions 'with' or 'without' are also used only once, not repeated with each noun.)

    • Käisin kinos oma venna (gen.) ja õega (com.). --- I went to the cinema with my brother and sister.
    • Me sööme noa (gen.) ja kahvliga (com.). --- We eat with a knife and fork.
    • Ilma vee (gen.) ja seebita (abe.) ei saa sa oma käsi puhtaks. --- Without water and soap you won't get your hands clean.


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