• 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]
  • The -da infinitive

    The second type of infinitive usually has the ending -da. In some cases, the suffix can be -ta or only -a (-d- has disappeared).

    If the stem of the verb already ends in d or t, this consonant is normally not repeated and only -a is added to the end of the word.


    When to use the -da infinitive?

    1) after verbs expressing wish, intention, possibility:

    English Estonian
    to help aitama
    to hope lootma
    to understand mõistma
    to think mõtlema
    to see nägema
    to decide otsustama
    to try, attempt proovima
    to wish soovima
    to want tahtma
    to know teadma
    to be able, know how oskama
    • Ma tahan tantsida. --- I want to dance.
    • Kas sa oskad tennist mängida? --- Do you know how to play tennis?
    • Ma soovin puhata. --- I wish to rest


    2) after verbs that express a feeling or emotion:

    English Estonian
    to love armastama
    to like meeldima
    to fear, be afraid kartma
    to dare julgema
    • Ma armastan meres ujuda. --- I love to swim in the sea.
    • Mulle meeldib filme vaadata. --- I like to watch movies.
    • Ma kardan üksi pimedas kõndida. --- I am afraid to walk alone in the dark.

    3) after impersonal expressions:

    English Estonian
    it is time on aeg
    it is beneficial, useful on kasulik
    it is hard on raske
    it is necessary on tarvis
    it is necessary on vaja
    it is painful on valus
    it is possible saab
    it is permitted tohib
    one ought to, must tuleb
    one may võib
    • On aeg koju minna. --- It is time to go home.
    • Seda on valus vaadata. --- It is painful to watch this.
    • Trenni on kasulik teha iga päev. --- It is beneficial to work out every day.


    4) after the conjunction et, when it means 'in order to'

    • Ma lähen poodi, et osta piima. --- I am going to the shop to buy milk.


    5) when the infinitive is used as the subject in a sentence, or when it modifies a subject:

    • Eksida on inimlik. --- To be mistaken is human. 


    The gerund (-des form)

    The -des form is derived from the -da infinitive and it is used to indicate an action which occurs at the same time as another.

    It is constructed by substituting the endings -da, -ta or -a with -des, -tes or -es respectively.

    English -da Infinitive Gerund
    sing laulda lauldes
    come tulla tulles
    wait oodata oodates
    go minna minnes
    • Käi poodi minnes pagariärist läbi. --- While going to the shop visit the bakery as well.
    • Läksin koju joostes. --- I went home running.
    • Nad istuvad vaikides. --- They sit (while) being quiet.