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A derivative refers to a word that is formed from another, e.g 'owner' from the verb 'to own'. Estonian is rich in so-called suffix derivatives, which are formed by adding endings onto words. Some of the most common derivative endings are presented below.
-ja: this suffix is added to the stem of the verb's -ma infinitive and indicates the agent of the verb's action, as well as an occupation. It corresponds to endings like -er, -or, -ant in English.
-ur: this signifies someone whose job or habit it is to do something.
-nik: this indicates a person with some kind of constant employment or and enduring situation.
-lane: this indicates a person of a certain nationality, residence or occupation.
|tartlane||inhabitant of Tartu|
-nna, -tar: these indicate either the female counterpart or the wife of the man which the root word describes.
|Root word / man||Derivative / woman|
-mine: this is added to the of the verb's -ma infinitive and indicates the action of the verb in the most general sense. It corresponds to -ing in English.
-us: this indicates an action or the result of an action and is added to a verb stem.
-is: indicates the result of an action.
-us: this is added to an adjective stem.
|inimkond||humanity, human race|
|seltskond||company (of people)|
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