• 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]
  • Elative case in Estonian

    When to use the elative case in Estonian?

    The elative case (seestütlev kääne in Estonian) indicates coming out of the space or object. It answers the questions kust? 'where from?', kellest? '(out) of whom?', millest? '(out) of what?'.

    • Ta lendas Eestist Hispaaniasse. --- He flew (out of) Estonia to Spain.
    • Ma väljun kohe majast. --- I am leaving the house now.
    • Sellest linnast on pärit paljud kuulsad lauljad. --- Many famous singers are from this town.


    In addition to the basic meaning 'out of', it can be used in other instances as well. 

    1) The elative indicates the material out of which an object is made. 

    • Millest see on tehtud? --- Of what is this made?
    • See maja on tehtud tellistest. --- This house is made of bricks.
    • See käevõru on tehtud kullast. --- This bracelet is made of gold.

    2)  The elative indicates the person or object which is being talked or thought about. Here it answers the questions kellest? 'about whom?' and millest? 'about what?'.

    • Millest sa räägid? --- What are you talking about?
    • Ma mõtlen sinust tihti. --- I think about you often.
    • Vanaisa räägib oma minevikust. --- Grandfather is talking about his past.

    3) The elative is also used in a variety of special expressions.

    • Ma jäin rongist maha. --- I missed the train.
    • Ma olen sellest väsinud. --- I am tired of this.
    • Ta nuttis rõõmust. --- She was crying out of happiness.
    • Me peame lugu õpetajast. --- We respect (think highly of) the teacher.
    • Ma võtan festivalist osa. --- I will participate in the festival.


    How to form the elative case?

    The ending -st is added to the genitive form.

    Nominative Genitive Elative English
    Linn Linna Linnast Town
    Kuld Kulla Kullast Gold
    Puu Puu Puust Wood
    Maja Maja Majast House
    Töö Töö Tööst Work


    The adjective modifying a noun in the illative, inessive or elative case takes the same case form as the noun.

    • Nad töötavad modernses kontoris. --- They are working at a modern office.
    • Noormees armus kenasse neiusse. --- The young man fell in love with a nice girl.
    • Ma olen pärit suurest linnast. --- I am from a big city.


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