• 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]
  • Essive case in Estonian

    When to use the essive case in Estonian?

    The essive case (olev kääne in Estonian) indicates in what capacity or form something/someone performs an action. It answers the questions kellena? 'as who?' and millena? 'as what?'.

    • See naine oli lapsena väga ilus. --- This woman was very pretty as a child.
    • Mu õde töötab õpetajana. --- My sister works as a teacher.
    • See harjutus tundub raskena. --- This exercise seems (like it's) hard.
    • Ta tunneb end väga tähtsana. --- He feels (like he is) very important.


    How to form the essive case in Estonian?

    The ending -na must be added to the genitive.

    Nominative Genitive Essive English
    Külm Külma Külmana Cold
    Arst Arsti Arstina Doctor
    Haige Haige Haigena Sick
    Inimene Inimese Inimesena Person
    Mees Mehe Mehena Man


    An adjective which modifies a noun in the essive case does not agree with the noun. Instead it takes the genitive form.

    • Ta tuli kasiinost tagasi vaese (gen.) mehena (ess.). --- He came back from the casino as a poor man.
    • Ta on alati käitunud ausa (gen.) inimesena (ess.). --- He has always behaved as an honest person.


    yes Continue to our exercises to practice your knowledge!


    Fill in the blanks exercise: essive case