• Estonian grammar
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  • 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]
  • Estonian prepositions and postpositions

    While in English prepositions are used a lot, the Estonian language employs mostly postpositions. Postpositions come after the main word, but otherwise correspond to English prepositions. There are prepositions in Estonian as well, but only a few. In addition, the preposition or postposition can often be left out because the case and the declension of the word already indicate it.

     

    Prepositions

    Most of the prepositions are used together with the genitive or the partitive case.

    With the genitive case

    English Estonian Example sentence  
    Through Läbi You have to walk through the park. Sa pead kõndima läbi pargi.
    Besides Peale Besides this, only 3 people showed up. Peale selle tuli kohale ainult 3 inimest.
    Over Üle Go over the bridge. Mine üle silla.
    Around Ümber The children were sitting around the fire. Lapsed istusid ümber lõkke.

    With the partitive case

    English Estonian Example sentence  
    Down Alla Everything is going down hill. Kõik läheb alla mäge.
    Before Enne This happened before Christ. See juhtus enne Kristust.
    In the middle of Kesk / Keset He was sleeping in the middle of the day. Ta magas keset päeva.
    Along Mööda I am walking along the street. Ma kõnnin mööda tänavat.
    Along(side) Piki The promenade goes along the coast. Promenaad läheb piki kallast.
    After Pärast / Peale He became famous after his death. Ta sai kuulsaks pärast oma surma.
    Against Vastu It's hard to swim against the current. Vastuvoolu on raske ujuda.

    With other cases

    English Estonian Example sentence  
    Without Ilma I can't live without him. Ma ei saa ilma temata elada.
    Until, as far as Kuni I'm here until Sunday. Ma olen siin pühapäevani.
    (Together) With Ühes / Koos She went to the party with her friends. Ta läks peole koos oma sõpradega.

     

    Postpositions

    With the genitive case

    English Estonian Example sentence  
    (To) Under - underneath - from under Alla - all - allt Cat is under the table. Kass on laua all.
    (To) In front of - in front of - from in front of Ette - ees -eest He flees before the enemy. Ta põgeneb vaenlase eest.
    For Jaoks I bought it for you. Ma ostsin selle sinu jaoks.
    To - at - from Juurde - juures - juurest I am staying at my sister's (place). Ma elan õe juures.
    (To) after - after - from after Järele - järel - järelt He is walking after (behind) me. Ta käib mul järel.
    After, according to Järgi I did it according to his instruction. Ma tegin tema õpetuse järgi.
    Via, through Kaudu I drove to Lithuania via Latvia. Ma sõitsin Leetu Läti kaudu.
    (In) to the middle - in the middle - from the middle Keskele - keskel - keskelt The table is in the middle of the room. Laud on toa keskel.
    (To) above - above, at - from above Kohale - kohal - kohalt The bird is flying above the lake. Lind lendab järve kohal.
    About, regarding Kohta Did you hear the stories about him? Kas sa kuulsid tema kohta lugusid?
    Onto - on - off Peale - peal - pealt Put the glass on the table! Pane klaas laua peale!
    After, on account of, for Pärast I did it for (because of) you. Ma tegin seda sinu pärast.
    Into - in - out of Sisse - sees -seest The flowers are in the vase. Lilled on vaasi sees.
    (To) behind - behind - from behind Taha - taga -tagant I was standing behind the door for a long time. Ma seisin pikalt ukse taga.
    (To) between - between - from between Vahele - vahel - vahelt You can sit between us. Sa võid meie vahele istuda.
    Against, toward Vastu I have nothing against her. Mul pole midagi tema vastu.
    (To) beside - beside - from beside Äärde - ääres - äärest I like to sit by (beside) the sea Mulle meeldib istuda mere ääres.
    Over, about Üle We were discussing (about) it for a long time. Me arutlesime selle üle pikalt.
    Around Ümber The children were sitting around the fire. Lapsed istusid lõkke ümber. 

     

    With other cases

    English Estonian Case Example sentence  
    Along Mööda Partitive I was walking along the road. Ma kõndisid teed mööda.
    Down Alla Elative Please come down the stairs! Palun tule trepist alla!
    Through Läbi Elative You have to go through the park. Sa pead minema pargist läbi.
    Since Peale Elative I have been sitting here since noon. Ma olen siin istunud lõunast peale.
    Since Saadik Elative Since when are you here? Mis ajast saadik sa siin oled?

     

    Exercises

    Exercise: using prepositions and postpositions in a sentence.