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There are five different grammatical moods (kõneviis) in Estonia:
The indicative mood is the most commonly used mood and found in all languages. It is used for factual statements and positive beliefs.
The conditional mood indicates that, according to the speaker, the event is unreal and its realization is dependent upon another condition. It can also be used for making commands more polite. It corresponds to expressions with 'would' in English.
In Estonian, there are two conditional markers: ksi and ks.
|Marker||Example (tahtma 'to want')|
|Negative||Ma ... Nad||ei + ks||ei tahaks|
The conditional perfect is a compound form consisting of the present conditional tense of the verb olema 'to be' + -nud participle.
|Marker||Example (tahtma 'to want')|
|Positive||Ma (I)||oleksin + nud||oleksin tahtnud|
|Sa (You)||oleksid + nud||oleksid tahtnud|
|Ta (He/She/It)||oleks + nud||oleks tahtnud|
|Me (We)||oleksime + nud||oleksime tahtnud|
|Te (You)||oleksite + nud||oleksite tahtnud|
|Nad (They)||oleksid + nud||oleksid tahtnud|
|Negative||Ma ... Nad||ei oleks + nud||ei oleks tahtnud|
The imperative form of a verb expresses a command or request.
There are two different ways for forming the imperative:
1. When speaking to a familiar person (who may be addressed with the 2nd person singular), the imperative is derived from the stem of the present tense of the verb, minus the personal ending.
Examples of forming the imperative:
|I come||Ma tule/n||Come!||Tule!|
|I speak||Ma räägi/n||Speak!||Räägi!|
|I wait||Ma oota/n||Wait!||Oota!|
2. When speaking to two or more people, or to someone for whom some social distance or respect must be shown, the 2nd person plural form is used. The imperative form is derived from the stem of the -da infinitive, by adding the correct personal suffix.
If the -da infinitive actualy ends in -da, the imperative takes the ending with -g-. If it ends in -ta instead, it takes the ending with -k-.
|Marker||Example (sõita 'to drive')||Example (laulda 'to sing)|
|Ta (He/She/It)||gu, ku||sõitku||laulgu|
|Me (We)||gem, kem||sõitkem||laulgem|
|Te (You)||ge, ke||sõitke||laulge|
|Nad (They)||gu, ku||sõitku||laulgu|
|Sa (You)||ära + Ø||ära sõida||ära laula|
|Ta (He/She/It)||ärgu + gu, ku||ärgu sõitku||ärgu laulgu|
|Me (We)||ärgem + gem, kem||ärgem sõitkem||ärgem laulgem|
|Te (You)||ärge + ge, ke||ärge sõitke||ärge laulge|
|Nad (They)||ärgu + gu, ku||ärgu sõitku||ärgu laulgu|
The Estonian language has a special verb form which indicates an action or situation of which the speaker only has indirect knowledge. That means, the speaker retells something heard from someone else. Usually the oblique form is used together with an introductory phrase, such as 'They say that...', 'I heard that...' etc. Even if the oblique mode is used without an introductory phrase, it is there implicitly and the verb reflects the speaker's lack of direct knowledge.
The oblique mode is made from the stem of the -ma infinitive, by adding the suffix -vat. It is same for all the persons, both singular and plural.
|Marker||Example (tahtma 'to want')||Example (tulema 'to come')|
|Negative||Ma...Nad (I...They)||ei + vat||ei tahtvat||ei tulevat|
The past perfect tense is formed with the auxiliary verb olevat + -nud participle.
|Positive||Ma...Nad (I...They)||olevat + nud||olevat tahtnud||olevat tulnud|
|Negative||Ma...Nad (I...They)||ei olevat + nud||ei olevat tahtnud||ei olevat tulnud|
The jussive, similarly to the imperative, expresses orders, commands, exhortations, but particularly to a third person not present.
The jussive mode has evolved from the 3rd person imperative form of the verb. It has also two markers gu and ku which are added to the stem of the -da infinitive.
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