• 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]
  • Nominative case in Estonian

    When to use the nominative case?

    The nominative singular case (ainsuse nimetav kääne in Estonian) answers the questions kes? 'who?', mis? 'what?', milline? (or missugune?) 'what kind?'. Is is mainly used for subjects of sentences and predicate complements.

    Estonian English
    Kes seisab? Who is standing?
    Ema seisab. Mother is standing.
    Mis seal on? What is there?
    Seal on tool. There is a chair.
    Milline ta on? What (kind) is he? ('What is he like?')
    Ta on vana. He is old.


    enlightened The nominative case form of both nouns and adjectives has no particular ending. It may end in almost any vowel or consonant.

    For example:

    Estonian English
    Isa Father
    Õde Sister
    Käsi Hand
    Mees Man
    Sõber Friend
    Raamat Book
    Kõhn Skinny


    In a clause of the type 'it is I', the verb agrees with the personal pronoun and not with the word 'it', like in English.

    Estonian English
    See olen mina It is I (lit: 'it am I')
    See oled sina It is you (lit: it are you)
    See on tema It is he 


    The plural nominative case always ends with the letter -d. For learning more about forming the plural in Estonian, check out our page on plural in Estonian.

    Estonian English
    Majad Houses
    Vanemad Parents
    Lilled Flowers


    yes Now you are ready to learn the next case!