• 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]
  • Present tense (olevik) in Estonian

    How to conjugate verbs in present tense?

    Every present tense form consists of a present-stem (which remains unchanged for all persons) and various personal endings for both the singular and plural.

    In the present tense, an Estonian verb has the following endings:

    1st person singular (I) -n
    2nd person singular (you) -d
    3rd person singular (he/she/it) -b
    1st person plural (we) -me
    2nd person plural (you) -te
    3rd person plural (they) -vad

    If you know one of the present tense forms, you can build the rest from it. Usually in the word lists, the first person singular is given for you.

    enlightened Personal pronouns can often be omitted, since the verb form itself indicates which person is the subject.

    • Tulen sulle homme külla. --- I will visit you tomorrow.
    • Laulame tihti karaoket. --- We often sing karaoke.


    The following is an example of a verb laulma 'to sing' in the present tense:

    English Estonian
    I sing Mina laulan
    You sing Sina laulad
    He/She/It sings Tema laulab
    We sing Meie laulame
    You sing Teie laulate
    They sing Nemad laulavad


    Present tense of the irregular verb 'to be'

    enlightened The present tense of the verb olema 'to be' is irregular in the third person singular and plural.

    English Estonian
    I am Mina olen
    You are Sina oled
    He/She/It Tema on
    We are Meie oleme
    You are Teie olete
    They are Nemad on


    Negation in Estonian

    The negative form in the present tense consists of the negative particle ei 'not' and a verb's present-stem (without any endings). This construction is used for all persons in both singular and plural.

    Example: verb jooksma 'to run'

    English Estonian
    I am not running Mina ei jookse
    You are not running Sina ei jookse
    He/She is not running Tema ei jookse
    We are not running Meie ei jookse
    You are not running Teie ei jookse
    They are not running Nemad ei jookse

    enlightenedAs an alternative form for ei ole 'am/are/is not', the word pole is often used. It has exactly the same meaning.

    • Ma ei ole valmis = Ma pole valmis --- I am not ready.
    • Ta ei ole õnnelik = Ta pole õnnelik --- He is not happy.


    yes Practice conjugating the verbs in present with our exercises!



    Exercise: conjugating a verb in the present tense