Estonian Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Estonian grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Estonian and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Estonian and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Estonian.

Prepositions
Estonian
and
ja Audio
above
kohal Audio
under
all Audio
before
enne Audio
after
pärast Audio
in front of
ees Audio
behind
taga Audio
far from
eemal Audio
near
lähedal Audio
in
sees Audio
inside
seespool Audio
outside
väljaspool Audio
with
koos Audio
without
ilma Audio
about
umbes Audio
between
vahel Audio
but
aga Audio
for
jaoks Audio
from
juurest Audio
to
kuni Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules
Estonian
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun]
ma söön ilma noata Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition]
ta elab kiriku lähedal Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition]
ta on pikem kui tema Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun]
ta tuli koos oma väikese koeraga Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun]
kas saate minuga tulla? Audio

Negation in Estonian

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules
Estonian
I understand you
[affirmative form]
ma saan teist aru Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb]
ma ei saa teist aru Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective]
see ei ole õige sõna Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation]
ärge jätke mind Audio
no problem
[negation + noun]
pole probleemi Audio

Negative Sentences
Estonian
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense]
ma ei räägi prantsuse keelt Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense]
ta ei käinud saksamaal Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb]
ta ei näe meid Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation]
kas ta ei oska malet mängida? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense]
me ei jää hiljaks Audio

Questions in Estonian

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English
Estonian
how?
kuidas? Audio
what?
mida? Audio
who?
kes? Audio
why?
miks? Audio
where?
kus? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules
Estonian
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb]
kus te elate? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb]
kas ta oskab hiina keelt? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition]
kui palju see maksab? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb]
kas ma saan teid aidata? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition]
mis su nimi on? Audio

Adverbs in Estonian

It's time to learn the adverbs in Estonian. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs
Estonian
now
nüüd Audio
yesterday
eile Audio
today
täna Audio
tonight
täna õhtul Audio
tomorrow
homme Audio
soon
varsti Audio
quickly
kiiresti Audio
slowly
aeglaselt Audio
together
koos Audio
very
väga Audio
almost
peaaegu Audio
always
alati Audio
usually
tavaliselt Audio
sometimes
mõnikord Audio
rarely
harva Audio
never
mitte kunagi Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules
Estonian
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb]
kas saate minust nüüd aru? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb]
vajan kohe abi Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective]
ta on väga intelligentne Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb]
ma jään teid alati armastama Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question]
kas me võiksime koos saksa keelt õppida? Audio

Pronouns in Estonian

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Estonian. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns
Estonian
I
ma Audio
you
sa / teie Audio
he
tema Audio
she
tema Audio
we
meie Audio
they
nad Audio

Object Pronouns
Estonian
me
mulle Audio
you
sulle / teile Audio
him
talle Audio
her
talle Audio
us
meile Audio
them
neile Audio

Possessive Pronouns
Estonian
my
minu Audio
your
sinu, teie Audio
his
tema Audio
her
tema Audio
our
meie Audio
their
nende Audio

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns
Estonian
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb]
ma olen teie sõber Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb]
te räägite väga kiiresti Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb]
tal on kolm koera Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb]
ta oskab saksa keelt Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun]
me ei jää hiljaks Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun]
nad ostsid piima ja leiba Audio

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns
Estonian
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun]
palun öelge mulle oma nimi Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun]
ma annan teile raha Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun]
ta kirjutas talle kirja Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun]
nad külastasid teda eile Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun]
kas ta saab meid aidata? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun]
ta andis neile toitu Audio

Possessive Pronouns
Estonian
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun]
minu nimi on maya Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun]
teie vend elab siin Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun]
tema ema teeb meile süüa Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun]
tema hobi on raamatute lugemine Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun]
meie unistus on külastada pariisi Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun]
nende kodu ei ole kaugel Audio

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns
Estonian
this is my house
see on minu maja Audio
that restaurant is far
see restoran on kaugel Audio
these apples are delicious
need õunad on maitsvad Audio
those stars are shiny
need tähed on säravad Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Estonian grammar in this lesson. If you have any question about this lesson please contact me here. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Estonian Phrases   Estonian Phrases

Estonian Vocabulary   Estonian Vocabulary



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Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus