Estonian: Verbal Phrases

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User1001

Senior Member
American English
How are verbal phrases created in Estonian? Are both the modal verb/copula and the secondary verb conjugated, or is the secondary verb listed in the infinitive form? I've listed the three possibilities I can think of, so just put checks/x's next to them please.

1. Ma tahan rääkima sinuga eesti keeles. (like English)
2. Ma tahan rääkin sinuga eesti keeles. (like Macedonian)
3. Ma tahan sinuga eesti keeles rääkima. (like German)

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Jaaner

    New Member
    Language
    The second verb is listed in the infinitive, but not in the -ma infinitive, but the -da infinitive.
    Word order isn't very strict, so both the english and the german ways are correct if you use "rääkida" instead of "rääkima".
    -da infinitive is tricky tough, a lot of verbs are irregular: tegema-teha, sööma-süüa etc.
     

    User1001

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks! Are there any tricks to learning the stem of the verb when you have to use the -da infinitive, or must both the primary and secondary stems be learned by heart?
     

    astlanda

    Senior Member
    Estonian maamurre
    Thanks! Are there any tricks to learning the stem of the verb when you have to use the -da infinitive, or must both the primary and secondary stems be learned by heart?
    Standard Estonian is a bit artificial language created by German pastors mixing different dialects with their own ideas, what a "pure" Estonian was. So it's very irregular.

    There are some tricks, if you knew Finnish etc.
    In brief:
    The 2. singular and 2. plural imperative will reveal you the main changes of the stem.
    Study!= õpi (sg) versus õppi/ge (pl)
    Start!= hakka (sg) versus haka/ke (pl)

    The -da infinitive goes usually with plural.
    I.E.
    to study= õppi/ge (pl) > õppi/da
    to start= haka/ke (pl) > haka/ta

    The difference between -da & -ma infinitive is, that
    -da plays the role of an object (what) and
    -ma (which is illative case) plays the role of a goal (where).
    I.E.
    I want to go. (~ I want an apple.) > Tahan minna. (< * min+da)
    I go to eat. (~ I go to the city.) > Lähen sööma.
     
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