Grammar: how to turn verbs into adjectives
In other words: participles
Recap: word classes
Let’s briefly recap what the four main categories of words are (yes, this list is intentionally simplified):
nouns / nimisõnad (“name words”): refer to things, concrete and abstract. Examples: laud - table, sein - wall, armastus - love
verbs / tegusõnad (“action words”): refer to actions. Examples: tegema - to do, nägema - to see
adjectives / omadussõnad (“property words”): refer to the properties of things. Examples: suur - big, kiire - quick
adverbs / määrsõnad (“determining words”): in our simplified view of the world are just a catch-all category for words like “homme” - tomorrow.
Now these words have concrete relationships with each other, determining how you can use them and link them together:
adjectives are used to describe nouns,
adverbs can describe both verbs and adjectives,
nouns and verbs “just are”
The cool thing about Estonian (and other languages) is that these categories are not fixed.
You can take a word from one category, pass it through some kind of transformation function, and get a word in the new category that has a relationship with the original meaning.
Even in English, a language in which words don’t change all that much, you can do this:
adverb(x: Adjective) = x + “ly”
This function means that you can take any adjective (let’s call it “x”) and add the ending “-ly” to it, to turn it into an adverb.
adverb(quick) = quick + “ly” = quickly
adverb(calm) = calm + “ly” = calmly
Now let’s see how we can translate this to Estonian:
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