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to bear, to tolerate, to endure
-ta- causative (“make something be X”)
-ma - infinitive ending
It’s derived from another Estonian word: kandma (to carry, to bear).
The connection between the verbs is easy to see, as when we suffer, we are carrying or bearing a burden.
Kandma itself is derived from a Proto-Finnic word: kantadak
How to use it
When the suffering person is affected by something that is under their control use “kannatama mille käes”. "Käes" literally means "in the hand." However, it can also be used in a more figurative sense to mean "under the control of." So, the phrase "kannatama mille käes" literally means "to suffer under the control of something."
When the suffering person is affected by something that is beyond their control use “kannatama mille all”. The postposition "all" literally means "under." It can also be used in a more figurative sense to mean "affected by." So, the phrase "kannatama mille all" literally means "to suffer under the influence of something."
When the suffering is caused by an external source use “kannatama millegi tõttu”. The postposition "tõttu" is used to show that the suffering is caused by a specific thing.
What you are under the control of (mille käes), what you are suffering under (mille all), and due to what you are suffering (mille tõttu) is in the Genitive case (second base form)
Lapsed kannatavad õues külma käes
Literally: “Children suffer in-outside cold in-hand”
Idiomatically: “Children are suffering outside in the cold”
Lapsed - Noun - Nom Pl, "Children" kannatavad - Verb - 3P Present Pl, "suffer" õues - Noun - Inessive Sg, "in-outside" külma - Adjective - Gen Sg, "cold" käes - Postposition, "in-hand"
Rahvas kannatas diktatuuri all
Literally: “Nation suffered dictatorship under”
Idiomatically: “The nation suffered under the dictatorship”
Rahvas - Noun - Nom Sg, "Nation" kannatas - Verb - 3P Past Sg, "suffered" diktatuuri - Noun - Gen Sg, "dictatorship" all - Postposition, "under"
Nooruk kannatas südamevalu tõttu
Literally: “Adolescent suffered heartache because of”
Idiomatically: “The adolescent suffered because of a heartache”
Nooruk - Noun - Nom Sg, "Adolescent" kannatas - Verb - 3P Past Sg, "suffered" südamevalu - Noun - Gen Sg, "dictatorship" tõttu - Postposition, "under"