Discover more from Decode Estonian
to decide in favor of one of several possibilities, to elect, to select
We can break down
valima into two parts:
-ma- infinitive ending
Borrowed from Proto-Germanic: waljaną
The same word exists in Finnish: valita
How to use it
What you choose is a regular object, so it’s in the Partitive case if the action is ongoing (i.e. “you are choosing it”) or in the Genitive case (singular) / Nominative (plural) if the action is done until completion (“you choose it [and then it is chosen]”).
For which purpose you choose is indicated through the Translative case (
Rekordarv kodanikke valis Riigikogu valimistel
Literally: “A record number of citizens chose Parliament’s elections-on”
Idiomatically: “A record number of citizens voted in the parliamentary elections”
Rekordarv - Noun - Nom Sg, "(a) record number" kodanikke - Noun - Part Pl, "citizens" valis - Verb - 3P Sg Ind Past, "elected" riigikogu - Noun - Gen Sg , "Parliament's" valimistel - Noun - Adessive Pl, "on the elections"
As you can see from this example, in Estonian you don’t vote in elections, you choose.
Toomas valis oma näitusele mitmeid fotosid
Literally: “Toomas chose his own to the exhibition many photos”
Idiomatically: “Toomas chose many photos for his exhibition”
Toomas - Noun - Nom Sg, "Toomas" valis - Verb - 3P Sg Ind Past, "chose" oma - Pronoun - Gen Sg, "his own" näitusele - Noun - Allative Sg, "on the exhibition" mitmeid - Pronoun - Part Pl, "many" fotosid - Noun - Part Pl, "photos"
One thing to note here is that “oma” always refers to the person performing the action, in this case “Toomas”.