Essive, translative, abessive

These cases are a bit more uncommon than the others, like location cases or grammatical cases.


Essive is often translated as, and it expresses role, state of being or capacity.

Essive has the suffix -na. Essive is always in strong grade.

essive declination
talo talona (house)
pappi pappina (priest)
rikas rikkaana (rich)


Essive expresses a role:

Hän työskentelee opettajana.
He works as a teacher.
Pidämme häntä parhaana.
We rate him as the best.
Lapsena en pitänyt kahvista.
As a child, I didn't like coffee.

You can use the essive to express a (temporary) state of mind or state of being:

Nälkäisenä olen väsynyt.
When I'm hungry, I'm tired.

You must use the essive with some expressions of time (days of the week, years, holidays), when the action is a point in time.

Suomi voitti jääkiekossa kultamitalin vuonna 1995.
Finland won the gold medal in ice hockey in year 1995.

more expressions of time


Translative expresses becoming or transforming into something. Translative case has the suffix -ksi. The stem can be either in weak or strong grade, and it follows the grad of genitive.

translative declination
talo talokksi (house)
pappi papikksi (priest)
rikas rikkaaksi (rich)
Prinssi muuttui sammakoksi.
The prince turned into a frog.
Tulin pilaantuneesta ruuasta sairaaksi.
The bad food made me sick.
Antti valmistui keväällä maisteriksi.
Antti graduated as a master in the spring.

You must use translative with verbs "luulla" (to think / to assume), "tuntea (to feel onself), "sanoa" (to say), "ehdottaa" (to suggest), "kutsua" (to call), "kuvitella" (to imagine). After the verb you have an object and the following attribute (often an adjective) is in translative:

Luulin häntä nuoremmaksi.
I thought he's younger.
Tunnen itseni väsyneeksi.
I feel tired.
Ihmiset sanovat häntä tyhmäksi.
People say he's stupid / call him stupid.
Kuvittelin tätä työtä helpommaksi.
I imagined this job was easier.

Translative is used in the expressions of time and normally it's some limited amount of time.

John matkusti Suomeen viikoksi.
John travelled to Finland for a week.

You can also use translative to express the order:

Aluksi meidän pitää siivota.
For the start we must clean up.
Timo tuli juoksukilpailussa viimeiseksi, mutta Pekka tuli kolmanneksi.
Timo came last in the running competition, but Pekka came third.


Abessive expresses being without something. The suffix is -tta.

Hän oli rahatta.
He was without any money.

Both translative and abessive have same grade stem as genitive. Easiest way to form these cases is to replace the n suffix of the genitive with the -ksi or -tta suffix.

Abessive is quite marginal case, you can usually substitute it with ilman + partitive.

Hän oli rahatta. = Hän oli ilman rahaa.
He was without any money.

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