Adessive case

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In Finno-Ugric languages, such as Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian, the adessive case (abbreviated ade; from Latin adesse "to be present") is the fourth of the locative cases with the basic meaning of "on". For example, Estonian laud (table) and laual (on the table), Hungarian asztal and asztalnál (at the table). It is also used as an instrumental case in Finnish.

In Finnish, the suffix is -lla/-llä, e.g. pöytä (table) and pöydällä (on the table). In addition, it can specify "being around the place", as in koululla (at the school including the schoolyard), as contrasted with the inessive koulussa (in the school, inside the building).

In Estonian, the ending -l is added to the genitive case, e.g. laud (table) - laual (on the table). Besides the meaning "on", this case is also used to indicate ownership. For example, "mehel on auto" means "the man owns a car".

As the Finno-Ugric languages don't possess the verb "to have", it is the subject in the adessive case + on (for example minulla on= I have, literally at me is)

The other locative cases in Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian are:


The Finnish adessive has the word ending -lla or -llä (according to the rules of vowel harmony). It is usually added to nouns and associated adjectives.

It is used in the following ways.

  • Expressing the static state of being on the surface of something.
  • Expressing the instrumentive use of something
  • In certain time expressions expressing the time at which things take place
  • Expressing the general proximity in space or time at which something takes place (where the more specific proximity case would be the inessive)
  • In certain expressions expressing mood

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