Illative case

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Illative (abbreviated ILL; from Latin illatus "brought in") is, in the Finnish language, Estonian language and the Hungarian language, the third of the locative cases with the basic meaning of "into (the inside of)". An example from Hungarian is "a házba" (into the house, with "a ház" meaning "the house"). An example from Estonian is "majasse" and "majja" (into the house), formed from "maja" (a house). An example from Finnish is "taloon" (into the house), formed from "talo" (a house).

Illative case in the Finnish language

In Finnish, the case is formed by adding -hVn, where 'V' represents the last vowel, and then removing the 'h' if a simple long vowel would result. For example, talo + hVn becomes talohon, where the 'h' elides and produces taloon with a simple long 'oo'; cf. maa + hVn becomes maahan, without the elision of 'h'. This unusually complex way of adding a suffix can be explained by its reconstructed origin: a voiced palatal fricative. (Modern Finnish has lost palatalization and fricatives other than 'h' or 's'.) In the dialect of Pohjanmaa, the 'h' is not removed; one does say talohon.

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

Illative case in the Lithuanian language

The illative case, denoting direction of movement, occurs rarely in modern standard Lithuanian, although used in the common spoken language, especially in certain dialects. Its singular form, heard more often than the plural, appears in books, newspapers, etc. Most Lithuanian nouns can take the illative ending, indicating that from the descriptive point of view the illative still can be treated as a case in Lithuanian, although since the beginning of the 20th century it isn't included in the lists of standard Lithuanian cases in most grammars and textbooks and the prepositional construction į+accusative is more frequently used today to denote direction. The illative case was used extensively in older Lithuanian; the first Lithuanian grammar book, by Daniel Klein, that mentions both illative and į+accusative, calls the usage of the illative "more elegant". In later times, it has often appeared in the written texts of the authors who grew up in Dzukija or Eastern Aukštaitija, such as Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius.

The illative case in Lithuanian has its own endings, which are different for each declension paradigm, although quite regular, compared with some other Lithuanian cases. An ending of the illative always ends with n in the singular, and sna is the final part of an ending of the illative in the plural.

Certain fixed phrases in the standard language are illatives, such as patraukti atsakomybėn ("to arraign"), dešinėn! ("turn right").


  • Masculine gender words (singular, singular illative, plural, plural illative, English translation)
    • karas, karan, karai, karuosna, war(s)
    • lokys, lokin, lokiai, lokiuosna, bear(s)
    • akmuo, akmenin, akmenys, akmenysna, stone(s)
  • Feminine gender words (the same cases as above):
    • upė, upėn, upės, upėsna, river(s)
    • jūra, jūron, jūros, jūrosna, sea(s)
    • obelis, obelin, obelys, obelysna, appletree(s)

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