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In Basque the destinative case marks inanimate nouns (or more precisely noun phrases) as the purpose of an action. It corresponds roughly to the English preposition 'for'. In other languages with semantically similar cases (such as some Australian Aboriginal languages), this case is called the purposive, but the established term in Basque is destinative.

The case ending is compound, consisting of the allative -(e)ra 'to' and an adjectivalizing suffix -ko, giving destinative -(e)rako. This is the form used in most dialects, but some in France use the form -(e)rakotz, and some other forms of Basque don't use the destinative at all but replace it with the benefactive case, the one marking an animate beneficiary.

    liburu-ak nire lan-erako dira
    book-PL   my   work-DEST AUX
    The books are for my work.
The destinative can also be used as an adjectival modifier without change of form:
    nire lan-erako liburu-ak  gorri-ak dira
    my   work-DEST book-PL    red-PL   AUX
    The books for my work are red.
The endings after a vowel and after a consonant are as follows, using begi 'eye' and zuhaitz 'tree':

Singular definite: begi-rako, zuhaitz-erako
Plural definite: begi-eta-rako, zuhaitz-eta-rako
Indefinite: begi-ta-rako, zuhaitz-eta-rako

Saltarelli, M. (1988) Basque, Croom Helm
Trask, R.L. (1997) The History of Basque, Routledge

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