Noun cases in German
The nominative caseThe cases | Definite articles | der-words | Indefinite articles | Possessive adjectives
Summary of the cases | Nominative case | Accusative case | Dative case | Genitive case | GRAMMAR INDEX
A noun or pronoun is in the nominative case when is carries out one of two primary functions in a sentence.
The subject of the sentence is the person, thing, idea or entity
doing the action or carrying out the meaning of the verb. It answers
the question: Who or what is doing <insert the meaning
of the verb here>?
|Das Auto fährt sehr
The car is driving very quickly.
|"The car" is doing the action of driving and is therefore the subject.|
|Meine Mutter schreibt schön.
My mother writes beautifully.
|"My mother" is doing the action of writing and is therefore the subject.|
|Du hast schicke Schuhe.
You have chic shoes.
|"You" is the doing the "having" and is therefore the subject.|
EXAMPLES:To test for a predicate noun, try replacing the verb in the sentence with an equal sign (=). If the equation remains true -- namely, if the subject and the verbal complement are two ways of referring to the very same thing -- then you have found a predicate noun.
Ich werde Lehrer.
I am becoming a teacher.
"I" and "teacher" refer to the same person. "I" is the subject, "teacher" the predicate nom. Mein Bruder heißt Karl.
My brother's name is Karl.
The subject "my brother" and the predicate nominative "Karl" are the very same person. Das Geschenk ist ein Buch.
The gift is a book.
The subject "the gift" and the predicate nominative "the book" are the very same thing.
Nouns Personal Pronouns masculine feminine neuter plural der Onkel
er, sie, es