Nominative Case in German (der Nominativ)

In the German language, there are four different cases: nominative case (der Nominativ), accusative case (der Akkusativ), dative case (der Dativ) and genitive case (der Genitiv). In this lesson, you will learn the nominative case in German.

Nominative Case

The cases have a significant role in German. Take a quick look at the roles of the cases in German shown in Table 1.1:

subjecttakes action
direct objectreceives action
indirect objectto/for whom action is taken
possessiveindicates the owner of someone or something
Table 1.1

❗ There are just two cases in English: the subject (nominative) and the object (accusative & dative combined into “the objective case”).

The nominative case is the basic form of the noun and is the one you find in the dictionary. It represents the subject of the sentence. As you know, the subject is the person or thing performing the action of the verb.

Die Katze schläft.
The cat is sleeping.
Frau Müller fliegt nach London.
Mrs Müller is flying to London.
Das Kind spielt mit dem Hund.
The child plays with the dog.

⭐ A few verbs also take a predicate in the nominative case. These are shown in Table 1.2:

sein to be
werdento become
heißento be named
scheinento seem 
bleibento stay, remain
Table 1.2

-Johann scheint ein großartiger Turner.
Johann seems a great gymnast.
-Ich heiße Thomas.
My name is Thomas.
-Thomas ist ein guter Lehrer.
Thomas is a good teacher.
-Thomas bleibt ein Lehrer.
Thomas remains a teacher.
-Mein Sohn wird ein Arzt.
My son is becoming a doctor.

The articles also vary according to the case. These are shown in Table 1.3:

Table 1.3

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