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).
Grammar cases are not important as the subject and object article remain the same in English. On the other hand, in German, grammar cases are very important.
In this lesson, we will start with a general introduction about cases and then focus on the first case, the nominative (it is also known as the subjective case).
In our lesson about the articles, we explained how a noun in German is found in the dictionary. “Nominative” is the basic form of a word, just as it is found in the dictionary.
- It is used for the person, animal or thing that ‘is doing’ the action within a sentence. As you know, it is called the subject of a sentence. Therefore, the nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence.
|Der Hund schläft.|
The dog is sleeping.
Anna is singing.
- It is also used for after the verbs “sein” (to be) and werden (to be, to become).
|Das wird ein Jeans.|
It’s going to be a Jeans.
|Thomas ist ein guter Lehrer.|
Thomas is a good teacher.
The following table shows the use of the articles in the nominative case: