Nominative Case: Explanation and Examples

In grammar, the nominative case is the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective that is used as the subject of a sentence or clause, or as a predicate noun after a linking verb.

Nominative case

For example, in the sentence “John is happy,” “John” is in the nominative case because it is the subject of the sentence. Similarly, in the sentence “She is a doctor,” “She” is in the nominative case because it is the subject of the sentence.

In some languages, including English, the nominative case is also used for the object of certain prepositions, such as “to” and “for.” For example, in the sentence “I gave the book to him,” “him” is in the nominative case because it is the object of the preposition “to.”

The nominative case is one of several grammatical cases that can be used to indicate the function of a word in a sentence, along with the accusative, genitive, dative, and ablative cases.

How to Identify the Nominative Case?

The nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence or clause. To identify the nominative case in English, you can follow these steps:

  1. Look for the subject of the sentence or clause. The subject is typically a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that performs the action of the verb or is described by the verb.
  2. Ask yourself the question, “Who or what is performing the action in the sentence?” The answer to this question will be the subject, and it will be in the nominative case.

For example, in the sentence “John is eating an apple,” the subject is “John,” which is in the nominative case because it is performing the action of eating.

Similarly, in the sentence “She and I are going to the store,” both “she” and “I” are in the nominative case because they are the subjects performing the action of going.

Note that some pronouns have different forms for the nominative and objective cases. For example, “I” is in the nominative case, while “me” is in the objective case.

So, it’s important to use the correct form of the pronoun depending on its function in the sentence.

Examples of Nominative Case

Here are some examples of the nominative case in English:

  1. The dog barks loudly. (“dog” is the subject of the sentence)
  2. She is a great singer. (“She” is the subject of the sentence and “singer” is the predicate nominative)
  3. I am feeling tired. (“I” is the subject of the sentence)
  4. They are playing soccer. (“They” is the subject of the sentence)
  5. My sister and I are going to the park. (“My sister and I” are both in the nominative case and are the compound subject of the sentence)
  6. She and he are best friends. (“She and he” are both in the nominative case and are the compound subject of the sentence)
  7. It is raining outside. (“It” is in the nominative case and serves as a dummy subject)

How Do You Know if it is Nominative Case?

In order to identify the nominative case, you should look for the function of the word in the sentence.

The nominative case is typically used for the subject of a sentence or clause, as well as for the predicate nominative after a linking verb. Here are some examples of how to identify the nominative case:

  1. The cat is sleeping. In this sentence, “cat” is the subject and is in the nominative case.
  2. He is a doctor. In this sentence, “He” is the subject and is in the nominative case. “Doctor” is the predicate nominative and is also in the nominative case.
  3. She and I went to the park. In this sentence, “She and I” are the compound subject and are both in the nominative case.
  4. They are my friends. In this sentence, “They” is the subject and is in the nominative case.
  5. My favorite color is blue. In this sentence, “color” is the subject and is in the nominative case. “Blue” is the predicate nominative and is also in the nominative case.

Remember, the nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence or clause, and for the predicate nominative after a linking verb.

Why is it Called Nominative Case?

The term “nominative case” comes from the Latin word “nominativus,” which means “pertaining to naming.” In Latin, the nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence or clause, just like in English. The word “nominative” reflects the fact that this case is used to name or identify the subject of a sentence.

The term “case” refers to the grammatical category of a noun, pronoun, or adjective that indicates its function in a sentence.

In Indo-European languages such as English and Latin, there are several different cases, including the nominative case, accusative case, genitive case, dative case, and ablative case. Each case has a distinct form and is used to indicate the function of a word in a sentence.

Exercises

Here are some exercises to help you practice identifying the nominative case:

1. Identify the nominative case in the following sentences:

a. The dog is barking loudly. b. She and her sister are going to the store. c. My favorite subject is history. d. We are going to the beach.

2. Rewrite the following sentences, changing the underlined words to the nominative case:

a. Him and me are going to the movies. b. Her and I went to the party. c. The teacher gave the award to he and I. d. Us students are excited for summer break.

3. Write sentences using the nominative case for the subject and predicate nominative:

a. __________ is the best day of the week. b. __________ and __________ are both great singers. c. __________ is my favorite movie. d. __________ is the most important meal of the day.

Answers:

  1. a. “dog” b. “She and her sister” c. “subject” d. “We”
  2. a. “He and I are going to the movies.” b. “She and I went to the party.” c. “The teacher gave the award to him and me.” d. “We students are excited for summer break.”
  3. a. “Monday is the best day of the week.” b. “She and he are both great singers.” c. “The Lion King is my favorite movie.” d. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

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