Learn German A1: Intro to German Cases (Nominative case). This Lesson introduces you to one of the most complex yet interesting features of the German language: cases. While, Cases might sound a bit abstract at first, but they are extremely useful and will help you to learn and speak amazing German! We will start with a general introduction and study one case at a time throughout the course. So just take your time when studying, it’ll really pay off!
Fertig? Los! (Ready? Go!)
Table of Contents
What is a case?
A case is the specific function that a set of words can occupy in a sentence.
By functions we mean that these words can either “do” the action in the sentence, be directly or indirectly affected by it, or express possession.
And depending on which of these four functions a set of words has, the spelling of the article and noun changes.
Look at the examples below to see the different spellings of “der Mann” (the man).
|Nominative: Der Mann ist groß. (The man is tall.)|
|Accusative: Die Frau trifft den Mann. (The woman is meeting the man.)|
|Dative: Der Kollege gibt dem Mann ein Buch. (The colleague gives the man a book.)|
|Genitive: Das Auto des Mannes ist rot. (The man’s car is red.)|
So we know, In German, there are four different cases:
der Nominativ (nominative case),
der Akkusativ (accusative case),
der Dativ (dative case) and
der Genitiv (genitive case).
While, These four cases narrate us what is status of noun in a given sentence.
Don’t worry about them yet – in this lesson will only focus on the first case, the nominative.
As your German progresses, the other cases will start making more sense to you!
The vast majority of the time, when we use a German noun in a given sentence, we have to indicate two things about that noun, namely, its:
While, You can learn about Gender in German by going through Learn German A1: Basic Grammar Lesson 3.
Why Cases are Important?
German and English structure sentences are very different and understanding how & why is essential.
While English does not have marked cases, you will still get the benefit of refreshing your English grammar as we compare the two languages.
Cases represent the parts of speech within a sentence. They are an important part of German grammar as they are responsible for the endings of adjectives, indefinite articles and when to use which personal pronouns.
“Der Nominativ” (nominative)
This case is the basic form of a word, just as it is found in the dictionary. So you’ve already learned it!
While, This case is used for the person, animal or thing that ‘does/ is doing’ the action within a sentence. We call that the subject of a sentence.
The subject is always in the nominative case!
Look at the examples below to see the subject in each sentence.
|Der Kollege arbeitet. (The colleague is working.)|
|Kommt Sarah aus England? (Does Sarah come from England?)|
|Der Mann hat einen Bart. (The man has a beard.)|
|Ein Mann heiratet eine Frau. (A man marries a woman.)|
|Er heiratet sie. (He marries her.)|
Different Articles of Noun as Nominative
While, In German all nouns are either masculine, feminine or neuter. Get complete information about articles in Learn German A1 Lesson 3.
|(the) definite||(a) Indefinite||Negative||Pronoun|
If we want to negate in a sentence, just before noun use ” Kein/Keine”. But make sure, you know the difference. In Nominative case, We use ”Kein” with masculine and neuter nouns. While, for feminine and plurals nouns we use ”Keine”.
Examples of Negation:
Das ist kein Buch. (This is not a book.) ; We use ”kein” because ‘das Buch‘ is a neuter noun.
Das sind keine Bücher. (These aren’t books.) ; We use ”keine” because ‘Bücher’ is plural noun.
Ich habe keine Schwester. (I have no sister.) ; We use ”keine” because ‘die Schwester’ is feminine noun.
There is no indefinite articles for plurals in German, as you can see in the table mentioned above.
Personal Pronouns singular & plural have been mentioned in Learn German A1 Lesson 4. In nominative case, Personal pronouns remain same as mentioned in Lesson 4 of Learn German by Ask-scholars.com.
Highlight the Subjects
This is for you, highlight the subject of each sentence.
1): Das Mädchen ist acht jahre alt. (The girl is eight years old.)
2): Ali arbeitet als Kellner. (Ali works as a waiter.)
3): Der Kollege arbeitet in dem Büro. (The colleague works in the office.)
4): Kommt Usman aus Schweden? (Is Usman from Sweden?)
5): Meine Mutter hat drei Geschwister. (My mother has three siblings.)
6): Das Mädchen kommt aus Frankreich. (The girl is from France.)
7): Mari kommt aus England. (Mari is from England.)
8): Das Fahrrad ist grün. (The bike is green.)
9): Der Lehrer hat kurze Haare. (The teacher has short hair.)
10): Er hat drei Kinder. (He has three children.)
11): Die Tür ist grün. (The door is green.)
12): Mein Vater ist groß. (My father is tall.)
13): Der Schlüssel ist in der Tasche. (The key is in the bag.)
14): Der Junge liest ein Buch. (The boy is reading a book.)
15): Das Auto ist orange. (The car is orange.)
16): Dein Opa hat weiße Haare. (Your grandpa has white hair.)
17): Das Telefon ist rot. (The phone is red.)
18): Er spielt mit dem Hund. (He is playing with the dog.)
19): Wir besuchen Oma am Wochenende. (We are visiting grandma on the weekend.)
20): Mein Sohn wird ein Pilot. (My son is becoming a pilot.)
There are a few verb that also take a predicate in the nominative case. They are:
- sein (pronounced: zine): to be
- bleiben (pronounced: BLY-bin): to stay, remain
- heißen (pronounced: HIGH-sin): to be called or named
- werden (pronounced: VAIR-din): to become
These two verbs ” Sein ” and ” heißen ” are used to give introduction to something.
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