Grammatical Cases in German

Grammatische Fälle in Deutsch

Introduction Einführung
Cases describe the grammatical functions of nouns, pronouns and noun phrases, such as whether they are the subject of the clause or a subordinate object.
Nominative Case Der Nominativ
The nominative case, also called the subjective, marks the subject of a phrase. The subject is the noun (or pronoun) that performs the action of the verb. For example, in the phrase "She helped him", the subject is "she", who performs the action of helping.
Accusative Case Der Akkusativ
The accusative case deals with direct objects. In English for example, in the sentence "I drink coffee", the direct object is "coffee", and thus it is in the accusative case.

It is sometimes called the oblique case, especially when combined with the dative case.
Dative Case Der Dativ
The dative case marks indirect objects, which are usually used with a preposition. For example in the phrase "talk to him", the direct object is "him" because it is the thing to which the action is given.

It is sometimes called the oblique case too, especially when combined with the accusative case.
Genitive Case Der Genitiv
Also called the possessive case, the genitive case marks objects as pertaining or belonging to another object. For example, in the phrase "it is mine", the pronoun "mine" is in the genitive case.

Additional Reading

Zusatzlektüre

Change language Français Español English Deutsch Português