The German Nominative – Explanation and Examples

Der Nominativ im Deutschen – Erklärungen und Beispiele

Well, as you have clicked on this article, I suppose that you are ready to study everything about a basic, essential topic in German grammar, the German nominative. Well, many of you might know this basic German pronoun, as it is quite similar to the nominative in the English language. But, of course, the German pronouns in the nominative case have different forms in German.

Well, in the following, I’d like to describe the term of the German nominative and also talk about its correct usage. After that, we will talk about the two different types of German nominative pronouns, the dependent and independent possessive pronouns. In addition, I’d like to present you a list of these two types of pronouns.

By the way, in case you’d like to have additional information about this German case, just have a look at this article on Wikipedia. Hopefully, it will provide you with all the background information you need.

And now, let’s not lose too much time and come to the first topic of this article – the description and correct usage of the German nominative. Auf geht’s!

The Description and Correct Usage of German Nominative

Die Beschreibung und korrekte Anwenung des Nominativs im Deutschen

Well, let’s have a look at the first topic of this article. Now, I’d like to give you a short description of the German nominative and we will also clear up how to use this German case in the correct way. So, please keep in mind this description:

The German nominative is the basic form of the pronoun. Furthermore, the subject of a sentece is in the nominative case.

So, in order to find the subject, we can ask “Wer/Was” – “who/what” is performing this action? Have a look at the following examples to understand what I mean by the description above.

  • “Philip hat einen Hund. Er hat ihn sehr gerne. Er liebt seine nasse Nase und er die Knochen die er bekommt.”

The Correct Usage of the German Nominative

Well, in the following, I’d like to name some things that you should keep in mind when using the German pronouns in the nominative case.

  1. First, the personal pronouns replace an already know or previously mentioned noun.
    “Philip hat einen Hund. Er hat ihn sehr gerne.”
  2. Second, dependent possessive pronouns can come with a noun, whereas independent possessive pronouns replace a noun.
    “Er liebt seine nasse Nase.”

Now, as we have cleared up how to use the German nominative in the correct way, let’s go into some detail and talk about the German pronouns in the nominative case.

Pronouns in German Nominative Case

Deutsche Pronomen im Nominativ

So, as already mentioned, I’d like to show you a list of the pronouns in the German nominative case. First, we will have a look at German personal pronouns and dependent possessive pronouns. By the way, the forms presented in the table are also valid for the German accusative case.

 Personal Pronouns and Dependent Possessive Pronouns

Personal PronounsDependent Possessive Pronouns (m+n)Dependent Possessive Pronouns (f+p)
1st Person Singularichmeinmeine
2nd Person Singulardudeindeine
3rd Person Singular (m)erseinseine
3rd Person Singular (f)sieihrihre
3rd Person Singular (n)esseinseine
1st Person Pluralwirunserunsere
2nd Person Pluralihreuereure
3rd Person Pluralsieihrihre

Now, I’d like to present you another table which shows the independent possessive pronouns in the German nominative case. Of course, the table provides an overview of masculine, neuter, feminine and plural independent possessive pronouns in the nominative.

Independent Possessive Pronouns

Ind. Pos. Pro. (m)Ind. Pos. Pro. (n)Ind. Pos. Pro. (f+p)
1st Person Singularmeinermeinsmeine
2nd Person Singulardeinerdeinsdeine
3rd Person Singularseinerseinsseine
3rd Person Singularihrerihr(e)sihre
3rd Person Singularseinerseinsseine
1st Person pluralunsererunseresunsere
2nd Person pluraleuerereureseure
3rd Person pluralihrerihresihre

Please, note that even though we can ask for possessive pronouns in German nominative case with  the question “Whose?” we should not think that it’s going to be in the genitive. So, when questioning the case, we always have to pay attention to the noun, too.

Exercises

Übungen

Finally we have reached the last part of this article where you can proof the German skills you have just learned. In the following you will see some phrases that you should complete with the correct terms. Once you have filled all the gaps, just click on the “correct” button and  you can see your errors and the correct results. Good luck and .. auf Wiedersehen!

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