German Nominative Case

Beginner German - Level A1

Nominative case pronouns, the verbs "sein" & "heißen," introductions, greetings/farewells, describing yourself and others, vocabulary, alphabet
Describing yourself and others, vocabulary, alphabet
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German A1

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German Nominative Case

German has four grammatical cases: nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive. Each case can be thought of as container for a basic part of speech, although it is not limited to the following:

Nominative = subject

Accusative = direct object

Dative = indirect object

Genitive = possessives

The nominative case has multiple components but only one function: it contains the subject noun or pronoun. There are different ways a sentence can include a nominative subject. A predicate noun renames the subject (it can be substituted for the subject and refer to the same person, thing, etc.). A predicate adjective is simply an adjective that describes the subject.


Jochen ist mein Freund. (Jochen is my friend.) 

This is an example of a predicate noun. Jochen is in the nominative, as is "mein Freund" (my friend). 

Jochen ist freundlich. (Jochen is friendly). 

This is an example of an adjective "freundlich" (friendly) that describes the subject, Jochen. 

Genders of nouns

All German nouns have a grammatical gender. A noun can be masculine, feminine or neutral. Nouns typically come with an article (definite, indefinite, possessive, negative.) Below are the articles for masculine, feminine and neutral nouns in the Nominative case. 

Nominative Case Chart
To form a "This/That/These/Those is/are", we always use "Das", regardless of the gender of the noun that follows, or whether it is singular or plural.

Das ist eine Blume. (This is a flower.) "die Blume" is a feminine noun. 
Das sind die Kinder. (These are the children) "die Kinder" is a plural noun, hence "die".
Das ist kein Kaffee. (This is no coffee.) "der Kaffee" is a masculine noun. 

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Two friendly male mature students chatting while sitting in class room

Read the following dialogue between Steffan und Werner and answer the content questions below:

Steffan: Hallo. Ich heisse Steffan. Ich bin 26 Jahre alt und komme aus Frankfurt. Meine Frau heisst Eva. Sie ist 28 Jahre alt und kommt aus Bremen. Ich bin Programmierer, und Eva ist Lehrerin. Wie heissen Sie? 

Werner: Guten Tag, Steffan. Mein Name ist Werner Grimm. Ich bin Englisch Professor. Ich bin 41 Jahre alt und komme aus Kiel. Meine Frau Bella kommt auch (also) aus Bremen. Sie ist 40 Jahre alt und ist Meeresbiologin. (marine biologist)

Stefan: Das ist interessant!

Werner: Ja. Bella liebt ihre Arbeit. (loves her work/job.)

1. Wer ist 25 Jahre alt? (Who is 25 years old?)
2. Wer ist Meeresbiologin? (Who is a marine biologist?)
3. Woher kommt Werner? (Where does Werner come from?)
4. Wie alt ist Steffan? (How old is Steffan?)
5. Wer kommt aus Bremen? 

1. Eva ist 28 Jahre alt. 
2. Bella ist Meeresbiologin
3. Werner kommt aus Kiel. 
4. Steffan ist 26 Jahre alt. 
5. Bella und Eva kommen aus Bremen. 


1. Choose the correct form of "sein", based on the subject pronoun. 
    a) Ich _____ müde. 
    b). Max und Moritz ______ fröhlich. 
    c). Stefanie ____ Lehrerin.
    d). Wir ______ glücklich. 
    e). Ihr ______ lustig. 

2. Choose the correct pronoun based on the conjugated form of "sein".
   a) _____ ist froh. 
   b) _____ sind in der Arbeit. (at work). 
   c) _____ bist wütend. 
   d) _____ seid spät dran. (late)
   e) _____ bin Ingenieur.

3. Choose the correct form of "heissen", based on the subject pronoun.
   a) Sie _____ Steffi. 
   b) Wie _____ du? 
   c) Wir _____ Müller. 
   d) Er ____ Bernd. 
   e) Wie ____ Sie? 

4. Choose the correct pronoun based on the conjugated form of "heissen". 
   a) _____ heisse Robin. 
   b) Heisst ____ Peter? 
   c) _____ heissen Schmidt. 
   d) _____ heisse Luisa. 
   e) _____ heisst Volker. 

5. Choose the correct article based on the gender of the noun: 
   a) Das ist ____ Auto. (a car - neutral noun)
   b) Das ist ____ Hund. (the dog - masculine)
   c) ____ Sonne geht auf. (the sun - feminine, geht auf = is rising)
   d) ____ Mond ist schön. (the moon - masculine) 
   c) ____ Mann heisst Fritz. (the man - masculine


Answer key: 

1. a) bin (am)  b) sind (are)   c) ist (is)   d) sind (are)  e) seid (are)

2. a) Er/Sie/Es (he/she/it)  b) Wir/Sie (we, you-formal, they)  c) du (you-singular, informal)   d) ihr (you-plural, informal)  e ) Ich (I)

3. a) heisst (is called)  b) heisst (are called)  c) heissen (are called)  d) heisst (is called)  e) heissen (are called)

4. a) Ich (I) b) Du, Er (you-singular, informal), he  c) Wir, Sie (we, they, you- formal)  d) Ich (I)  e) Du, Er (you-singular, informal, he) 

5. a) ein  b)der  c)Die  d) Der  e) Der

Listen to the audio and try to answer the following questions.



1. When was the verb "to be" used and in what conjugated form?
2. What nouns were used, and what are their singular/plural forms? 
3. What other verbs were used?
4. How many children play soccer?
5. What are their names?


1. "Heute ist", "Der Himmel ist", "Ich bin", "Sie sind", "Der Ball ist", "Heute ist"
2. der Tag (Tage), die Sonne(Sonnen), der Himmel(Himmel), das Kind(Kinder), das Mädchen(Mädchen), der Junge (Jungen), der Fussball (Fussbälle), der Ball (Bälle),  
3. scheinen (to shine), spielen (to play), heissen (to be called)
4. Three children play soccer. Two girls and one boy. 
5.Their names are Bella, Vroni and Bernd. 


Heute ist ein schöner Tag. Die Sonne scheint. Der Himmel ist blau. Ich bin glücklich. Die Kinder spielen. Sie sind auch glücklich. Zwei Mädchen und ein Junge spielen Fussball. Der Junge heisst Bernd. Die Mädchen heissen Bella und Vroni. Der Ball ist schwarz und weiss. Heute ist ein schöner Tag!


heute – today
der Tag (e) – the day
die Sonne (n) – the sun
scheinen – to shine
spielen - to play
der Himmel – the sky
blau – blue
schwarz – black
weiss - white
glücklich – happy
das Kind(er) – the child
das Mädchen – the girl
der Junge (n) – the boy


die Familie, -n family die Großmutter, ⸚ grandmother die Mutter, ⸚ mother die Schwester, -n sister der Bruder, ⸚ brother die Eltern parents die Geschwister siblings die Großeltern grandparents der Großvater, ⸚ grandfather das Kind, -er child der Mann, ⸚er husband die Oma, -s grandma, nana der Opa, -s grandpa, gramps der Partner, - partner (male) die Partnerin, -nen partner (female) der Sohn, ⸚e son die Tochter, ⸚ daughter der Vater, ⸚ father das Baby, -s baby die Frau, -en wife der Enkel, - grandson die Enkelin, -nen granddaughter der Neffe, -n nephew die Nichte, -n niece der Stiefvater, ⸚ stepfather die Stiefmutter, ⸚ stepmother der Schwiegervater, ⸚ father-in-law die Schwiegermutter, ⸚ mother-in-law der Schwager, ⸚ brother-in-law die Schwägerin, -nen sister-in-law der Stiefsohn, ⸚e stepson die Stieftochter, ⸚ stepdaughter der Schwiegersohn, ⸚e son-in-law die Schwiegertochter, ⸚ daughter-in-law der Vetter, -n male cousin der Cousin, -s male cousin die Cousine, -n female cousin die Kusine, -n female cousin

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