Nominative Case in German


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

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The four German Cases are: 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 in German 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. 

German Gender 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 is the start of your German cases chart, which includes the articles for masculine, feminine and neutral nouns in the Nominative case. 

nominative jpg

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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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

CEFR Level A1

General Explanation:

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.