1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. ***Confusion between Nominati…


***Confusion between Nominative and Accusative***

As I have strengthened some beginner lessons on my tree, I have come across many new ones asking for help. They don't seem to understand the case system of German. Maybe they do by now, or a beginner stumbles upon this, here is a clear-up of Nominative and Accusative.

The Nominative case is the case that contains the subject of a sentence. For beginners, it is normally in the beginning of a sentence. It is usually "der Hund" or "die Frau" or something of the like. The nominative is doing the action. Think of it this way: You were nominated to this prize because you did something, just like the nominative case. There isn't much else to say here, so now for accusative.

The Accusative case is the case that contains the direct object of a sentence. You probably won't see much of this until you reach the accusative pronouns lesson. The accusative is what is receiving the action of the nominative. Think of it as "being accused." You are receiving the action of being accused. I will get into more detail with this later.

Here are some examples of Nominative. "Der Mann heisst Karl." "Der Mann" is nominative. "Du bist eine schoene Frau." "Du" is a nominative pronoun. * "Die Katze ist grau und schwarz." "Die Katze" is nominative.

Here are some examples of Accusative. "Er isst mein Essen." "Mein Essen" is receiving the action, so it is accusative. "Er mag den Hund." "den Hund" is accusative. *"Sie haben ein grosses Haus." "grosses Haus" is accusative.

The adjective endings in the nominative are -er, -e, -es. If there is a definite article, the adjective ends in an -e. But the indefinite articles end in -er, -e, -es. Der kleine Hund. NOT, Der kleiner Hund because it has a definite article. Ein kleiner Hund. The adjective has "er" because of the indefinite article.

You will understand more as you continue with Duolingo.

For each case, there are pronouns. What if I told you that only the masculine changes in accusative? Almost................. Here are the nominative pronouns first so you see a comparison.

NOMINATIVE PRONOUNS Ich-I. Du-You. (Informal) Er-He. Sie-She. Es-It. Wir-We. Ihr-You all. Sie/sie- You (formal)/they.

You have probably seen those rather often. Here are the accusative pronouns.

ACCUSATIVE PRONOUNS Mich-Me. Dich-You (informal). Ihn-Him. sie-Her. Es- It. Uns-Us. Euch- You all. Sie/sie- You (formal)/ them.

There also definite and indefinite articles. Those are simple. Nominative- Der, Die, Das. Accusative- Den, Die, Das. Only the masculine changes here. Also, Nominative- Ein, Eine, Ein. Accusative- Einen, Eine, Ein. Only the Masculine changes.

That's about it. If you have read to the bottom of this page, I hope it helped you. If you watch some videos and read some articles, you will soon have this down. Just remember that Nominative is the one doing the action, Accusative is the one receiving, and Masculine indefinite/definite articles change with this.

Ich hoffe, dass diese Artikel dir geholfen hat. Auf wiedersehen!

May 8, 2016



Thanks for this, but should accusative for Sie also be Sie, not Ihnen - that's dative?


That is correct. Sie (formal you) is the exact same in both Nominative and Accusative case in the German language.


Thanks. I'll change that now.


Great job! I'm sure this will help lots of people:)

[deactivated user]

    Ohhh!! I UNDERSTOOD!!!


    Thanks a lot, bookmarked for later use


    Although i already kind of understood nominative/accusative case this really clarified the differences. Thank you so much! Lingots for you...


    Really helpful, thank you


    wooow this is splendid


    Bob, I started my 1st foreign language 303 days ago. It was German, here on this miraculous educational gift that we've been given. But, if you only have the mobile app, you don't get "lessons". This post saved me back in the beginning, because I'm a 50 something y.o. high school dropout, and was truthfully clueless. Well, I just googled nom. vs acc. to refresh the concept for Latin, and this was the first hit that came up. That's how your post helped me on 2 different languages. Have a couple of lingots!


    This page has been bookmarked. You are a life saver. Have a lingot, and I hope you receive many for this post!


    I will make dative and genitive articles for you all soon. I will put a link here when I do, so keep this discussion followed.


    Thanks, that's very helpful!


    Well done Bob. Very clearly explained.


    Very, very good explanation. Finally, I understand <3


    Thank you for making this so clear :)


    Thanks a lot for this clarification.


    danke ! langot for you


    Thank you so much. Great job explaining. I think this is the only time I've ever given someone a lingot!


    I'm an old hand but think your explanation is really helpful. Well done.

    [deactivated user]



      I'm not even learning German and I found this super useful, have my lingot


      here kind sir, grab a lingot haha


      Thank you SO MUCH for this! I've been looking for a keyhole like this to help me with my German, I thought I should know what Accusative and Nominative, but it looks like I need a quick refresher. Will definitely use this for further reference.

      Thanks again! Have a lingot and the best wishes!


      Is this the same in Norwegian?


      Dieser Beitrag hilft immer noch jeden Tag Menschen. Mehr lingots für Sie!


      Wow, well explained I must say!


      The explanation helped me with the confusion. Thank you.


      This was great. Danke! Now I need to find something similar for indefinite/definite articles. Thanks again!


      Danke schon! This has been super helpful.


      Thanks very much, that has cleared up a lot for me. Been struggling with this for a wee while.


      I know this isn't Polish but it helped me with Polish

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.