1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Ænglisc / Old English - Lesso…


Ænglisc / Old English - Lesson VI - Grammar & Grammatical Cases II (The Nominative Case)


Ƿesaþ ġē hāl!

If you missed the previous lesson (An Overview of OE Grammar), click here -

Now, the first Grammatical case is probably the most simple to explain.

The nominative case (NOM), is a case in that a word (be it a noun, or otherwise) is the subject of the sentence, as opposed to the object.

Example I:

(ModE) The man was glad.

(OE) Se ƿer wæs glæd.

What is in the nominative case here? The man is the subject of this sentence, while 'glæd' is also in the nominative case, as it is connected the 'ƿer'.

Example II:

(ModE) The man slew the dragon .

(OE) Se ƿer slōh þone draca.

What is in the nominative case here? The man is the subject of this sentence, so is in the nominative case.

(As you can see, the Se + þone -both masculine (m) OE forms for 'the/that', are in nominative case and the accusative case respectively)

What about the dragon? Well, the dragon is the object that sentence, and is in the accusative case, but that we will save for next lesson!

Summary: The nominative case is used for the subject of the sentence. How do you remember if a word in this case? Look for the pronoun - in this situation, 'the/that'- in which the (m) form is 'se', the feminine (f) is sēo, and the neuter (n) is 'þæt'!

Remember - If a word is in the nominative case, all words that modify it must also be in that case! (an example of a modifying word is e.g - 'The green tree', in which green is modifying tree -- if tree is in the NOM, green must be too!!! -- however, this is not so when it comes to possession -- see the Genitive Case for Info)

That is all for this lesson! For more information on NOM case, check out this video -

If this has inspired you/ started you to think that OE may be for you, check out Leornende Eald Englisc, here

If you haven't already, please endorse / upvote the Course suggestion page for Old English below to increase the chance of a Duolingo course:

Keep updated by bookmarking the lesson list! -

Iċ þancie ēow!

September 2, 2016



Thank you very much.

Could you please check - are these sentences correct?

Hē is eald. - He is old.

Cannst þú Russisc? - Do you speak Russian?

To-dæg is Frig-dæg. - Today is Friday.


I) Looks good to me :) How old is he? :)

II) Although Russian was a foreign concept to the Anglo-Saxons, I do not know about Russisc, although 'Cannst þū' seems OK.

III) Almost! (To-dæg / Todæg is Frīġedæġ) -- Although, what you said would be completely understandable


Might I ask, how do you get so many level 25s?! I really wanna get one


Thank you for making these lessons!!!


You should really be thanking Leornende Eald Englisc (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLnwScGuOxVlaN5aV9in9ag/videos), as he makes better, more descriptive lessons, that go massively beyond the scope of these. He also pretty much knows OE grammar to the extent that he makes his own pieces.

If you have a YT channel, sub and thank him!

These lessons are purely for increasing interest on the Duo site so that pressure for a course rises, and that all know about LEE's epic lessons, so all can learn OE!!!


(ModE) The man slew the dragon.

(OE) Se ƿer slōh þone draca.

'The were slew the drake/dragon.'

The were has the meaning of creature as in 'man'. That's where 'werewolf' also comes from: Old English ƿerwulf.

I'm confused though, why is it þone and not se?

EDIT: Oh! I see — draca is in the accusative case, as you mentioned before, and I reckon that it is because the dragon has undergone something: he is slain.


Oh, I didn't know that :) You learn something new every day!


Because draca is the direct object of the sentence, and thus in the accusative case -- which I will go through in the next lesson.

If the dragon was the subject (related to the verbing -- in this case, if it was slaying the man, it would be as thus:

Se draca slōh þone ƿer.


Ah yup, thanks! I accidentally read over that part. I should have looked better, hah.


Now, that's fine, my formatting isn't the best :)

Tomorrow, we will go over the ACC case in depth, and maybe the GEN case.


So does the noun itself undergo any changes for this case? (not likely since this is usually the uninflected case but I'm asking anyway).

How is the adjective inflected to match number and gender in the Nominative? What about if the adjective is used with an indefinite article instead of a definite? What if there's no article with the adjective?


The first part (on the noun changes and number / gender inflexion) I can answer. No, the noun doesn't go through any changes in the NOM, however, the adjective is inflexed for number and gender.

Adjectives first need to be found if they are strong or weak (weak = with a demonstrative 'the green tree' and the strong is 'the tree is green'). Then, it needs to find out what gender the word it is with is. Then it needs to be found whether or not it is singular or plural.

For notes on adjectives, check out page 6 here - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x5X6tdziVz4bdcMVaOJNqu5-d6jmh1SKOph1VgmvT4A/edit?usp=sharing

For that good sir, I shall direct you to LEE's video on the NOM case, and if he doesn't have the answer in it, I'm sure that he will be able to answer if you message him :)


Awesome! That document is just the kind of thing I was looking for. Since I'm familiar with German and Dutch, this information is what I was looking forward to most (at least until we get to verb conjugations).

Also, just want to say thank you so much for doing all this! I knew I was interested in Germanic languages but it only recently crossed my mind that OE was something I could be interested in after I looked up the etymology of the verb "to be." Now if only there was someone doing something like this for Gothic...


There actually is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAmckvJvYxU9fVyBZXOP6Hg

Oh I know about the verbs. I still have trouble with verbs, so I shan't be going over them in these lessons.

Just to note - that document is still a WIP, more will be added soon

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