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Wrong on Nominative/Accusative?

I was asked to translate:

He is a teacher.

I gave it an answer "Er ist einen Lehrer" because I thought "a teacher" was the object and therefore accusative and therefore einen instead of ein.

The answer says that "a teacher" is nominative. Am I missing something?

May 3, 2012



Yes, it's a predicative expression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predicative_(adjectival_or_nominal)

I don't remember the rule, but when the verb "zu zein"(ich bin, du bist ...) is used to describe the subject it's nominative. There are a couple of other verbs as well.

As a general rule you can use nominative if it points to the subject ie: He is a teacher. and accusative when it's points to the verb


Thank you for the quick and helpful answer!


Here, Lehrer is not an object because it is the same person as the subject. It's the same thing when you use the word "als", it will be always nominative afterwards

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