The most "bang for buck" German course
4.7 star rating from 4800+ reviews
One payment for 24/7 lifetime access
60-day money back guarantee
Or until 1000 749 courses sold.
Save 60% Now

German Nominative

There are four cases in German: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. This might be a bit tricky for you to get your head around because you don’t use cases in English as much as in German.

The different cases are used depending on the function of the noun in the sentence. The noun can be the subject, direct object or the indirect object of a sentence. Don’t worry we’ll explain all that over the next few pages. One good thing about German is that the noun always starts with a capital letter. That makes it much easier to spot! Check out this free lesson on the German nominative.

Resources for further reading:

How to pronounce the German Nominative

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

Rocket Record lets you perfect your German pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!

Der Hund bellt

The dog is barking

In this example the dog (“der Hund”) is doing the action, therefore he is the subject of the sentence. The nominative case is used for the subject of the sentence.

For example:

In German the nominative is often referred to as the “who-case” (“der Werfall”) , because you can use the question words “who ” or “ what ” to find out what the subject of the sentence is. For example: The sun is shining. What is shining? The sun . The sun is the subject and therefore in the nominative case.

Die Sonne scheint

The sun is shining

Der Bus fährt

The bus is driving

Das Kind lacht

The child is laughing

The nominative is always used after “sein” to be and “werden” to be or to become.

Es ist ein schöner Tag

It is a beautiful day

Es wird eine große Feier

It will be a big celebration

The nominative uses the articles “der”, “die”, “das” and “ein”, “eine”, “ein”. Which article is used depends on the gender of the noun. In some cases a noun doesn’t need an article at all, for example names, like Jana or Melina. Have a look at the examples below. The nominative is underlined.

For example:

Die Schule ist heute geschlossen.

The school is closed today.

Nadja ist schön.

Nadja is pretty.

Jana und Melina gehen in die Schule.

Jana and Melina are going to school.

Die Katze ist alt.

The cat is old.

Das Haus wird bald abgerissen.

The house will be demolished soon.

Schläft dein kleiner Bruder?

Is your little brother sleeping?

Here are a few recommended German lessons to try next!

Bis bald!

Paul Weber: Rocket German

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!