Define Nominative Case: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the nominative case is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on nominative cases, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What is the nominative case?

Today we will explore the nominative case. According to Writing Explained, in Modern English this is a grammatical case for nouns and pronouns that is used when a noun or a pronoun is used as the subject of a verb and the subject of a sentence. The list of nominative case pronouns are I, you, he, she, we, it, and they. However, you can’t use “I” as the direct object of a verb, indirect object of the verb,  or the object of a preposition. These examples of nominative case pronouns can be used in place of nouns. Pronouns that are not nominative include me, them, her, him and us, along with subjective pronouns. Nominative pronouns have gender, 

There are numerous other cases including the genitive case, oblique cases, accusative case, upright case, objective case, dative case, subjective case, straight case, possessive case which shows ownership, and more. Nominatives also affect definite articles and indefinite articles. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean nominative case. You may notice that some of these translations of nominative case look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of nominative case is provided by Word Sense

  •  Catalan: nominatiu‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: nominatiivi‎, nominatiivinen‎
  •  Greek: ονομαστική‎ (fem.)
  •  Faroese: hvørfall‎
  •  Korean: 주격‎ (ju-gyeok, 主格)
  •  Polish: mianujący‎, mianowanie‎ (neut.)
  •  Portuguese: nominativo‎ (masc.)
  •  Arabic: مرفوع‎
  •  French: nominatif‎ (masc.)
  •  Estonian: nimetav‎
  •  Swedish: nominativ‎
  •  Armenian: ուղղական‎
  •  Icelandic: nefnifall‎
  •  Italian: nominativo‎ (masc.)
  •  Latin: nominativus‎ (masc.)
  •  Dutch: nominatief‎, noemer‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: nominativo‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: nominativ‎
  •  German: Nominativ‎, nominativisch‎
  •  Russian: имени́тельный‎ (masc.)

What is an example of nominative case pronouns?

The nominative case can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of nominative cases that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use.  Take a look at these nominative case examples from Grammar Island, Grammar Monster and Your Dictionary

  •  They talked about the direct object case, the prepositional case, and other different word functions.
  •  He held his trusty sword up to the viking.
  •  He goes to the store to buy milk for breakfast.
  •  If you want to understand him, then you will have to listen very carefully.
  •   I like to eat cookies.
  •  Sally and I are doing our homework together
  •  They are not very happy about what happened.
  •  She likes chocolate ice cream.
  •  It was I.
  •  Jim saw the swords of the men from the Kingdom of Alfred.
  •  They were surprised by the power of that large kingdom, and it was the only time they would see it.
  •  She did different things on her day off than she normally would.
  •  She talked to Lemma about the men’s swords that were found in the instrumental case. 
  •  I know the boy who stole your washing. 
  •  Not many people know that she is an astronaut.
  •  We talked about pronunciations, an appositive, the objects of prepositions, the object of the sentence, neuter nouns, a linking verb, and the arrangement of words in my English class.
  •  They live near my house.
  •  Everyone has to follow what I say.
  •  He was confused on the different types of words function in the first example and second example.
  •  He is very tall.
  •  They are my neighbors.
  •  We work together as a team.
  •  My wife and I presented a certificate. 
  •  We talked about the logical relationships and regularities as well as the possible endings that could be found in the inflected language of the copular sentences.
  •   She is a very nice lady.
  •  It is my favorite color.
  •  Who was that? 
  •  He eats cakes.
  •   Joe and I work for the same law firm.
  •  Ester and I presented an oral report on JFK.
  •  Mom and I flew to Great Britain.
  •  They have begun the race.
  •  Deanne and I share many of the same beliefs.
  •  The last in the race was I.
  •  The parents of James Wilson were she and he.
  •  The owner is he in the black suit.
  •  The officer in charge is she.
  •  It was I who rang the bell.
  •  The culprit was he in the tall hat.
  •  Ashley and she broke the silence.
  •  They rode a gondola in Italy.
  •  Ricardo and I are cousins.
  •  Abby and we share the household chores.
  •  We shall memorize a poem.
  •  The guest who brought the cherries is she.
  •  That stoic, expressionless sales clerk is he.
  •  You and she perform well together.
  •  The vocalists will be she and I.
  •  The winners were they.
  •  Mr. Twaddell and we might rock the boat.
  •  Your entertainers will be they and I.
  •  Both they and we like the snow.
  •  It frightens the dog.
  •  Jacqueline is she in the picture.
  •  The author is he on the stage.
  •  The drummers are Adriana and he.
  •  The best singer is he.
  •  The lawyers were John Dickinson and he.
  •  Erica and I were born in Alaska.
  •  The most qualified applicant is she.
  •  He is my best friend.
  •  It is a beautiful day outside.
  •  She talked to her brother on the phone.
  •  They eat cakes.
  •  She gave a brief description of the various ways in which the field of Old English syntax led to the different naming case conventions and different endings of words in grammatical relationships.
  •  I went to the store today.
  •  The woman saw the cat.
  •  He led Alfred’s kingdom as a great king should.
  •  You ran five miles yesterday.

Overall, in modern English grammar the nominative case is the case used for a noun or pronoun which is the subject of a verb. 


  1. Glossary of grammatical terms | OED
  2. Nominative Case | What Is the Nominative Case? | Grammar Monster 
  3. What is the Nominative Case? Definition, Examples of Nominative Pronouns | Writing Explained 
  4. nominative: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense
  5. Nominativ | Dartmouth  
  6. Nominative Pronoun | Your Dictionary
  7. Nominative Case | Grammar Island