Difference Between Nominative and Accusative

Nominative vs Accusative

Nominative and accusative are cases that are important in few languages of the world such as German, Latin, French, and so on. In English, there are a few cases too, but they are not that important. Most of the examples in English language can be seen in the use of pronouns. People remain confused between nominative and accusative cases. In fact, the use of these cases is much more pronounced in German language where they do not remain confined to just pronouns. This article attempts to highlight the differences between nominative and accusative cases.

It is easy to see the use of cases in English with the help of the pronoun he that becomes him. So, while the case is he as in he plays, he becomes him when you ask him or give him something. But when a student is learning a language like German, he encounters the problem of cases in not just pronouns but also in nouns, articles, adjectives, and so on. In English, there are very few cases remaining, with examples of nominative being he, she, it, they etc. Examples of accusative cases in English are him, her, them, us, me etc.


Nominative case is always used for the subject in a sentence. This is a word that tells us who does what according to the verb of the sentence. Thus, verb’s subject is always in a nominative case.


Accusative case is always used for the verb’s object that is the word that takes or receives the action of the verb. Thus, ‘me’ becomes the accusative case of the pronoun I when it receives the action. It is simple to remember for a student of English and hence there is no emphasis on making students learn about cases.

What is the difference between Nominative and Accusative?

• The nominative case of the pronoun is used for the subject of the verb whereas accusative case of the pronoun is used for the direct object or the receiving word of the verb.

• This is too simplistic an explanation based upon the impact of cases only on pronouns in English language. These cases become important in other languages such as Latin and German where they remain restricted not just to pronouns but to nouns, adjectives and articles, as well.