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The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun. Some writers on English use the term subjective case instead of nominative, in order to draw attention to the differences between the "standard" generic nominative and the way it is used in English.
The nominative marks, generally, the subject of a verb. Nominative cases are found in Latin and Old English, among other languages. English still retains some nominative pronouns, as opposed to the accusative case or oblique case: I (accusative, me), we (accusative, us), he (accusative, him), she (accusative, her) and they (accusative, them). An archaic usage is the singular second-person pronoun thou (accusative thee). A special case is the word you: Originally ye was its nominative form and you the accusative, but over time you has come to be used for the nominative as well.
The nominative case is the usual, natural form (more technically, the least marked) of certain parts of speech, such as nouns, adjectives, pronouns and less frequently numerals and participles, and sometimes does not indicate any special relationship with other parts of speech. Therefore, in some languages the nominative case is unmarked, that is, the nominative word is the base form or stem, with no flexion. Moreover, in most languages with a nominative case, the nominative form is the one used to cite a word, to list it as a dictionary entry, etc.
In nominative-absolutive languages, the nominative case marks the subject of a transitive verb or a voluntary subject of an intransitive verb, but not an involuntary subject of an intransitive verb (for which the absolutive case is used).
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Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13