In grammar, an oblique case (abbreviated OBL; Latin: casus generalis) is a noun (or pronoun) case that is used when the noun or pronoun is the object of either a verb or a preposition. A (pro)noun in the oblique case can generally appear in any role except as subject, for which the nominative case is used. The term is occasionally contrasted with the objective case, which is used for objects of verbs and of prepositions, but not for genitive relations between nouns.
An oblique case often contrasts with an unmarked case, as in English oblique him and them vs. nominative he and they. However, the term oblique is also used for languages without a nominative case, such as ergative–absolutive languages; in the Northwest Caucasian languages, for example, the oblique-case marker serves to mark the ergative, dative, and applicative case roles, contrasting with the absolutive case, which is unmarked.
- "Kiss me!" целувай мен! (tseluvay men!)
- "Give that ball to me" дай тaзи топка на мен (day tazi topka na men)
An oblique/objective case appears in the English personal pronouns; these forms are often called object pronouns. One can observe how the first person pronoun me serves a variety of grammatical functions:
- in an accusative role for a direct object:
- She bit me!
- in a dative role for an indirect object:
- Give me the rubber hose!
- as the object of a preposition:
- Stop spitting on me!
- and as a disjunctive topic marker:
- Me, I like French.
- I like him. —Hey, me too.
- This is us on the beach. [referring to a photograph]
- It's them again.
- Who is it? —It's me.
- with a conjunction (informal/deprecated):
- Me and him are going to the store.
- in a genitive case role (dialectical):
- That's me tractor you's stealin'.
The pronoun me is not inflected differently in any of these uses; it is used for all grammatical relationships except the genitive case of possession (in standard English) and a non-disjunctive nominative case as the subject.
- Object pronoun, which in English take the oblique case
- Oblique argument
- Object (grammar)
- Subject pronoun
- Disjunctive pronoun
- Quirky subject