Talk:Nominative case

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Restored "you"[edit]

I've just shifted you from the list of archaic usages, and put it in its correct case (you is the nominative, ye the accusative). thefamouseccles 01:42 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This is incorrect; it is the other way around. — Timwi 12:56, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Both of you are incorrect. Here is a declension table for second person pronouns.
Singular Plural
Nom. you you
Acc. you you
Gen. your/yours your/yours
Singular Plural
Nom. thou ye
Acc. thee you
Gen. thy/thine your/yours
The thou set are informal and the you set are formal -- 21:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC) (talk) 21:07, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

Actually, no. There was no distinction between you and ye for number. Thou and ye corresponded to I, thee and you corresponded to me. Today, of course, thou, thee, and ye are rendered in Standard English as you. The distinction that I believe you are looking for is that long ago, forms of thou were always singular, and forms of ye usually plural, that is, always plural except when used as a term of respect. (talk) 06:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Predicative nominative[edit]

Question: Does this exist? Is 'mine' in 'The book is mine' in the predicative nominative case? If it were possesive, shouldn't it be: This is 'my' book. --Confused

It is a predicate nominitive. However, "predicate nominitive" isn't a case itself. It just happens to be always in the subjective case. --Davidstrauss 23:41, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand[edit]

This article did nothing to help ease my confusion on the subject. It starts off by saying it's the "grammatical case" (while linking to declension) and goes downhil from there. Can someone add an example or something? I was reading in Thou that "you" is both the nominative and objective case in modern English, but in days of old it was "tha" and "thee". I understand the "thee" but "tha"? I had no idea. And I still don't, because I don't know what the nominative case is. --Cyde 04:49, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Clyde: For your information, you are correct that you is both nominative and accusative. That it used to be 'thou' is a myth. Thou, thee, thy, thine are the informal pronouns of english, and you, you, your, yours are the formal pronouns. Now, we only use you. As to "tha" and "thee", it was "thou" and "thee" in early modern english; in old english it was þu and þec. The only time I ever remember seeing 'tha' somewhere would be the old english plural third person pronoun, but I do not believe that that is relevant right now. -- 21:00, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I hope it's a bit clearer now. I've reordered the paragraphs, clarifying a few things and fixing the grammatical case link. I thought it would be very easy to give examples in Latin or Greek, but I don't know the languages and, to my surprise, I couldn't find a single suitable example in Latin grammar or Greek language that illustrates the main points. --Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 11:09, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Still don't understand[edit]

An example would be just perfect to make the meaning understandable. How about a simple example in english?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:21, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. This is one of the more useless wiki articles - understood only by those who already understand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The article is impenetrable, and is more suited to a specialist textbook than an Encyclopaedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

I also agree. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to explain esoteric terms in everyday language: this article explains a basic grammatical term in esoteric language that virtually no reader could understand. Another wikipedia disaster. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Predicate nominative - again[edit]

Don't predicate nominatives just confuse things? For example: "A square is a rectangle," and "A rectangle is a square," are two sentences with totally different meanings (and one of them is always true, while the other is not always true), but if we treat both "rectangle" and "square" as nominatives, then there is no difference between the two. Treating one as the subject and one as the object of "to be" clears things up nicely. Linguofreak 22:07, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

  • It's still not the way the language works formally or in practice. --Davidstrauss 08:02, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
English, (or at least American colloquial English) doesn't use predicate nominatives. It treats the second argument of "be" as an accusative (as in "it's me"). I suppose a better question would be why the languages that do use predicate nominatives use them. What gramatical confusion is cleared up by a predicate nominative? Linguofreak 14:13, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Very true. Thanks for that, Linguofreak.-- 21:10, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
In many languages (indeed, in most Indo-European languages), the correct syntax is not "it's me", but rather "it's I", or some very similar phrase. As you see, it makes little sense to tell the speakers of such languages that "I" is an accusative. 
Even English seems to still hesitate somewhat in this matter. FilipeS (talk) 18:17, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I dont really get it either but i found a great explanation at [1] im still confused though  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Calling a predicate noun or adjective accusative would be confusing, because an accusative is the thing in the sentence that has something done to it. "Blue" in the sentence "The sky is blue" isn't having anything done to it — it's just sitting there describing "sky". Same with "me" in "It's me". — Eru·tuon 17:52, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Polyglot Wikipedia[edit]

Obviously there isn't a huge amount of change on many of the grammar and language articles, but I thought might throw out a suggestion to those who are interested in language. I have been trying to learn a few languages recently and have found the French Wikipedia/Wiktionary much more useful than the English version because many of the pages give the translation into several languages. I would love to see this sort of thing on the English Wikipedia as well. For general pages like this, I would love to see tables of the relevant translations in many languages. I'm new to the Wikipedia thing, so I'll try to put an example of what I'm talking about below. Let me know what you think. If I don't see any responses to this in a couple weeks, I'll probably move my tables onto the main article.

Number Person Gender English French Spanish Russian
Singular 1st I je yo я
2nd you tu ты
3rd Masculine he il él он
Feminine she elle ella она
Neutral (archaic) one on оно
Plural 1st Masculine we nous nosotros мы
Feminine nosotras
2nd Masculine you vous vosotros вы
Feminine vosotras
3rd Masculine they ils ellos они
Feminine elles ellas

.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I like your chart but I'm also hoping to see the archaic versions of "you" and "yours" listed in it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 5 May 2010 (UTC)


I can't find an additive case anywhere. It does not really exist in English (It is used when you are directly addressing someone. Examples are "O God!" and "Matthew, get over here!".). But regardless it does not exist in English, really. Why is there not an article on it? I figured that it may not actually be a case, just a part of the nominative. Anyway I'm confused. Someone help me?... -Panther (talk) 20:02, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

The case used for calling people is the vocative case. — Eru·tuon 17:54, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


I don't see any mention of the appositive. In Latin, appostives take the nominative case. e.g. Socrates, the philosopher, is a wise man. Socrates philosophus homo sapiens est. Gx872op (talk) 16:44, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Latin appositives usually take the same case as the noun that they go with, but sometimes the genitive is used instead (see here). — Eru·tuon 17:25, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
"The Nominative is confined to use as Subject, Appositive, or Predicate Noun." Bennet, Charles A. A Latin Grammar, Norwood Press, Massachusettes (1913) p. 122.[2] Appositives sometimes take the ablative when the Locative case is used, but we are talking about the Nominative here. The article discusses the subject and the predicate, but not the appositive, the other use of the nominative case in Latin and other languages. Gx872op (talk) 16:58, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Gr. I was responding to the wrong issue. I was thinking of the Genitive case article. Now I will respond to your actual one.
The nominative is actually not the case for all instances of apposition, and Bennett doesn't mean that it is. As Bennet says, appositives have the same case as the noun that they modify (look on the earlier page about appositives). If the modified noun is genitive, the appositive is genitive, not nominative — for example, Socratae philosophi sapientia, not Socratae philosophus sapientia. An appositive is like an adjective in this way. So, apposition is no more a function of the nominative than it is of the genitive, dative, etc. — Eru·tuon 17:34, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Needs some love[edit]

Sorry if this is seen as misuse, but this is a bit of a reminder to myself. Reason being: The article reads as if all languages have a nominative. This, however, is not the case. Thus the intro paragraph (in my view) needs to either refer clearly to - "in English language", or else make the point that it is a "case" that only occurs in some language systems. (talk) 12:23, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Subjective case in English[edit]

The current text attributes the concept of the subjective case in English to, "some writers on English grammar." Do any thoughtful, knowledgeable grammarians insist otherwise, or is it only reflexive prescriptivists who haven't really thought deeply about the matter? If the latter, should the text of that section be changed? Or I'd love to see a scholarly discussion of the other viewpoint. Jbening (talk) 13:04, 29 January 2016 (UTC)