Case of A Noun

Case of A Noun :

Nominative Case

Read the sentences given below and note the function of the underlined words.

• The Nile is the gift of Egypt.

• Trees should not be cut.

• Beauty is Truth.

• The Jury declared him innocent.

• Gold is a Precious metal.

Noun is the function as a subject of verbs as in the above sentences are known as Nominative case or subjective case. They answer the question ‘Who’ or ‘What’. They are used before the verbs.

Objective or Accusative Case

Now arrange the jumbled words placing the appropriate nouns in the subject position to make meaningful sentences.

• King/a great/was/Alexander.

• The seven wonders/one of / is / The Taj mahal.

• Of lights / is / the festival / Diwali

• Strength/than/better/Wisdom is.

• Destiny/is Character.

• Friends/Gandhiji’s/Books were.

• Mightier than/sword/ Pen is.

• The first Prize/The class got.

• Metal/a heavy/is /Iron.

• Punished/the teacher/the Student.

A noun used as the object of a verb is known as objective or accusative case. It answers the question ‘whom’ or ‘What’. It is used after the transitive verb.

• They play cricket.

• She likes sweets.

• Old people expect kindness.

• He addressed the members of the committee.

• Raghavi caught a butterfly.

Dative Case

Arrange the words in order.

• You/a picture/drew.

• Harry potter/his friend/helped.

• Flies/kites/Chitra.

• Mani/his enemies/hated.

• Dreamt of /Ivan/lottery tickets.

• Will eat/Masha/ice-cream.

• Nuttel/Veera/cheated.

• The Giant/The children/loved.

• The story/Chekhov/wrote.

• Sought/The Refugees/shelter.

A noun used as an indirect object of the verb is known as Dative case. It answers the question ‘to whom’ or ‘for whom’. It is placed after the verb and before the direct object.

• He caught the students Chemistry.

• They gave Priya a gift.

• We send the orphans the books.

• Tom told jerry a story,

• She forgives somu his faults.

Possessive or Genitive Case

A noun that indicates possession is known as Possessive or genitive case.

• This is Ram’s house.

• She works in women’s College.

• I am a member of the student’s union.

• We attend my brother-in –law’s marriage.

• He was, in smith, the jeweler’s shop.

Vocative Case

A noun or a pronoun is said to be in Vocative case if it is used to call (or to get the attention of) a person or persons.


• Mr. Bill, students are waiting for you in the main hall.

• You there, stand up.

• Brother, a letter for you.

• Chairman, all the letters are posted two days ago.

The Noun : Case

When a noun or pronoun is used as the subject of a verb, it is said to be in the Nominative Case.

When a noun or pronoun is used as the object of a verb, it is said to be in the Objective or Accusative Case.

Note: To find the nominative,’ who’? Or ‘what’? should be put before the verb and its subject; as,

• Boys flew kites.

• Scorpion bit the boy.

In sentence 1, the noun ‘boys’ is the subject. It is the answer to the question ‘who flew kites?’. What did the boys fly? – ‘kites’ is the object which the boys flew. The noun ’kites’ is therefore called the object.

In sentence 2, the noun ‘scorpion’ is the subject. It is answer to the question – ‘who bit the boy?’.The noun ‘boy’ is the object. It is answer to the question ‘whom did the scorpion bite?’.

A noun which comes after a preposition, is also said to be in the Accusative case; as,

The books are on the table.

Here the noun ‘table’ is in the Accusative case governed by the preposition ‘on’.

Note: The nouns in English have the same form for the nominative and accusative. The nominative generally comes before the verb and the accusative after the verb. They are thus distinguished by the order of the words or by the sense.

The Possessive Case: The possessive case of a noun answers the question ‘whose?’ as,

This is Ram’s shirt.

Ram’s shirt = the shirt belonging to Ram.

The form of the noun Ram is changed to Ram’s to show possession or ownership. The noun Ram’s is therefore said to be in the possessive case.

Note: The possessive case does not always denote possession. It is also used to denote kind, origin, authorship etc; as

The jury’s verdict = the verdict given by the jury.

Professor’s speech= the speech given by the professor.

Charles Dicken’s novels = the novels written by Charles Dickens.

Rama’s Temple = the temple dedicated to Lord Rama.

Birla’s temple = the temple built by Birla.

Formation of the Possessive Case :

When the noun is singular, the possessive case is formed by adding‘s to the noun; as

The girl’s skirt: the boy’s shirt

Note: the letter‘s is omitted in certain words where too many hissing sounds come together; as

For goodness’ sake, for Jesus’s sake for conscience’ sake

When the noun is plural, and ends in s, the possessive is formed by adding only an apostrophe; as

Boys ‘school; Girls’ hostel

When the noun is in plural but does not end in‘s’ the possessive is formed by adding‘s’ as

Men’s room; Children’s playground

When a noun or a title consists of several words, the possessive sign is attached only to the last words; as

The Prince of Wale’s coronation.

When two nouns are in opposition, the possessive sign is put to the latter only; as These are Shakespeare, the playwright’s plays.

Each of two or more connected nouns meaning separate possession must take the possessive sign; as,

Dicken’s and Austin’s novels.

Use of the possessive case :

The possessive case is used with the names of living things as,

The girl’s books. The Governor’s Car.

So we may say

The grill of the door (not the door’s grill)

The page of the diary (not the diary’s page)

However, the possessive is used in the names of personified objects; as

At death’s door; nature’s laws

The possessive is also used with nouns denoting time, space or weights; as

A pound’s weight, a week’s holiday; in a year’s time

The following use of possessive is also common:

To my heart’s content; at my wit’s end, at your fingers’ for mercy’s sake.

Note: Whenever there is a doubt whether to use a noun in the possessive case or with the preposition ‘of’ it is to be remembered that the possessive case is used to denote possession or ownership. Therefore it is better to say ‘The victory of the army’s victory.

Declension of Nouns

When the various cases of a noun or (Pronoun) are given in order in the two numbers we are said to give its declension. The full Declensions of the noun ‘Girl’ and ‘Man’ are given below:

Case of the Noun....Singular....Plural

Nominative Case....Girl....Girls

Genitive Case....Girl’s....Girls’

Accusative Case....Girl....Girls

Nominative Case....Man.... Men

Genitive Case....Man’s....Men’s

Accusative Case....Man....Men

Nominative of Address or the Vocative Case :

A noun used to name a person or thing addressed is in the vocative case; as

Ramu, come here

In the above sentence, Ramu is the name of a person spoken to or addressed to. The following are the other examples of Nominative of Address.

Eat, my child, eat

Come on, Friends

Come into my room, Somu

Dative Case :

The indirect object of a verb is said to be in the Dative case: as,

The chief guest gave a present.

The chief guest gave Raman a present.

In each of the above sentences, the noun ’present’ is the object of the verb ‘gave’.

In the second sentence, ‘Raman’ is the person to whom the chief guest gave a present. The noun ‘present’ which an ordinary object is called the direct object and is in the Accusative Case.

The noun ‘Raman’ is called the indirect object of the verb ‘gave’ and is said to be in the Dative Case.

The position of the Indirect object is immediately after the verb and before the Direct object.

Nouns in Apposition

When one noun follows another to describe it, the noun which follows is said to be in ‘Apposition’ to the noun which comes before it.

Study the following sentence:

Raja, our English teacher, teaches us Grammar.

In the above sentence, ’Raja’ and our English ‘teacher’ are one and the same person.

The noun ‘teacher’ follows the noun ’Raja’ simply explain which teacher referred to.

Note: A noun in Apposition is in the same case as the noun which it explains.

Case of A Noun

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