Download GERMAN CASES German has 4 grammatical cases: nominative

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German has 4 grammatical cases: nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive.
This is different from Romance languages such as French, Italian, and Spanish.
English, because it is a Germanic language, has a few remnants of cases. I’ll point these out to
you as we go along.
Nouns and pronouns have cases, not verbs.
What case you use depends on what the noun’s or pronoun’s function is in a sentence.
This is the case you have already learned. It is the case for the subject of a sentence. It looks
like this:
Der Hund ist groß. Ein Hund läuft schnell. Mein Hund ist niedlich.
In each sentence, the article that precedes the noun is in NOMINATIVE case because the
noun is the subject of the sentence.
This is the second case to learn. It is the case for the direct object of a sentence.
What’s a direct object? It is the person, place, or thing that is acted upon by the verb.
In the sentence “I throw the ball”, “I” is the subject, the person doing something. “Throw” is
the verb, the action. “The ball” is the thing flying through the air; it is the thing receiving the
action of the verb. If you ask “I throw WHAT?” the answer to WHAT? is the direct object.
Not every sentence has a direct object, but when it does, in German, it MUST be in the
accusative case.
Luckily, there is only one gender that changes, i.e., that looks any different from the
nominative case. The masculine article “der” changes to “den” and the masculine “ein” changes
to “einen”.
Nominative: Der Ball ist schön. Ein Ball macht Spaß.
“Der Ball/Ein Ball” are nominative because they’re the subject of the sentences.
Accusative: Ich werfe den Ball. Ich habe einen Ball.
„Den Ball/einen Ball“ are accusative because they’re the direct object of the
Remember! Neuter (das), feminine (die), and plural (die) articles don’t look any different in
accusative from the way they look in nominative. The only articles you have to worry about are
the masculine ones.
This case is for the indirect object. It is used when you need to say “to whom” you give
something or “for whom” you do something.
I give my son a present. To whom am I giving a present? To my son.
Ich gebe meinem Sohn ein Geschenk.
We’ll learn this later. [der, das  dem, die feminine  der and die plural  den]
This case is for showing possession.
In English, we usually say: ”That’s my son’s car.”
In German, they say it like this: “That’s the car of my son.”
So, when you say to whom something belongs, it’s in genitive: “Das ist das Auto meines Sohns.”
We’ll learn this later, too. [der, das  des and die  der]