What Is Case in Grammar? (with Examples)

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What Is Case in Grammar? (with Examples)

Grammatical case pertains to nouns and pronouns. A noun's or a pronoun's case shows its relationship with the other words in a sentence.

The main cases you will encounter in English are: In modern English, a noun does not change its form in any of the cases other than the possessive case. A pronoun, however, changes its form in the possessive and the objective case.

Examples of the Subjective (Nominative) Case

The subjective case is for a noun or pronoun that is the subject of a verb. For example:
  • Anne went to the shop.
  • She went to the shop.
The subjective case is also used for a subject complement. For example:
  • Bill is a policeman.
  • It is he.
  • (In informal writing, the objective case (him) can be used.)

Examples of the Possessive (Genitive) Case

The possessive case is used to show possession. With nouns, it is shown with an apostrophe. (Read the rules about using apostrophes for possession.) For example:
  • This is Anne's bag.
  • This is her bag.

Examples of the Objective Case

The objective case is for a noun or pronoun that is either the direct object or indirect object of a verb or the object of a preposition. For example:
  • I visited Anne.
  • I visited her.
  • Take me to her.

Examples of the Vocative Case

The vocative case is used to indicate when a person (usually) is being addressed directly. In terms of spelling, it is identical to the subjective case. However, words in the vocative case should be offset from the remainder of the sentence with comma(s). For example:
  • Paul, is this your tent peg?
  • You, get off my lawn.
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