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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:
- The Subjective Case (or Nominative Case)
- The Possessive Case (or Genitive Case)
- The Objective Case (or Accusative Case or Dative Case)
- The Vocative Case
Examples of the Subjective (Nominative) CaseThe 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.
- Bill is a policeman.
- It is he. (In informal writing, the objective case (him) can be used.)
Examples of the Possessive (Genitive) CaseThe 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 CaseThe 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 CaseThe 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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