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Nominative vs. Accusative — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on September 25, 2023
Nominative is a grammatical case for the subject of a sentence. Accusative is grammatical case for the direct object of a verb.

Difference Between Nominative and Accusative

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Key Differences

Nominative: Used for sentence subjects. Accusative: Used for direct objects.
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Sep 25, 2023
Nominative: Indicates who or what performs the action. Accusative: Indicates who or what receives the action.
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Sep 25, 2023

Comparison Chart

Function

Used for sentence subjects
Used for direct objects
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Sep 25, 2023

Role

Indicates the doer of the action
Indicates the receiver of the action
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Sentence Position

Often found at the beginning (subject)
Often found after the verb (object)
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Sep 25, 2023
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Changes in Languages

Often remains unchanged
May change word endings in some languages
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Sep 25, 2023

Example

In "She sings," "She" is in the nominative case
In "He reads a book," "book" is accusative
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Sep 25, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Nominative

Indicates the doer of the action.
She sings beautifully.
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Sep 25, 2023

Accusative

Indicates the receiver of the action.
She baked a cake for her friend.
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Sep 25, 2023

Nominative

Appointed to office.
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Oct 02, 2021
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Accusative

Of, relating to, or being the grammatical case that is the direct object of a verb or the object of certain prepositions.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Nominated as a candidate for office.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Accusatory.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Having or bearing a person's name
Nominative shares.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

The accusative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

(-nə-tĭv) Grammar Of, relating to, or being the case of the subject of a finite verb (as I in I wrote the letter) and of words identified with the subject of a copula, such as a predicate nominative (as children in These are his children).
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

A word or form in the accusative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

The nominative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Producing accusations; in a manner that reflects a finding of fault or blame
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

A word or form in the nominative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

(grammar) Applied to the case (as the fourth case of Latin, Lithuanian and Greek nouns) which expresses the immediate object on which the action or influence of a transitive verb has its limited influence. Other parts of speech, including secondary or predicate direct objects, will also influence a sentence’s construction. In German the case used for direct objects.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Giving a name; naming; designating.
Nominative fair use
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

(grammar) The accusative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

(grammar) Being in that case or form of a noun which stands as the subject of a finite verb.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Producing accusations; accusatory.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Making a selection or nomination; choosing.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Applied to the case (as the fourth case of Latin and Greek nouns) which expresses the immediate object on which the action or influence of a transitive verb terminates, or the immediate object of motion or tendency to, expressed by a preposition. It corresponds to the objective case in English.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

The nominative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

The accusative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

A noun in the nominative case.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

The category of nouns serving as the direct object of a verb
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Giving a name; naming; designating; - said of that case or form of a noun which stands as the subject of a finite verb.
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Containing or expressing accusation;
An accusitive forefinger
Black accusatory looks
Accusive shoes and telltale trousers
His accusing glare
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

The category of nouns serving as the grammatical subject of a verb
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Serving as or indicating the object of a verb or of certain prepositions and used for certain other purposes;
Objective case
Accusative endings
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Serving as or indicating the subject of a verb and words identified with the subject of a copular verb;
Nominative noun endings
Predicate nominative
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Oct 02, 2021

Accusative

Grammatical case for direct objects.
He read the book yesterday.
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Sep 25, 2023

Nominative

Named; bearing the name of a specific person;
Nominative shares of stock
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Oct 02, 2021

Nominative

Appointed by nomination
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Nominative

Grammatical case for sentence subjects.
He is the captain of the team.
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Sep 25, 2023

Common Curiosities

Does the nominative case change in all languages?

No, in some languages, it remains unchanged.
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Sep 25, 2023

Where is the nominative case typically found in a sentence?

It's often at the beginning, representing the subject.
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Sep 25, 2023

How is the nominative case used in a sentence?

It indicates who or what performs the action.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 25, 2023

What is the nominative case?

The nominative case is a grammatical case used for sentence subjects.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 25, 2023

Does the accusative case change in all languages?

In some languages, word endings in the accusative case may change.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 25, 2023

Where is the accusative case typically found in a sentence?

It often follows the verb, representing the object.
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Sep 25, 2023

Can you provide an example of the accusative case?

In "He read the book," "book" is in the accusative case.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 25, 2023

Can you provide an example of the nominative case?

In "She sings," "She" is in the nominative case.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 25, 2023

What is the accusative case?

The accusative case is a grammatical case used for direct objects.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 25, 2023

How is the accusative case used in a sentence?

It indicates who or what receives the action.
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Sep 25, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content editor at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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