Difference Between Nominative and Accusative

Main Difference – Nominative vs Accusative

Accusative and nominative are two of the cases in the English language. A case is the function of a noun or pronoun in a sentence. There are three cases in the modern English language; they are nominative, genitive and accusative. The nominative case marks the subject, genitive case refers to the possessive form and the accusative case refers to the object. Therefore, the main difference between nominative and accusative is, nominative marks the subject while the accusative marks the object. Let us see the difference between nominative and accusative in detail.

What is Nominative

When a noun or a pronoun functions as the subject of a verb, it is said to be in the nominative case. The nominative case is also known as the subjective case. In the following sentences, nouns and pronouns in the nominative case are underlined.

She became the President in 1991.

Jim and Huck travelled by boat.

The little girl is crying.

The subjective case can also be used for a subject complement. A subject complement is a word  that follows a linking verb and describes or renames the subject of the sentence.For example, ‘He is the son of the president.’

Anne is a teacher.

Here, Anne is the accusative case as it is the subject of ‘is’, teacher is in the accusative case because it the subject complement, which renames or describes the subject.Difference Between Nominative and Accusative-

What is Accusative

Accusative case refers to a noun or pronoun that acts as either the direct or indirect object of a verb or the object of a preposition. The accusative case is also known as the objective case.

The children went to school.

School is a noun in the accusative case because it is the object of the preposition to.

They love apple pies.

Apple pies is a noun in the accusative case because it the direct object of the verb love.

Mary wrote him a letter.

Him is a pronoun in the accusative case because it is the indirect object of the verb wrote.Main Difference - Nominative vs Accusative

It is important to note that nouns do not change their forms in any of the two cases. However, a change can be observed in the pronouns depending on the case. For instance, note the inflections in the pronoun I, in the following sentences.

I love him. He loves me.

I is the subject of the verb love, and it is the subjective pronoun, but it changes to me when it is not in the accusative case.

Below given chart indicates the inflections of personal pronouns according to nominative and accusative cases.



















Difference Between Nominative and Accusative


Nominative case is the case used for a noun or pronoun which is the subject of a verb.

Accusative case is the case used for a noun or pronoun which is the object of a sentence.


Subject and the subject complement of a verb are in the nominative case.

Direct object, indirect object or an object of a preposition are in the accusative case.

Other names

Nominative case is known as subjective case.

Accusative case is known as objective case.

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