NOUN-CASES is another topic which comes under NOUN. The CASE of a noun tells us about the position of that noun in a sentence. In English there are FIVE cases.
• Nominative case
• Objective case (or Accusative case)
• Dative case
• Possessive case (or Genitive case)
• Vocative case
1. Nominative case:
A noun is said to be in the Nominative case if it is the subject of a verb. (SUBJECT is the person or the thing who or which carries out the action of the verb in the sentence)
• Mr. John is an intelligent boy.
Mr. John is a proper noun in Nominative case.
• The painter paints the portraits.
The painter is a common noun in Nominative case.
• I am buying vegetables for my family.
“I” is a pronoun in Nominative case.
These examples carry another term "pronoun" which is a word used to represent a noun.
I, We, You, He, She, it and they are the seven pronouns. There are only seven pronouns. Only other variations of these seven pronouns are there. Those variations can be used in place of the nouns.
2. Objective case (or Accusative case):
Nouns or pronouns are said to be in Objective cases if they are the direct objects of verbs or if they are the objects of preposition.
(Direct object is the person or the thing upon whom or upon which the action of the verb is carried out).
• I met your sister.
“Your sister” is in objective case.
• The vendors sell mangoes.
“Mangoes” is in objective case.
• The book is on the table.
“Table” is in objective case.
It is object of the preposition ‘on’.
• This is one of my policies.
“Policies” is in objective case.
It is object of the preposition ‘of’.
The next one in the Noun-cases is:
3. Dative case:
A noun is said to be in dative case if it is the Indirect object of the verb. (Indirect object of the verb is the noun for whom or for which the action of the verb is carried out). There should not be a preposition before the indirect object because in that case it will be the object of that preposition.
• The teacher gave the students few exercises.
“Students” is in dative case. It is the indirect object of the verb ‘give’.
• The Postman brought me a letter.
“Me” is in dative case.
• Get him a pen.
“Him” is in dative case.
4. Possessive case (Genitive case):
A noun is said to be in possessive case, if it denotes possession or ownership. A noun or pronoun in the possessive case is governed by the noun that follows it.
• This is your pencil.
“Your” is in possessive case.
• It is our idea.
“Our” is in possessive case.
• John’s sister has been hospitalized.
“John’s” is in possessive case.
5. Vocative case:
A noun or a pronoun is said to be in Vocative case if it is used to call (or to get the attention of) a person or persons.
• Mr. Bill, students are waiting for you in the main hall.
“Mr. Bill” is in vocative case.
• You there, stand up.
“You” is in vocative case.
• Brother, a letter for you.
“Brother” is in vocative case.
• Chairman, all the letters are posted two days ago.
“Chairman” is in vocative case.
The nouns do not change their forms in the Nominative and Objective cases. But few pronouns change their forms between Nominative and Objective cases.
Examine these sentences:-
1. John threw a stone.
2. The horse kicked the boy.
In sentence 1, the noun John is the Subject. It is the answer to the question, "Who threw a stone ?". The group of words threw a stone is the Predicate. The Predicate contains the verb threw.
What did John throw? - A stone. Stone is the object which John threw. The Noun stone is therefore called the Object.
In sentence 2, the noun horse is the Subject. It is the answer to the question, " Who kicked the boy ?". The noun boy is the Object. It is the answer to the question, "Whom did the horse kick ?".
When a noun (or pronoun) is used as the Subject of a verb, it is said to be in the Nominative Case.
When a noun (or pronoun) is used the Object of a verb, it is said to be the Objective (or Accusative) Case.
A noun which comes after a preposition is also said to be in the Accusative Case: as,
The book in in the desk.
The noun desk is in the Accusative Case, governed by the preposition in.
1. John broke the window. (Object)
2. The window was broken. (Subject)
It will be seen that Nouns in English have the same form for the Nominative and the Accusative.
The Nominative generally comes before the verb, and the Accusative after the verb. Hence, they are distinguished by the order of words, or by the sense.
This is Jane's umbrella.
Jane's umbrella - the umbrella belonging to Jane.
The form of the noun Jane is changed to Jane's to show ownership or possession. The Noun Jane's is therefore said to be in the Possessive (or Genitive) Case.
Formation of the Possessive Case
1. When the noun is Singular, the Possessive Case is formed by adding 's to the noun; as,
The boy's book.
The king's crown.
The letter s is omitted in a few words where too many hissing sounds would come together.
For conscience' sake.
For goodness' sake.
For justice' sake.
For Jesus' sake.
2. When the noun is Plural, and ends in s, the Possessive Case is formed by adding only an apostrophe.
3. When the noun is Plural but does not end in s, the Possessive sign is formed by adding 's.
When a noun consists of several words, the Possessive sign is attached only to the last word.
I saw it at Asquith and Lord's.
When two nouns are in apposition, the Possessive sign is put to the latter only.
That is Tagore the poet's house.
When two nouns are closely connected, the Possessive sign is put to the latter.
Huntley and Palmer's biscuits.
Each of two or more connected nouns implying separate possession must take the possessive sign.
Gardiner's and Green's histories.
Goldsmith's and Cowper's poems.