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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Question grammar

    Could you please explain to me what is meant by the following terms?
    nominative, accusative, genitive, dative.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554
    #2

    Re: grammar

    These are the names of cases which are used in languages such as Russian, German, etc. to show the function of a noun in a particular sentence. In languages such as Russian these are shown by different endings of the noun.

    The nominative case is often used to show that the noun in question is the subject of the sentence. So in Russian:

    Наташа купила эту книгу мне.
    Natasha bought this book for me.

    Наташа is the subject of the verb in this sentence and so her name is in the nominative case.

    Наташа купила эту книгу мне.
    Natasha bought this book for me.

    книгу (book) is the direct object of the verb in this sentence i.e. it is what was bought and so is in the accusative case.

    Наташа купила эту книгу мне.
    Natasha bought this book for me.

    мне is the indirect object of the verb in this sentence and so is in the dative case.

    The genitive case qualifies a noun and is often used to show that the noun in question has a possessive relationship with another noun in the sentence. E.g.

    Эта машина дочери.That is my daughter's car.

    дочери (daughter) is in the genitive case here and indicates possession. The partitive genitive can be used to show quantity. E.g.

    стакан воды.
    A glass of water.

    воды (water) is in the genitive case here.

    I hope that helps.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 2
    #3

    Re: grammar

    That's an amazingly helpful response - thankyou!


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554
    #4

    Re: grammar

    Actually, I forgot to mention something.

    The reason these case endings are so important in language like Russian is because word order is very flexible. In English, however, word order is not so flexible because word order is what tells us what use a noun is being put to.

    So in a simple English sentence such as:

    Linda kissed Paul.

    We understand that Linda is the subject of the sentence and she did the kissing. We have no idea if Paul kissed her back or not. To say that paul did the kissing we have to say:

    Paul kissed Linda.

    In other languages the word order doesn't matter because who did what to whom is shown by choice of case.

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