ELT Session on Case By Dr. Nicholas CorreaDirector, New Horizon Scholars School
CaseCase is the grammatical function of a noun orpronoun. There are only three cases in modern English, theyare subjective (he), objective (him) and possessive(his).They may seem more familiar in their old Englishform - nominative, accusative and genitive.There is no dative case in modern English. Yippee!
The good news is that we, we got rid of most of ourcases. As a result English is easier than many otherlanguages because nouns and some indefinitepronouns (anyone, someone, everyone, and so on)only have a distinctive case form for the possessive.There are a few remnants of old English though, andpronouns have distinctive forms in all three cases andshould be used with a bit more care.
There are three pronoun cases:1. Subjective case: pronouns used as subject.2. Objective case: pronouns used as objects ofverbs or prepositions.3. Possessive case: pronouns which expressownership.
Personal PronounSubjective/Nominative Objective/Accusative Possessive/GenitiveReferring to the subject Referring to the object in The apostrophe form ofin a sentence a sentence the word ("Lynnes).I Me MineYou You YoursHe Him HisShe Her HersIt It ItsWe Us OursThey Them TheirsWho Whom Whose
The above pronouns, and who and its compounds, are theonly words that are inflected in all three cases -1. subjective,2. objective,3. possessiveThe subjective and objective cases are indistinguishable, andare called the common case in nouns .One result of this simplicity is that, the sense of case beingalmost lost, the few mistakes that can be made are madeoften, even by native speakers, some of them so often thatthey are now almost right by prescription.
Subjective / Nominative CaseUsed especially to identify the subject of a finite verb.A noun or pronoun is in the subjective when it is used asthe subject of the sentence or as a predicate noun.In the following examples, nouns and pronouns in thesubjective case are italicized.A noun in the subjective case is often the subject of a verb.For example:•"The tree fell on my car", "the tree" is in the nominativecase because its the subject of the verb "fell“.
Pronouns are inflected to show the subjective case. Personal Pronoun Subjective/NominativeReferring to the subject in a sentence. I You He She It We They Who
For example:•Lynne owns this web site.•I hope to finish my homework tomorrow.•She enjoyed her English lessons.•He is an idiot.(The word idiot is a predicate noun because it followsis; a form of the verb "be")
Objective / Accusative CaseA noun or pronoun is in the objective case when it is used as adirect object, an indirect object, or an object.A noun which is directly affected by the action of a verb is putinto the objective case.In English we call this noun the "direct object" which is a littlemore descriptive of its function. Its the direct object of someaction.•Robert fixed the car.In the example above, the "car" is in the objective casebecause its the direct object of Roberts action of fixing.
Pronouns are inflected to show the objective case. Personal Pronoun Objective/Accusative Referring to the object in a sentence Me You Him Her It Us Them Whom
For example:•The web site gave Lynne a headache.•Mum gave us the money.•She gave him the book.
Possessive CaseThe possessive case is used to show ownership.(Lynnes website.)The good news is that the genetive case is used lessand less in English today. Hooray!You may still hear someone say something like "Themother of the bride," but it could equally be; "Thebrides mother."However, the possessive pattern (s) is generally usedwhen indicate a relation of ownership or associationwith a person, rather than a thing.For example:-Lynnes web site kept growing larger and larger.
There are, as ever, exceptions to this rule. Whena group of people is involved or animals.For example:-The members forum.The dogs tails.Singular and irregular plural nouns that dontend in s take -s.For example:-Lynnes web site.The peoples court
Plural nouns that end in " s " take an apostrophe atthe end ( ).For example:-The girls dresses.Peoples names that end in "s" you can write () or(s).For example:-Charles job was on the line.OrCharless job was on the line.
Try to avoid sounding like hissing Sidthough. When an added - s would lead tothree closely bunched s or z sounds justuse an apostrophe at the end.The map of Ulysses journey.If you have to show joint ownership, givethe possessive form to the final nameonly.Abbott and Costellos famous baseballsketch.
Pronouns and determiners are inflected to showthe possessive case. Personal Pronoun/Determiner Possessive Lynnes Lynnes My Mine Your Yours His His Her Hers Its Its Our Ours Their Theirs Whose Whose
For example:-This is Lynnes web site. Its mywebsite!. Its mine!Its not Zozangas web site. Its nothis website. Its not his.Have you seen her book? Its herbook. Its hers.
Genitive CaseYou should still use the genetive casewhen talking about things that belong toother things.For example:-The door of the car.The content of the website.The top of the page.!Tip - If you arent sure what to use stickto (of the).