Nominative Case – Declension of Pronouns in German Grammar

Introduction

The nominative is the basic form of the pronoun. The subject of a sentence is in the nominative. To find the subject, we can ask Wer/Was – who/what is performing this action?

Example

Der Junge hat eine Freundin. Er ist total verliebt.

Sein Herz gehört ihr und ihres gehört ihm.

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Usage

Here are some things to keep in mind when using German pronouns in the nominative case:

  • Personal pronouns replace an already known or previously-mentioned noun.
    Example:
    Der Junge hat eine Freundin. Er ist total verliebt.The boy has a girlfriend. He is totally in love.
  • Dependent possessive pronouns can accompany a noun, whilst independent possessive pronouns replace a noun.
    Example:
    Sein Herz gehört ihrHis heart belongs to her … (possessive adjective)
    … und ihres gehört ihm.and hers belongs to him. (possessive pronoun – instead of ihr Herz)

German Pronouns in Nominative Case

Use the tables below to help you learn personal pronouns as well as dependent and independent possessive pronouns in the accusative case.

Table of Personal Pronouns and Dependent Possessive Pronouns

The table provides and overview of personal and dependent possessive pronouns in the nominative case.

personal pronounsdependent possessive pronouns
masc. + neuterfem. + plural
1st person singular ich mein meine
2nd person singular du dein deine
3rd person singular (m) er sein seine
3rd person singular (f) sie ihr ihre
3rd person singular (n) es sein seine
1st person plural wir unser unsere
2nd person plural ihr euer eure
3rd person plural sie ihr ihre

Table of Independent Possessive Pronouns

The table provides an overview of masculine, neuter, feminine and plural independent possessive pronouns in the nominative case.

independent possessive pronouns
masculineneuterfem. + plural
1st person singular meiner meins meine
2nd person singular deiner deins deine
3rd person singular (m) seiner seins seine
3rd person singular (f) ihrer ihr(e)s ihre
3rd person singular (n) seiner seins seine
1st person plural uns(e)rer unseres unsere
2nd person plural eu(e)rer eures eure
3rd person plural ihrer ihr(e)s ihre

To note

Even though we can ask for possessive pronouns with the question “Whose?”, we shouldn’t automatically think that it’s going to be in the genitive. When questioning the case, we always have to pay attention to the noun too:

Example:
Wer/Was gehört ihr? – sein HerzWho/What belongs to her? – his heart (nominative)