The nominative describes the base form of the noun. It is usually used either as the subject in the sentence or after the verb sein (to be). It answers the questions Wer/Was? (who/what?).


  • Translation
  • I am a football player.
  • Translation
  • This is a red house.
  • Translation
  • A young woman is dancing salsa.


We don't add anything to the singular noun in Nominativ. On the other hand, in the plural, the suffix -e or -en is usually added (e.g. die Frau 👉 die Frauen), and sometimes the -n, -r/-er, or -s suffix (e.g. das Kind 👉 die Kinder, das Auto 👉 die Autos).

Declension of the noun in the nominative case
masculine feminine neutral plural
definite article der Mann die Frau das Kind die Leute
indefinite article ein Mann eine Frau ein Kind Leute


Using nouns in nominative as the subject

A noun uses the nominative case when it describes the subject.

  • Translation
  • The child is playing with the dog.
  • Translation
  • The student has been learning German for 5 years.
Using nouns in nominative to describe the subject

A noun uses the nominative case after the following verbs: sein, werden, and bleiben. In these cases, the noun always describes the subject.

  • Translation
  • Christian is a good student.
  • Explanation
  • The subject is Christian and the noun that describes the subject is Student.
  • Translation
  • Robert remains the captain of the football team.
  • Explanation
  • The subject (person who performs the activity) is Robert, the predicate (noun that describes Robert) is Kapitän.