Case (definition)

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for information about Case in Scottish Gaelic see Case Marking


'Case' indicates the function of Noun Phrases in a sentence. In English only pronouns are marked for case.

  • A noun functioning as the subject of a sentence is said to be in the Nominative Case (eg. I, he, she, we, they).
  • A noun functioning as the object of a sentence is said to be in the Accusative Case (e.g. me, him, her, us, them).
  • A noun functioning as a possessor is typically in the Genitive Case), (e.g. my, your, his, her, our, their).
  • A noun functioning as a location, goal, recipient or beneficiary is typically in the Dative case. English doesn't have a dative case, but instead marks indirect object and related notions with prepositions. In Gaelic, certain prepositions trigger the dative case.

Gaelic makes no distinction between Nominative and Accusative case and instead combines them into a common case (also sometimes called Direct Case). It does however, distinguish a genitive case and dative case. These are most readily visible in the determiner (article) system of the language.

See Also

External Links

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  • SIL entry on Case
  • Kirsten Malmkjær (2002), "The Linguistics Encyclopedia", Routledgepgs. 251-256
  • Crystal, D. (2008) Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.