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Accusative case

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The accusative case of a noun marks the direct object of a verb or the object of a preposition.

Several languages have accusative cases, including Latin, Greek, German, Russian, and Finnish. (How about Sanskrit?)

English, which lacks declension in its nouns, has an accusative case in a few pronouns (e.g. "whom" is the accusative case of "who", and "him" is the accusative case of "he"). (Contrast with dative case, the indirect object.)

Note: who/whom and he/him are not only examples of nominative/accusative relationships in English, but also of nominative/dative. (Consider: I gave him the present, etc.) (In Old English, they were distinct - him was the dative, hine the accusative.) This duality is one of the reasons many students of English do not consider the dative to be distinct from the accusative in English -- as such, neither is an ideal term. Instead, objective is often used, to distinguish from the nominative, which is often (in the context of English grammar) called simply the subjective. English morphologically distinguishes only one case, the possessive case -- which in reality is not a case at all, but a clitic (see the entry for genitive case for more information). With a few pronominal exceptions, the objective and subjective always have the same form.

Compare nominative case, dative case, ergative case, genitive case, vocative case, ablative case.

See also: Declension



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