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In English, we could answer the question "Who ate the cake?" with

It was him.

I don't know the reason why we use the accusative "him", even though the person is the subject of eating the cake, not the object.

In German, is it the same?

Wer aß den Kuchen? Es war ihn.

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Related: – chirlu Sep 9 '13 at 2:39
„Er war es.“ Compare with (Oops, was did not see that it had already been mentioned.) – Carsten S Sep 9 '13 at 8:28

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

German is different and uses the nominative:

Er war's. Er war es. Das war er.

Note the word order; es can't be in initial position here.

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Colloquial, impolite but used by children: "Der war's! ;) – Takkat Sep 9 '13 at 6:57
Agree. And addendum: Not really sure, but I think "Meine Schuld!" will sometimes be used where in English one would say "It was me!" ("Ich war´s!") (in addition to "[That was] my fault!"). I.e. translating "It was me! I did it!" with "Meine Schuld! Das war ich!" appears more natural to me than the obvious solution "Ich war´s! Ich hab das getan!". – TheBlastOne Sep 9 '13 at 9:31

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