8

I know the ending is the same in both nominative and accusative for feminine, neuter and plural, but I'd like to know which case I'm using because the ending changes in the masculine. For example:

  • If I wish someone Guten Morgen!, I think I'm using the accusative masculine because it's a wish.
  • If I write a sign in my food stand it would say Kaltes Bier!, which I think is the nominative neuter.
  • If I put up a sign after I mop the floor, would it say Nasser Boden (nominative masculine) or Nassen Boden (accusative masculine)?
  • 4
    Our signs look different. So instead of "Vorsicht, nasser Boden" (Caution: wet floor) we would put up signs saying "Vorsicht, Rutschgefahr" (which is nominative). – tofro Jul 20 '16 at 13:19
13

All of your examples are abbreviations of a longer sentence.

[Ich wünsche dir einen] Guten Morgen

[Hier gibt es] Kaltes Bier

[Hier ist] Nasser Boden

So "Nasser Boden" is correct (although I admit that "Hier ist nasser Boden" is not a good sentence and sounds strange).

Generally I think that most of the abbreviated sentences are nominative except if they are special phrases like "Guten Morgen".

Edit:

If you have a sign that states that you want something (like at a demonstration) then you have to use accusative:

[Ich will] Nassen Boden

  • 1
    Well, "Guten Morgen" is not special. It's just accusative because "Wen oder was wünsche ich dir?" – Em1 Jul 20 '16 at 15:04
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    Und ein Schild auf einer Demo für mehr Grundnässe könnte „Nassen Boden!“ lauten. – Carsten S Jul 20 '16 at 21:32
  • @Em1 Most common abbreviations are nominative because the abbreviated part of the sentence is "Hier ist" or "Hier gibt es". It is less common to abbreviate other expressions because it would be harder to guess which words are left out. The exceptions are "special" phrases like "Guten Morgen" which have a well known meaning. – JayTheKay Jul 21 '16 at 7:23
  • And some Bavarian pro-pork party will send leaflets calling for "Gekochten Schinken, jetzt!" – user22484 Jul 21 '16 at 11:17

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