Most German verbs take accusative object (e.g.: etw. Akk. schreiben). Some take dative object (e.g.: etw. Dat. entsprechen). A small number of verbs require genitive object (e.g.: etw. Gen. bedürfen, etw. Gen. gedenken, etw. Gen. harren). But I can think of only one verb, sein (etw. Nom. sein), that takes the nominative case.

Are there any other German verbs that take this form: etw. Nom. verb?

Is there a reason why only one verb in the entire German language—or so few of them, if there are any other—takes the nominative case?

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    What is direct object in German? The question seems otherwise not well-defined. To my ears er ist der Papst has no DO.
    – c.p.
    Dec 18, 2016 at 9:16
  • As a native English speaker, I echo @c.p. 's comment -- the A ist B construction has no object. Is this taught in German grammars as having an object? Dec 18, 2016 at 9:22
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi Some people (and Grammars) refer to the predicative nominative as "Nominativobjekt" - I think this is highly disputable, even if the substantive in nominative actually has most of the features of an object.
    – tofro
    Dec 18, 2016 at 12:31
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi Better not talk of direct and indirect objects in German. This tends to lead you to a number of wrong tracks. Be precise, and talk of accusative and dative objects. Then, simply add a nominative one - The object is typically the substantive that is affected by the subject's predicate - "Ich entpuppe mich als dein Vater" (see Star Wars) can easily be accepted as a nominative object, then.
    – tofro
    Dec 18, 2016 at 22:31
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    To rephrase: you mention above, "the substantive in nominative actually has most of the features of an object." I don't agree, but I think we might be talking about slightly different things. Could you clarify? Dec 18, 2016 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


This construction is usually called "predicative nominative" ("prädikativer Nominativ", "Gleichsetzungsnominativ"), rather than "nominative object". There are a couple of verbs that have it, in particular "sein", "werden", "heißen", and "bleiben", and some more verbs where the predicative nominative is connected by "als", such as "gelten", "sich fühlen", "sich erweisen", "sich entpuppen" (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominativ).

  • How about "aussehen (wie)" ? it seems to take the nominative in most cases ? May 6, 2021 at 16:05

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