Und dein Onkel, wann siehst du ihn wieder?

Why is this sentence Nominative?

Isn't dein Onkel a direct object? So it should be Accusative?

  • There are no direct (or indirect) objects in German grammar. To be more precise: »direct object« and »indirect object« are no terms of German grammar. There are genitive object, dative objects, accusative objects, sometimes even nominative objects (»Gleichsetzungsnominativ«) and prepositional objects in German. But there are no direct or indirect objects. You will not find those terms in German grammar books. So better don't use them. Oct 22, 2017 at 11:43

2 Answers 2


These are two main clauses, connected by a comma. Let's have a look at the first clause only:

Und dein Onkel?

This is short for:

Und was macht dein Onkel?

And how's your uncle (doing)?

Clearly, the Onkel is the person doing something. That's why he's in nominative.

  • 3
    Ich würde ja sagen: "Und deinen Onkel, wann siehst Du ihn wieder?" oder "Und dein Onkel, wann sieht er dich wieder?" sind korrekt, aber umgangssprachlich wird eben geschlampt. Das "was macht" hast Du dazu gedichtet, das steckt nicht in dem Satz, oben. Oct 22, 2017 at 0:44

Nobody would write a sentence like this. It is typical of a conversation, where the speaker first remembers of the uncle and having already spoken the first part tries to bring it to a somewhat consistent conclusion.

So a more convincing interpunction would be, as Janka mentions:

Und dein Onkel? Wann siehst du ihn wieder?

Note, that ihn is exactly that accusative, which you correctly expect. The first part is still incomplete and could be imagined to mean something like Wie geht es deinem Onkel?.

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