I was wondering, in a sentence such as

Das Haustier ist ein Hund

would ein Hund be nominative or accusative (making it einen)? It seems like it should be accusative because it answers the questions of "is what?", but I feel like one of my teachers once said something about sentences like this being accusative. Other examples would be:

Mittens ist eine Katze, etc.

(even though there it would be eine either way) Thanks!

  • 1
    Where did you read the rule that if something answers "is what?" then it should be accusative?
    – Eller
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


In this sentence "ein Hund" is in the nominative because it is a predicate noun. It is a noun that restates the subject.
Predicate nouns can occur only with the verbs sein, heißen, werden, and occasionally bleiben.
Predicate nouns are also taken by certain verbs in combination with als e.g. gelten als, sich erweisen als.

  • 1
    There are actually some more verbs taking a predicative in nominative: sich fühlen als, sich entpuppen als, gelten als, sich erweisen als and some very rare forms of other verbs.
    – tofro
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 22:24
  • The use with als has been discussed here: german.stackexchange.com/questions/32530/…
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 23:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.