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There are five uses of the nominative: (1) as subject, (2) as subject complement, (3) as an appositive, (4) as nominative of address, and (5) as nominative absolute.

(1) The Nominative Case as Subject. — The subject of every sentence and clause, whether the verb be active or passive, is in the nominative case:

1. James sold his marbles.
2. When were they sold?
3. They were sold yesterday.

4. Though James sold them for cash, he did not keep the money.

5. James received a good price for them, but he now regrets his act.

6. His father, his mother, and his aunt advised him not to sell them; but he thought he knew more than his father.

(2) The Nominative Case as Subject Complement (Chapter L). — All subject complements are in the nominative

case:

1. We are Americans.
2. He was reëlected president.
3. Who was made secretary?
4. It is either he or his brother.
5. It must be they.

(3) The Nominative Case as Appositive (Chapter LI). The appositive is in the nominative case only when its antecedent is a nominative:

1. Mr. Carnegie, the founder of libraries, was a Scotchman.

2. That fellow yonder, he with the squint eyes, is not to be trusted.

(4) The Nominative of Address. The name of every person spoken to or addressed is in the nominative case. This is known as the nominative of address :

1. John, come here.
2. I can't find it, sister.
3. My dear Father,

Your welcome letter was received yesterday. (5) Nominative Absolute. — Absolute

Absolute means here set off, the nominative absolute being always used in a phrase grammatically independent of the rest of the sentence and therefore set off by a comma. The phrase expresses the time, cause, or circumstances of an action. The verb following the nominative usually ends in ing, but is often omitted :

1. Our lessons having been learned,

Our lessons being learned, we went to bed. (Time.)

Our lessons learned, 2. My last hunt not being successful, I decided to try fishing. (Cause.)

3. The lion, his eyes gleaming like coals, made ready for another spring. (Circumstances.)

The nominative absolute, though thoroughly English, is almost unknown in conversation. The important thing to remember is that we must say "He being present,” or I being present”; and not, Him being present,” or “Me being present.”

The Uses of the Nominative Case.

The five principles governing the use of the nominative case may be summed up as follows:

(1) The subject of every verb is in the nominative case.

(2) Every subject complement is in the nominative case.

(3) Every appositive having a nominative as its antecedent is in the nominative case.

(4) Every noun or pronoun used in address is in the nominative case.

(5) Every noun or pronoun used as the chief word in an absolute phrase is in the nominative case.

EXERCISES

I

1. What two cases are alike in all nouns?

2. How does the pronoun he differ in this respect from nouns?

3. With the forms of he before you, see if you cannot decline she.

4. With the noun soldiers illustrate the five uses of the nominative case.

II

Use the following words and groups of words as subject nominatives :

grass; mountain; June; she; Henry, John, and I; stealing apples from an orchard; why he did not ask permission; how you got here; he and I; boys and girls.

III

Tell why the following words in italics are in the nominative

case:

I.

Farewell, my lord Sun! The creeks overflow: a thousand rivulets run 'Twixt the roots of the sod; the blades of the marshgrass stir;

Passeth a hurrying sound of wings that westward whir;
Passeth, and all is still; and the currents cease to run;
And the sea and the marsh are one!

- SIDNEY LANIER : The Marshes of Glynn.

2.

did so.

The dealer stooped once more, this time to replace the glass upon the shelf, his thin blonde hair falling over his eyes as he

Markheim moved a little nearer, with one hand in the pocket of his great coat; he drew himself up and filled his lungs; at the same time many different emotions were depicted together on his face terror, horror, and resolve, fascination and a physical repulsion; and through a haggard lift of his upper lip, his teeth looked out.

-ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON: Markheim.

CHAPTER LXIV

CASE OF NOUNS (Continued)

The Forms of the Possessive Case.

(1) The possessive is the only case having a distinctive form. The apostrophe and s are added to form the possessive singular:

girl, girl's; lady, lady's; child, child's; Jones, Jones's; James, James's; Keats, Keats's; Dickens, Dickens's.

In compound expressions, whether written with or without the hyphen, the apostrophe and s are added to the last word :

a son-in-law's duty; the queen of England's throne.

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