hey, could you guys explain the icelandic cases for me (and other icelandic learners out there)? that'd be very helpful. and keep up the great work! :)
I’m going to assume that you meant the nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive cases, and answer on that :). If you have any other questions or meant something else, shoot it again! I’m also going to direct you to fuckyeahíslenska’s answer to a question like this, which we reblogged.
Nominative: The nominative case is the subject of the sentence, or like, the star of it. In the sentence Bob gives the gift to her, Bob is the subject of the sentence, or in the nominative case. “Another use is for the predicate nominative… a noun or adjective that is equal to the subject. In “I am a boy”, ‘a boy’ is the predicate.” (fuckyeahíslenska).
Here are some Icelandic examples. The words in the nominative case are bolded.
ex: Hann átt pabba. (He hasa dad.) ex: Raggi elskar Röggu. (Raggi loves Ragga.) ex: Ég á margir gjafir handa þér. (I have many gifts for you.) ex: Þetta er hundurinn hans. (This is his dog.) ex: Þau borða fisk. (They eat fish.)
Accusative: The accusative case is the (direct) object of the sentence, or, in metaphorical terms, the punching bag. Everything is done to it. In Icelandic, the accusative case is not only used after most verbs, but after some prepositions as well. Like nouns, adjectives also decline into the accusative case (and the other two cases as well). In the sentence Bob gives the gift to her, the gift is in the accusative case. Bob is giving it away; it is being directly affected by the verb.
Here are some Icelandic examples. The words in the accusative case are bolded.
ex: Hannátt pabba. (He hasa dad.) ex: Raggi elskar Röggu. (Raggi loves Ragga.) ex: Ég á margir gjafir handa þér. (I have many gifts for you.) ex: Þauborða fisk. (They eat fish.)
Dative: The dative case seems to be the scariest case for many learners, including myself. But I promise you, it’s not that bad! The dative case is used for indirect objects in a sentence, or words in the sentence that are not doing or directly influenced by the verb. The dative case comes after a good amount of prepositions, and certain verbs also govern the dative case. Some prepositions either govern the accusative or dative case, depending on if it is an action or not. In the sentence Bob gives the gift to her, to her is in the dative case. “Her” is not doing it, and Bob is not giving it. Therefore, it is the indirect object, and thus, in the dative case.
Here are some Icelandic examples. The words in the dative case are bolded. (Note: this includes prepositions.)
ex: Hvað finnst þér* af nýju skólarinnar mínnar? (How do you find/What do you think of my new shoes?) ex: Ég á margir gjafir handa þér. (I have many gifts for you.)
*Note: að finna governs the accusative case, but you would say “mér finnst…” instead of “ég finnst…” which is why þér is þér and not þú.
Genitive: The genitive case is used when you’re describing belongings. While some verbs and prepositions govern the genitive case (i.e., að sakna: to miss), you usually use the case to define belonging. Let’s change up the sentence I’ve been using. In the sentence, Bob gives my gift to her, my gift is in the genitive case.
Here are some Icelandic examples. The words in the genitive case are bolded.
ex: Þetta er hesturinn okkar. (This is our horse.) ex: Þetta er heim til mín. (This is my home.) ex: Þetta er hundurinn hans. (This is his dog.)
While this may seem difficult, don’t give up! You’ve gotten this far, keep up your good work. :)
Is anything confusing? Did I mess up? Have any other questions? If so, send us an ask! Thank you!