Nominative Case

Nouns can be grouped into three cases: nominative, objective, and possessive. The same is true of pronouns. A pronoun used as a subject or predicate nominative is in the nominative case.

  • She wears sunglasses. (subject)
  • The girl in sunglasses is she. (predicate nominative)
  • I raked the leaves. (subject)
  • It was I who raked the leaves. (predicate nominative)
  • He will speak. (subject)
  • It is he who will speak. (predicate nominative)
  • We are the grammar experts. (subject)
  • The grammar experts are we. (predicate nominative)
  • She lives next door. (subject)
  • The girl next door is she. (predicate nominative)
  • He was a U.S. President. (subject)
  • The thirty-fifth President was he. (predicate nominative)
  • Robert Kennedy and he were brothers. (subject)
  • They dug all the postholes. (subject)
  • The posthole diggers were they. (predicate nominative)
  • The gardeners and they have sore arms. (subject)
  • He was apparently a humbug. (subject)
  • Our grouchiest relative was he. (predicate nominative)
  • Does she cast her pearls before swine? (subject)
  • The woman serving tea is she. (predicate nominative)

Example 1

Complete this chart by replacing each blank with the correct nominative case pronoun.


We complete the chart as follows:


These sentences use nominative case personal pronouns as subjects:

  • I sang a solo.
  • He joined the choir.

When we use the pronouns I or we as part of a compound subject, we politely refer to ourselves last:

  • Erica and I were born in Alaska.
  • Ricardo and I are cousins.
  • Deanne and I share many of the same beliefs.
  • Ester and I presented an oral report on JFK.
  • Joe and I work for the same law firm.
  • Mom and I flew to Great Britain.
  • Mr. Twaddell and we might rock the boat.

Example 2

Which sentence is more polite in these pairs?

  1. Both we and they like the snow.
    Both they and we like the snow.

  2. We and Abby share the household chores.
    Abby and we share the household chores.


It is more polite to refer to ourselves (we) last.

  1. Both they and we like the snow.
  2. Abby and we share the household chores.

Example 3

Write a sentence using a nominative case personal pronoun as a subject.


Your answer will be unique. Here are some example sentences with pronouns used as subjects:

  • We shall memorize a poem.
  • They have begun the race.
  • Ashley and she broke the silence.
  • It frightens the dog.
  • They rode a gondola in Italy.
  • You and she perform well together.

Predicate Nominatives

These sentences use nominative case personal pronouns as predicate nominatives.

  • The culprit was he in the tall hat.
  • The officer in charge is she.
  • The owner is he in the black suit.
  • The guest who brought the cherries is she.
  • The author is he on the stage.
  • Jacqueline is she in the picture.

Predicate nominatives can also be compound:

  • The drummers are Adriana and he.
  • The vocalists will be she and I.
  • The lawyers were John Dickinson and he.
  • The parents of James Wilson were she and he.

Example 4

Write a sentence using a nominative case pronoun as a predicate nominative.


Your answer will be unique. Here are some correct examples:

  • It was I who rang the bell.
  • The best singer is he.
  • Your entertainers will be they and I.
  • The winners were they.
  • The most qualified applicant is she.
  • The last in the race was I.
  • That stoic, expressionless sales clerk is he.