Which one is right, who or whose

Question sample and substitute sample for the cases (4 cases)

Since you cannot clearly identify every case by the ending of the noun, it makes sense to also carry out the question or substitute sample. What exactly is meant by this and how these samples work in practice can be found in this article, which belongs to our German section.

Sample question: You can usually recognize the case of the noun by the article, in the genitive singular with masculine and neuter also by the ending of the noun. To be on the safe side, however, it makes sense to always carry out the questionnaire. One asks for the case (case) of the noun. For nouns in the nominative one asks with Wer or what… ?, for nouns in the genitive with Wessen… ?, for nouns in the dative with whom…? and after nouns in the accusative with Wen or what… ?. Most of the time you can recognize the case of the noun.


Lisa shows her friend her brother's favorite car.

  • Who or what) shows her friend her brother's favorite car?
  • Answer: Lisa
  • 1st case: nominative
  • Whose Is Lisa showing her friend's favorite car?
  • Answer: her brother's
  • 2nd case: genitive
  • Whom does Lisa show her brother's favorite car?
  • Answer: her friend
  • 3rd case: dative
  • (Who or) What is Lisa showing her friend?
  • Answer: her brother's favorite car
  • 4th case: accusative

Sören paints a picture.

  • Who or what) paint a picture?
  • Answer: Sören
  • 1st case: nominative
  • (Who or) What is Sören painting?
  • Answer: a picture
  • 4th case: accusative

The father makes his child something to eat.

  • Whom does the father make something to eat?
  • Answer: his child
  • 3rd case: dative
  • Who or what) is giving his child something to eat?
  • Answer: the father
  • 1st case: nominative

Marie's cat is a tabby.

  • Whose Cat is a tabby?
  • Answer: Maries
  • 2nd case genitive
  • (Who or) What is mackerel?
  • Answer: (Marie's) cat
  • 1st case: nominative

Would you like to find out whether you are fit with the subject of nouns? Then we have a number of tasks or exercises for you. You get four possible answers to a question, one of which is correct. Go to noun tasks / exercises.


Substitute sample

Since one asks for both the nominative and the accusative with what, in such a case one can also carry out the substitute sample. The corresponding noun in the sentence is replaced by a masculine singular with the corresponding specific article. Since it does not matter whether the sentence is still meaningful afterwards, you can always replace the noun, for example, with forms from the dog, as we have done here. The case can then be recognized by the substitute noun and its article.

I always park my car in the garage.

  • Question:
  • What do I always park in the garage?
  • Replacement sample:
  • I'm parking the dog always in the garage. (Accusative)
  • Solution:
  • my car is in the accusative

The balls roll on the street.

  • Question:
  • What rolls onto the street?
  • Replacement sample:
  • The dog rolls onto the road. (Nominative)
  • Solution:
  • The balls is in the nominative

This PC easily outshines any other model.

  • Ask:
  • What dwarfs any other model?
  • What does this PC overshadow?
  • Replacement samples:
  • The dog easily outshines any other model. (Nominative)
  • This pc represents the dog slightly in the shade. (Accusative)
  • Solutions:
  • This pc is in the nominative
  • any other model is in the accusative


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