In grammar, an oblique (abbreviated OBL; from Latin: casus obliquus) or objective case (abbr. OBJ) is a nominal case other than the nominative case and, sometimes, the vocative.

A noun or pronoun in the oblique case can generally appear in any role except as subject, for which the nominative case is used.[1] The term objective case is generally preferred by modern English grammarians, where it supplanted Old English's dative and accusative.[2][3] When the two terms are contrasted, they differ in the ability of a word in the oblique case to function as a possessive attributive; whether English has an oblique rather than an objective case then depends on how "proper" or widespread one considers the dialects where such usage is employed.

An oblique case often contrasts with an unmarked case, as in English oblique him and them versus nominative he and they. However, the term oblique is also used for languages without a nominative case, such as ergative–absolutive languages; in the Northwest Caucasian languages, for example, the oblique-case marker serves to mark the ergative, dative, and applicative case roles, contrasting with the absolutive case, which is unmarked.


Main article: Declension in Hindi

Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu) nouns, pronouns and postpositions decline for an oblique case which exclusively serves to mark the grammatical case roles using the case-marking postpositions.[4][5][6][7][8] The oblique case has similarities with the vocative case in Hindustani. Some examples of the declension pattern are shown in the tables below:[9]

Case 1P 2P 3P
Nominative मैं





Oblique Ergative इस


Regular मुझ




Case Masculine Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative लड़का








Oblique लड़के






Case Masculine Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative का




Oblique के


Singular pronouns are shown. लड़का (laṛkā) = boy, लड़की (laṛkī) = girl का (kā) is equivalent to the possessive 's of English


Bulgarian, an analytic Slavic language, also has an oblique case form for pronouns:

Dative role:

(This oblique case is a relic of the original, more complex proto-Slavic system of noun cases, and there are remnants of other cases in Bulgarian, such as the vocative case of direct address)


An objective case is marked on the English personal pronouns and as such serves the role of the accusative and dative cases that other Indo-European languages employ. These forms are often called object pronouns. They serve a variety of grammatical functions which they would not in languages that differentiate the two. An example using first person singular objective pronoun me:

Do you see me?
The army sent me to Korea.
Kim passed the pancakes to me.
Kim passed me the pancakes.
That picture of me was blurry.
(cf. double genitive as in That picture of mine was stolen.)
[referring to a photograph] This is me on the beach.
It's me again.
(cf. Once again, it is I. [formal])
Who is it?—It's me.
(cf. It is I [to whom you are speaking].)
It's me who should fix it.
(cf. Since I made it, it is I who should fix it.)
Who made this bicycle?—Me.
(cf. Who made this bicycle?—I did.)
I like him.—Hey, me too.
(cf. I like him.—Hey, I do too.)
Who's gonna clean up this mess?—Not me!
Me and him are going to the store. (only in colloquial speech)
(cf. Is he going? Yes, he and I are going.)
Me, I like French.

The pronoun me is not inflected differently in any of these uses; it is used for all grammatical relationships except the genitive case of possession (in standard English) and a non-disjunctive nominative case as the subject.

[spoken by Cookie Monster] Me so hungry.
(the above example also employs copula deletion to similar effect)


Old French had a nominative case and an oblique case, called cas sujet and cas régime respectively.

In Modern French, the two cases have mostly merged and the cas régime has survived as the sole form for the majority of nouns. For example, the word "conte (count, earl)":

In some cases, both the cas sujet and cas régime of one noun have survived but produced two nouns in Modern French with different meanings. For example, today's copain means "friend" and compagnon means "companion", but in Old French these were different declensions of the same noun.


Kurdish has an oblique for pronouns, objects, and for objects of izafe constructs.

See also


  1. ^ "oblique" in David Crystal, 2008. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, 6th ed.
  2. ^ "Objective case (grammar)". (about) education. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Personal pronoun". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  4. ^ Spencer, Andrew. "CASE IN HINDI" – via ResearchGate.
  5. ^ De Hoop, Helen; Narasimhan, Bhuvana (2009). "Ergative Case-marking in Hindi". Differential Subject Marking. Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. Vol. 72. pp. 63–78. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-6497-5_4. ISBN 978-1-4020-6498-2 – via ResearchGate.
  6. ^ "case marking in hindi - Google Search". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  7. ^ Durrani, Nadir. "System for Grammatical relations in Urdu" (PDF).
  8. ^ "M. Butt: Structure of Urdu 1 the Structure of Urdu — Case". CiteSeerX
  9. ^ "Hindi Noun Cases". 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  10. ^ Huddleston, Rodney; Pullum, Geoffrey K. (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 459. ISBN 0-521-43146-8.