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. The term objective case is generally preferred by modern English grammarians, where it supplanted Old English’s dative and accusative.
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 vs. 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.
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. Some examples of the declension pattern are shown in the tables below:
|Singular pronouns are shown.||लड़का (lar̥kā) = boy, लड़की (lar̥kī) = girl||का (kā) is equivalent to the possessive ‘s of English|
Bulgarian, an analytic Slavic language, also has an oblique case form for pronouns:
- “Give that ball to me” дай тaзи топка на мен (day tazi topka na men)
(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.
- in a dative role for an indirect object:
- Kim passed the pancakes to me.
- (Or colloquially, Kim passed me the pancakes.
- That picture of me was blurry.
- (cf. English possessive#Double genitive as in That picture of mine was stolen.)
- [referring to a photograph] This is me on the beach.
- in existentials (sometimes, but not always, replaceable by the nominative—in very formal style):
- 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.)
- in a nominative role with predicate or verbal ellipsis:
- 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)
In Modern French, the two cases have mostly merged and the cas régime has survived for the majority of nouns. For example, the word “conte (tale)”:
- Old French:
- Modern French:
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. Example today’s copain means “friend” and compagnon is “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.
[Waziri Pashtu Dialect]
oblique case is also found in Waziri Pashtu dialect of Pashtu, especially people living in Waziristan. For example; kalai is singular nominative and kalee is plural and kalye is oblique plural which means village