Personal Pronouns - Nominative

Here are the personal pronouns in the first case (nominative):

Form German Phonetic Script English Subject Form
1. person singular ich ç] I
2. person singular (familiar) du [du:] you
3. person singular er [e:ɐ] he
3. person singular sie [zi:] she
3. person singular es [ɛs] it
1. person plural wir [vi:ə] we
2. person plural ihr [i:ə] you
3. person plural sie [zi:] they
polite form Sie [zi:] you (polite form)

A pronoun always replaces a noun. The nominative is the first case. We use the nominative forms of the pronouns whenever they represent the subject of the sentence. The subject is the acting part of the sentence which the predicate (the conjugated form of the verb) refers to.

Here is an example:

German Phonetic Script English
Ich verstehe Deutsch. ç fɛɐ'ʃte:ə dɔytʃ] I understand German.

In this sentence, "Ich" is the pronoun in the nominative case. As I have already explained, it is the acting part of the sentence.

If you ask for the subject of the example sentence, you ask: Who (is doing something)? The answer in this case would be: I (am doing something), namely I understand German.