As you are probably aware, our contemporary English content is now available through (, and our old English dictionary site no longer exists.

As a result of this, this forum is now closed.

The English dictionary community team would like the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all of you who participated by posting questions and helping other community members.
We hope this forum was useful, and that you enjoyed being a part of it.

If you would like to get in touch with any OED-related queries, please write to
[email protected]

And if you would like to contribute suggestions to the OED, please do so by visiting:

Thank you very much indeed, and good bye!
The community team

Is _accusative_ used in any way other than to describe a noun as an object?

Is accusative used in any way, other than to describe a noun as an object? Is the term used at all in English, any more?


  • Modern grammarians are careful to make a distinction between ACCUSATIVE and OBJECT.

    • ACCUSATIVE — denotes a form
    • OBJECT — denotes a functional role in a clause

    We need the term ACCUSATIVE to describe the grammar of Old English. However, in Middle English the ACCUSATIVE and DATIVE forms became identical, so we now speak of an OBJECTIVE case. This distinctive case form has been lost in all nouns and adjectives, and in most pronouns. The remaining OBJECTIVE forms are

    • PERSONAL me, him, us, them and compounds such as himself
    • RELATIVE/INTERROGATIVE whom and compounds such as whomsoever

    Some modern approaches to syntax use the notion of case in a way that partly resembles the system of Latin case. So you may come across a book using the term NOMINATIVE, for example, but I'm not sure anybody uses the term ACCUSATIVE.

Sign In or Register to comment.