Level A1

Genitive case – the fourth case

There are four cases in Icelandic. The fourth case in the declension table is the genitive case (eignarfall, abbreviated as ef.)[a] It often shows that the word belongs to something.
The genitive case roughly corresponds to the English “of” or “-‘s” (the house of John, John’s house). You very often see it in compound words (mjólkurglas, “glass of milk).
The helper word you use to force a word into the genitive case is „til“ (”to“).

Things that cause the genitive case

The following prepositions always cause the genitive case:
  • til (to)
  • vegna (because of)
  • án (without)
  • að sakna (to miss someone)
  • að njóta (to enjoy)
It also appears in sentences showing ownership such as:
  • Þetta er kötturinn hans. (”This is his cat“)
And when talking about the attributes that describe something:
  • Þetta er fjögurra metra hús. (”This is a four-meter house“, literally ”This is a house of four meters")
The four cases: Nominativeaccusativedativegenitive