can someone please help me understand the concept of the grammatical case, in general, not in any specific language. i partially understand it but it isn’t clicking in my head and i’m going to be learning german this fall and i’ve been having a hard time wrapping me head around it. i understand…
From what you’ve said, you already know enough for learning German. That really is literally all it is - the different roles nouns have in a sentence have different cases. So German does with case what English might do with a preposition or with word order (I don’t speak German so can’t give an example but imagine a language where instead of saying ‘I stroked him with a feather’ you say ‘I stroked him a feather-INSTRUMENT' or even 'I stroked him a feather-with’. Just extra info, or the same info, but as a suffix instead of some other way of doing it.
There is more to it, if you want to get into the linguistics of how it all works. For instance, not all languages that have case have the same cases - some have lots and lots, and there’s a split between what are called nominative-accusative (like German) and ergative-absolutive languages, which use case for the same sort of thing but in a slightly different way. But all of this is not needed to speak the language :)
Sorry - I feel like I haven’t added anything much to this discussion. But rest assured you will know more than most people trying to learn a language with case.