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Afsluttende uvidenskabelige Efterskrift til de Philosophiske Smuler : post-scriptum final nonscientifique aux Miettes philosohiques (la chapelure philosophique).

1.Introduction to the Danish Language


2.Nouns
Genders and articles
Joined nouns
Plural
Genitive
3.Verbs
Infinitive
Imperative
Modal verbs
Passive form
Tenses
Irregular Verbs
4.Adjectives and adverbs
Forms
Comparison
Forming adverbs
Two-form adverbs
5.Pronouns
6.Numerals and the units of time
Cardinal and ordinal numbers
Telling the time
Days of the week
Months
Basic equations
7.Prepositions and conjunctions
8.A brief introduction to syntax (sentence structure/word order)
Affirmative sentence
Interrogative sentence (forming questions)
yes/no questions
9.Danish pronunciation
Introduction to the Danish language
Introduktion til det danske sprog
Danish, the official language of Denmark, is spoken by over 5 million people. It is a germanic
tongue, which means it is closely related to English and German. It becomes obvious when one
gets to know some Danish vocabulary, eg. come (Eng.) = komme (Dan.) = kommen (Ger.),
bring (Eng.) = bringe (Dan.) = bringen (Ger.). As a nordic language, it is very similar to
Swedish and Norwegian. The knowledge of any of the above mentioned languages is a big
help in learning Danish, and in the case of the two latter mutual understanding without prior
learning is often possible.

The Danish alphabet differs slightly from the Latin one. There are three additional letters (found
at the end of alphabet -- remember about it browsing a dictionary or a phone directory!) They
are

* as in "forldre" (parents) -- a ligature of "a" and "e".


Indicates a monophtong (a single vowel).
* as in "rd" (red) -- a "crossed o".
* as in "et r" (a year) -- an "a with a ring above it."
se prononce en gnral [], [eu] comme feu, [o] comme alors
Before the spelling reform in 1948 the sound was written as "aa". Such spelling is preserved in
some names, eg. Aalborg = lborg
The Danish grammar is not difficult, especially for a speaker of a Germanic language, who is
already familiar with the concept of articles, sequence of tences, etc. The most difficult thing
about the language is its pronunciation -- at the beginning, even if you can understand written
texts, it is virtually impossible to understand a native speaker! It comes with time, however.

Nouns
Substantiver / navneord
Genders and articles (kn og artikler/kendeord)
There are two genders in Danish:
1.
common gender (flleskn) -- en, den
2.
neuter gender (intetkn) -- et, det
They have to be remembered along with the words. A hint: about 75% of nouns are en-words.
There are two indefinite articles: et and en and three definite articles: det, den, and plural de.
They are used in the form of suffixes -en, -et, -(e)ne. That means they are attached to words
(they don't preceed them like in English or German). The following table illustrates the use of
articles.
singular
indefinite en-word

plural

en dreng a boy
en pige a girl
drenge boys
piger girls

definite en-word

drengen the boy


pigen the girl
drengene the boys
pigerne the girls

indefinite et-word
et hus a house
et tr a tree
huse houses
trer trees
definite et-word huset the house
tret the tree
husene the houses
trerne the trees
If an adjective is present, articles are used in a different way :
indefinite en-word
en stor dreng a big boy
en stor pige a big girl
store drenge big boys
store piger big girls
definite en-word den store dreng the big boy
den store pige the big girl
de store drenge the big boys
de store piger the big girls
indefinite et-word

et stort hus a big house


et stort tr a big tree
store huse big houses
store trer big trees

definite et-word det store hus the big house


det store tr the big tree
de store huse the big houses
de store trer the big trees
For the explanation of adjective forms in the above table see the chapter on adjectives.
Plurals (flertal)
Plurals can be formed in four ways:
1.
by adding -er, eg. en kage - kager (a cake - cakes)
2.
by adding -e, eg. et hus - huse (a house - houses)
3.
no change, eg. en ting - ting (a thing - things)
4.
irregularly, eg. en mand - mnd (a man - men)
In a very few cases forming a plural is accompanied by a vovel mutation in the noun stem, eg.

en bog - bger (a book - books). Certain words, though not many, retained their original plural
forms (eg. Latin visum - visa or English point - points). Some words are found only in the
singular (eg. dd, hb (death, hope)) or only in the plurar (eg. briller, bukser (glasses,
trousers)).
Joined nouns (sammensatte substantiver)
Danish words (N, V, Adj, Adv) are often joined together (one observes a similar phenomenon
in the German language) by putting s, e, or nothing between them. In such cases the last word
decides about the article, and takes the plural form. Examples:
*
et eksamensbevis - eksamensbeviser
*
et handelsskib - handelsskibe (a trade ship)
*
en flyvemaskine - flyvemaskiner (a plane)
Genitive (ejefald)
Genitive is formed just like in English - we add an s at the end of the word (after all other
possible suffixes). The only difference is that in Danish one does not use an apostrophe. If a
noun ends with s (or z), we add es, 's or '. In case of a group of nouns (eg. Adam and Eve) s
can be attached to both nouns, or only to the last one. Examples:
*
min mors bog - my mother's book
*
missens mad - the cat's food
*
Sren og Jespers plader - Sren and Jesper's records
*
Lises venner - Lise's (or Lis') friends
*
Lis's venner - Lis' friends (informal)
Capitalization
Before the spelling reform in 1948 all nouns were spelled with a capital letter (as in German):
Derude paa Himlen havde blaagraa Farver vundet Magten, og enkelte Regndraaber slog mod
Ruderne. It is not the case anymore.

Verbs
Verber / udsagnsord
Conjugation
Danish verbs do not conjugate (change their ending) in the different persons.
singular
plural
spise (manger)
Jeg er (spiser)
Vi er (spiser)
Jeg er trt
Du er (spiser)
I er (spiser)
Han er (spiser) (il)
Hun er (spiser) (elle)
Den/det er (spiser) (cet/cette)
De er (spiser) (vous/ils/elles)
ellerenten
The infinitive (navnemde)
The infinitive in most cases ends in -e, eg.: at skrive (to write), at lse (to read), at glemme (to

forget). In some cases, however, it has a different ending, eg.: at g (to go), at d (to die), at bo
(to live).
The imperative (bydemde)
The imperative is formed by substracting the final -e from the infinitive form: spis! (eat!), skriv!
(write!).
Tenses
There are four tenses in Danish:
1.
Present tense
It is formed by adding -r to the infinitive form of a verb.
Note, that the modal verbs break this -r rule.
Examples:
*
Jeg spiser. (I eat, I am eating.)
*
Vi sover. (We sleep, We are sleeping.)
2.
Present[past] perfect tense (have/vre)
It is formed by using the auxiliary verb har/er[havde/var] followed by the past participle (the
base form of a verb + -(e)t).
Examples:
*
Jeg har spist det. (I have eaten it.)
*
Jeg havde spist det. (I had eaten it.)
*
Jeg har vret her. (I've been here.)
*
Jeg havde vret der. (I'd been there.)
*
Jeg er rejst/get. (I've travelled/walked.)
*
Jeg var rejst/get. (I'd travelled/walked.)
3.

Past tense

It is formed by adding -ede/-te to the basic form of a verb.


Examples:
*
Jeg kbte l. (I bought beer.)
*
Ringede du til mig ? (Did you call me ?)
4.

Future tense

It is formed by using the verb vil/skal followed by an infinitive.


Examples:
*
Jeg vil rejse til Polen. (I will traver to Poland.)

Du skal f det i morgen. (You shall get it tomorrow.)

Modal verbs (mdesudsangsord)


Modal verbs are followed by a verb in the infinitive form.
can kunne
: Jeg kan ikke huske det. I cannot remember that.
shall / should
skulle
Det skulle vre forbudt! It should be forbidden!
will / want to
ville Jeg vil fortlle dig noget. I want to tell you something.
may / must mtte Du m ikke gre det. You mustn't do this.
ought to burdeDu br lse denne avis. You ought to read this paper.
dare turde Tr du prve det? Dare you try it?
feel like
gide Hun gider ikke lave sine lektier. She doesn't feel like doing her homework.
Unlike English, Danish modal verbs conjugate in all the tenses: Jeg har kunnet spise 10 kager.

The passive form (Passivform)


There are two ways of forming a passive form in Danish:
1.
-s form: we add -s to the appropriate (infinive or past, depending on the context) verb
form.
Examples:
*
Lysene slukkes. (The lights are turned off.)
*
Hunde skal fres i snor. (Dogs must be held on a leash.)
2.
at blive: we use an appropriate form of the verb at blive + past participle.
Examples:
*
En kage bliver spist af drengen. (A cake is (being) eaten by the boy.)
*
En kvinde blev drbt. (A woman got killed.)

The present participle (Lang tillgsform)


The present participle is formed by adding -ende to the infinitive form, eg.
*
st - stende (stand - standing)
*
lb - lbende (run - running)
*
drille - drillende (tease - teasing)
The present participle, as in English, can be used as an adjective: eg. de flgende sider (the
following pages).

Irregular verbs (Uregelmssige verber )

Infinitive

Present

Past

Perfect

Translation

at bede
beder
bad
har bedt
to ask, to beg
at betyde
betyder
betd
har betydet to mean
at bide
bider
bed
har bidt
to bite
at binde
binder
bandt
har bundet to bind
at blive
bliver
blev
er blevet
to become, to remain
at bringe
bringer
bragte har bragt
to bring
at bryde
bryder
brd
har brudt
to break
at burde
br
burde
har burdet ought to
at byde
byder
bd
har budt
to offer
at bre
brer
bar
har baret
to carry
at drikke
drikker
drak
har drukket to drink
at drive
driver
drev
har drevet to drive
at d
dr
dde
er dd/det to die
at falde
falder
faldt
er faldet
to fall
at finde
finder
fandt
har fundet to find
at flyde
flyder
fld
har flydt
to flow
at flyve
flyver
flj
er/har fljet to fly
at forlade forlader forlod har forladt to leave
at fortryde fortryder fortrd har fortrudt to be sorry for
at fryse
fryser
frs
har frosset to freeze
at flge
flger
fulgte har fulgt
to follow
at f
fr
fik
har fet
to get
at gide
gider
gad
har gidet
to feel like
at give
giver
gav
har givet
to give
at glide
glider
gled
er gledet
to slip
at gnide
gnider
gned
har gnedet to rub
at gribe
griber
greb
har grebet to grab, to seize
at grde
grder
grd
har grdt
to cry
at glde
glder
gjaldt har gjaldt/gldt to apply
at gre
gr
gjorde har gjort
to do
at g
gr
gik
er/har get to go
at have
har
havde
har haft
to have
at hedde
hedder
hed
har heddet to be called
at hive
hiver
hev
har hevet
to pull
at hjlpe
hjlper
hjalp
har hjulpet to help
at holde
holder
holdt
har holdt
to hold
at hnge
hnger
hang
har hngt
to hang
at knibe
kniber
kneb
har knebet to pinch
at komme
kommer
kom
er/har kommet to come
at krybe
kryber
krb
er krbet
to crawl
at kunne
kan
kunne
har kunnet can
at kvle
kvler
kvalte har kvalt
to strangle
at lade
lader
lod
har ladet
to let

at le
at lide
at ligge
at lyde
at lyve
at lgge
at lbe
at mtte
at nyde
at nyse
at ride
at rive
at ryge
at rkke
at se
at sidde
at sige
at skide
at skride
at skrige
at skrive
at skulle
at skyde
at skre
at slibe
at slide
at slippe
at sl
at smide
at smre
at snyde
at sove
at springe
at sprge
at stige
at stikke
at stinke
at stjle
at stryge
at strkke
at synge
at synke
at slge
at stte
at tage
at tie

ler
lo
har leet
to laugh
lider
led
har lidt
to suffer
ligger
l
har ligget to lie
lyder
ld
har lydt
to sound
lyver
lj
har ljet
to lie (speak untruth)
lgger
lagde
har lagt
to lay/put down
lber
lb
er/har lbet to run
m
mtte
har mttet may
nyder
nd
har nydt
to enjoy
nyser
ns
har nyst
to sneeze
rider
red
er/har redet to ride
river
rev
har revet
to scratch
ryger
rg
har rget
to smoke
raekker
rakte
har rakt
to pass
ser
s
har set
to see
sidder
sad
har siddet to sit
siger
sagde
har sagt
to say
skider
sked
har skidt
to shit
skrider
skred
er skredet to slip
skriger
skreg
har skreget to scream
skriver
skrev
har skrevet to write
skal
skulle har skullet should
skyder
skd
har skudt
to shoot
skrer
skar
har skaret to cut
sliber
sleb
har slebet to sharpen
slider
sled
har slidt
to work hard
slipper
slap
har sluppet to let go
slr
slog
har slet
to hit
smider
smed
har smidt
to throw
smrer
smurte har smurt
to smear
snyder
snd
har snydt
to cheat
sover
sov
har sovet
to sleep
springer sprang har sprunget to jump
sprger
spurgte har spurgt to ask
stiger
steg
er steget
to rise
stikker
stak
har stukket to pick
stinker
stank
har stinket to stink
stjler
stjal
har stjlet to steal
stryger
strg
har strget to iron
strkker strakte har strakt to stretch
synger
sang
har sunget to sing
synker
sank
er/har sunket to sink
slger
solgte har solgt
to sell
stter
satte
har sat
to set/put down
tager
tog
har taget
to take
tier
tav
har tiet
to be quiet

at trde
trder
trdte har trdt
to tread
at trffe
trffer
traf
har truffet to come across
at trkke
trkker
trak
har trukket to draw
at turde
tr
turde
har turdet to dare
at tvinge
tvinger
tvang
har tvunget to compel
at tlle
tller
talte
har talt
to count
at vide
ved
vidste har vidst
to know
at ville
vil
ville
har villet to want
at vinde
vinder
vandt
har vundet to win
at vlge
vlger
valgte har valgt
to choose
at vre
er
var
har vret
to be
at de
der
d
har dt
to feed on

Adjectives and adverbs (Adjektiver og adverbier)


Forms of adjectives
There are three forms of adjectives in Danish:
1.
basic form, eg. en stor dreng, en billig bog. This form is used with singular n-words.
2.
t-form, eg. et stort hus, et billigt tppe. Used with singular t-words.
3.
e-form, eg. store huse, den billige bog. Used in plural and with a definite article.
Comparison (gradbjning)
1: -ere, -est 2: mere, mest
3: irregular
positive
hj
high
populr
popular
god, drlig, lille, gammel
good, bad, little, old
comparative
hjere
mere populr
bedre, vrre, mindre, ldre

higher
more popular
better, worse, less, older

superlative hjest
mest populr
bedst, vrst, mindst, ldst

highest
most popular
best, worst, least, oldest

Forming adverbs
Adverbs are formed by adding -t to the basic form of an adjective, eg. smuk (beautiful) - smukt
(beautifully). Do not add -t to the adjectives already ending in -t stolt (proud) - stolt (proudly).
Two form adverbs
Some adverbs have two forms: a short and a long one.
The short form is used when the action we talk about involves changing place:

*
*
*

hjem - Jeg skal hjem.


ud - G ud!
op - En edderkop kravler op ad muren.

The long form is used when an action taking place in one place is described:
*
hjemme - Jeg er hjemme.
*
ude - Brnene leger ude.
*
oppe - Hjttaleren str oppe p skabet.

Pronouns Pronominer / Stedord


Personal, possessive and reflexive pronouns
personal (personlige) possessive (possesive)
(refleksive)
I
jeg
min / mit / mine
mig
you du / De
din / dit / dine / Deres
he han
hans (sin / sit / sine)
she hun
hendes (sin / sit / sine)
it
den / det
dens / dets (sin / sit / sine)
we vi
vores
you I / De
jeres / Deres
they de
deres
sig

object (objekt)

reflexive
mig

dig / Dem
ham
hende
den / det
os
jer / Dem

dig / Dem
sig
sig
sig
os
jer / Dem
dem

Personal pronouns: The second person (singular and plural) has two forms: familiar du/I and
polite De. A similar distinction exsists eg. in German (du/Sie), French (tu/vous) or Polish (ty/
Pan[i]). However, most Danes will chose the form du in 99% of cases.
Possessive pronouns: in the third person singular one uses sin with relation to the subject of the
sentence. Eg. the sentence Han elsker sin kone. means that "he" loves his own wife, whereas
Han elsker hans kone. means that the woman in question is a wife of some other man. A
similar distinction is observed in Polish/Russian: jego/swj.
Demonstrative pronouns
singular
this denne / dette, den her / det her
plural
thesedisse
de (der)

that den (der) / det (der)


those

Examples: De indspillede den her sang for en evighed. Vi burde nok have anmeldt dette
svineri. Hvilket af disse er bedst?

Interrogative pronouns
what hvad
who hvem
when hvornr
where
hvor
why hvorfor
how hvordan
whose
hvis
which
hvilken / hvilket / hvilke

Indefinite pronouns
something noget
somebody nogen
nothing
ikke noget / ingenting / intet
nobody
ikke nogen / ingen
many
mange
few
f
Examples: Der m gres noget. Er der nogen her? Mange af mine venner...

Relative pronoun som / der


Pigen, som/der synger, kommer fra Tyskland.
The girl who is singing, comes from Germany.
Jeg lse bogen, som du gav mig.
I read the book (that) you gave me.

Numerals and the units of time


Talord og tid Cardinal and ordinal numbers
cardinal numbers mngde-tal/ ordinal numbers ordens-tal
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

en / et
frste
to
anden
tre tredje
fire fjerde
fem femte
seks sjette
syv syvende
otte ottende

13
14
15
16
17
18

11 elleveelvte
12 tolv tolvte
tretten
trettende
fjorten
fjortende
femten
femtende
seksten sekstende
sytten
syttende
atten attende

9
10

ni
ti

21
22
30

enogtyve
toogtyve
tredive
hundrede
fyrre
halvtreds
tres
halvfjerds
firs
halvfems

40
50
60
70
80
90

niende
tiende

19
20

nitten nittende
tyve tyvende

enogtyvende
toogtyvende
tredvte
fyrre-tyvende
halvtreds-sinds-tyvende
tre-sinds-tyvende
halvfjerd-sinds-tyvende
fir-sinds-tyvende
halvfem-sinds-tyvende 0.5

100

101 (et) hundrede og en


200
to hundrede
1,000 (et) tusind
1,000,000 (en) milion
1.5
halvanden
en halv

Telling the time


*
*
*
*
*
*

11:00 - klokken er elleve


11:02 - klokken er to minutter over elleve
11:15 - klokken er femten minutter (=kvart) over elleve
11:30 - klokken er halv tolv
11:45 - klokken er femten minutter (=kvart) i tolv
11:55 - klokken er fem minutter i tolv

Days of the week


mandag / tirsdag / onsdag / torsdag / fredag / lrdag / sndag

Months
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

(et) hundrede

januar
februar
marts
april
maj
juni
juli
august
september
oktober
november
december

Four basic equations


addition addition
6 + 8 = 14
seks og otte er fjorten
substraction substraktion
15 7 = 8 femten minus syv er otte
multiplication multiplikation 3 4 = 12 tre gange fire er tolv

tusinde
milionte

division division

20 5 = 4 tyve divideret med fem er fire

Prepositions and conjunctions


Forholdsord og bindeord
Prepositions (forholdsord)
The use of prepositions differs among languages. Therefore I provide only a list of prepositions
here. Consult a dictionary.
ad :
af :
bag :
efter :
for :
foran :
forbi :
fra :
fr :
gennem :
hos :
i:
imod :
inden :
langs :
med :
mellem :
mod :
om :
omkring :
over :
p :
til :
uden :
under :
ved :
Conjunctions (bindeord)
eller :
te eller kaffe ? tea or caffee ?
fordi :
Jeg kbte det ikke, fordi det var dyrt.
I didn't buy it, because it was expensive.
men :
gammel men sund
old but healthy
mens :
Mens jeg spiste, snakede du. While I was eating you were talking.
nr : Nr jeg kommer fra skole, spiser jeg.
When I come from school, I eat.
og : Nina og Peter
Nina and Peter
om : Jeg ved ikke, om vi fr regn i morgen.
I don't know if/whether we'll get rain
tomorrow.

Syntax: the structure of Danish sentences


Led-stilling Affirmative sentences
Du kender
subject verb
You know

mig.
object
me.

Jeg har aldrig


givet hende
en blomst fr.
subj verb1
central adverb verb2
indirect object
adverb
I
have never
given
her a flower before.

If a sentence begins with an adverb/adverbial expression, inversion applies:


Aldrig
har jeg givet hende
en blomst
fr.
central adverb verb1
subject
verb2
indirect object o b
adverb
Never
have
I
given
her a flower before.
Tit
har
jeg
central adverb verb1
Often
have

givet ham
subject verb2
I
given

bger.
indirect object object
him
books.

In subordinate clauses the central adverb (ikke, aldrig, etc) is moved to the front of the verb,
eg. Jeg ved, at du ikke har lst den. Jeg har hrt, at hun alligevel bestede.
Interrogative sentence (question):
The question is formed by inversion: the verb moves to the beginning of the sentence.
Kender
verb
Know

du mig ?
subject object
you
me ? (Do you know me?)

M jeg
verb1
May I

lne det?
subject verb2
object
borrow
this?

Short answers to Yes/No questions


Just like in English, there exist short answers to yes/no questions:
Taler du dansk? Do you speak Danish?
Ja, det gr jeg. / Ja, jeg gr. Yes, I do.
Nej, det gr jeg ikke. / Nej, jeg gr ej. No, I don't.
M jeg lse det? May I read this?

Ja, det m du. / Ja, du m. Yes, you may.


Nej, det m du ikke. / Nej, du m ej. No, you may not.
Har du spist den? Have you eaten it?
Ja, det har jeg. / Ja, jeg har. Yes, I have.
Nej, det har jeg ikke. / Nej, jeg har ej. No, I haven't.

Pronunciation
Udtale Vowels
Danish has 9 vowels (in its writing system): i, e, , y, , u, , o, and a. All of them have long
and short variants (affecting the meaning of words).
*
is pronounced similarly to e in English best
*
is pronounced similarly to in German bse and in some words similarly to i in
English bird
*
is pronounced similarly to o in English often
Consonants
Danish has 15 consonants (in its writing system): p, t, k, b, d, g, m, n, f, s, h, v, l, j, and r
(additionally in older written text and in load words letters c, w, x and z can appear). Some
contonants are mute:
*
d is not pronounced after ld (guld), nd (mund), rd (grd) and before dt (midt), ds (plads).
(cf. norwegian gull, munn, plass)
*
g is hardly/not pronounced after i (pige), y (syg), u (sluge).
*
h is not pronounced before v (hvis) and j (hjlp). It is pronounced in other combinations,
however.
1. Russerne angriber FN. Landets udenrigsminister siger FNs krigsforbryderdomstol bde er
politisk og subjektiv. Igor Ivanov udfald kom p NATOs udenrigsministermde i Firenze i
aftes. Det fortller Ritzaus udsendte Terkil Svenson:
"(Ivanov) sagde ogs at Rusland er kategorisk imod domstolens udbredte brug af hemmelige
sigtelser, og folk ikke ved at de str p listen over anklagede krigs-forbrydere, fr de en sknne
morgen pludselig bliver arresteret af NATOs soldater."
Ivanov undskyldte, at Rusland i sidste mnede modtog den krigsforbryderefterlyste
jugoslaviske forsvarsminister med fuld honnr. Det var en svipser, siger Ivanov.
2. Politi og skattevsnet var i gr p l razzia p havnen i Frederikshavn. Her udleverede en 46
rig svensker billig l og vin, som han havde hentet i Tyskland, og som andre svenskere p
forhnd havde betalt for om bord p Sverigesfrgen. Den 46 rige svensker str nu til en bde
p 5000 kr for overtrdelse af nringsloven og s skal han endvidere betale omkring 33.000 kr
i afgifter og moms til det danske skattevsen.

Useful everyday expressions in Danish Hverdags udtryk p dansk


Hi!
Hej! / Dav!

Yes. No.
Ja. Nej.
Excuse me / I'm sorry
Unskyld mig / Unskyld
Thank you!
Tak!
Good morning/afternoon/evening! God morgen/eftermiddag/aften!
Good bye / See you!
Farvel / Vi ses!
I love you.
Jeg elsker dig.
Do you speak English?
Taler du engelsk?
Help!
Hjlp!
How much is it?
Hvad koster det?
What's the time?
Hvad er klokken?
Where is the nearest police station / hospital?
Hvor er den nrmeste politi station / det
nrmeste sygehus?
Could you translate it?
Vil du overstte det?
Can you say it in English?
Kan du sige det p engelsk?
What's your name? My name is Thomas. Hvad hedder du? Jeg hedder Thomas.
How old are you? I am 20 years old.
Hvor gammel er du? Jeg er 20 r gammel.
Signs
Pas p!
Caution!
Udgang
Exit
Herrer
Gentlemen
Damer
Ladies
ben
Open
Lukket
Closed
Rygning forbudt No smoking
Virker ikke i stykker It doesnt work
i uorden Out of order
Grammatical vocabulary Grammatiske betegnelser
Danish
English
Danish
English
navneord
noun
omvendt ordtilling
inversion
ental
singular
flertal
plural
kendeord
article
bestemt
definite
ubestemt
indefinite
ejefald
genetive
endelse
suffix
stedord
pronoun
tilbagevisende
reflexive
eje
possessive
ppegende
demonstrative
henfrende
relative
sprgende
interrogative
personligt
personal
tillgsord
adjective
1. grad
positive
2. grad
c o m p a r a t i v e

gradbjning
handleform
bydeform

3. grad
superlative
comparison
udsangsord
verb
active
lideform
passive
imperative
navneform
infinitive

nutid
present tense
datid
past tense
fr nutid
perfect
fr datid
pluperfect
fremtid
future
fortids fremtid
future in the past
fr fremtid
future perfect
lang (tillgsform)
present participle
kort (tillgsform)
past participle
uregelmssig
irregular
forstavelse
prefix
bjning
conjugation
stammen
stem
mdes-udsangsord
modal verb
hjlpe-udsangsord
auxiliary verb
medlyd
consonant
selvlyd
vowel
biord
adverb
bindeord
conjunction
forholdsord
preposition
talord
numeral
led-stilling
syntax
ordstilling
syntax
hoved-stning
main clause
led-stning
subordinate clause
genstandsled
object
hensynsled
indirect object
omsagnsled til grundled
subject complement
omsagnsled til gendstandsled object complement

http://tsca.freeshell.org/cgi/dk-en.pl
dictionnaire danois-anglais
Pronunciation guide
[a] underlined vowel means stress
[:] means a long vowel
( ) sound can be omitted
a

[a] as in cat
[a] open as in far (without r)

[b]

[s]

kan [kan] (can), mand [man] (man)


gammel [gaml] (old)

as in English

barn [ban] child, bo [bo] (live)

as in English before e/i

[k]
before other vowels
[sh] as in shine, written ch in Danish

citron [sitron] (lemon)


cacao [kakao]
chokolade [shokola:z]

[d]as in day, in the beginning of a word dreng [drng] (boy)


[z]as th in they after a vowel
gade [ga:z] (street)
[ ]mute after l, n, r and before t, s
holdt [hlt] (stop), godt (gt) (good)

[]closed e as French

leve [le:v] (live), mene [me:n] (mean)

[]open e as in let or as in French , in the end and in a a diphthong spise [sbi:s] (eat)
s jette [s y:d] (6th), halvfjers [halfyrs ]
[a]open as in far (without r) before g and j

jeg [yai] (I), meget [maiz] (very), vej

[vai]
f

[f] as in English

far [fa:] (farther)

[g] as in girl, in the beginning of a word give

[u] as in soon inside or in the end of a word


[ng] as ng in sing
(song)
[i] as in live, after a wovel
[ ] sometines silent inside a word

brag [brau] (bang), drage [dra:u] (kite)


synge [sng] (sing), sang [sang]
jeg [yai] (I), ngle [nil] (key)
tag [ta] (roof), tage [ta:] (roofs, take)

h
[h]
[h] as in English, in the beginning of a word
mute in hv-words and before j
hat [had] (hat)
hvem [vm] (who), hvad [va(z)] (what)
i
[e]

[gi:v] or [gi] (give)

[i]

as in feel
closed e as in inn or as French
Note: i is never pronounced [ai] liv [liu] (life), ville [vil] (would)
vil [vel] (will (present tense))
as in English I am
j
[y]
[i] as in yes
after a vowel
ja [ya] (yes), jeg [yai] (I)
vej [vai] (way/road)
k

[k]

as in English can kan [ka(n)] (can)

[l]

as in English (not American) like lille [lil] (small)

[m] as in English meet

mor [moa] (mother)

n
[n]
[ng] as in English name
in ng in song, before k/g
ni [ni] (nine)
sang [sang] (song), anker [angka] (anchor)
o
[]
[o] closed almost as in november
sometimes open almost as in open skole [sk:l()] (school)
bold [bold] (ball)

p
[p]
[b] aspirated p as in British English Peter
inaspirated p as in American, after s
Peter [Peda]
spise [sbi:s] (eat)
q

[k]

not common in Danish

r
[r]
[a] almost as French r in rue:
1. in the beginning of a word
2. after a consonant
vocalic r in the end of a word rejse [rais] (travel)
krise [kri:s] (crisis)
gr [ga] (goes), lber [lba] (runs)
s
[s] unvoiced as in English see,
voiced s never occurs in Danish se [se] (see), siger [si:a] (says)
t
[t]
[d] asperated t as in British English
unaspirated t as in American, after s
stor [sda] (big)

tage [ta:] (take)

u
[u]
[o] as in soon, inside a word
open o almost as in open, before n gul [gul] (yellow), guld [gul] (gold)
ung [ong] (young), Ungarn [onga:n]
v
[v]
[u] always as in English very
a fast u-sound, in the end of a word
blev [bleu] (became), hav [hau] (sea)
w

[v]

[ks] not common in Danish

vi [vi] (we), avis [avis] (newspaper)

not common in Danish

y
[]
[u] pronounced as [i] with rounded lips,
1. as German or
2. as French u in sur
specially in the beginning of a word
lyve [l:v] (lie), lys [ls] (light),
lyst [l'sd] (lightned)
yngre [ungr] (younger), lyst [lust] (like)

[s]

not common in Danish

[]
[a] open e as in let
open a as in far (without r), after r mlk [mlk] (milk)
grde [gra:z] (cry)

[]
[] pronounced as [e] with rounded lips:
1. as German or
2. as in French heureux
more open than , as in french cur
l [l] (beer), mde [m:z()] (meet, meeting)
gre [g:a] (do), ngle [nil] (key)

[o]

open o as in openp [po] (on), ben [o:bn] (open)

[]

glottal stop

Glottal stop
The glottal stop is very important and something special for Danish, as it is a sound not found
in many languages. It is a phoneme that can give some words quite another meaning. It is not
an unknown sound in English and is sometimes heard in energetic speech and particularly in
"not" [not] in London English. For foreigners the glottal stop may be difficult to use correctly,
but never mind even Danes cannot always use it correctly particularly not if they are speaking
one of our dialects.
The glottal stop only hits the stressed (accented) syllable of a word.
Both vowels and consonants can be hit but never a long vowel.
The glottal stop is indicated by a []
Examples:
Without glottal stop

With glottal stop

lber [l:ba] (a runner)


lber [lba] (runs)
tager [ta:a] (takes)
tag [ta] (take!, roof)
anden [a:nn] (other)
anden [ann] (the duck)
boret [bo:az] (drilled)
bordet [boaz] (the table)
bst [bsd] (best)
bst [bsd] (fool)
bnner [bna] (beans, prayers) bnder [bna] (farmers)
hun [hun] (she)
hund [hun] (dog)
mller [mla] (miller)
Mller [mla] (Miller, name)
skal [sga(l)] (shall)
skal [sgal] (shell)
skrende[sgrn](cutting)
skrene[sgrn](the gleams)
sret [soaz] (injured)
sret [soaz] (wound)

tal [tal] (number)


ved [vez] (at, by)
ender [na] ((it) ends)

tal [tal] (speak!)


ved [vez] (knows)
nder [na] (ducks)

Notice: Danish vowels can be open or closed and they can be long or short

ARTICLES

There are 2 articles in Danish: common and neuter

1. Indefinite Articles:
Common
Singular en

Neuter
et

Usage: as in English: en bil (a car), et hus (a house)


Note: 1. The indefinite article is not used before a noun denoting a profession, nationality,
religion:
han er lge (he is a doctor)
hun er lrer
(she is a teacher)
jeg er dansker (I am a Dane)
du er amerikaner (you are an american)
2. The indefinite article is used before an adjective:
han er en god lge (he is a good doctor)
hun er en dygtig lrer (she is a
clever teacher)
jeg er en hj dansker (I am a tall Dane)
3. The indefinite article is used when a relative clause follows the noun:
han er en lge, som jeg kender
(he is a doctor whom I know)
hun er en dansker, der bor i Tyskland (she is a Dane who lives in Germany)
2. Definite Articles:
Common
Neuter
Singular den, -n/-en det, -t/-et
Plural
de, -ne/-ene
de, -ne/-ene
Note: a consonant is doubled after a short vowel: bus, bussen; hotel, hotellet
Usage: 1. The definite articles are normally added to a singular or plural noun:
bilen (the car)
huset
(the house)
bilerne (the cars)
husene (the houses)

bilen er rd (the car is red)


bilerne er rde (the cars are red)
husene er hvide (the houses are white)
2. The definite articles are placed before an adjective, as in English:
den rde bil
(the red car),
det store hus (the big house)
de rde biler (the red cars),
de store huse (the big houses)
Note:

The definite article is often used before an abstract noun:


livet er kort (life is short)
tilbage til naturen (back to nature)

SUBSTANTIVES (NOUNS)
1. Genders: there are 2 genders in Danish:
a. common (n-words) representing both masculine and feminine nouns
b. neuter (t-words)
2. Plural: are formed by adding suffixes to the singular form of the noun:
1. -e (some words ending in a consonant): dag/dage
(day/days)
2. -r (words ending in -e):
uge/uger
(week/weeks)
3. -er (other words ending in a consonant): mned/mneder (month/months)
4. the same:
r
(year/years)
5. irregular:
barn/brn
(child/children)
3. Cases: nouns are only inflected in the genitive:
1. genitive: -s (is added to the last ending of the word):
en bils dr
(the door of a car)
bilens dr
(the door of the car),
bilers dre
(doors of cars)
bilernes dre
(the doors of the cars)
mandens
(the man's)
bilens farve er rd
(the colour of the car is red)
mandens hat er sort (the man's hat is black)
2. genitive: the english "of-construction" is not used very often:
dren af bilen (the door of the car)
Better: dren p bilen or bilens dr
4. Order of the added suffixes:
noun pluralarticle
genitive
English
dreng
s
boy's
dreng
en s
the boy's
drenge
ne s
the boys'

hus
hus e
mned

et
ne
er

s
s
ne

of the house
of the houses
of the months

ADJECTIVES
1. Word Order: an attributive adjective is placed before the noun as in English (see also
Articles):
en rd bil (a red car)
2. Inflection: A. Attributive adjectives must agree in gender with the noun they modify:
a. indef. article -. adjective + t - noun (t-word):
et stort hus (a big house)
et rdt tag (a red roof)
b. indef. article - adjective (base form) - noun (n-word):
en stor mand (a big man)
en rd bog (a red book)
c. def. article - adjective + e - noun (sing./plural):
det store hus (the big house)
den rde bil (the red car)
de store huse (the big houses)
de rde biler the red cars)
B. Predicative adjectives must agree in gender with the noun they modify:
a. indef. article - noun (t-word) - verb - adjective + t:
et hus er stort (a house is big)
et tag er rdt (a roof is red)
b. indef. article - noun (n-word) - verb - adjective (base form):
en bil er rd (a car is red)
en mand er stor (a man is big)
c. noun (t-word)+ def.article - verb - adjective + t:
huset er stort (the house is big)
taget er rdt (the roof is red)
d. noun (n-word)+ def.article - verb - adjective (base form):
bilen er rd
(the car is red)
manden er stor (the man is big)
e. noun (plural) (+ def.article) - verb - adjective + e:
husene er store
(the houses are big)
bilerne er rde
(the cars are red)
huse og biler er dyre (houses and cars are expensive)

C. Irregular:
lille (small/little, singular):
the same in all forms in singular:
et/det lille hus (a/the small house)
en/den lille bil (a/the small car)
sm (small/little, plural):
the same in all forms in plural:
sm huse
(small houses)
de sm huse (the small houses)
de sm biler (the small cars)
Note: 1. If -e is added to an adjective ending in -en or -el the first -e- dissapears:
gammel (old):
han er gammel
(he is old)
den gamle mand
(the old man)
de er gamle
(they are old)
sulten (hungry):
han er sulten
(he is hungry)
det sultne barn
(the hungry child)
de er sultne
(they are hungry)
2. Adjectives ending in -e never change:
et lille barn
(a small child)
det stille barn
(the quiet child)
3. Adjectives ending in -sk never add -t:
en rask dreng
(a healthy boy)
et rask barn
(a healthy child)
de raske brn
(the healthy children)
4. An adjective can also be used as a noun (without a supporting word):
en hvid hest og 2 sorte (a white horse and 2 black ones)
3. Comparison: a. Regular forms add -ere, -est to the adjective:
comparative: -ere: varm/varmere (warm/warmer)
superlative: -est: varm/varmest (warm/warmest)
b. Regular forms with mere, mest are used as in English:
comparative: mere: han er mere mere venlig (he is more kind)
superlative: mest: han er den mest venlige (he is the most kind)
c. Irregular forms with less irregularities:
lang/lngere/lngst (long/longer/longest)
stor/strre/strst
(big/bigger/biggest)
d. Quite irregular forms:
lille - mindre - mindst (small/smaller/smallest)
god - bedre - bedst (good/better/best)
Usage: The superlative is used in Danish when 2 things are compared:
kaffe eller te, hvad kan du bedst lide? (coffee or the, which do you like better?)

NUMERALS

1. Cardinal Numbers :
Numbers from 1 to 20
1
en, et
2
to
3
tre
4
fire
5
fem
6
seks
7
syv
8
otte
9
ni
10 ti

11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20

Numbers from 21 to 1000


21 enogtyve
22 toogtyve
23 treogtyve
30 tredive
40 fyrre
50 halvtreds
60 tres
70 halvfjerds
80 firs
90 halvfems
100 hundrede
The year 1998 is written:
nitten hundrede otteoghalvfems
The year 2001 is written:
to tusind(e) og et

2. Ordinal Numbers
1st frste
2nd anden
3rd tredie
4th fjerde
5th femte
6th sjette
7th syvende

elleve
tolv
tretten
fjorten
femten
seksten
sytten
atten
nitten
tyve

101 hundrede og en
102 hundrede og to
200 to hundrede
300 tre hundrede
400 fire hundrede
500 fem hundrede
600 seks hundrede
700 syv hundrede
800 otte hundrede
900 ni hundrede
1000 tusind(e)

8th ottende
9th niende
10th tiende
PRONOUNS
1. Personal Pronouns
persons
subject forms
object forms
1. sing
jeg (I)
mig (me)
2. sing
du (you)
dig (you)
3. sing
han (he)
ham (him)
3. sing
hun (she)
hende (her)
3. sing
den/det
(it)
den/det
(it)
3. sing
De (you, polite) Dem
(you, polite)
1. pl. vi
(we)
os
(us)
2. pl. I
(you)
jer
(you)
3. sing
de (they)
dem (them)
3. sing
De (you, polite) Dem
(you, polite)
Usage: The object forms are used both as direct and indirect objects.
The personal pronouns are used as in English:
jeg giver dig et ble (I give you an apple)
han ser hende (he sees her)
jeg giver det til hende (I give it to her)
Indirect object precedes the direct object:
jeg giver hende det (I give it her)
or: jeg giver det til hende (I give it to her)

2. Possessive Pronouns
min/mit/mine (my, mine)
din/dit/dine (your, yours)
hans
(his)
hendes
(her, hers)
Deres
(your, yours, polite)
dens/dets (its)
vores
(our, ours)
jeres
(your, yours)
deres
(their, theirs)
Deres
(your, yours, polite)

Usage: All the forms are used both attributively and predicatively:

min bil er her (my car is here)


det er mit hus (it is my house)
det er mine biler/houses (they are my cars/houses)
det er min (bilen) (it is mine (the car))
det er mit (huset) (is is mine (the house))
det er mine (biler/huse) (they are mine (cars/houses))
3. Demonstrative Pronouns
written forms
spoken forms
sing. denne/dette den her, det her this
sing. den/det
den der, det der
pl. disse
de her
pl. de der (over)
de der (over)
neuter
det
det

english
that
these
those (over there)
it

Usage: The written forms can also be used in speech, but in daily speech
we normally use the spoken forms.
Note: The spoken forms consist of 2 words, which can be placed both before the noun
or the noun can be placed between the 2 words:
denne bil er rd (this car is red)
den her bil er rd (this car is red)
den bil her er rd (this car is red)

written form
spoken form
spoken form

dette hus er stort (this house is big)


det her hus er stort (this house is big)
det hus her er stort (this house is big)

written form
spoken form
spoken form

disse huse
de her huse
de huse her

writen form
spoken form
spoken form

(these houses)
(these houses)
(these houses)

but: de huse der over er mine (those houses over there are mine)

4. Relative Pronouns
som (who/which/that) can be both subject and object:
manden som er her (the man who is here) som/who is the subject
manden som jeg s (the man who I saw) som/who is the object
der (who/which/that) can only be subject:

manden der er her (the man who is here) der/who is the subject
*manden der jeg s (the man who I saw) der/who is the object, and the
sentence is wrong

Usage: som/der are the 2 most used pronouns in Danish and they are used mostly as in
English.
But when a preposition is used together with a relative pronoun
the preposition is placed at the end of the sentence:
manden som jeg gav bogen til (the man to whom I gave the book)

The relative pronoun can be omitted as in English:


her er pigen, (som) jeg elsker
here is the girl (that) I love

5. Indefinite Pronouns

nogle (some) pronounced (non):


jeg har nogle venner (I have some friends)
nogen (any) pronounced (non):
har du nogen venner? (do you have any friends?)
noget (something) pronounced (nt):
han m gre noget (he must do something)
ingen, ikke nogen (no, nobody):
han har ingen venner
(he has no friends)
han har ikke nogen venner (he has no friends)
jeg kender ingen her
(I do not know anybody here)
jeg kender ikke nogen hen (I know nobody here)
intet, ikke noget (no, nothing):
der er intet at gre
(there is nothing to do)
der er ikke noget at gre (there is nothing to do)
enhver (everybody):
enhver m gre noget (everybody must do something)
alle (all (persons)):
jeg s dem alle (I saw them all)

alt (all (neuter)):


det var alt (that was all)
man (one, you, we) is not found in English and can only be used as subject,
it is the same as on in French and man in German:
man m ikke ryge her (you must not smoke here/smoking not allowed)
man is often used in stead of the passive voice:
man m ikke ryge (=der m ikke ryges) (smoking is not allowed)
6. Reflexive Pronouns
1. sing. mig (myself)
2. sing. dig (yourself)
3. sing. sig (himself/herself/itself)
1. pl. os (ourselves)
2. pl. jer (yourselves)
3. pl. sig (themselves)
Usage: Subject and object is the same person:
jeg vasker mig (I wash myself)
han vasker sig (he washes himself)
sig is a reflexive pronoun
but: han vasker ham (he washes him (another person)) him is a personal prounoun

Reflexive verbs in Danish are not always reflexive in English:


de giftede sig i kirken (they got married in the church)
vi satte os ned
(we sat down)
jeg vendte mig om (I turned round)

7. Interrogative Pronouns and Adverbs

hvem (who,whom): hvem er det?


(who is is?)
hvis (whose):
hvis hund er dette (whose dog is this?)
hvad (what):
hvad er dette? (what is this?)
hvad er der sket? (what has happened?)
hvilken/hvilket/hvilke (which):
hvilken bog tog han? (which book did he take?)
hvilke bger tog han? (which books did he take?)

hvor (where): hvor bor han? (where does he live?)


hvornr (when): hvornr kommer han? (when will he come?)
hvordan (how): hvordan er det sket? (how did it happen)
hvor lnge, hvor lang tid (how long time):
hvor lnge har han vret her?
(how long time has he been here?)

The same pronouns can also be used in interrogative subordinate clauses


jeg ved ikke, hvem han er
(I do not know who he is)
jeg ved ikke, hvis hund det er
(I do not know whose dog it is)
han ved ikke, hvad de hedder
(I do not know what he is called)
jeg ved ikke, hvilke bger han tog (I do not know what/which books he took)
jeg ved ikke, hvor han bor
(I do not know where he lives)
Note: These pronouns cannot be the subject in a subordinate clause, der or det must be
added:
a. det + a form of "vre/blive/hedde"
b. der + another verb
a. jeg ved ikke, hvem det er
(I do not know who it is)
b. jeg ved ikke, hvem der kommer (I do not know who is coming)
a1. jeg ved ikke, hvad det er/var (I do not know what it is/was)
a2. jeg ved ikke, hvad det bliver
(I do not know what the price will be)
b1. jeg ved ikke, hvad der er sket (I do not know what has happened (the
verb is "sker"))
b2. jeg kan ikke hre, hvad der siges (passive voice (I cannot hear what they
are saying))

VERBS
General: a. Verbs are not conjugated in persons only in tenses.
b. In a dictionary verbs are found in the infinitive form.
c. The infinitive ends normally in -e
but words consisting of one syllable and ending with an unstressed vowel
do not add -e.
d. If the infinitive does not end in -e
then the infinitive and the base form are the same: bo (live), g (go), se (see)
e. Base form (or stem) is infinitive without -e:
syng (=synge minus -e) (sing).

1. Present Tense
is formed by adding -r to the infinitive in all persons:
infinitive: synge + -r = synger (sing/sings)
jeg/du/han/vi/I/de synger (I/you/he/we/they sing/sings)
infinitive: bo, st + -r = bor, str (live/lives, stand/stands)

Usage: The present tense is used as in English, but it is also used as the future tense:
jeg kommer i morgen (I shall come tomorrow)

The progressive form (-ing form) in English


can in Danish be expressed in different ways, eg.:
a. present tense: han lser (he is reading)
b. periphrastic construction with:
sidder/str/ligger og + present tense:
han sidder og lser (he is reading)
c. periphrastic construction with:
er ved at + infinitive:
han er ved at lse (he is reading)
2. Past Tense
there are 2 regular conjugations (see also Present perfect):
a. Regular conjugation, group I (the biggest group):
Base form + -ede (the same in all persons):
husk, lav = huskede (remembered), lavede (made)
bo, vask = boede (lived), vaskede (washed)
b. Regular conjugation, group II:
Base form + -te (the same in all persons):
ls, spis = lste (read), spiste (ate)
kb, vis = kbte (bought), viste (showed)
c. Irregular conjugation:

var (was/were), s (saw), gik (went),


sagde (pronounced (s) (said),

Usage: The past tense is used as in English.


The progressive form (-ing form) in English
can in Danish be expressed in different ways, eg.:
a. past tense: han lste (he was reading)
b. periphrastic construction with:
sad/stod/l og + present tense:
han sad og lste (he was reading)
c. periphrastic construction with:
var ved at + infinitive:
han var ved at lse (he was reading)
3. Present Perfect
is formed with har or er before the past participle (see past participle):
jeg har kbt et hus (I have bought a house)
jeg er get i sent (I have gone to bed)

Usage: The present tense is used with har or er and they are
the same in all persons.
"har" is normally used: han har spist (he has eaten)
"er" is used if a movement has taken place:
han er get
(he has gone (away))
but: han har get hele dagen (he has been walking the whole day)
and in the passive voice: maden er blevet spist (the food has been eaten)
4. Past perfect

is formed with havde or var before the past participle (see past participle):
jeg havde kbt et hus (I had bought a house)
jeg var get i sent
(I had gone to bed)

Usage: as Present Perfect.

5. Future tense

is formed with skal/vil before the infinitive


or simply by using the present tense:
jeg skal rejse i morgen (I shall go tomorrow)
jeg vil rejse i morgen (I shall go tomorrow)
jeg rejser i morgen
(I shall go tomorrow)

IRREGULAR VERBS

They are the same in all persons:


jeg/du/han/hun/vi/I/de bliver
jeg/du/han/hun/vi/I/de blev
jeg/du/han/hun/vi/I/de er blevet
Verbs with * are modal verbs
Verbs with ** are auxiliary verbs
Verbs with *** are modal and auxiliary verbs
Here are the most common irregular verbs:
Infinitive English
Present tense
Past tense Present perfect
at blive** become
bliverblev er blevet
at drikke drink drikker
drak har drukket
at d die dr dde er dd
at f**
get fr fik har fet
at give
give giver gav har givet
at gre
do gr gjorde
har gjort
at g go gr gik er/har get
at have** have har havde
har haft
at komme come kommer kom er kommet
at kunne* could kan kunne
har kunnet
at lade
let lader lod har ladet
at le laugh ler lo
har leet
at ligge
lie down liggerl
har ligget
at lgge lay lgger
lagde har lagt
at lbe
run lber lb har lbet
at mtte* may, must m mtte har mttet
at se see ser s
har set
at sidde
is sitting sidder
sad har siddet
at sige
say siger sagdehar sagt
at skrive write skriver
skrev har skrevet
at skulle***
should
skal skulle
har skullet

at sove
sleep sover sov har sovet
at sprge ask sprger
spurgte
har spurgt
at st stand str stod har stet
at slge sell slger
solgte
har solgt
at stte
put, sit down
stter
satte har sat
at tage
take tager tog har taget
at vide
knowved vidste
har vidst
at ville*** would
vil ville har villet
at vre** be er
var har vret

AUXILIARY VERBS

The auxiliary and modal verbs kunne/skulle/ville/mtte are connected to


the infinitive without "at" (as in English):
jeg kan tale dansk (I can speak Danish)
du m gerne komme ind (you may come in)
han ville ikke gre det (he did not want to do so)

The pronunciation of the auxiliary verbs is a little special, the


last consonant is normally not pronounced:
han kan (pronounced [k]) komme (he can come)
han vil (pronounced [ve]) komme (he will come)
han skal (pronounced [sg]) komme (he shall come)
han skulle (pronounced [sgu]) komme (he should come)

PARTICIPLES
1. Past participle

There are 2 regular conjugations of the past participle:

a. Regular conjugation, group I (the biggest group):


Base form + -et (the same in all persons):
husk, lav = husket (remembered), lavet (made)
bo, vask = boet (lived), vasket (washed)
b. Regular conjugation, group II:
Base form + -t (the same in all persons):
ls, spis = lst (read), spist (eaten)
kb, vis = kbt (bought), vist (showed)

Usage: It is used to form the compound tenses (present perfect and past perfect):
jeg har/havde kbt en ny bil (I have/had bought a new car)
The past participle can also be used as an adjective (and is inflected (see adjectives)):
den spiste kage (the eaten cake)
en spist kage (an eaten cake)
The past participle has a passive signification:
den spiste kage (= the cake that has been eaten)

2. Present participle
The present participle is formed by adding -ende to the base form:
smilende (smil + -ende), gende (g + -ende).
Usage: It can be used like the English -ing form only after kommer/kom, blive/blev:
han kom gende (he came walking)
hun blev stende (she kept standing)
Notice: The English -ing form (progressive form) is constructed in another way in Danish:
the girl is smiling = pigen smiler, pigen sidder/str/ligger og smiler
(subject (the girl) + verbal (is smiling))
Notice:

pigen er smilende = the girl is a smiling girl


(subject (pigen) + verb (er) + subject complement (smilende))

The present participle can also be used as an adjective


but it is not inflected:
den smilende pige (the smiling girl)
en smilende pige (a smiling girl)
et/det smilende barn (a/the smiling child)
de smilende brn (the smiling children)

The past participle has an active signification:


den smilende pige (the girl that is smiling)
INFINITIVE

Infinitive is the form that is found in a dictionary and ends normally in -e.
If infinitive does not end in -e then the infinitive and the base form are the same:

bo (live, lives)
g (go, goes)
st (stand, stands)

1. Infinitive without "at":


a. together with auxiliary verbs:
jeg kan komme i morgen (I can come tomorrow)
jeg kan ikke komme
(I cannot come)
b. accusative-infinitive after verbs of sensing:
jeg s ham komme
(I saw him come)

2. Infinitive together with "at":


a. after a preposition: han kom for at besge mig (he came to see me)
b. subject:

at rejse er dyrt (travelling is expensive)

c. predicate:

hans ml var at rejse (his goal was to travel)

d. object:

han nskede at komme (he wanted to come)

SUBJUNCTIVE

The subjunctive is not used in modern Danish but is stil used


in some old sayings:
Gud velsigne Danmark (God bless Denmark)
Gud vre med dig
(God be with thou)

PASSIVE VOICE

General: The passive voice is formed in 2 ways.


Sometimes you may decide for yourself which one you want to use,
other times there is a sligh difference between the 2 forms and again

other times you can only use one of them.

1. s-passive:
The present tense has -s (instead of -r in active form): slges (active: slger)
bogen slges (the book is sold)
The past tense adds -s to the active form: solgtes (active: solgte)
bogen solgtes (the book was sold)

2. blive-passive:
The present tense: bliver + past participle:
bogen bliver solgt (the book is sold)
The past tense: blev + past participle:
bogen blev solgt (the book was sold))

ADVERBS

General: Adverbs can qualify different words:


a. a verb:
hun synger smukt (she sings beautifully)
b. an adjective: han er meget stor (he is very big)
c. another adverb: hun synger ganske smukt (she sings quite beautifully)
d. a sentence: selvflgelig ville han komme (of course he would come)

Types: There are more types of adverbs:


a. adverbs made of an adjective + t: smuk/smukt (beautiful/beautifully)
b. true adverbs (can not be changed): ikke/aldrig/kun (not/never/only)

c. prepositions without a regimen:

han tog hatten p (he took his hat on)

Comparison:
Some adverbs can be compared (irregular comparion):
base form comparative superlative
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------godt
bedre
bedst (well/better/best)
lnge
lngere
lngst (long time/longer/longest)
gerne
hellere
helst (are not found in English)
jeg vil gerne komme (I should like to come)

Two-form adverbs:
Adverbs describing a direction have long and short forms:
ind/inde (in), ud/ude (out), op/oppe (up), ned/nede (down)

1. Short forms describe a movement from one place to another:


han gr ind i haven

(he goes into the garden)


(German: er geht in den Garden)
han kravler op i tret (he climbs up into the tree)
(er klettert auf den Baum)

2. Long forms describe a movement within the same place:


han gr inde i haven (he walks inside the garden)
(German: er geht im Garden)
han er oppe i tret (he is up on the tree)
(German: er ist im Baum)

PREPOSITIONS

General: Prepositions are always used with a regimen (noun, pronoun or infinitive).
If they have no regimen (standing alone) they are adverbs:
han tog hatten p hovedet
han tog hatten p

(he put his hat on his head): preposition


(he put his hat on):
adverb

i (in/at/to/for)
a. place (town, country, street):
han bor i Kbenhavn/Danmark (he lives in Copenhagen/Denmark)
de bor i Nrregade
(they live at North Street)
han gr i skole
(he goes to school)
jeg gr i seng nu
(I go to bed now)

b. time (clock, how long time?)


den er 10 minutter i 5
jeg har boet her i 2 r

(it's ten to five)


(I have lived here for 2 years) how long time?

c. special expressions:
han lukkede dren (i):
jeg underviser i dansk:
hun er forelsket i ham:

(he closed the door)


(I teach Danish)
(she is in love with him)

p (on/upon/in/at/of)
a. place (island, road):
de bor p Sjlland
han bor p Nyvej
jeg bor p landet
bogen er p bordet

(they live in Seeland)


(he lives at New Road)
(I live in the country (not town))
(the book is on the table)

b. time (day, how fast?):


jeg rejser p mandag
han gjorde det p en time

(I shall leave on Monday)


(he did it in one hour (how fast?)) how fast?

c. genitive:
farven p bilen (=bilens farve) (the colour of the car)

til (to/until)
a. place:
jeg rejser til Danmark

(I shall go to Denmark)

b. time:
banken er ben til kl. 17

(the bank is open until 5 PM)

c. dative:
jeg giver bogen til ham
(= jeg giver ham bogen

(I am giving the book to him)


(I am giving him the book))

af (of/by)
ringen er lavet af guld
(the ring is made of gold)
ringen er lavet af manden (the ring is made by the man) passive voice

efter (after)
for....siden (ago)
han kom for en time siden (he came an hour ago)

fra (from)
med (with)
om, rundt om (round/in, when?)
hun har en halskde om halsen (she has a necklace round her neck)
jeg kommer om en time
(I shall come in an hour) when?

over (over/past/cross)
han gik over gaden
den er 10 minutter over 4

(he crossed the street)


(it's 10 minutes past 4)

under (under/below/during)
hunden ligger under bordet
temperaturen er under 0 grader
han var her under krigen

(the dog is under the table)


(the temperature is below 0 degrees)
(he was here during the war)

CONJUNCTIONS

Conjunctions connect words, elements and clauses.


1. Co-ordinating Conjunctions: og/eller/men (and/or/but)
drengen og pigen (the boy and the girl)

2. Subordinating Conjunctions:
are always the first word in a subordinate clause:
at (that)
han sagde, at han var syg (he said that he was ill)

om (if/whether)
jeg ved ikke, om han kommer (I don't know if he will come)

nr (when)
present tense:
han kommer, nr han kan (he comes when he can)
future tense:
jeg gr, nr det er tiden
(I shall go when it's time)
past tense (every time): han spiste, nr han var sulten (he always ate when he was
hungry)

da (when)
past tense (once):
hungry)

han spiste, da han var sulten (he ate when/because he was

IMPERATIVE

The imperative is always the base form of a verb:


g din vej! (go away!)
g jeres vej! (go away!)
spis din mad! (eat your food!)
sov godt!
(sleep well!)

FORMAL SUBJECTS

The first subject (det/der) in a clause always refers to the real subject
1. "det" (it):
a. When the real subject is an infinitive/phrase:
det er godt at vre her (it is good to be here)

b. When the real subject is a subordinate clause:


det er godt, at han kan gre det (it is good that he can do so)
c. As an impersonal subject:
det regner/sner/blser (it is raining/snowing/windy)
d. when the complement is a noun, or possessive pronoun in plural::
det er mine venner (they are my friends)
det er ogs dine (they are also yours)
but: de er store (they are big) (the complement is an adjective)
e. The personal pronoun can also be used if the complement is a noun in singular:
det/han er min ven (it/he is my friend)

2. "der" (there):
a. When referring to an adverbial (as in English):
der er 2 drenge her i huset (there are 2 boys in this house)

b. When referring to an infinite amount (as in English):


der er mange folk her (there are many people here)

c. As a subject in a passive clause:


der ss mange folk p gaden (many people were seen in the street)
(=man s mange folk p gaden)
d. expresions concerning distance (English "it"):
der er langt til America (it is a long way to America)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Yes = ja/jo.
When you ask with a negative question, the positive answer is "jo"

Questions
Positive answers
Negative answers
kender du ham? (do you know him?)
ja, jeg gr (yes, I do)
nej, jeg gr ikke (no, I
don't) kender du ham ikke?(don't you know him?)j o , j e g g r ( y e s , I d o )
nej, jeg gr ikke (no, I don't)
du kender ham ikke?(you know him, don't you?) jo, jeg gr(yes, I do) nej, jeg gr ikke(no, I
don't)
Note: The finite verb can be repeated in the answer if it is a modal verb or an auxiliary verb
(have/be),

otherwise the answer is followed by a form of "gre" as in English:


kender du ham?
ja, jeg gr (do you know him? yes, I do)
kendte du ham?
ja, jeg gjorde (did you know him? yes, I did)
kan du kende ham?
ja, jeg kan (can you recognize him? yes, I can)
har du kendt ham?
ja, jeg har
(have you known him? yes, I have)
har du kunnet kende ham? ja, jeg har
(have you been able to recognize him? yes, I
have)
vil du kunne kende ham?

ja, jeg vil

(vil you be able to recognize him? yes, I will)

WORD ORDER

1. Normal Word Order (subject + verb)


a. In a main clause beginning with the subject:
jeg kan se en bil p gaden (I can see a car in the street)
b. In a main clause beginning with a conjuncion og/men:
men jeg kan ikke se ham (but I cannot see him)
c. Always in subordinate clauses:
jeg vidste, at han ville komme (I knew that he would come)

2. Inversion (verb + subject or finite verb + subject + infinite verb)


only occurs in main clauses
Main rule: If the subject is not the first word in a main clause,
there will be an inversion
a. In questions:
kommer du i morgen? (will you come tomorrow?)
b. If an adverb/phrase, object or conjunction claus precedes the subject:
an adverb precedes the subject:
nu kommer jeg (now I am coming)
but: jeg kommer nu (now I am coming) adverb after subject
an adverb phrase precedes the subject:
i morges stod jeg tidligt op (this morning I got up early)
an object (for emphasising) precedes the subject:
drengen kender jeg ikke (I don't know the boy)

but: jeg kender ikke drengen (I don't know the boy)


if a subordinate clause comes before the main clause:
hvis jeg havde penge, ville jeg kbe en bil (if I had money, I would buy a car)
(jeg ville kbe en bil, hvis jeg havde penge)

POSITION OF SMALL ADVERBS

Small adverbs are:


ikke, aldrig, altid, kun, snart, gerne
(not, never, always, only, soon, "should like")

A. The position of the small adverbs in subordinate clauses is always after the subject
SAV (subject+adverb+finite verb):
han siger, at han ikke kommer (he says that he does not come)
S
A
V
han siger, at han ikke vil komme (he says that he will not come)
S A V
han har en bog, som han aldrig har lst (he has a book that he has never read)
S A
V

B. Position of small adverbs in main clauses is


1. Normal word order (the adverb is after the finite verb):
SVA (subject+verb+adverb) or
S V1 A V2 object(subject+finite+adverb+infinte verb+object)
a. if there is no object
or the object is a substantive (phrase)
or the verb consists of 2 words:
han kommer ikke (he does not come)

(no object)

jeg kender ikke manden (I do not know the man)


S
V
A

(the object is a noun)

jeg har ikke kendt manden (I have not known the man) (the verb is 2 words: har-kendt)

jeg har ikke kendt ham (I have not known him)

(the verb is 2 words: har--

kendt)
S V1 A

V2

b. One important exception:


if the object(s) are pronouns
and the verb is only 1 word
then the adverb is placed after the object pronoun (S V object(s) A):
jeg kender ham ikke
(I do not know him)
S V
O A
jeg giver ham den ikke (I do not give it to him)
S V Oi Od A
jeg giver ham ikke bogen (I do not give him the book)
S V
Oi A Od
2. Inversion:
VSA (verb+subject+adverb) or
V1 S A V2(finite verb+subject+adverb+infinite verb)
i morgen kommer jeg ikke (tomorrow I shall not come)
V
S A
i morgen vil jeg ikke komme (tomorrow I shall not come)
V1 S A V2
i Kolding har jeg aldrig vret (I have never been in Kolding)
V1 S A
V2

CONSTRUCTION OF SENTENCES

MAIN CLAUSES
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

jeg
men jeg
jeg
ham
og stor
i dag

kender
kender
ikke
har
ikke set ham
har jeg aldrigset
er
han ogs blevet
kommer hun
kommer hun ikke
hvis hun kommer
bliverjeg
hvem
er
pigen

ham ikke
manden
i huset
i lang tid
her
kl. 5
med bussen ?
glad
i huset ?

10

hvor

har

du

vret

henne ?

1. jeg kender ham ikke (I do not know him)


2. men jeg kender ikke manden i huset (but I do not know the man in the house)
3. jeg har ikke set ham i lang tid (I have not seen him for a long time)
4. ham har jeg aldrig set (I have never seen him)
5. og stor er han ogs blevet (and he has also grown tall)
6. i dag kommer hun kl. 5 (today she will come at 5 o'clock)
7. kommer hun ikke med bussen ? (does she not come by bus ?)
8. hvis hun kommer, bliver jeg glad (if she comes I shall be glad)
9. hvem er pigen i huset ? (who is the girl in the house ?)
10. hvor har du vret henne (where have you been ?)
SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
1
2
3
4
5
6

at
han ikke kan komme
idag
som jeg aldrighar set
fr
der
ikke er
get
endnu
om
hun
kender
ham
mere
hvis
jeg ikke mder
hende
igen
hvornr jeg
ser dig
igen

1. ...at han ikke kan komme idag (...that he cannot come today)
2. ...som jeg aldrig har set fr (...who I have never seen before)
3. ...der ikke er get endnu (...who has not gone yet)
4. ...om hun kender ham mere (...whether she knows him anymore)
5. ...hvis jeg ikke mder hende igen (...if I do not meet her again)
6. ...hvorr jeg ser dig igen (...when I shall see you again)