Scandinavian language challenge day 7

Today I worked through the second chapter of Danish in three months, covering:

  • verbs: basic form and present tense
  • object pronouns
  • sentence building: questions and answers
  • question word: who, what

Verbs: infinitive and present tense

The infinitive of verbs ends in unstressed e or a stressed vowel. Examples: at høre (to hear); at stå (to stand).

The present tense is formed by adding -r. Examples: hører; står. That using is used for all persons of the singular and plural.

The present sense of some verbs (for example, at befri, at sy) can be written with an -e (befrier, syer)

The stressed syllable is usually short in the present tense—even if it is long in the infinitive.

If the infinitive ends in a stressed vowel, the vowel is always followed by a glottal stop. The glottal stop is retained in the present tense. Examples of these verbs: at forstå (to understand); at se (to see); at slå (to hit); at le (to laught); at gå (to go); at befri (to release); at sy (to sew).

Verbs that are irregular in the present tense incclude gør (at gøre = to do) and ved (at vide = to know a fact; to know a person = kende).
Jeg ved, hvor han bor, men jeg kender ham ikke.
I know where he lives but I don’t know him.

A passive form of the verb is formed by adding the suffix -s in the infinitive and present tense. Examples: vi skændes ( we are quarrelling, infinitive: at skændes); jeg synes, det er grimt (I thik it is ugly); Synes du om filmen (do you like the film?)

Some verbs (like English or German):

  • at synge (to sing) at tale (to speak); at spise (to eat); at løbe (to run); at bruge (to use); at blive (to become, turn, stay); at komme (to come); at ligge (to lie); at lægge (to lay); at sidde (to sit); at ryge (to smoke); at drikke (to smoke); at bide (to bite); at sælge (to sell); at falde (to fall); at kalde (to call); at hade (to hate); at bringe (to bring); at tage (to take); at tage med (go/come along); at købe (to buy); at møde (to meet); at sove (to sleep); at flyve (to fly); at skubbe (to push, eg at skubbe en trillebør, to push a wheelbarrow); at sejle (to sail); at besøge (to visit); at skrive (to write); at besøke (visit);

Some other verbs:

  • at adlyde (to obey); at elsker (to love); at hente (to collect, fetch); at spørge (to ask); at svare (to answer); at køre (to drive); at bo (to live); at rydde op (to clear up); at slappe af (to relax); at gø (bark);

Object pronouns

You (familiar)
You (polite)
It (common)
It (neuter)
You (pl. fam)
You (pl. pol)


Hinanden = each other
De arbejder med hinanden = They are working with each other
Måndene giver hinanden hånden på det = the men shake hands on it

Sentence building: questions and answers

Simple sentences:

  • the verb always comes second
  • if the subject comes after the verb, it comes right after the verb.

Simple question (without interrogative word):

  • the verb comes first
  • the subject follows right after the verb.
    Example: køber du en bil i dag? Are you buying a car today?

Negative answers:

  • nej + no
  • ikke = not. Ikke comes immediately after the subject and verb. Example: Neg, jeg forstårikke tysk. No, I don’t undedrstand German.

Like ikke, some adverbs, such as aldrig (=never), altid (= always), nu (= now), tit (= often) also come immediately after the subject and verb. Example: Peter kende aldrig svaret = Peter never knows the answer.

But, if the object is a pronoun, ikke and these adverbs go immediately after the pronoun object, not after the verb. Example: Jeg drikker den ikke i dag. I am not drinking that today.

Jo (rather tha Ja) is used to give an affirmative answer to a negative question (like German doch or French si).

Tag questions:

  • positive: use ikke. Example: Det er kald i dag, ikke?I t’s cold today, isn’t it?
  • negative, use vel. Example: Franskmændene spiller aldrig godt mod os, vel? The French never play well against us, do they?

Question words: who, what


  • Hvem taler dansk? Who speaks Danish?
  • Hvem giver du boret til? Who are you giving the wine to?
  • Hvor er benzinstationen? Where is the petrol station?
  • Hvornår sender Margrethe brevet? When is Margrethe sending the letter?
  • Hvordan køber du en ny bil y dag? How are you buying a new car today?
  • Hver stor er byen? How big is the town?
  • Hvad spiser du? What are you eating?
  • Hvis bil kører du? Whose car are you driving?
  • Hvorfor læser du bogen? Why are you reading the book?

Some other words

Prepositions: til (to); mod (towards); ad (at); for (for); mellem (between); om (about); i (in)

Nouns (like English or German): en fugl (-e)(bird); et vind (window); et øjeblik (minute); svigermore (mother-in-law); forår (spring); snart (soon); et wienerbrød (Danish pastry); en høne (-r)( hen); dér (there: note accent); en vin (-e) (wine); en skole (-er) (school); en ferie (r) (holiday); årsag (cause); virkning (effect); mand (husband); adresse (-r)(address)

Other nouns: en skov (wood / forest); held (luck); en gave (-r) (gift); en ven (friend); en morgenmad (breakfast); politibejent (policeman)

Adjectives: rasende (furious); hans (his); færdig finished; selvfølggelig; (of course); naturligvis (of course)

Other words: eller (or); meget (much, a lot); men (but); lidt (a little); når (when); alene (alone); selvf

phrases: i dag (today); i år (this year); måske (perhaps); så (so that)

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