Scandinavian language challenge day 22

Today I worked through chapter 7 of Danish in three months, covering:

  • possessive pronouns
  • adjectives: comparative and superlative
  • impersonal pronoun
  • other words

Possessive pronouns

min / mit / mine
din / dit / dine
Deres
hans
hendes
dens
dets

vor / vort / vore
jeres
Deres
deres
deres
deres
deres

As in Swedish and Norwegian, the form sin / sint / sine is used in stead of hans / hendes / dens / dets when the possessor is singular and is also the subject in the same clause:
Peter gav Jens hans hat (Peter gave Jens Jens’s hat)
Peter gav Hens sin hat (Peter gave Jens Peter’s own hat)

In common use, both our (adjective) and ours (pronoun) are vores. Vor / vort / vort are used in formal writing.


The above forms are largely the same as in both Norwegian (day 15) and Swedish (day 17), with some spelling and other differences:

  • neuter forms end in -t in Danish (mit, dit, sit, vort) but in -tt in Norwegian and Swedish
  • plural forms end in -e in Danish and Norwegian (mine, dine, sine, vore) but in -a in Swedish
  • her / hers is hendes in Danish
  • in Danish and Norwegian, its is dens (common gender) / dets (neuter). In Swedish, its is dess (both genders).
  • Our / ours is vor / vort / vore in Danish but vår / vårt / våra in Swedish and vår / vårt / våre in Norwegian
  • your (plural, familiar) is jeres in Danish, eres in Swedish and er / ert / ere in Norwegian. This form is indeclinable in Danish and Swedish (used for both genders and in singular and plural) but indeclinable in Norwegian.
  • your / yours (formal) is Deres in Danish in both singular and plural. Swedish doesn’t have a formal form. Norwegian has the same form as Danish in the singular but apparently no longer makes this distinction in the plural. (The textbook isn’t explicit on this, so I got this information from Chapter 8 Norwegian by John Ole Askedal in The Germanic Languages, edited by Ekkehard König and Johann van der Auwera)
  • their / theirs is deres in Danish and Norwegian but deras in Swedish

Adjectives: comparative and superlative

Comparatives are mostly formed by adding -ere or -re and superlatives by adding -est or -st.
Example: lav (low); lavere (lower); lavest (lowest).

Some adjectives (usually longer ones, as well as all adjectives ending in -fuld, -ende, -et or -t) form the comparative by adding mer (more) and their superlative by adding mest (most), in a manner similar to English: mere samvittighedsfuld (more conscientious).


Some irregular comparisons and superlatives:


god
dårlig
ung
gammel
lidt
stor

mange
meget/megen
lang

Comparative
bedre
verre
yngre
eldre
mindre
større
færre
flere
mere
længre

Superlative
bedst
verst
yngst
eldst
mindst
størst
færst
flest
mest
længst


good
bad
young
old
little
big
few
many
much
long

The above irregular forms are all the same as in Norwegian, except for spelling differences: værre / værst instead of verre / verst; ælde / ældest instead of eldre / eldst; længre / længst instead of lengre / lengst; bedst instead of best); lidt instead of liten; meget / megen instead of mye / meget; mindst instead of minst.


Other points:

  • The superlative adds -e in the indefinite plural and in all definite forms: den sødeste sang (the sweetest song); de sødeste sange (the sweetest songs)
  • The superlative can be intensified by adding the prefix aller- (example: allerrstørst: very biggest).
  • (even) … than is (endnu) … end.
    mors store frokost er endnu større end den allerstørste appetit (mother’s big lunch is even bigger than the very biggest appetite)
  • More / most is mere / mest when it relates to quantity or degree but flere / flest when it relates to number
    • De har spist det meste af osten (they have eaten most of the cheese)
    • De fleste butikker holder åbent idag (Most shops are open today)
  • Less and least are mindre and mindst: mindre misundelig (less envious); mindst ondskabsful (least vicious)

Spelling changes:

  • some consonants double. Examples: smallere (narrower, from smal); flottere (smarter, from flot); smukkere (more beautiful (from smuk); dummer (more stupid, from dum)
  • adjectives ending in -ig (but not those ending in -rig) or -som add only -st in the superlative. Examples: deyligst (loveliest); fattigst (poorest); lykkeligst (happiest); langsomst (slowest)
  • adjectives ending in -el, -en or -er generally drop the e (and drop half of a final double consonant. Examples: dovnest (laziest, from doven); lækrest (tastiest, from lækker).

Impersonal pronoun

The impersonal pronoun (English one, German man, French on) is man as the subject and én [with stressed é] as the object:

  • Man kan ikke gøre for, at man stammer (You can’t help it if you stutter.)
  • Motion er godt for én (exercise is good for one / you)

The possessive form is ens, but sin / sit / sine is used when this relates to man used as the subject:

  • Det sårer ens stolthed (It hurts one’s pride)
  • Man har sin stolthed (One has one’s pride)

Some of the other words in this chapter

Nouns (as in English or German): en brug (use. have brug for = need); et fodbold (-, football); en pligt (-er, duty); en høne (-r, hen) ; et æg (-, eggs); en stol (-e, chair); an appelsin (-er, orange); en fod (fødder, foot); en tunge (-r, tongue); en samling (-er, collection); en ting (-, things); en busk (-e, bush); et bøgetræ (-er, beech tree); et land (-e, country); en verden (-er, world); et par (-, couple); en deltager (-e, participant)

Other nouns: en skæbe (-er, fate); et tag (-e, roof); et formål (-, purpose); en lomme (-r, pocket); en tur (-e, turn); en grønthandel (greengrocer’s shop); en grønsag (-er, vegetable); en gulerod (-rødder, carrot); en ost (-e, cheese); en skat (-te, treasure, darling, tax); en skatteyder (-e, taxpayer); ø (en -er, island); en udlænding (-e, foreigner);et vejr (weather); et helbred (health);

Adjectives (like English or German): egen (eget, egne = own); skarp (sharp); dyr (expensive); rig (rich); klog (wise); høj (high); bred (wide); billig (cheap); ædel (noble); munter (cheerful); arbejdsløs (unemployed); dyktig (able); beskeden (modest); uforbederlig (incorrigible); umulig (impossible)

Other adjectives: mørk (dark); blød (soft); charmerend (charming); buttet (plump); gammeldags (old-fashioned); et tøj (clothes); smidig (flexible); moden (ripe); kær (dear); hurtig (quick); køn (pretty);

Verbs: passe på (pay attention to); gå klædt i (to wear); forbedre (improve); skynde sig (hurry); smage (taste); sammenligne (compare); stole på (trust); skuffe (disappoint); emigrere (emigrate); håbe (hope); flytte (move)

Other words and phrases: til højre (to the right); mere plads til (more room for); sådan noget (that kind of thing, sådan noget gør man ikke = that kind of thing isn’t done); umådelig meget (a great deal); heller ikke (not … either: havde vi ikke haft oldtiden, havde vi heller ikke haft nutiden = if we hadn’t had antiquity, we wouldn’t have had the prsent day either); oldtiden vedkommer os ikke (antiquity does not concern us); man har ment at (it has been said that); det bliver (that comes to, in a shop); langt (far); blot (only); sans for humor (sense of humour)

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