Scandinavian language challenge day 28

Today I worked through chapter 9 of Danish in three months, covering:

  • relative pronouns
  • word order: more complex types
  • politeness
  • other words

Relative pronouns

The relative pronoun som (who, which, that) is used for both singular and plural, subject and object. When the relative pronoun is the subject, it can be replaced by der. When the relative pronoun is the object, som can often be left out:

  • Enhver, der/som kan svømme, kan være med
    (anyone who can swim can take part)
  • De bukser, som/der var i udsalget, kosteded kun det halve
    (the trousers which were in the sale cost only half as much)
    [The demonstrative article der is used in this example, but need not be included]
  • pigen, (som) du flirtede med
    (the girl you were flirting with)
  • jeg kan lide det, (som) fjernsynet viser nu
    (I like what is on TV now [what TV is showing now])

As the 3rd example above shows, a preposition (such as med) can be stranded at the end of the relative clause, as in informal English and Norwegian (but not in most other European languages).

The genitive form of the relative pronoun is hvis:
Manden, hvis skyld det var, tilstod.
(the man whose fault it was confessed)

Der is added with hvad and hvem in some cases when they are the subject:

  • Fortæl mig, hvem der gjorde dette her
    (tell me who (it was that) did this
  • Hvad der så skete, ved jeg ikke
    (what happened there, I don’t know)
  • Ved hun, hvad der er nødvendigt?
    (does she know at is necessary?)

Word order: complex types

If a subordinate clause precedes a main clause, the subject and verb in the main clause must invert:

  • Du skal vande græsplænen, før du kører til Ålborg
    (you must water the lawn before you drive to Ålborg)

Some common adverbs and negatives (such as ikke, aldrig, altid, ingenting) come between the subject and the verb:

  • Siden jeg ikke er rig
    (since I am not rich)
  • selvom han ingenting har gjort i tag
    (even though he hasn’t done anyhting today)
  • med mindre du faktisk har tid
    (unless you actually have time)
  • hvad jeg ikke har gjort er at skrive det brev
    (what I haven’t done is write that letter)
  • mureren havde arbejdere, som vi ikke kunne lide
    (the mason had workers we didn’t like)
  • den, som/der ikke vil prøve, er en kujon
    He who will not try is a coward)

When a question is part of a longer sentence, its word order is like in a subordinate clause, but clauses beginning with at (that) can optionally use main clause word order:

  • Hun sporgte, om vi ikke også ville komme
    (she asked whether we wouldn’t like to come too)
  • Fortæl mig, hvad du synes, og hvad vi skulle gjøre
    (tell me what you are thinking and what we should do)
  • Han sagde, at han havde ikke tid [at han ikke havde tid)
    (he said he didn’t have time)

In addition, the word order may need to change for emphasis:
Han sagde, at tid havde han ikke.


A negative relating to the subordinate clause sometimes appears in the main clause:

  • Jeg håber ikke, det regner i dag
    (I hope it won’t rain to day. Literally: I don’t hope it will rain)
  • Han håber aldrig, det sker igen
    (he hopes it will never happen again)

Politeness

More formal ways to say please, other than tusind tak / mange tak:

  • vi beder Dem veligst…
  • Vi gør høfligst opmærksom på …
  • tak for mad (thank you for the meal); response: vebekomme (you’re welcome)
  • tak for sidst (thank you for last time); tak for i går (thanks for last night)

Reply to thanks: tak i lige måde (and you); å, jeg beder (= German bitte sehr); ikke noget takke for… (not at all)

Handing something over: værsgo (there you are, literally: be so good)


Undskyld (sorry / excuse me):

Undskyld. De ku’ Økunne vel ikke lige sige mig vejen til…
(Excuse me. I don’t suppose you could just tell me the way to..)

Må jeg godt lige komme forbi? (excuse me, can I come past?)

Undskyld mig bare et øjeblik (excuse me a moment)

Undskyld, må jeg lige se den
(excuse me, may I just have a look at it?)

Jeg er frygteligt af den (I’m terribly sorry)


Congratulations: til lykke (med); må jeg gratulere
til lykke til fødselsdagen (happy birthday)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year: glædelig jul og godt nytår!
Good luck: held og lykke
Get well soon: god bedring

Some of the other words in this chapter

Nouns (like in English or German): en skinke (-r, ham); en delikatessedisk (-e, deli counter); smør (butter); en agurk (-er, gherkin); en prins (-er, prince); en dør (-e, door); en madras (-ser, matrass); en krop (-pe, body); en forfatter (-e, author = German verfasser?); en præst (-er, priest); en historie (-r, story); en opgave (-r, task = German Aufgabe); en kvittering (-er, receipt); en job (-, job); en lærerinde (-r, female teacher); en abe (-r, monkey); en skjorte (-r, shirt)

Other nouns: en pølse (-r, sausage); lamerulle pølse (rolled lamb sausage); spegepølse (salami); en snes (-e, a score, 20); en leverpostej (-er, liver paté); en kylling (-er, chicken); en fristelse (-r, temptation); en ært (-er, pea); en bund (-e, bottom); en edderdunsdyne (-r, eiderdown); bukser (trousers); en nøgle (r, key)

Verbs (like in English or German): runde af (round off); slutte (finish); stave (spell = German buchstabieren); rulle (roll); samle (gather); hade (hate); vaske (wash)

Other verbs: komme (put); banke (knock); gifte seg med (marry); lukke op (open); fare vild (get lost); byde ind (ask in); genfortælle (retell); gå fallit (go bankrupt)

Colours: hvid; grå; sort (black); gul (yellow); grøn; blå; brun; rød; orangefarvet; violet/purpur

Other adjectives: grov (coarse); ægte (genuine); rigtig (correct); hel (whole); -årig (.. years old); hård (hard); nutidig (present day); forfærdelig (terrible)

Other words: dernede (down there); oven på (on top (of); vist (probably, I think); væk (away = German weg)

Other phrases: i orden (alright); lad gå (alright); over det hele (overall)

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