Danish II Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar


21. Possessive Adjectives & Pronouns

with en words with et words with plural words
my / mine min mit mine
your / yours din dit dine
his / her / its / their sin sit sine
his / his hans hans hans
her / hers hendes hendes hendes
its / its dens dens dens
our / ours vores vores vores
your / yours deres deres deres
their / theirs deres deres deres

 

The same forms are used for possessive adjectives that are used directly before nouns and for possessive pronouns that replace a noun. For example, this is my car and this is mine would be translated as det her er min bil and det her er min.

Sin, sit and sine can only be used when the third person possessive adjective refers to the subject of the same clause. These words can be translated as his, her, its or their. Generally, if you cannot insert "own" after the possessive adjective in English, you cannot use sin/sit/sine.

Per besøger sin mor. = Per visits his (own) mother. (Sin refers back to Per.)
Eva ringer til hans mor. = Eva calls his mother. (Hans refers to Per, not Eva.)


22. To Do/Make & To Become

gøre - to do/make blive - to become
present gør  bliver
past gjorde blev
future vil gøre vil blive


23. Work

actor skuespiller judge dommer
actress skuespillerinde lawyer advokat
author forfatter mechanic mekaniker
baker bager musician musiker
baker's shop bageri nurse sygeplejerske
bookseller bogsælger official embedsmand
bookshop boghandel optician (eye doctor) optiker
businessman forretningsmand painter maler
butcher slagter photographer fotograf
pharmacist farmaceut/apoteker policeman politimand
pharmacy apotek postman postbud
cook kok priest præst
customer kunde publisher forlægger
dentist tandlæge scientist videnskabsmand
doctor læge shoemaker skomager
employee ansat/medarbjeder shop, store butik/forretning
engineer ingenør singer sanger
fisherman fisker student studerende
gardener gardner surgeon kirurg
hairdresser frisør tailor skrædder
jeweler juvelér teacher lærer
journalist journalist workman arbejder


24. Prepositions

ved  by, at, next to af of, by, with
i in bag behind
on, in, at iblandt among
hos at the house of ved siden af beside
til to efter after, for
fra from ifølge according to
gennem through, by foran in front of
langs along for  for, by, with
over across, over omkring around
mod towards, to med with, by
mellem between under under, below
om around, about, in uden without
siden since undtagen except for
trods in spite of mod towards, for

 


25. Countries & Nationalities

  Country Noun Adjective
Africa / African Afrika afrikaner afrikansk
America / American Amerika amerikaner amerikansk
Argentina / Argentinan Argentina argentiner argentinsk
Asia / Asian Asien asiat asiatisk
Australia / Australian Australien australier australsk
Austria / Austrian Østrig østriger østrigsk
Belgium / Belgian Belgien belgier belgisk
Brazil / Brazilian Brasilien brasilianer brasiliansk
Canada / Canadian Canada canadier canadisk
China / Chinese Kina kineser kinesisk
Denmark / Dane Danmark dansker dansk
Egypt / Egyptian Egypten egypter egyptisk
England / English England englænder engelsk
Europe / European Europa europæer europæisk
Finland / Finnish Finland finne finsk
France / French Frankrig franskmand fransk
Germany / German Tyskland tysker tysk
Great Britain / British Storbritanien britte brittisk
Greece / Greek Grækenland græker græsk
Netherlands / Dutch Holland hollænder hollandsk
Hungary / Hungarian Ungarn ungarer ungarsk
Ireland / Irish Irland irer irsk
Italy / Italian Italien italiener italiensk
Japan / Japanese Japan japaner japansk
Norway / Norwegian Norge nordmand norsk
Poland / Polish Polen polak polsk
Portugal / Portuguese Portugal portugiser portugisisk
Russia / Russian Rusland russer russisk
Scotland / Scottish Scotland skotte skotsk
Spain / Spanish Spanien spanier spansk
Sweden / Swedish Sverige svensker svensk
Switzerland / Swiss Schweiz schweizer schweizisk
Turkey / Turkish Tyrkiet tyrker tyrkisk
United States USA amerikaner amerikansk

 


26. Negative Sentences

 

To make a sentence negative, simply add ikke after the verb. If there is an auxiliary verb and a main verb, inte goes between the two. In addition, if you answer "yes" to a negative question, you must use jo instead of ja.


27. Short Answers

 

A yes/no question can be answered with a short phrase, just as in English. The verb gøre (to do/make) is used with the pronoun det and the subject of the question. Some verbs are not replaced by gøre and are repeated in the short answer, such as være and have. This is very similar to English, except for the word order.

Positive Short Answer: Ja + det + Verb + Subject
Negative Short Answer: Nej + det + Verb + Subject + ikke

Arbejder han her? Does he work here?
Ja det gør han. Yes he does. 
Nej det gør han ikke. No, he does not.
   
Er de glade? Are they happy?
Ja det er de. Yes they are.
Nej, det er de ikke.  No, they are not.

 


28. To Come & To Go

komme - to come - to go
present kommer går
past kom  gik
future vil komme vil gå


29. Common Auxiliary Verbs

kunne - be able to, can ville - to want to - to be allowed to -- must, have to
present kan vil  får må/skal
past kunne   ville   fik ---

 

Just as in English, there is no past form of must. You can either use var tvunget or blev nød til instead, as in jeg var tvunget til at ... = I had to...

  skulle - supposed to, will, should burde - should,  ought to pleje - usually, used to behøve - need to
present skal bør plejer behøver
past skulle burde plejede behøvede


Vi kan tale engelsk We can speak english
Han kunne ikke spille He could not play
Sven vil sove Sven wants to sleep
Hun vil have kaffe She wants coffee
Du må (gerne) ryge You may smoke
De må (skal) gå hjem nu They have to go home now
Du må ikke ryge You may not smoke
Jeg plejer at drikke kaffe efter frokost I usually drink coffee after lunch

 


30. Conjugating Regular Verbs (Present and Past Tenses)


The majority of verbs in Danish end in -e in the infinitive and they are only conjugated according to tense, not subject.

 

Present Tense
Past Tense
jeg taler I speak jeg talte I spoke
du taler you speak du talte you spoke
han taler he speaks han talte he spoke
hun taler she speaks hun talte she spoke
vi taler we speak vi talte we spoke
i taler you speak i talte you spoke
de taler they speak de talte they spoke


Please note the three present tenses in English (simple, progressive and emphatic) are all translated by one verb form in Danish. Jag taler can mean I speak, I am speaking or I do speak.


arbejde to work
spørge to ask
åbne to open
tale to speak
ringe to ring
lukke to close
følge to follow
bygge to build
tænke to think
ryge to smoke
læse to read
købe to buy
tro to believe
bo to live, dwell

31. Reflexive Verbs

Some verbs in Danish are reflexive verbs, in that the action by the subject is performed by itself. This is comparable to the -self or -selves pronouns used in English with some verbs, such as he behaves himself. Most of the time, verbs that are reflexive in Danish are not reflexive in English. To conjugate these verbs, simply add these pronouns after the verb:

mig myself os ourselves
dig yourself dem yourselves
sig himself/herself/itself sig theirselves

 


32. Commands

The stem of a verb (the infinitive minus the final -e) is often the imperative or command form:

Imperative Translation
åben! open!
vent! wait!
skriv! write!
læs! read!

33. Present & Past Perfect

The present and past perfect tenses consist of two parts: har / havde and the past participle of the main verb. This is a compound tense that corresponds to has/have / had and a past participle in English.

 

Infinitive
Present
Past
Past Participle
arbejde to work arbejder arbejdede arbejdet
spørge to ask spørger spurgte spurgt
åbne to open åbner åbnede åbnet
tale to speak taler talte talt
ringe to ring ringer ringede ringet
lukke to close lukker lukkede lukket
følge to follow følger fulgte fulgt
bygge to build bygger byggede bygget
tænke to think tænker tænkte tænkt
ryge to smoke ryger røg røget
læse to read læser læste læst
købe to buy køber købte købt
bo to believe bor boede boet
tro to live, dwell tror troede troet

 

Jeg har læst bogen. I have read the book.
Hun havde åbnet døren. She had opened the door.


34. Irregular Verbs

Several verbs in Danish are considered irregular because they do not follow the rules for the different conjugations. These forms need to be memorized since these verbs are very common.

Infinitive Imperative Present Past Past Participle Translation
være vær er var været be
have hav har havde haft have
komme kom kommer kom kommet come
gøre gør gør gjorde gjort do, make
tage tag tager tog taget take
sige sig siger sagde sagt say
vide vid ved vidste vidst know
lade lad lader lod ladet let
holde hold holder holdt holdt hold
hedde hed hedder hed heddet be called
går gik gået go
rejse rejs rejser rejste rejst travel
bære bær bær bar båret carry
trække træk trækker trak trukket pull, drag
ligge lig ligger ligget lie (down)
lægge læg lægger lagde lagt put
sidde sid sidder sad sat put
slå slå slår slog slået hit
falde fald falder faldt faldet fall
spise spis spiser spiste spist eat
sove sov sover sov sovet sleep
stjæle stjæl stjæler stjal stjålet steal
græde græd græder græd grædt cry
sælge sælg sælger solgte solgt sell
vælge vælg vælger valgte valgt choose
vænne væn vænner vænnede vænnet accustom
sluge slug sluger slugte slugt swallow
skille skil skiller skilte skilt separate


Some have irregular simple past and/or past participle forms. Sometimes these involve a vowel change and lack of ending.

Infinitive Past Past Participle Translations
binde bandt bundet to bind / bound / bound
bænde brændte brændt to burn / burned / burned
drikke drak drukket to drink / drank / drunk
finde fandt fundet to find / found / found
forsvinde forsvandt forsvundet to disappear / disappeared / disappeared
nåede nået to manage / managed / managed
løbe løb løbet to run, flow / ran, flowed / run, flowed
sidde sad siddet to sit / sat / sat
slippe slap sluppet to get out of / got out of / gotten out of
stikke stak stukket to split / split / split
stikke  stak stukket to stick / stuck / stuck
vinde vandt vundet to win / won / won
bide bed bidt to bite / bit / bitten
gribe greb grebet to grip / gripped / gripped
lide led lidt to suffer / suffered / suffered
ride red redet to ride / rode / ridden
skinne skinnede skinnet to shine / shone / shone
skrive skrev skrevet to write / wrote / written
slide sled slidt to wear out / wore out / worn out
stige steg steget to rise / rose / risen
tie teg tiet to be silent / was silent / been silent
vride vred vredet to turn / turned / turned
byde bød budt to invite / invited / invited
lyve løg løget to lie / lied / lied (to tell a lie)
synge sang sunget to sing / sang / sung
skyde skød skudt to shoot / shot / shot
bryde brød brudt to break / broke / broken
flyve fløj fløjet to fly / flew / flown
flyde flød flydt to float / floated / floated
fryse frøs frosset to freeze / froze / frozen
binde bandt bundet to tie up / tied up / tied up
krybe krøb krøbet to crawl / crawled / crawled

A few infinitives in Danish do not end in -e. These are short verbs and they end in a long, stressed vowel. The infinitive is the same as the imperative, and the present tense is formed by adding -r. The past tense if formed by adding -ede to the infinitive, and the past participle is formed by adding -et to the infinitive. However, a few of the short verbs have an irregular form in the past.

 

Infinitive / Imperative Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle Translation
Short verbs with a regular past:
tro tror troede troet believe, think
ske sker skete sket happen
når nåede nået reach
bo bor boede boet live 
dør døede døet die
 
Short verbs with an irregular past:
får fik fået get, receive
går gik gået go, walk
give giver gav givet give
se ser set see
stå står stod stået stand
be ber bad bedt ask, pray
le ler lo leet laugh

35. Food & Meals

bacon bacon / flæsk salt salt
beef oksekød sandwich mad / sandwhich
beer øl sauce sovs
beverage sodavand sausage pølse
biscuit småkage soup suppe
bread brød stew gryderet
breakfast morgenmad sugar sukker
butter smør supper middag
cake kage tea te
cheese ost veal kalvekød
chicken kylling vegetables grøntsager
coffee kaffe vinegar eddike
cream fløde wine vin
dessert dessert basin skål
dinner middag / aftensmad bottle flaske
egg æg can opener dåseåbner
fried egg spejlæg coffee pot kaffekande
soft-boiled egg blødkogt æg colander dørslag
fat fedt corkscrew proptrækker
flour mel cup kop
ham skinke dish ret
honey honning fork gaffel
jam syltetøj / marmelade frying pan stegepande
lunch frokokst glass glas
meal måltid jug krukke
meat kød kettle keddel
milk mælk knife kniv
mustard sennep lid låg
mutton fårekød napkin serviet
oil olie plate tallerken
omelet omelet saucer underkop
pepper peber saucepan kasserolle
pork svinekød spoon ske
roll bolle tablecloth dug
salad salat teapot tekande

 


36. Fruits & Vegetables

almond mandel strawberry jordbær
apple æble tree træ
apple tree æbletræ tree trunk stamme
apricot aprikos vine slyngplante
ash ask walnut valnød
bark bark willow pil
beech bøg artichoke artiskok
berry bær asparagus asparges
birch birk barley byg
blackberry brumbær bean (broad) bønne
branch gren bean (kidney) kidneybønne
cherry kirsebær brussel sprouts rosenkål
cherry tree kirsebærtræ cabbage kål
chestnut kastanje  carrot gulerod
chestnut tree kastanjetræ cauliflower blomkål
currant solbær celery selleri
cypress cypres corn majs
date dadel cucumber agurk
elm elm eggplant aubergine
fig figen garlic hvidløg
fir gran herb urte
fruit frugt horse-radish peberrod
grapes vindruer lentil linse
hazelnut hasselnød lettuce salat
kernel kerne maize majs
laurel laurbær mint mynte
leaf blad mushroom svamp
lemon citron oats havre
lime tree limetræ onion løg
melon melon parsley persille
oak eg pea ært
olive oliven potato kartoffel
olive tree oliventræ pumpkin græskar
orange appelsin radish radisse
orange tree appelsintræ rice ris
peach fersken rye rug
pear pære sage salvie
pear tree pæretræ seed frø
pine gran spinach spinat
pineapple ananas stalk stilk
plum blomme tomato tomat
poplar poppel turnip roe
raspberry hindbær wheat hvede
root rod    


37. Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

og and
eller or
men but
fordi, for at because, for
so
som as
enten...eller either...or
hverken...eller neither...nor

Subordinating Conjunctions

at that
da when
eftersom because, as
for at in order to, so that
fordi  because
inden before
imens while
når when
hvis, om if, whether (interrogation)
selvom even if, although
siden since, as
nu hvor now that
 

38. Word Order

 

In general, the word order of Danish is the same as English: Subject + Verb + Object. However, the word order is slightly different from English when something other than the subject of the verb begins the sentence. In declarative sentences, the main verb is always in the second position (but not necessarily the second word!). For example, if a sentence begins with an adverb or an object, the verb will be the second element in the sentence, and the subject will come after the verb. Then any other forms of verbs (such as participles or infinitives) will come after the subject.

 

Adverb or Object Main Verb Subject (Participle / Infinitive) Translation
I morgen  tager jeg til Danmark I'm going to Denmark tomorrow.
I butikken køber  jeg brød I buy bread in the store.

 

In sentences that begin with a subordinate clause, the second (independent) clause will have inversion of the verb and subject. The subordinate clause is the first element in the sentence, so the verb must be second, and the subject is third.

 

Subordinate Clause Main Verb Subject Rest of Sentence Translation
Da jeg var ung boede jeg i Danmark. When I was young, I lived in Denmark.
Nu hvor hun er kommet kan vi begynde Now that she's arrived we can begin.


39. Asking Questions

Yes/No questions: Invert the subject and verb so that the verb begins the question.

Arbejder han? Does he work?
Regner det? Is it raining?

Question Words: The question word begins the question, and the verb comes next, followed by the subject.

Hvor bor Sten? Where does Sten live?
Hvad laver Elsa? What does Elsa do?


40. Holiday Phrases

 

God Jul! Merry Christmas!
Godt nytår! Happy New Year!
God påske! Happy Easter!
Tillykke med fødselsdagen! Happy Birthday!


The DANish National Anthem

Der er et yndigt land,
det står med brede bøge
nær salten østerstrand
nær salten østerstrand.
Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,
det hedder gamle Danmark,
og det er Frejas sal,
og det er Frejas sal.

Vort gamle Danmark skal bestå,
så længe bøgen spejler
sin top i bølgen blå,
sin top i bølgen blå.

 

There is a lovely country
it stands with broad beeches
near the salty eastern beach,

near the salty eastern beach.
It winds itself in hill, valley,
it is called old Denmark
and it is Freja's hall,
and it is Freja's hall.

Our old Denmark shall endure,
as long as the beech reflects
its top in the blue wave,
its top in the blue wave.

 


 

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