Word Order in Danish

Word Order in Danish

Rules of Danish word order: How to form sentences

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.



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Dr. Jennifer Wagner

PhD in Applied Linguistics, ESL/French teacher, author of two French books, and helping others to learn languages online at ielanguages.com.