"Det er en jente."
Translation:That is a girl.
I wrote: "This is a girl" - which was quit as wrong.
What is the difference in "this" or "that" here?
this = dette (n), denne (m/f)
that = det (n), den (m/f)
"This" is used when speaking of something close to you, and "that" for speaking of something that is farther away.
Because at that point we've not yet established that "it" is "en jente"; it's just a placeholder subject, and thus defaults to the neuter version.
Once the noun, and with it its gender, is established. All pronouns pointing back to it must agree with its gender.
''det'' and ''dere'' sounds kinda same. Can somene please tell me the difference?
Det = it/that (pron. something like deh)
Dere = you, plural (pron. something like deh-reh)
That's a good thing, cause it's a silent letter. (But note that de and det are different words and pronounced differently.)
I've heard "jente" sometimes as hankjønn and sometimes as hunnkjønn. Are both technically correct?
Yes. There are three common variations:
- Ei jente, jenta (arguably the most correct form)
- En jente, jenta (common at least in Oslo and the Østlandet region)
- En jente, jenten (common in Bergen)
Note that it is hannkjønn. Han = he, hann = male.
Takk! Do you know if these kinds of nouns (where the article changes by region) are common in Norsk?
Yes, all feminine nouns that I can think of can be used both as masculine and feminine.
I'm not sure if it is a general rule, however, and for example jenten is only common in the Bergen area, as far as I know. The same applies to for example tante (aunt), where tanten sounds very strange to people from Østlandet. (But bestemoren (the grandmother) is perfectly fine. Yup, it makes no sense.)
I recommend sticking to the ei jente / jenta form, as it's the simplest to remember and you don't need to learn the regional exceptions.
I can't think of any examples of nouns in intetkjønn that can have multiple genders in singular, but they can often switch in plural. For example husene / husa (the houses).
My recommendation is to mostly ignore all of this. Genders and prepositions are always hard when learning a new language, and are pretty much arbitrary anyway :-)
Edit: I asked a friend of mine from Bergen. She said "We don't have feminine nouns in Bergen."
Okay guys, I just read that Det is used for unknown and neuter gender and Den for masculine and feminine, so why is Det used here as jente is feminine gender?
I'm not really sure personally, but I read on another thread that the subject is neutral until its gender has been established.
For example, you'd say:
- «Hva er det grønne der borte?»
- «Det er en jente. Hun har på seg en grønn kjole.»
(Notice first neutral and then female.)