One: that is a real odd friendship! Two: im not sure bread is good for them...
I have a cat that likes to eat crusty bread with me. And cake. But not regularly, because that would not be good.
Would leaving out the second "the" still be grammatically correct? To say "the cat and dog eat bread", so maybe "katten og hund (sp?) etc" as opposed to "katten og hunden"
In English, yes; in Norwegian, no. In sentences where the gender is different, it's easier to see why, e.g., Bygningen og huset er grønne.
How would you say 'The cat and the dog eat bread' as opposed to 'The cat and the dog are eating bread'?
Norwegian doesn't really differ between the two present terms. But there is a continuing sense in "Katten og hunden sitter og spiser brød", that usually means they are in the process of eating bread right now. Sitting and eating, literally. It's not restricted to sitting though, standing (står) or laying (ligger) could apply. But not walking, as "går og spiser" means going to eat/let's go eat
If someone called you in middle of dinner, in English you would say "We are eating dinner". In Norwegian that phrase is "Vi sitter og spiser middag". To elaborate on "vi går og spiser middag" = let's go eat dinner. If you are eating on the go = "vi spiser mens vi går".
Really helpful, thank you. So in some cases you can add another verb to make it sound more immediate.
I have seen a lesson on continuing forms in the tree, but I don't remember what it is called or where you will find it...
But combining two verbs where the first would normally be "sitting, standing or laying" and the second some verb that is the acting verb, like "eating, reading, writing" etc, the combination becomes a version of continuing present. (Using walking, går, turns the phrase into an intent, what you are going to do)
Hun leser. Hun sitter og leser. She reads. She is reading.
But this is not a strict translation, it is the practical use, the better way to translate a whole phrase while keeping the intention intact. Translating hun leser gives two correct answers, she reads and she is reading. Hun sitter og leser has both a literal translation like "she sits and reads" and the answer that gives a good English flow "she is reading".
"Hunden" and "Hun" sound awfully similar. Do the two ever get mistaken for each other?
Hunden is pronounced slightly differently, more like hun'n than hun. Hund and hun are a bit closer, but context (which is in short supply in a single sentence) should usually help out.
Dialectwise it can result in "Katta og bikkja eter brød". It's still bokmål! (I prefer to say bikkje rather than hund, but I also say hu rather than hun. But hu is not allowed in writing)
But as fveldig says, the pronunciation and context will clue you in (and hun turns into henne in object, helping you further)