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  5. "Hun drikker kaffe på en kafé…

"Hun drikker kaffe en kafé."

Translation:She is drinking coffee at a cafe.

December 6, 2015



Why på in In the last lessons was its meaning in


The prepositions translates differently in different contexts. It is one of the really difficult things to get correct for non native speakers. You just have to remember which goes where.

You can say drikker kaffe i en kafé for this one, and be correct. But the set phrase for going out with friends to a café and drinking coffee (and maybe something to eat) is gå på kafé hence drikker kaffe på en kafé as the preferred translation.


It feels as though is related to Russian по; even the pronunciation is very similar. Which is interesting, since AFAIK, Norwegian is a Germanic language, not Slavic. Is it possible that på comes historically from some Russian (or other Slavic) influence?


I wondered the same thing! But it's a coincidence. Actually på is a contraction of some Old Norse expression that looks like "upp á" in modern Icelandic and literally means "up on", and по is native Slavic.


Takk for svaret! I actually did a bit of sleuthing myself after posting this, as I was thinking perhaps it was some remnant of Indo-European that had magically been lost in most other languages. A nice fantasy. :-) As you say, comes from Norse (Old Norse?) opp på 'up on'. Meanwhile, it seems that Russian по comes from an earlier Indo-European root meaning something like "from" or "after", depending upon where you look, but clearly the two of them are not directly related. So it is, as you say, a coincidence, though it is somewhat eerie how similarly they are used.

Thanks again for replying! I do always enjoy your posts!


What is the right speling of the word cafe?? When it's A Cafe - en Kafé, but then the cafe - Kaféen.

  • 2317

That's correct. The indefinite form is "en kafé," and the definite form is "kaféen." It works the same as, e.g.,
en gutt (a boy) and gutten (the boy).


Wich is de difference betwen kafé and kaféen???


"en kafé" is indefinite (a café), "kaféen" is definite (the café)

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