What is the use of "der" in this sentence?
I have been studying danish and stumbled with this sentence:
- Hvornår afgår der tog til Jylland?
My danish friend says it doesn't serve as a place adverbial or expletive subject. He doesn't know how to explain it and I am kind of at a loss here.
Anyone knows anything?
Since "tog" is used with out any article, this is a general question, which could probably be translated as: When are (there) trains departing for Jutland? "der"/"there" can be used simply to express existence without reference to a particular place.
It sounds more natural (at least in English) in a sentence like this one: Der afgår mange tog fra København til andre lande. There are many trains that depart from Kopenhagen to other countries.
Thanks! But some sentences similar to this one don't have it which is what I don't get. For example:
Hvornår åbner supermarkeder i morgen?
Why is it we don't use "der" in this case?
As a general rule, you cannot start the sentence with a subject (singular or plural) if is indefinite. In that case, you use "der" as a provisional subject. Then comes the verb, and the "real subject". The same is true if it is a qustion.
So: "Hvornår åbner supermarkeder i morgen?" is not correct.
It should be: Hvornår åbner der supermarkeder i morgen? Or: Hvornår åbner der et supermarked i morgen?
Or, if you speak about one spcific supermarket:
Hvornår åbner supermarkedet i morgen? (i.e. without "der" because the subject is definite).
Correct: Der sidder en elefant i min seng. (subject indefinite - needs "Der") Wrong: En elefant sidder i min seng. (subject indefinite) Correct: Elefanten sidder i min seng. (subject definite)