Definite nouns and possessive pronouns
Hi, I'm trying to wrap my head around definite nouns in possessive structures.
Let's say that I want to say "I have a cat. My cat is 5 years old." So first I introduce the topic (a cat) with an indefinite article, and then I provide more details on it - the topic is known already, so I use the definite article. Which of the following translations is correct? And if both are ok, which one is more common?
- Jeg har en katt. Katten min er 5 år gammel.
- Jeg har en katt. Min katt er 5 år gammel.
They are both fine! I believe the second is a little more demonstrative? eg you could use it to say "That's MY cat, not yours!" Most common is the first for general use I think.
There are two things to note in your question:
First - both of your translations are correct. And as James notes, the second form puts a little more emphasis on the possession - it's as though you're responding to someone who just told you they have a 3 year old cat and you are making clear that you're talking about yours.
But along with that, I just want to be clear that indefinite form isn't so much about when you introduce a topic. Consider your example, just rephrased a bit:
That cat is mine, it is five years old. Den katten er min, den er fem år gammel.
In this case, we use definite-form even in the introduction of the topic. It works pretty much exactly like English grammatically.