Hei! If somebody could help me. I have a question. What is the difference between den and det? Does one apply to inanimate objects and the other to... well.. living things?


April 9, 2019


Den refers to that for masculine/feminine nouns (or in special cases the when there is an adjective before a noun)

while det refers to it, or that when the noun is neuter. for some more tips / examples :)

April 9, 2019

Thank you very much! Thanks for the link as well :D

You are very welcome! The Norwegian forums can be a bit slow but always feel welcome to ask questions if you don't understand something in the material :) Duolingo users (at least the majority) are very friendly and always love to help out fellow learners :)

"Den"/"det" are masculine-feminine/neuter definite articles, as Hollie has said, but there are a few other ways you can use "det" as well. For instance:

  • "Presentering". If you had a sentence like, "There is a man over there", where the "There" kind of foreshadows an upcoming noun, you would say, "Det er en mann der borte."

  • To introduce a noun phrase. If you had a sentence like, "One is afraid of what/that which/the thing that one doesn't understand" (as in the song "Jeg vet" by Siri Nilsen), you would translate as "Man er redd for det man ikke forstar."

  • You'll later find that "den"/"det" don't just mean "the", but also "that". So, "den mannen" is "that man". "Den gronne mannen" is ambiguous: it could be "the green man", or it could be "that green man".

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