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  5. "It is a book."

"It is a book."

Translation:Det er en bog.

August 26, 2014



I would have thought "Den" is a better word, since it matches with gender of "en bog"


Yes, that would be the logical, and when I think about it there is not really much wrong in saying that. But the reasoning is that the word does not really depend on the noun, not in this case. Just think of "det" af the general "that". If it can only be "that" in English, then it is "det" in Danish.


So when do you use "den"? In a sentence like "Den spiser et aeble." (when "den" refers to a "en"-noun)?


I'm not entirely sure about these rules to be fair, but yes for sentences like that you use "den" if you're referring to an "en"-noun :)


I also read that "den" as in "den spiser et æble" can refer to a person whose gender is not known, like English singular "they".


Thanks. So I'll just try to get a feeling for it.


One of the options is "Det er en avisen." I just want to make sure the translation of that sentence is "It is a the newspaper.", thus grammatically incorrect. (Nevermind the task itself) Am I right?


Sorry, but you lost me. What do you mean? There is no options for this that would ever give you "Det er en avisen". I might be misunderstanding though.


Sorry for inconvenience. I just happen to translate separately all the answer options in this task, neverminding how obvious it is which answer is correct. I am just checking the translation of "Det er en avisen.", which was one of the three options to choose as a correct translation for "This is a book". Is it grammatically incorrect?


I am not sure how you got "avisen". The sentence should be "Det er en bog". For it to be "en avisen" then the English sentence would have to be: "It is a the newspaper".

Having both indefinite article and definite article before a noun is always grammatically incorrect, since it is either or. In Danish the definite article is a suffix of the noun. "en avis" = "a newspaper", while "avisen" = "the newspaper".

Hope this helps.

  • 1868

I think he's referring to when the sentence translation is presented as a multiple-choice question. He knows that "Det er en avisen" is clearly not the correct choice, but he is asking if in addition to being an incorrect choice, is it also grammatically incorrect. (I hope this helps, two years later.) :)


That eliding is wild. The de-e-en pronunciations together just make it sound like "de'en bog."


Wait wasn't "en" a gendered word and "et" was neuter? I'm confused


Yes, but it's important to remember that grammatical gender and biological gender are two completely separate concepts (although they can be somewhat tied in with each other). So in Danish "a book" (en bog) is grammatically gendered (common gender/n-word), whereas "an animal" (et dyr) which can be male or female is neuter (t-word)


Please I still can't guess which is the difference between "en" and "et".


maybe reading the tips and notes from the first basics could help you out :) Good luck!




There are two grammatical genders in Danish: common and neuter. All nouns are mostly arbitrarily divided into these two classes. The singular indefinite article (a/an in English) is en for common nouns and et for neuter nouns. They are often informally called n-words and t-words.

En dreng. A boy.

Et fængsel. A jail.

Maybe wikipedia can help :)


Just when I thought I'd see elision [deTeRen bo'] - nothing!. It sounds like [Déan bo']. Crazy language...

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