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"Før de drikker den taler han om vinen."

Translation:Before they drink it he talks about the wine.

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/nico62012
nico62012
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Before they drink it, HE talks about the wine

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bjarkehs
bjarkehs
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Yep, indeed. Funny how your mind gets locked when doing sentences. Thank you for noticing this :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nico62012
nico62012
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Selv tak :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
pmm123
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Is "speaks" an incorrect translation for "taler"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neropatato

I believe it should be: "Før de drikker den han taler om vinen" since the second phrase doesn't need inversion; this way it seems a question: "Taler han om vinen?". At least so says my grammar book.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bjarkehs
bjarkehs
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I'll get back to you with an explanation, but as a native speaker it sounds wrong the way you phrased and there I'm a fairly sure it must be phrased the way it is currently :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/runem
runem
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Questions are, unfortunately, not the only situation in which Danish uses inversion.

Inversion occurs in the following cases: Questions. You know this one :) If an adverb or adverbial phrase precedes the subject in the sentence. If the object precedes the subject (so they stay on either side of the verb). If a subordinate clause comes before the main clause. This could be relative time specifications or conditional statements.

Here are some examples:

  • Object preceding subject: Jeg kender ikke drengen (I do not know the boy) could also be said as Drengen kender jeg ikke (The boy I do not know). Notice the inversion of verb (kender) and subject (jeg).
  • Adverb: Jeg spiser nu (not inverted) meaning I am eating now. If you want to put emphasis on the fact that you're going to eat right now, inversion occurs: Nu spiser jeg (Now I (will) eat).
  • Adverbial phrase: Vi gør det i morgen (not inverted, we do it tomorrow) can also be said as I morgen gør vi det (inverted, lit. tomorrow do we it, but same meaning).
  • This can also be more complicated: Efter vi er færdige med skolen i morgen, gør vi det (inverted) meaning After we are done with school tomorrow, we will do it except the verb and subject are switched in the Danish for "we will do it". The non-inverted version is Vi gør det efter vi er færdige med skolen i morgen.
  • Subordinate clause: Hvis katten er sulten, spiser den meaning if the cat is hungry, it eats. Inversion again. Non-inverted: Katten spiser, hvis den er sulten (the cat eats, if it is hungry).

This is probably one of the hardest parts of Danish! So don't fret :) If you don't get it right, you will still be understood perfectly.

There's a very technical explanation on Wikipedia which deals with the positioning of words in inversion. There's also more here, here (scroll to "Word Order") and here.

So, to conclude, in this sentence a subordinate clause precedes the main clause and inversion occurs. In the following, I'll mark the subordinate clause by putting it in parentheses:

  • Han taler om vinen (før de drikker den) meaning He talks about the wine (before they drink it)

Because we want to emphasize that something occurs before they drink the wine, we want to put the subordinate clause at the head of the sentence. According to the rules above, inversion must occur then:

  • (Før de drikker den) taler han om vinen meaning (Before they drink it) he talks about the wine.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neropatato

Thank you very much for your clear (and long!) explanation. I didn't realize at first that it was a subordinate clause: it sounded right to me, but I kept on thinking that I learned somewhere that the second phrase in a sentence doesn't need inversion. I was probably thinking of something like this:

  • Klokken 9 Mette står op bagefter skal hun tager tøj på og hun skal spiser morgenmad

In this way "hun skal spiser morgenmad" doesn't need inversion since it is not a subordinate clause, right?

Thanks for your time.

3 years ago