"Is it the duck?"
Translation:Er det anden?
Think of it like this:
There is an animal (et dyr) out there. Is it (that animal) the duck?
Remember that "it" should represent what it is replacing. It is replacing the term "the animal" here. The sentence in concern is a question asking if the animal (it) is a duck?
I don't think this is a good explanation, because you might as well say:
There is a bird (en fugl) out there. Is it (that bird) the duck?
There might even be cases where no neuter word would make sense and yet it would still be ‘det’.
Look at the question to which I've answered: "If "it" is referring to "the duck" why is it det and not den?"
I was just explaining that even though they were referring to a duck (en and), you could still use "det". I was just providing an example where using "det" would make sense. That's all.
But your explanation is wrong. It may or may not work for this sentence, depending on how you look at it, but only by accident and it may not work for different sentences.
I think the point is that you don't know what "It" is. It could be an animal, a bird, etc, so you use det.
Insert what ever noun you want instead of duck and it is still "det" Talking about the sun (en sol) saying "it is a star" becomes Det er en stjerne.
I guess when 'it' is the subject of the sentence it's 'det' and when 'it' is the object of the sentence it' s 'den'
So if the sentence was "is it the man?" then the correct answer would be "er den manden?"
No, it still would be "Er det manden?". See TheOnlyPtolemy's answer above. It pretty much explains why.
that would make sense if the sentence was "it is a man" (or duck) because in that sentence "it" is not specific and so could mean an animal. but in this case the sentence is "is it the duck" which means that "it" refers specifically to the duck so "it should decline with the subject, which is the duck. so it should be 'den'
But we don't know that it is a duck yet in the sentence, so the neuter det is used, only when referring back to the duck would we use "den"
"Det er en and. Den kan flyve og svømme"
If we were talking solely about english grammar, the "it" of this sentence is referring to the duck, not some unknown, out there thing that may or may not be the duck. So, thought Danes may use "det" in this instance rather than "den," those of us familiar with english grammar will forever bristle at this particular sentence.