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  5. "I do not know."

"I do not know."

Translation:Jeg ved det ikke.

September 4, 2014



Where does the "det" come from?


At vide is a transitive verb in Danish, meaning it must take an object. So, you cannot just say "jeg ved (ikke)" because there's no object in that sentence. Instead you have to add what it is that you (do not) know:

  • Jeg ved hvor han er - I know where he is, and, replacing with det:
  • Jeg ved det - I know it.

Det occurs before ikke, that is, directly after the verb, because that's where pronouns are placed:

  • Jeg ved ikke hvor han er - I do not know where he is, but:
  • Jeg ved det ikke - I do not know it

Think of I know it not and you can see the similarity to English.


Thank you for the explanation. Has it been explained in any skill? I've read all the notes and don't remember anything about transitive verbs.

It's a forced similarity, because English can do without the object. I guess there's no other way than to memorize the transitive verbs. (Damn you languages with explicit pronouns everywhere!)


Hm no I don't believe it has been stated in the notes anywhere. However, I'm not sure it would make sense, since we should then list every verb that is transitive in Danish but not in English. Is it not okay to learn it like this, the Duolingo way? :)

I've updated the hint for the English - Danish exercise, so it is a bit more helpful.

Edit: Transitive verbs are not unique to Danish, they work just the same as in English. If that's what you meant :)


There's no need to list every verb. I assume there's some overlap of verbs that are transitive in both languages so nobody will even think about it. But when a new verb is introduced it would be nice to add a note when the use differs from the English translation.

I know it's probably just me, but at the moment it made me really angry because I had the English -> Danish translation and translated the sentence correctly according to the information provided up to that point but it was still wrong.

I don't know how much control you have over the order but it seemed to me that every lesson had the Danish -> English exercises first so that I could hover over new words, try to remember the spelling and meaning and translate the rest of the sentence. The English -> Danish and listening -> writing exercises showed up later in the lesson. When I didn't get it at that point it was my mistake because I forgot it, misspelled, mixed pronouns or just combined too many languages into one sentence. But in this particular instance I failed simply because I didn't have enough information. (Yes, in theory I should go to dictionary after encountering every new word and learning about it, but dictionaries aren't that much fun.)

I don't mean this as a complaint just a very biased suggestion for improvement. The course is great, I appreciate the effort you put into it and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. From what I understand from others it's superior to many other courses on Duolingo.


I totally understand you :)

You have me convinced, and I have added a short piece on at vide to the notes for Present 1 (where I believe this word is used for the first time). I can't promise I'll add one for every difference in transitivity between English and Danish, though, mostly because I have no idea how many there are.

I have also updated the hints for "do not know" to show "ved (det) ikke". Would that have helped you complete the exercise the first time?

I cannot make the hint "ved det ikke" (without parentheses) because the det is not present if something specific is mentioned, fx in I do not know where she is -> jeg ved ikke hvor hun er.

And no, we have no control over the order of the sentences, nor which ones are presented in a particular run through a lesson.


(Seems like we maxed out the thread depth limit. That's why this is not a direct reply.)

That's excellent! I would have sent me searching for examples and explanation. Thank you very much.

I thought so. I'm probably seeing patterns where there aren't any.


A good point. I am hear to try and learn a new language. I appreciate this program and all the work that has gone into it. However, I also feel this is another example where I have been "tricked" into a mistake over a rule that has not been covered in the lesson. I have been studying Spanish on Duolingo for several years and am now studying at quite a high level. I have yet so see any instance in that language where the instructors deliberately try to "trick" the student into a mistake. Perhaps there are more positive ways to teach these rules.


If its not in the notes and can't be explained properly in English why is it part of a quiz for an introductory level lesson?


Tusind tak! Det er meget hjælpsomt.


Compared this to the translation on the bab.la site. They translated it as "Jeg ved ikke".


The sentence is I do not know. This would be I do not know it


What's the difference between kender and ved?


As I understand, 'Kender' means to met someone (before), while 'ved' is more about the fact that something has happened.


Are there contextual differences between 'Jeg ved det ikke' and 'Det ved jeg ikke' or are they interchangeable?


I always thought "Jeg ved det ikke" meant "I don't know it/that" (it/that referencing a fact) whereas "det ved jeg ikke" is what I've always learnt (and more importantly, heard) to say "I don't know" in response to a question


Yes, exactly! Have a lingot. This is my answer too. :)


Why doesn't "Jeg ved ikke" work? I've been hearing this everywhere for years, and have been using it myself. Is it not correct?


Duolingo seems to be inconsistent. In an earlier lesson Jeg ved ikke was given as I do not know. When you use the Duolingo dictionary is give Jeg ved ikke for I do not know. Thanks for the above explanation. Not sure I totally understand but will ask some of my native speaking Danish friends.


"At ved" is to know :)


As far as I know there is some difference between "Jeg ved det ikke" and "Det ved jeg ikke": you use the the former in any common circumstance and the latter when you want to put emphasis on "det", as you state that you don't know that specific thing. Can anyone confirm that?


Could you leave out the "det,' assuming it is just implied.


"I know it not" should be accepted.


That doesn't sound right


you would never say that in English. it's grammatically incorrect.

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