"Drengen leger med sit legetøj."
Translation:The boy plays with his toys.
Non-native speaker here, but I wondered the same thing and this is what I found out elsewhere. Hopefully a Dane can chime in if I get anything wrong. It seems like "tøj" on its own does mean clothes/cloth/material. However in compound use "-tøj" kind of means something made or constructed for a purpose - a tool or a thing basically. In fact these compounds are kind of fascinating and diverse. "-tøj" can mean:
-tool, mechanism (værktøj - work tools; slagtøj - percussion instruments, 'things that are hit', perhaps)
-means of transport, mode of transport (køretøj - vehicle; something driven)
-body part with a certain function (my favorite: snakketøj - the 'gift of gab', well-spoken, being good with words)
-articles of everyday use (legetøj - 'play things', perhaps)
-kitchenware of a certain material (sølvtøj - silverware; stentøj - stoneware)
Sorry about the deep dive and the long answer, but these are just a small sampling of the examples I saw. Don't know how many we'll see in the rest of the course.
German and Dutch have something similar, with -zeug and -tuig respectively, though they don't use it quite as much as Danish appears to do. Originally it meant something like 'things you tow (German zieh, Dutch tijg) in to do something', where this something is expressed in the first part of the word: play, hit, etc.
In Dutch (native speaker here), -goed is also quite common, and there is a difference between those two, because -goed basically means things (goods), so speelgoed would be things to play with; while -tuig is often used for tools which can be used to do something, vliegtuig (plane), for example, is some kind of tool which can be used to fly with, sort of, basically, in some way.
Sorry for the long comment (hm, at least shorter than Zipmac's), but when it comes down to my language, I get a little too proud and also hard to stop. :p
'Sit legetøj', singular, cannot mean 'his toys', plural. Error, I would say.
Nice catch :) Though I think the reason that it is like that is that in Danish the word is treated like "tøj", which can only be singular, whereas in English you'd be able to say both, depending if you mean the boy only has a single toy or several. Therefore the we went with toys, while hopefully allowing toy, since it is the better option generally :)
So it's kind of like the English word fruit which even in singular form can refer to multiple fruits?
Perhaps more like the English word furniture which can (and usually does) refer to multiple items of furniture - German would need a plural here ("die Möbel").
It feels like a collective to me.
Yeah, I checked the sentence when you mentioned it, and it was one of the few where it wasn't added. This has now been fixed :)
Yes and no.
It refers to the boy in the sense that it says that it's his own toy (not my toy or our toy or some other boy's toy but his own).
But it also refers to the toy grammatically in the sense that the choice of sit - sin - sine is governed by the number and gender of the thing possessed. Here it is a neuter-gender object (legetøj) and so the form sit must be used.
sin would be appropriate for a common-gender object and sine for a plural object that is possessed.