Please take what I say with a grain of salt as I'm not Danish but we have a similar idiom in Dutch.
"Vil" = "Want"; "du" = "you"; "med" = "with". So the first part literally means "Want you with", by which they mean "Do you want to go with me". The "with me" is omitted as it's clear from the context.
This question implies that the person asking you is about to go to the mall. The question means literally "Do you want with in the mall?" and is to be understood as "I'm going to the mall. Do you want to join me?". Both the verb (to come, to go) and the object (with me, with us) are omitted.
It can also mean "Your friends are going to the mall. Do you want to join/go with them?".
At least this is how it works in German, where the same phenomenon exists ("Willst du mit einkaufen?" = (lit.) "Do you want with shopping?" = "Do you want to go on a shopping trip with me/us/them?").
Thank you! I know that "i centeret" by itself means in the mall, but can it also mean to the mall? In that case, there's a perfect analog in Dutch as well. ("Wil je mee naar het winkelcentrum?")
Is this a verb form we haven't been shown? Does it have any relation to anything we would be expected to learn in this or any other unit?
The Danish sentence seems to miss a verb (go/come/follow), but maybe it is possible in Danish to drop it, a kind of 'lazy/easy' way of speaking? Just saying 'Vil du' = Do you want ... followed by 'med' = with, i.e. doing it 'together'. Any comments?
Yes, they also write "Jeg skal til ferie.", for example. The verb that implies action can be omitted when there is "skal", or, it seems, "vil".
I tried "Do you want to go with me to the mall?" and it did not accept it. It said that I needed to say "us" instead of "me". If a native speaker could weigh in, that would be appreciated :)
I think we could do with a new tooltip over "Vil du med i" to explain this.
I think it's just an expression, which indicates that the person asking the question wants to go together with the one who he is being asked.
Possibly. In Swedish we would say "Kommer du med till centret" - the strange thing in the Danish phrase is the use of 'vil', usually a "modal help verb" (is that the expression in English?), that usually only 'helps' other verbs, 'needs' another verb ("Vill du komma med?" = Do you want to come?) -- If this Danish sentence is correct - it is certainly something 'very Danish, idiomatic'.
I've heard a similar construction (without the 'to go') in Scotland.
My friend to her dog, who's scratching at the door: 'do you want out?'
Five minutes later, when the dog is scratching on the other side: 'do you want in?'
We have the same in Swedish, 'Vill du in?" Here 'in' is expressing the direction, where we are going 'in or out'. What is strange with the above Danish sentence is the use of "i", which does not work in Swedish, because the verb 'going' needs a direction, and the preposition "i" is about where you 'are', 'being', when not moving. -- And English too, I imagine, since "going to" has 'to' as a preposition of direction.