Translation:The duck does not eat the soap when it swims in the water.
Yeah, I don't think that it was in water. (Probably something with a high alcohol content).
The first time around, I try to understand these sentences without reading them. But I would probably have trouble believing I heard this one right if it were in my mother tongue.
Does anybody else have this problem? That's the third time in this exercise that the word I need is not in the list!
why the use of "den" here as the subject of "svommer" ?...... Thanks for your explanation.
Because it is the normal pronun. the subject pronun for the third person (translation of "it") is den. there is a possible confusion because in english it is neutral while in danish both and and sæbe are common (-en words) and then use the pronun for common names, not for neutral. But being grammatically common doesn't make them persons in real life :
If it was drengen and not anden then the subject pronun would be han and for a pige it would be hun : Han/Hun svømmer i vandet.
Another minor confusion is because the sentence is not clear about who swims in the water, the duck or the soap, but in this situation it doesn't change the pronun.
If it was referring to both of them swimming (The duck doesn't eat the soap while they swim in the water) then the subject pronun would always be the plural "de" (They) : "Anden spiser ikke sæben, mens de svømmer i vandet" or " "Drengen spiser ikke pigen, mens de svømmer i vandet". Here the confusion, again, would be about who is swimming, the boy and the girl or their parents ? But this is going too far.
Finally, the sentence would be easier if it was a boy instead of a duck because then we would know who is swimming. "Drengen spiser ikke sæben, når HAN svømmer i vandet" -> Boys does not eat the soap when HE ( the boy) is swimming or "Drengen spiser ikke sæben, når DEN svømmer i vandet" -> Boy does not eat the soap when IT (the soap) is swimming.
I hope it helps clarify this bizarre sentence
Oh, thanks Sijette... I think my confusion is because in my mind, a duck is neutral (and soap as well, of course !). So, I had in mind "det"... (excuse my poor English, it's not my mother language).