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"She neither reads nor writes."

Translation:Hun hverken læser eller skriver.

October 29, 2014



I thought verbs are always the second element of a sentence. Why is this an exception?


It's the same as in English: "she neither reads nor writes."

Considering "Hun læser hverken skriver" would be "She reads neither writes" it would be a little difficult to understand the point of the sentence.

(P.S Correction from an actual native Danish speaker/writer could probably give a better explanation

P.P.S This was also written from my smartphone, so I apologize if there are any missing spaces or extra spaces between/in the middle of words)


With respect, derpkins, your assertion that "it's the same as in English" doesn't really answer csikosanyi's point, which was about an apparent exception to the rules of ""Danish"". I've attempted an alternative answer of my own -- in my reply to lfritism, below. I'd be interested to know whether anyone thinks my theory may have some value ...or judges it to be total baloney!


Is this a common sentence? I am asking myself this question, because as a German I recognize many parallels to my language and we would say for it Weder liest sie, noch schreibt sie. (literal translation), but this sounds rather strange and textbook-like…


Yep, this a fairly common sentence construction. It'll often have an air of cliche, or 'stock phrase' though - another is, 'hun har hverken hus eller hjem', 'she has neither house nor home' in english. Parent gen. is much more likely to use this than young people, though!


Hun har hverken hus eller hjem does at least respect the "finite verb as second idea" rule, though: the rule, that is to say, that -- as csikosanyi has already noted above -- "Hun hverken læser eller skriver" appears to break.

The only explanation for this apparent rule-breaking that I can come up with is that hverken VERB 1 eller VERB 2 is a "frozen" verb-phrase, perceived as being effectively equivalent in its entirety to a simple verb and therefore able to occupy the second "slot" in the sentence.


Det ville være interessant at vide, hvordan man tillføjer 'normalt' till denne sætning, hvis det overhoved er muligt. Bliver det måske "normalt hverken læser eller skriver hun"?

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