"She neither reads nor writes."

Translation:Hun hverken læser eller skriver.

October 29, 2014

This discussion is locked.


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!


I'm just wondering if hverken læser hun eller skriver would not work in this case and retain the V2 rule.


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.


Jan Hense, I followed the same reasoning as you and tried "hverken læser hun eller skriver hun", but it was marked wrong. Deutsch und Dänisch sind eben doch nicht sooo ähnlich!


I'd be grateful if any fluent Danish speakers could comment on csikosanyi's question about the V2 structure as it relates to this sentence and dim-ond-dysgwr's speculation at the bottom of the page. This one is throwing me! Tusind tak!


I think dim-ond-dysgwr's speculation, combined with GigiGottwald's rejected attempt in German, makes a set phrase combo highly likely. Wonder if Yoda speak would pass muster. Hverken læser eller skriver hun

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