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  5. "Manden og kvinden fulgtes ad…

"Manden og kvinden fulgtes ad ned til havet."

Translation:The man and the woman followed each other down to the sea.

November 2, 2014



After seeing three different sentences with fulgtes, I think I am rather confused by it. It does not seem to translate very well into "was followed" like the pattern with the other passive past verbs so far. What does it mean, and why does it seem to appear in sentences with active voice?


The passive is used in Danish where it wouldn't make any sense in English (such as "Vi ses" is good Danish but "We will be seen/We are seen" has a completely different meaning in English). I think "to be followed by" would be more "at blive efterfulgt af" or "efterfølges af".

To actually answer your question though, this means that they followed each other there (so basically went together, thinking about this too long is making me realise how little sense English makes)


Thinking about it, it does seem weird. If A follows B, then B precedes A, and B cannot simultaneously follow A.

A < B ⇒ ¬ (B < A)


It's a matter if the word order here. "Manden og kvinden fulgtes ad" strictly means they went together and might be somewhat idiomatic.

"Manden fulgtes af kvinden" is probably what you think of and means that the man was being followed by the woman or that the woman comes after the man in some sequence. You could and probably would instead say "manden blev fulgt af kvinden" but it's the same meaning.

Hope that helps


The slow audio has an extra syllable before the last word. So the sentences sounds like "Manden og kvinden fulgtes ad ned til i havet".


for me it sounded like et havet in the slow one.


This is strange...

  1. How come that fulgtes means here 'followed each other'?
  2. what function serves ad here? it's not clear to me.

so 'the man and the woman were followed by/along down to the sea'?


See the above comments by native Danes who explain the Danish sentence


I doubt that "followed each other" is good English. Can a native speaker confirm or deny?


Eh... kinda but not really. Grammatically I think it's technically fine, but it does end up saying something that doesn't make much sense when you think about it. You'd need to follow something, so it makes a bit of a paradox.

On the other hand, the line has a kind of poetic feel to it. As in they sort of drifted inevitably towards the sea together, without planning to.

But idk, maybe I'm overanalysing it.

[deactivated user]

    Following each other is technically impossible. If we ignore meaningfulness, and insist on "each other"it would require an added "hinanden". If we want to say that they were being followed the construct would be "blev fulgt". The correct translation should be "The man and the woman were followed down to the sea."

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