1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Danish
  4. >
  5. "Min bedstefar er halvtreds."

"Min bedstefar er halvtreds."

Translation:My grandfather is fifty.

November 8, 2014



ikr... min far er halvtreds


Then you are the young one


Min far også !


Wait, so... treds is sixty, and halvtreds is fifty? How does that work?


I think it's the same like saying half to five in English about time - if taking half literally, it should be 2.5 (half past two...). Same in Danish about numbers - it is half way to tres from forty. Danish counts numbers in 20s not 10s.


It's more because it's abbreviated from "Halvtredsindtyve" which (for obvious reasons) became a bit long and a nuisance but meant "2½ x 20". (Also note, halvtredje isn't often used for 2½ anymore either, one would just say "to og en halv")


isn't it from "halv tre snes" from the word meaning 20 (snes)?


I have had Danes say that to me, but I'm just going by what the textbooks I've read and the dictionary say.


thank you, you really are such a big help with excellent explanations.


Sounds like a numbering system invented by a calculus professor.


Makes about as much sense as french numbers 70-99 "Sixty-ten" "Four-twenties-nineteen"


Unless your from Belgium where I have soixante, septante, huitante et neuvante. Might be regional but four score and ten


Why is it halvtreDs (with d) but tres without the d?


Probably for the same reason that "four" is spelt with a 'u' but "forty" isn't: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Number words tend to develop very differently sometimes, even though they derive from the same root. Even more so in a language with silent letters, so that's probably what happened.

EDIT: Okay, I looked it up: halvtreds is a short form of halvtredsindstyve, which in turn consists of the parts halvtredje (two and a half), sinde (times), and tyve (twenty). Halvtredje literally means "third half" (it's the third after "one half" (halv) and "one and a half" (halvanden)). Tres is short for tresindstyve, "three times twenty".

So the 'd' comes from the difference that the "tred" in halvtreds stands for "third", and the "tre" in tres means "three".


Halvtredje = 3rd ½ (halv = ½, tredje = third) I read this It means that what number goes before ½ of the 3rd? It would be 2½, right?


That is right. It's half-three, which accounts to 2½. Like in some countries where people say the time as 'half four' when it's 3:30.

EDIT: apparently that "half four" thing isn't commonly done in English-speaking countries. But you can find it in continental Europe, like in Denmark: "Det er halv fire" - "It is 3:30." (literally "half four").

Some British speakers actually one-up this and talk about the half hour after the hour, i.e. they call 3:30 "half three".

Learn Danish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.