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  5. "Jag äter den."

"Jag äter den."

Translation:I eat it.

November 20, 2014



why is it DEN not DET?


Both work and are accepted. The sentence refers to some object and without context we don't know what gender that object is.


The "tips and hints" thing says to always use Det, if there is not antecedent. Is it wrong?


It says 'if it does not refer to a previous word'. In this case, den does refer to a previous word, that word is just not in this sentence, but it has been mentioned in the context or it's understood what it is.

The 'tips and hints' refers to expressions like Det är en bok where 'det' does not refer to the book, but is a placeholder subject to say 'the thing I'm now talking about'.


Tack arnauti for your helpful clarification!


Right, but though the sentence implies that whatever 'it' is has been referenced before, we still don't know what it is. So, in that case, shouldn't we still use det, or do we always use den if we're unsure of the gender?


No, you could just as easily say jag äter det if you were translating this from English. Both ways work. But when you get the Swedish exercise, the speaker chooses den because of context even though you don't know what it is.


I sure wish that one day I could get these fabled tips & hints.


Tbh it's kinda crazy the features that aren't on mobile


I used Duolingo on my laptop once purely so I could see these tips and hits and they weren't there?


Jae: There are lesson notes for most skills, but not for all.


OK so I'm still confused even after your explantion. Are you saying "det" is only used if "it" is an "ett" word? Because earlier on in the course we ONLY used "det" to mean "it" there was no "den. " so I'm really confused.


"Det" is used as a dummy pronoun or when you refer to an 'ett' word.

A dummy pronoun doesn't refer to anything, but is still required to make sense. For example, the 'it' in 'it is raining' is a dummy pronoun because it isn't referring to anything. It's there only because 'is raining' makes no sense on its own.

It is raining - Det regnar

I see the house. Do you see it? - Jag ser huset. Ser du det? ('det' is used because it refers to the house, which is an 'ett' word. If the noun were an 'en' word, you would use 'den')


So in certain cases "Den är" can be used for "It is" or only "Det är" is correct? I'm asking because I haven't seen "Den är" starting a sentence so far in the course.

Edit: Thank you to thorr18 below. There's no reply button there so :)


Yes, if it is common gender, rather than unknown gender or neuter. There are a few exercises like that: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6961417


In the desktop version - go to the duolingo website and there are many more resources


Äter du soppan? — Ja, jag äter den


For some reason every time I see this question I say, "I eat you."


That's what I thought at first the first time I saw this question.


Is there a reason why i cant write "I eat this"?


this refers specifically to objects within reach, in contrast to that.
den and it do not specifically reference something near or far.


To elaborate a bit more, "I eat this" would be "Jag äter det/den här".


What's the difference between "jag äter det" and "jag äter den"?


The gender of what you are referring to differs and also if the object being referred to is unintroduced or unknown, you use det.


I heard den as de and was mildly concerned


Not to worry! It's when the voice is saying "Jag äter dom" (phonetically; it's spelled "dem") you should be concerned. And even then it could just refer to several food items.

[deactivated user]

    Den vs Det?? Where to use them?


    This is where knowing the gender of nouns is extremely important. "Den" refers to an "en" noun (en flicka, en pojke, and so on), whereas "det" is used for "ett" nouns or when the noun isn't known and hasn't yet been mentioned. It is also used for sentences like "it is raining".

    Den - I don't see my newspaper. Do you see it? (Jag ser inte min tidning. Ser du den?

    Det - My cat likes meat, but I don't like it. (Min katt tycker om kött, men jag tycker om inte det)


    BTW.. I entered "I eat that" and it accepted it. :)


    Yet that would be a little bit inaccurate because den där is "that".


    Again. I used dem. Accepted. It's wrong! :-( I will report--but I don't know unless I come to the Discussion for each answer if I'm right or wrong.


    It's a bug in the listening exercises which will allow anything with typos as correct. I'm as annoyed by it as you are. It's extremely detrimental to the learning process.


    So, Den means "it" when we dont know what "it" is and Det means "it" when we do know what "it" is? Am I correct?

    • den is for singular en-words
    • det is for singular ett-words
    • de is for plurals
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