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Den and Det

When do you use either one? Can somebody explain this to me please?

November 22, 2014



They are the free standing definite articles. Ex. Den svarta bilen (the black car). Here it is den because it needs to match bil, which is an -n word.

Den/Det are also used as pronouns. Ex. Ge mig den! (Give it to me!). Here den/det needs to match the gender of whatever we talk about.

Det is also used as a placeholder in phrases where there is no natural subject. Ex. Det är vackert väder (The weather is beautiful). Always use det in this function.


Den: Definitive article for "en" words (example: en mus)

Det: Definitive article for "ett" words (example: ett äpple)


Now I wish I'd asked the question in the discussion of whichever sentence I had the other day! I had assumed this was the case (den for en, det for ett), and whatever I did was marked wrong, which confused me! I guess I'll have to try and remember which lesson it was and go back and do it again...

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