Is "Detta" the right one to use for an unspecified subject "this"? I was wondering why "en man" does not result in: "Denna är min man"? or "den har.."
okay found an answer by Zmrzlina: "In constructions like "det regnar" (it's raining) and the like, where a subject is needed, Swedish always uses det. This works the same way with a demonstrative pronoun like det här. That's why it does not and does not have to agree in gender." https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6204238
Det is not very emphatic. It can mean "this" or "that" but generally it's just "it" or "the".
Detta is more emphatic. Usually you're pointing at something or someone when you use it.
Det här means "this" while detta can mean either "this" or "that". The specific way to say "that" is det där. Det här/där is more common spoken Swedish and I think detta is a bit more formal. Also, det här/där needs the noun to have the definite ending but detta does not.
T words: detta (hus) = det här/där (huset) N words: denna (man) = den här/där (mannen) Plural: dessa (kvinnor) = de här/där (kvinnorna)
Hm, that's not what we usually tell people – I usually claim that det här/den här and denna/detta mean the same (this), it's just a question of taste and sometimes formality. Whereas den där/det där (and sometimes den) mean that.
I've seen that too somewhere. I guess there may be contexts where even this and that are actually interchangeable, but generally, and certainly for this course, I think it's a good idea to think of denna/detta as this.
Ah, thanks. I've always thought of denna/detta as "this", but I looked in a dictionary and it said "this, that" so I trusted that over my old, half-remembered Swedish.
Is "Denna är min man." okay or would it be rude like saying "Den här är min man."?
The way I understand it, when you är introducing something previously unknown, you use det.
And yes I used the word är there instead of are. Clearly I am being consumed by Swedish. :D
It took me quite a while to think of "det är" as "it is" instead of "they are."
So, can we also say "Det här är min man" similarily to "Det här är min fru"? If so, what's the difference between the two statements (detta/det här). If not, why not/is there a subtle difference?
Yes. The difference is none in what they mean, but "detta" is a bit more formal.
But as far as I understand it (from the lesson and from the comments on the "det här är min fru" exercise), detta/denna is more formal when used in the form of "denna kvinna är min fru" (formal - this woman is my wife) vs "den här kvinnan är min fru" (informal - this woman is my wife), which is different from "det här är min fru" (This is my wife) which apparently didn't have a "detta" equivalent. What am I missing?
As Zmrzlina and you both say, detta/denna is a little more formal. It's wrong to say that den här is informal though, it's just normal. You can certainly say detta är min fru too, and it will be slightly more formal than det här är min fru.