1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Danish
  4. >
  5. Inside on the office...


Inside on the office...

Hej danske lingvester,

Jeg har et lille spørgsmål.

In Danish it appears that sometimes you can be in a place, but other times you are on a place. E.G.

  • Jeg er inde i husset = I am in the house
  • Jeg er inde kontoret = I am in the office

Does anyone know a rule that specifies when to use "i" and when to use "på"? Or at least a sort of guideline?

Tak for hjælpen. :)

January 31, 2015



Norwegian native here. Generally means at/on/(in), and i means in/inside, but as you've come to realize there are plenty of exceptions that rule. You have the same thing in English; in the house, at the office, on the train - very confusing to learners.

Prepositions are notoriously difficult to get right when starting out learning a language, but it gets better the more you immerse yourself in the language. Personally I rely on extended reading and listening to eventually get them right; with time what's right will feel natural, but if you want to try to memorize them I'm sure a list of the most common uses is but a google search away. :)


Thanks for your comment and help! We do have the same in English but unfortunately you can't just do a straight swap. "på" = "on", "i" = "in",...etc. More reading for me then. :D


Apparently "på" and "i" have been fighting for the same territory for ages. See this article: http://sproget.dk/raad-og-regler/artikler-mv/sprogligt-politikens-sprogklumme/24-marts-2007 (advanced Danish!)

The conclusion is that some things that used to be "i" are now "på" and vice versa. No rule, unfortunately :)


Prepositions are very difficult! Just keep reading the language and eventually you can hear if it sounds right :)

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