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 på 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. :)
Norwegian native here. Generally på 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 :)