"A bear raises its children."
Translation:En bjørn opdrager sine børn.
Reflexive Possessive Adjectives
As an added complication, Danish has a different set of pronouns when something is being owned or belongs to by whomever is the subject of the sentence. These behave like the possessive adjectives and pronouns for the first and second person above, in that they decline corresponding to the item being owned: Grammatical gender Singular Plural Common (n-word) sin sine Neuter (t-word) sit sine
To better understand this concept in English, one can imagine adding the word own after the possessive adjective:<pre>
Manden læser sin avis means the man reads his (own) newspaper while if the man was reading someone else's newspaper, it would be manden læser hans avis.</pre>
This extra dimension only comes into play for the third person singular, and can be helpful in distinguishing to whom exactly an item belongs. However, it takes a bit of getting used to :) Try to determine if an item belongs to the person performing the action in the sentence (the grammatical subject) or someone else. This other person could also be mentioned in the sentence, but does not carry out the action. As mentioned above, you can perform a test in your head by inserting own after the possessive adjective (in English): If it sounds weird, you should not be using sin/sit/sine.
En bjørn opdrager dets børn is wrong in Danish because dets is the possesive for third-person neuter and bjørn is a common noun; the correspondent possesive is dens.
Right translations for "A bear raises its children" are:
- En bjørn opdrager sine børn -> "A bear raises its own children".
- En bjørn opdrager dens børn -> "A bear raises the children of another bear".