"A bear raises its children."
Translation:En bjørn opdrager sine børn.
why can't i use "dens" instead of "sine" ? i mean,we can't be sure the children are from this bear or from another one.
It's not the most apparent translation, but you could use it. I assume you're thinking of something like. "Hunden er død, hvad sker der så med dens børn? --Åh, en bjørn opdrager dens 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.
the bear can be a mother with her own cubs(we should use "sine") or can be an old grandfather bear just raising someone else's children(then we can't use "sine" because they are not his own children.we have to use "dens" i think.) i am not sure though...