"Den" is used for masculine/feminine nouns, while "Det" is for neuter nouns. For example;
- -Hvor mye koster smørbrodet? / How much is the sandwich?
- -Det koster 15 kroner. / It costs 15 kroner.
- -Hvor er boka? / Where is the book?
- -Den er på biblioteket / It is in the library.
I'm still confused. What makes a book more masculine/feminine than a sandwich?
Unfortunately, there's no rule to tell us which words are masculine, feminine or neuter. But it's not as bad as it sounds, it's only matter of practice. When you less expect it you'll recognise the gender of any word you know c;
Why can't we say "Hun er på biblioteket" referring to the book? "Hun" and "Han" are used only for people?
In bokmål, yes. However, in some dialects that favour Nynorsk, they in fact do use them that way—well, the nynorsk versions, that is.
It depends! If you pronounce it like this (dn), it means "I eat it" just like in English. If you pronounce "den" more clearly, it puts emphasis on "it" making it sound like you are eating it and not something else. Example: No empasis: "Hva gjør du med den? Jeg spiser den." (What do you do with it? I eat it.) Emphasis: "Spiser du denne? Nei, jeg spiser den." (Do you eat this one? No, I eat that one.)
Bottom line is that this pronunciation is totally fine :)
Why am I learning sentences like ulven spiser barnet instead of how are you? When will I need to tell someone the wolf is eating the child?
I believe that although not needed in everyday smalltalk, many of these odd sentences will stick to your head (thanks Duolingo). You can recall these sentences later and apply them to your specific needs. It's the grammar that counts, not the content. =) Keep calm and watch out for those child-eating wolves.
Yeah, why can't nerdblaster encourage those child eating wolves like everyone else?
It actually helps a lot to memorize phrases when learning a language, that's the way the sentence structure starts going into the head. And I personally feel much more motivated to remember phrases that I can use in everyday life rather than strange sentences which have almost zero use in practice. Another reason why practicing with normal sentences is more beneficial compared to practicing with weird ones is that you hear normal sentences said by others which further reinforces the memory.
In this case, "den" would be replacing a masculine or feminine noun, while "det" would be replacing a neuter noun or referring to something more abstract.
"Det" is also used as a default when the noun's gender is unknown, and as a formal subject in sentences like "Det regner" ("It is raining").
denne means "this" when referring to a grammatically feminine or masculine noun.
dette means "this" when referring to a grammatically neuter noun or a noun you've introduced to the conversation just now.
disse means "these" when referring to a plural noun, regardless of grammatical gender.