1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Danish
  4. >
  5. "Whose bear is it?"

"Whose bear is it?"

Translation:Hvis bjørn er det?

June 2, 2015



Why is det right and den wrong? Bjørn is an n-word...

[deactivated user]

    Because 'det' is used as the subject of være/blive when the predicate is a noun, a pronoun or an adjective, irrespective of gender and number.

    In this sentence, "it" is the subject. It becomes clearer as a statement: "It is my bear." = "Det er min bjørn"


    I made this error, too. Though, I still don't really understand how it is Det over Den. The være/blive explanation doesn't mean anything to me i'm afraid as i've yet to get to anything where those words have cropped up. So how do I know to choose Det over Den when the word, as in this example, is an n-word? I know you say that 'it' is the subject, but i still don't get how you're supposed to figure out which word for 'it' you use in this context.

    I can't remember specifics, but i know i've come across other phrases where I've used one and it's said the other was also an acceptable answer, as well. Also, in the one of the early notes for den/det it mentions 'depending on grammatical gender of the subject, but as a rule det is for inanimate objects', which bears are not.

    Sorry if i'm being dense. I'm better at understanding by examples as i don't always truly understand all the academic wording when talking about language.

    [deactivated user]

      At være means to be, so er is a conjugation of at være.

      "It" is the subject of the sentence (which is a sentence with være and a predicate), and it therefore has to be "det".


      Is this true even if "it" clearly refers to a common gender noun? For example, should I write "Min bjørn er blå. Det er ikke grønt." Or since the pronoun is a stand-in for bjørn, should the second sentence be "Den er ikke grøn"?


      If you already established the noun, i.e. if there's proper context, you go on with the proper gender of the noun. So you can end up saying "Det er min kat. Den er hvid og smuk."

      Basically you have to use "Det er" when introducting a new object.


      Could someone answer this question please!


      You can think so that you ask "hvad er det?", as you cannot know whether it will be an "en" or "et" word. Then you begin your answer with the same word "det er..." If you know German, you can notice that the idea is the same: you have to ask "Was ist das?", and then answer "das ist ein Bär", even though it is "der Bär" (a masculine), and "das" is in fact the neuter article. (In the Scandinavian languages, "det" is the neuter article; the old German masculine and feminine genders have merged to a common gender form "den".)


      It is clear when you use DET with undefinites. But in the sentence I already know that it is a bear. I only ask whose it is. I do not catch why this bear not DEN.


      Det is always the independent subject in sentences of the type "it is ...". Does it help to think that if one asks: "Hvad er det?", the answer has to begin with the same word "Det er en bjørn"? This is the rule, even though it is clear that when making this answer you know that bjørn is an en-word.


      damn it, let my bear walk around freely again


      hvis means both if and whose... funny...


      No funnier than a lot of similar English words that have two completely different meanings. How about bark, pool, nails, jam, mine, draft, buckle. So far I haven't seen anything nearly as bad in Danish!


      I am very confused about hvis and hvems. I know Google translate isn't perfect, but when I type in whose, it gives me hvis and when I type in hvems it gives me whose. Can someone please explain this?


      Hvem=who - what or which person or people."who is that woman?" Hvis - whose - belonging to or associated with which person."whose round is it?"


      The bear who drinks beer!


      Isn't it also "Hvem bjørn er det?"


      Apparently not! That would translate as "who bear is that?"

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