"They explained why they were not giving their fish wine."

Translation:De forklarede hvorfor de ikke gav deres fisk vin.

June 3, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Can anyone explain why it's "ikke gav" instead of "gav ikke"? Tak!


It has to do with syntax ( ordstilling på dansk) If it was just: EN: “they were not giving ...” DK: “de gav ikke ...” Which is: Subject, Verb, Central Adverbial

But when you start the sentence with “De forklarede hvorfor” it switches the Verb and the CA in the second part of the sentence so you get: “De forklarede hvorfor de ikke gav ...”

Other examples: Hun spiser ikke kød. Hun siger, at hun ikke spiser kød.

Replace “ikke” with other central adverbials like ‘aldrig’, ‘kun’ or ‘gerne’ - they work the same way.

Hun spiser aldrig kød. Hun siger, at hun aldrig spiser kød.

Hun spiser kun kød. Hun siger, at hun kun spiser kød.

Hun vil gerne spise kød. Hun siger, at hun gerne vil spise kød.

(disclaimer: not a Dane)


You fully explained the reasoning, you gave multiple helpful examples, and I actually feel like I can apply this to other similar situations. Thank you so much :)


This is the best explanation I've seen on this. I've been struggling with this feature of the language for a while but I think I get it now, thanks!


How can we distinguish the difference between "why they were not giving their fish wine" and "why they didn't give their fish wine", please?


Danish, like many other languages, almost always leave the continuous activity implied. There are ways of making it explicit, which are addressed in the "Progressive action" skill.


gav (past) vs giver (present)


"were giving" and "did not give" are both datid, as is "gav".


De forklarede hvorfor de ikke giver deres fisk vin ?

  • 2315

I don't think that would be accepted, since it's in the present and not the past.


Why is their no subject-verb inversion in the second clause? ("ikke gav de...")

  • 2499

I think that only happens with questions.

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