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  5. "Ser du de tomme koppene?"

"Ser du de tomme koppene?"

Translation:Do you see the empty cups?

June 13, 2015



I dont understand the use of "de" in this sentence...


"De" in this sentence points out that it is some particular cups.

Examples: "De vakre kvinnene bruker kjoler" - "The beautiful women wear dresses" If you drop "De", it would be "Vakre kvinner bruker kjoler" - "Beautiful women wears dresses" And suddenly - it is not definite anymore. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the rules here :(


It's required if you're using the definite form of an adjective. It can ambiguously mean either/both 'the empty cups' and 'those empty cups' :)


These are the cups of angry men


What is the point of the repeated 'the'?


You pick:

  • It's there just in case you'd forgotten the first one by the time you get to the end.
  • We needed to differentiate ourselves from the Danes somehow.

It's a concept referred to as "double determination" or "double definiteness", if you want to look it up.


Is the base word "tom?" And, do many words repeat the consonant and add an "e?" Tusen Takk!


'tomme' is plural of 'tom': Adjectives change depending on the gender and number of the noun.

En tom koppen = an empty cup (masculine)

Tomme kopper = empty cups (plural)

Et tomt hus = an empty house (neuter)

Ei tom flaske = an empty bottle (feminine)

(feminine and masculine are often, maybe always, written the same)

There is a weird rule in Norwegian that a word should never end with two 'm's, so when the base word ending in '-m' gets an extra vowel letter (in this case -e), you must also add a second m, so you get 'tomme' instead of 'tome'. This is a special case which only happens with the letter 'm'.


En tom kopp . How it became En tom koppen?


So many up-votes make me think I've missed something here, but your "weird rule" does not make sense. You say a word should never end with two 'm's. If you add an 'e' to 'tom', you would have 'tome', which ends in 'me', not two 'm's. So where is the problem? Or... how does your rule about two 'm's apply here? Sorry for not getting it...


Is this not better translated as "those" rather than "the"? I thought from an earlier lesson the double-definitive did that...


It's completely ambiguous in writing. In speech, you'd stress "de" for the meaning "those".


"Do you see the empty the cups"?? I don't understand the use of De in the sentence


It's called double determination, and is a quirk of the Norwegian language.


Would "(drinking) glasses" be an acceptable translation for koppene or is there a different word for that?


Drinking glasses are called "glass", while cups and the types of mugs you drink from rather than pour from are "kopper".


Passive-agressive norsk?


Is there any difference between "de" being "the" and "those" or is it just contextual? I remember from the "That/those" lesson.


In writing, you'll have to rely on context. If there is none, one would default to "the" as the most likely option.

In speech, "de" will be stressed when meaning those, and the speaker may even point at the X in question to clarify that they mean those in particular.

Note that while the above holds true for a "de + [adjective] + [noun]" construct like the above, "de koppene" without the adjective will always mean "those cups", as "the cups" is just "koppene".


Sounds a bit passive aggressive.

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