Danish grammar

Free Demo

Introduction to Danish Grammar

Here are a few key things you need to know about Danish grammar

For those who didn't pay attention in school
noun: a thing (car, book, cat)
verb: an action (speak, walk, write)
adjective: a descriptive word (beautiful, big, red)
pronoun: stands in place of a person or a thing (I, you, he, it, they, my, mine, yours, myself, him, etc.)

Danish nouns (things) have two genders, which are shown by the articles en and et:
a car
= en bil
a house = et hus

There are some obscure rules about when to use en and when to use et, but you needn't worry about them. As your Danish improves, you will just naturally remember which one to use.

In this course all "et-words" are in orange, to help you remember them.

the car = bilen
the house = huset

The noun gets a suffix in the definite form (an addition to the end of the word). Think of the suffix as a 'definite form maker' instead of as the word 'the'.

Possessive pronouns: min & mit
1) my car = min bil
2) my house = mit hus
3) my cars/my houses = mine biler/mine huse
Adjectives (descriptive words)
1) a big car = en stor bil
2) a big house = et stort hus
3a) big cars/houses = store biler/store huse
3bi) the big car/house = den store bil/det store hus
3bii) John's big car/house = Johns store bil/Johns store hus
3biii) my big car/house = min store bil/mit store hus
These changes of pronouns and adjectives are called inflections.
Danish has only these 3 inflections (2 for gender and 1 for plurals and definite forms).
Subject-verb agreement
Danish has only one form of the verb for each tense.
to be:
I am = Jeg er
We are
= Vi er
He is
= Han er
to be (past):
I was = Jeg var
We were = Vi var
She was = Hun var
to sleep:
I sleep = Jeg sover
You sleep = Du sover
He/she/it sleeps = Han/hun/det sover
Helping verbs
Danish does not use helping verbs (e.g. do and be) in the way that English does:
Do you speak Danish?
= Taler du dansk? (Speak you Danish?)
Do you have children?
= Har du børn? (Have you children?)
Do you smoke? = Ryger du? (Smoke you?)
He does not smoke = Han ryger ikke (He smokes not)
Continuous tenses:
Are you walking? = Går du? (Walk you?)
She is singing = Hun synger (She sings)
I am eating = Jeg spiser (I eat)
Is formed with ikke (not)
Jeg taler ikke dansk = I don't speak Danish (I speak not Danish)

Course progress