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Syntax: the structure of Danish sentences

Led-stilling

  Affirmative sentences

Du kender mig.
subject verb object
You know me.

Jeg har aldrig givet hende en blomst før.
subject verb1 central adverb verb2 indirect object object adverb
I have never given her a flower before.

If a sentence begins with an adverb/adverbial expression, inversion applies:

Aldrig har jeg givet hende en blomst før.
central adverb verb1 subject verb2 indirect object object adverb
Never have I given her a flower before.

Tit har jeg givet ham bøger.
central adverb verb1 subject verb2 indirect object object
Often have I given him books.

In subordinate clauses the central adverb (ikke, aldrig, etc) is moved to the front of the verb, eg. Jeg ved, at du ikke har læst den. Jeg har hørt, at hun alligevel beståede.

  Interrogative sentence (question):

The question is formed by inversion: the verb moves to the beginning of the sentence.

Kender du mig?
verb subject object
Know you me? (Do you know me?)

jeg låne det?
verb1 subject verb2 object
May I borrow this?

  Short answers to Yes/No questions

Just like in English, there exist short answers to yes/no questions:

Taler du dansk?
Do you speak Danish?
Ja, det gør jeg. / Ja, jeg gør.
Yes, I do.
Nej, det gør jeg ikke. / Nej, jeg gør ej.
No, I don't.
Må jeg læse det?
May I read this?
Ja, det må du. / Ja, du må.
Yes, you may.
Nej, det må du ikke. / Nej, du må ej.
No, you may not.
Har du spist den?
Have you eaten it?
Ja, det har jeg. / Ja, jeg har.
Yes, I have.
Nej, det har jeg ikke. / Nej, jeg har ej.
No, I haven't.

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tsca's Danish Grammar; © 1999 Copyright by Tomasz G. Sienicki < tsca @ edb.dk >