Danish/Nouns

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In Danish there are two genders of nouns, but they aren't "masculine" and "feminine" like other European languages. They're called common and neuter gender, and they are inflected differently. Every noun is associated with one gender, and the gender should be learned when learning the noun.

About 75% of Danish nouns are common gender, and if the noun is a living thing such as hund (dog), chances are its going to be common gender.

However, there are not any clear rules as to what gender a noun is. To a native speaker, it comes naturally whether to use common or neuter gender, but to someone learning Danish as a second language, it often requires a lot of exercise and listening to native speakers.

Singular nouns[edit]

The Danish word for a is en. en is the common gender indefinite article. The neuter article is et. Thus you say:

  • en dreng = a boy
  • en pige = a girl
  • et hus = a house
  • et æble = an apple

In English, when you want to refer to one particular person or item, you use the article the instead of a or an. In Danish you do this by inflecting the nouns:

  • drengen = the boy
  • pigen = the girl
  • huset = the house
  • æblet = the apple

Example sentences:

  • Jeg ser en dreng. = I see a boy.
  • Jeg ser drengen. = I see the boy.
  • Jeg læser en bog. = I read a book.
  • Jeg læser bogen. = I read the book.
  • Jeg spiser et æble. = I eat an apple.
  • Jeg spiser æblet. = I eat the apple.

Plural nouns[edit]

Indefinite:

  • drenge = boys
  • piger = girls
  • huse = houses
  • æbler = apples

Definite:

  • drengene = the boys
  • pigerne = the girls
  • husene = the houses
  • æblerne = the apples


Here is the table for inflections of nouns:

GenderSingluarPlural
IndefiniteDefiniteIndefiniteDefinite
Common genderen drengdrengendrengedrengene
Neuteret æbleæbletæbleræblerne