A Simplified Grammar of the Danish Language/Part I/Articles

ARTICLES. (Kendeord.)

Two genders are recognized in modern Danish, viz. the Common Gender (Fælleskön), and the Neuter Gender (Intetkön).

Articles and adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun to which they refer.

There are three distinct articles, viz. the Indefinite Article (ubestemte Kendeord), and two forms of the Definite Article (bestemte Kendeord), known as the "Noun Article" and the "Adjective Article."

The Indefinite Article, which precedes the noun, is—

common gender. neuter.
en, a, an. et, a, an.

This article agrees in gender with the noun; as, en Mand, e.g., 'a man,' et Barn, n., 'a child.'

The form of the Definite Article, known as the "Noun-Article" (Navneordenes Kendeord), consists of the following affixes, which are added to, and incorporated with, the noun, in conformity with the gender and number of the latter:

common gender. neuter. plural, both genders.
Affix, en, or n, the et, or t, the ene, or ne, the.

As, Mand, e.g., 'man,' Manden, 'the man;' Kone, e.g., 'woman,' Konen, 'the woman;' Barn, n., 'child,' Barnet, 'the child;' Vindue, n., 'window,' Vinduet, 'the window;' Mænd, pl. 'men,' Mændene, 'the men;' Koner, pl., 'women,' Konerne, 'the women;' Vinduer, pl., 'windows,' Vinduerne, 'the windows.'

The terminal letter of the word, and certain considerations of euphony, determine whether en, et, and ene, or simply n, t and ne are to be employed in the formation of the article affix.

The independent form of the definite article, known as the "Adjective Article" (Tillœgs Kendeord), agrees in gender and number with the noun to which it refers, and always precedes the adjective qualifying the latter, never standing in direct proximity to the noun itself.

common gender. neuter. plural. both gender.
den, the det, the de the.

Den gode Mand, e. g., 'the good man;' det gode Barn, n., 'the good child,' de gode Drenge, pl., 'the good boys.'

Norwegians use Gut, e. g., in the place of Dreng, for 'boy'.

For an explanation of the manner in which the various articles have acquired their present form and significance, the reader is referred to Part II.