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"Immersion first, grammar second."

Hvad er en hovedsætning?

What is a main clause?

  • A stand alone sentence.

  • A sentence that makes sense on its own. 

  • A complete sentence. 

 

For example: 

 

 

Jeg danser altid om morgenen.

I always dance in the morning.


 

This sentence makes perfect sense on its own. It is a complete sentence. Therefore, this is en hovedsætning.

 


 

Hvad er ordstillingen i en hovedsætning? 

What is the word order in a main clause?

 

Let’s take the above example.

 

S     V         A

Jeg danser altid om morgenen

I always dance in the morning.

 

As you can see, the word order is: subject, verb, adverb

Jeg = subject

Danser = verb 

Altid = adverb

 

Notice how in English you would say: I always dance… 

Whereas is Danish you are saying: I dance always… 

 

It’s important that the verb comes first. This is the basic structure for simple sentences in Danish. 


 

Hovedsætningskonjunktioner

Main clause conjunctions

 

  • There are only five main clause conjunctions. 

  • By remembering these conjunctions you can ensure you have correct word order. 

 

The five conjunctions are:

  • Og (and)

  • For (because)

  • Eller (or)

  • Men (but)

  • (so, therefore, so that)

 

So, if you join two sentences using one of the above conjunctions, this tells you that you have two main clauses, and thus, that your word order needs to be: subject, verb, adverb (in both cases).

 

For example:


 

S     V           A                                    K   S    V             A

Jeg danser altid om morgenen og jeg stopper aldrig. 

I always dance in the morning and I’ll never stop.

 

If we take away the conjunction, we are left with:

 

Jeg stopper aldrig. 

I’ll never stop.

 

That is, we have two main clauses with the same word order: subject, verb, adverb.

 

Jeg = subject

Danser = verb 

Altid = adverb

- Og = conjunction

Jeg = subject

Stopper = verb

Aldrig = adverb

 

Here’s one more example:

 

S            V        A                                  K       S     V         A

Min kat hader faktisk kattemad, men den spiser heldigvis kartofler. 

My cat actually hates cat food, but it, luckily, eats potatoes.

 

Min kat = subject

Hader = verb

Faktisk = adverb

- Men = conjunction

Den = subject

spiser = verb

Heldigvis = adverb