det går også godt
it’s also going well.
hvad med dig
what/how about you?
hvordan går det
how’s it going?
to go, to pass, to walk, to leave
det går godt
it’s going well.
The Focus of This Lesson Is How to Greet People and Ask How They're Doing
Hej. Hvordan går det?
"Hi. How's it going?"
Hej. Hvordan går det? is the most commonly used phrase when greeting people in Denmark, and it is used in the same way as the English "Hi. How's it going?" The phrase can be used at any time of the day when meeting and greeting friends, family, and acquaintances. It's more or less a learned standard phrase, but it's also a way of showing interest and consideration for another person's well-being, condition, feelings, etc., and the speaker expects an answer. Sometimes, the answer can be short, like Godt, which means "Well" or "Good," or Fint, which means "Fine," or even Stille og roligt, which literally means "Quiet and calm," but indicates that there's not much new under the sun. Also, young people especially tend to give answers like Det går okay, which means "It's going okay/alright." Of course, if things aren't going well, expect answers like Det går ikke så godt, which means "It's not going so well," or Det går dårligt, which means "It's going badly."
Verb Form in Hvordan går det?
Går is the present tense form of the verb at gå, which means "to go," "to pass," "to walk," "to leave," and "to run." Unlike in English, the simple present tense and continuous present tense of a verb are the same in Danish, which explains why Hvordan går det? is equivalent to the English "How's it going?" but literally means "How goes it?"
- Jeg ser fjernsyn hver dag.
"I watch television every day."
- Jeg ser fjernsyn lige nu.
"I'm watching television right now."
Examples from this dialogue:
- Hej. Hvordan går det.
"Hi. How's it going?"
- Hej. Hvad så?
"Hi. What's up?"
- Hvordan går det med firmaet?
"How's it going with the company?"
When you want to ask about something more specific about a person, you can add med, which means "with," followed by what you want to ask about. For example, if you want to ask about someone's progress with an assignment, you can ask Hvordan går det med opgaven? which means "How's it going with the assignment?" Instead of asking about a specific object or person, you can also ask about an overall action that involves the specified object or person. For example, Hvordan går det med at skrive opgave? means "How's it going with the writing assignment?"
Greeting People in Danish
In spoken Danish, there are no formality levels to be considered when meeting and greeting people-not even when meeting people for the first time. You can say hej to anyone at any time in any situation in Denmark. Of course, if you are about to meet your potential future employer and are not sure how to greet him or her properly, you can choose to wait for them to greet you and then greet them similarly. Or, you could raise the bar yourself and use the more formal Goddag, which means "Good day." Also, if you want, you can choose to adjust your greeting according to the time of day, but this is completely optional and a matter of preference. Godmorgen means "Good morning," God eftermiddag means "Good afternoon," and Godaften means "Good evening."
|Gina: Hello and welcome to DanishClass101.com. This is the Absolute Beginner, season 1, lesson 1, Greetings in Danish. I'm Gina.|
|Anna: Hej, I’m Anna. And we’re here to make your Danish absolute beginner experience as easy and productive as possible. Okay, Gina, what’s the focus of this lesson?|
|Gina: In this lesson you'll learn how to greet people in Danish.|
|Anna: The conversation takes place on the street between Mark and Louise, who are friends.|
|Gina: And they’ll use what you could call informal Danish. Let's listen to the conversation.|
|Mark: Hvordan går det?|
|Louise: Det går godt. Hvad med dig?|
|Mark: Det går også godt.|
|Mark: How's it going?|
|Louise: It's going well. What about you?|
|Mark: It's also going well.|
|POST CONVERSATION BANTER|
|Gina: Now it's time for a little cultural insight. Danes are most likely to greet people with a simple Hej at any time of the day, in any situation.|
|Anna: There are no formality levels in spoken Danish. But in case you feel like sounding more formal – for example, in a job interview situation – you have another option.|
|Gina: What’s that?|
|Anna: Goddag, which means "Good day." But if you’re not sure which would be the most appropriate way to greet someone, just wait for that person to greet you first.|
|Gina: Ah yes, of course! Let the other person decide the level of formality, if any at all!|
|Anna: You can also adjust your greetings according to the time of day, and they're just as neutral or informal, so to speak, as hej.|
|Gina: I see.|
|KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES|
|Gina: Let's take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.|
|Anna: Yes, in addition to their meaning, we'll explain more about their composition and usage.|
|Gina: The first phrase from the dialogue is...|
|Anna: Det går godt, and it means "It’s going well."|
|Gina: This is an important phrase, because it's often the answer you give when someone asks you how things are going.|
|Anna: The phrase is composed of the pronoun det, which most often means "it," the verb går in present tense, which literally means "goes," and the adverb godt, which means "well" or "good."|
|Gina: That's right! So that gives us...|
|Anna: Det går godt.|
|Gina: Great. What's next, Anna?|
|Anna: Hvad med dig?, which means "What,” or “How, about you?"|
|Gina: This phrase usually follows statements where you have expressed something about yourself, and want to show interest in the person you’re talking to.|
|Anna: For example, after someone has asked you how you’re doing, you can ask about the other person by saying Hvad med dig?|
|Gina: Just like in English!|
|Anna: Right. Another example is after stating what you would like to eat or drink. Asking about the other person is a good way of showing interest and consideration.|
|Anna: Next is Det går også godt, which means "It's also going well."|
|Gina: This is basically the natural answer to the earlier question where you’ve been asked how things are going by someone after you’ve already asked them the question.|
|Anna: Of course, if things aren't going well, you might want to rephrase that answer.|
|Gina: How would you do that?|
|Anna: Simply remove også, which means "also," "too," or "as well;" and replace the godt with skidt, for example, which means "bad." So that gives us Det går skidt.|
|Gina: I hope you don’t have to give that answer though! Okay, now onto the grammar!|
|Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to greet people.|
|Anna: And ask how they're doing.|
|Gina: So, "Hi. How’s it going?" in Danish is…|
|Anna: Hej. Hvordan går det?|
|Gina: There are several ways of greeting someone and asking how they're doing in Danish.|
|Anna: But let’s focus on the usage of Hej. Hvordan går det? in this lesson.|
|Gina: Okay Anna. What's so great about this phrase?|
|Anna: Well, it's more or less a learned standard phrase, and it can be used at any time of the day when meeting and greeting friends, family, and acquaintances.|
|Gina: It's also a way of showing interest and consideration for another person’s well-being, condition, feelings and the like.|
|Anna: Exactly! And you can expect one-word answers like godt, which means "well" or "good." But you're most likely to hear answers like Det går okay, which means "It’s going okay” or “alright." This mainly applies to young people though.|
|Gina: Right. And if not a lot has happened…|
|Anna: ...the answer can be Stille og roligt, which literally means "Quiet and calm." But it indicates that nothing of much importance has happened lately, or since the last time you spoke.|
|Gina: Ok, so what if things aren’t going well…?|
|Anna: Then you can expect answers like Det går ikke så godt, which means "It's not going so well." Or Det går dårligt, which means "It's going badly."|
|Gina: Are you referring to your health here, or…?|
|Anna: Well, I am if I think that's what the other person is really asking about. But the answer can also refer to how I think my life has been going lately.|
|Gina: I've noticed that the phrase Hvordan går det? seems to be in simple present tense, but how come the English version is "How's it going?"|
|Anna: Unlike English, the simple present tense and continuous present tense of a verb are the same in Danish. This explains why Hvordan går det? becomes "How's it going?" in English. It literally means "How goes it?," but that doesn't sound right at all.|
|Gina: Definitely, it’s pretty odd. Ok, before we go, let's recap what we've learned quickly. If you want to greet someone and ask how they are doing, you say…|
|Anna: Hej. Hvordan går det?|
|Gina: Okay, that's it for this lesson. In the lesson notes, you'll find more details about this expression. So be sure to read them.|
|Anna: And if you have any questions or comments, leave us a post on the lesson page.|
|Gina: Thanks for listening, see you next time!|
|Anna: Vi ses!|