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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hello and welcome back to DanishClass101.com. This is Absolute Beginner season 1, lesson 3, Expressing Gratitude in Danish. I’m Gina.
Anna: Hej, I’m Anna.
Gina: In this lesson you’ll learn how to express gratitude in Danish.
Anna: That's right! Being able to express gratitude will always come in handy.
Gina: So let’s get started!
Anna: The conversation takes place at a birthday party and is between Simon and Emma, who are brother and sister.
Gina: The speakers are speaking standard Danish, since there are no formality levels in spoken Danish to be considered.
Emma: Tak for gaven. Kunne du tænke dig et stykke kage?
Simon: Ja tak.
Emma: Her er et stort stykke.
Simon: Mange tak.
Emma: Det var så lidt.
Emma: Thank you for the gift. Would you like a piece of cake?
Simon: Yes, please.
Emma: Here's a big piece.
Simon: Thank you very much.
Emma: You're welcome.
Gina: So, Anna, when is a good time to show gratitude in Denmark?
Anna: Every time you’ve received something from someone, for example, a gift or a kind action. But you can also express gratitude when asking for something.
Gina: Can you make this more specific?
Anna: Sure. If I want to say “Pass me the salt, please,” notice that in English there’s a “please” at the end of the sentence.
Gina: That’s right.
Anna: In Danish, the sentence becomes Ræk mig saltet, tak. In this case, tak means “please”, because there is no actual word for “please” in Danish that can be used in all the ways the English word can.
Gina: I see.
Anna: There are other ways of weaving “please” into requests in Danish, but saying tak at the end of a sentence is the most common one.
Gina: Excellent.
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Anna: The first phrase is Ja tak.
Gina: It literally means “Yes, thank you” or “Yes, thanks,” but is equivalent to “Yes, please.”
Anna: As you know, there's no actual word for “please” in Danish. So Ja, tak is used in the same way in Danish as “Yes, please” is in English.
Gina: That was easy. What’s our next phrase?
Anna: Mange tak.
Gina: This phrase means “Thank you very much” or “Thanks a lot.”
Anna: Yes, it’s a very straightforward phrase, because it's used in the same way in Danish as "Thanks a lot” is in English.
Gina: So this shouldn’t give much trouble, right?
Anna: No. You’ll be just fine.
Gina: Great! And finally we have…
Anna: Det var så lidt.
Gina: This phrase means “You're welcome” or “Don’t mention it.”
Anna: It’s composed of the word det, which is the pronoun “it,” the word var, which is the past tense of the verb “to be,” the word så, which in this case is the adverb “so,” and the word lidt, which is an adjective and means “a little” or “a bit.”
Gina: Let’s hear it all together one more time…
Anna: Det var så lidt.
Gina: So the phrase literally means “It was so little,” as in “It was no problem at all,” right?
Anna: Exactly! But it can still be used in the same way in Danish as the English “You're welcome” or “Don’t mention it.” You can also use Ingen årsag which literally means “No reason,” but has the same meaning in Danish as Det var så lidt.
Gina: I see. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson you’ll learn how to express gratitude by saying “thank you.”
Anna: And the most common way of saying “thank you” in Danish is tak.
Gina: It’s short, easy to pronounce and easy to remember.
Anna: Definitely! And you're going to hear and use it every day in Denmark.
Gina: Because Danish is quite similar to English, you can specify what you are thanking someone for by adding the preposition for after tak. And follow that with whatever it is you are grateful for.
Anna: Yes! So let’s say that I’m grateful for you helping me out with something…
Gina: You should be!
Anna: (laughs), right… Then, I would say Tak for hjælpen, which means “Thank you for the help.”
Gina: Another version of thanking me for helping you with something is…
Anna: Tak for din hjælp, which means “Thank you for your help.” So basically the phrases are the same.
Gina: If you want to specify your expression of gratitude even further, you can say…
Anna: Tak fordi du hjalp med at gøre rent, which means “Thanks for helping with the cleaning.”
Gina: So, what we did was add the conjunction fordi after tak.
Anna: Fordi means “because,” and following this is du, which is the pronoun “you.”
Gina: That gives us…
Anna: Tak fordi du…
Gina: And you’re halfway there! Yes, all you need to do now is add whatever action you want to express gratitude for. Can you give us some examples?
Anna: Sure. For example, Tak fordi du ventede.
Gina: This means “Thank you for waiting.”
Anna: Tak fordi du er så venlig.
Gina: Which means “Thank you for being so friendly.”
Anna: Unlike English, Danish distinguishes between past and present actions in this sentence pattern.
Gina: In the first example, the action or verb ventede actually means “waited,” but in this case is equivalent to “waiting” in the English version of the sentence.
Anna: In the second example, er is the present tense of the verb “to be,” and it's equivalent to “being” in the English translation.


Gina: Okay, Anna. Tak for this lesson!
Anna: And tak to you too, listeners!
Gina: Until next time!
Anna: Vi ses!


Please to leave a comment.
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DanishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! How would you say "yes, please" in Danish?

DanishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 10:32 PM
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Hi Phyllis.

Thanks for asking.

I would say that the latter is more common, but both are normal.

Let us know if you have any further questions.



Team DanishClass101.com

Saturday at 11:50 PM
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"Kunne du tænke dig" is a new phrase to me. I have heard "vil du gerne have." Which is the more common way of asking?

DanishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 04:31 PM
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Hi Zorica.

Danish pronouns: Jeg, mig, min, mit, du,dig, deres, vi, vores, han, hans, hun, hendes, de and so on.

To be:

Present Past

Jeg er Jeg var

Du er Du var

Han, hun, det, den er Han var...

Vi er Vi var

De er De var

Hope this helps.



Team DanishClasses101.com

Friday at 10:05 PM
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Hej. Jeg hedder Zorica. Mange tak og det er et stykke kage.

Would you be kind to put the list with personal pronouns to my comment? Also, a simple tense of the verb To Be and Hedde for all pronouns. I think it is important to know it before proceeding for a further grammar.

Mange tak.

DanishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 11:54 PM
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Hello Marguerite.

I am glad that it has helped you to understand. And you are right. One day at the time and everything will make more and more sense as you get to know Danish better. 😜



Team DanishClass101.com

Thursday at 12:27 AM
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WOW! Mange tak Linda! I will need to think on that (nominative and accusative) a bit and I guess I will need to analyze the point of sentences.

I did learn something in your second example.😁

"så" er ikke always "so" in English, et kan også være "saw" in English. Jeg ved ikke the rules for verb cogitations. I think this will also later make more sense, but it is good to start to be aware of.

Hej! Hej!


DanishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:02 AM
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Hello Marguerite.

You use "DU" in nominativ like:

Nominativ: jeg, du, De, han, hun, den, det, vi, I, de, De

EX:Jeg er glad, han er sur.

And you use "DIG" in akkusativ:

Akkusativ: mig, dig, Dem, ham, hende, den, det, os, jer, dem, Dem

EX: Jeg så dig, men du så ikke mig.



Team DanishClass101.com

Tuesday at 04:50 AM
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I was wondering if you can explain when "you" is du and when it is dig?

Mange Tak


Team DanishClass101.com
Monday at 03:43 PM
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Hi Jessica,

Thank you for commenting.

The two are more or less the same. But "kunne du tænke dig" has a broader meaning than "vil du gerne have," because it is also used with actions: "kunne du tænke dig at [verb]" ("would you like to [verb]".

"Vil du have" is most often followed by a desired object.

"Kunne du tænke dig" is a fixed phrase, but "tænke" is used because the phrase refers to something you would like to have or do in you imagination. You think it.

Hope this was helpful, and if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you!


Team DanishClass101.com

Monday at 12:59 PM
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hej! Can you explain why you use "kunne du tænke dig" instead of "vil du gerne have"? What's the purpose of using the verb "tænke"?