Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
In this lesson we’ll see a very useful phrase meaning “I don’t understand.” It is useful, of course, because many times you won’t immediately pick up on what people are saying.
GRAMMAR POINT
In Danish, “I don’t understand it” is
Jeg forstår det ikke.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) Jeg for-står det ikke.
Once more:
Jeg forstår det ikke.
The first word is the personal pronoun “I”
Next we have forstår which is the verb “to understand.”
(slow) For-står.
Forstår.
It’s followed by det which means “it”.
(slow) Det.
Det.
And lastly you have the negative ikke, meaning “not”,
(slow) Ikke.
Ikke.
Poor knowledge of the Danish language may be one reason for not understanding. In this case, say
Jeg forstår ikke Dansk. This expression is translated in English as “I don’t understand Danish”
Let’s break it down:
(slow) Jeg for-står ikke dansk.
Jeg forstår ikke dansk.
The first word is again the personal pronoun “I”
Next we have forstår ikke which would be “don’t understand”
(slow) For-står ikke.
Forstår ikke.
And the last word, dansk, means “Danish”
(slow) Dansk.
Dansk.
Another option is to tell someone, “I don’t speak Danish.”
Jeg taler ikke dansk.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) Jeg ta-ler ikke dansk.
Once again:
Jeg taler ikke Dansk.
In this sentence, we replaced the verb “understand” with “speak”.
(slow) Taler.
Taler
These expressions are all very direct. To make them more polite, simply add “Excuse me” which is Undskyld mig! or “Sorry” which is Undskyld! to the beginning of the phrase. For example:
Undskyld, jeg forstår det ikke.
“Sorry, I don’t understand.”
(slow) Und-skyld, jeg for-står det ikke.
Undskyld, jeg forstår det ikke.

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DanishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! In what situation were you when you could not understand the person you were speaking with?

Team DanishClass101.com
Monday at 09:09 PM
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Hi Nikola,


Thank you for commenting and for the thumbs up.


Hope you will continue to enjoy learning Danish with us.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Thank you!


Amalie

Team DanishClass101.com

Nikola
Sunday at 03:17 AM
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:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Team DanishClass101.com
Thursday at 06:19 PM
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Hi Pat,


Thank you for commenting.


In main clauses, you place the adverb 'ikke' after the verb.

In subordinate clauses, you place it after the subject.


The sentence "Jeg forstår det ikke" is a little different. Since 'det' only means "it," it is unspecified what you do not understand. If you specify what you do not understand by using a noun, you place 'ikke' after the verb.

For example, "Jeg forstår ikke teksten." ("I don't understand the text.")


'Forstå' is the infinitive form of "to understand."

'Forstår' is the present tense form which means "understand(s)."


We hope this was helpful, and that you will continue to enjoy learning Danish with us.


If you have any other questions, please let us know.


Mange tak!


Amalie

Team DanishClass101.com

Pat
Tuesday at 08:14 PM
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Hi


How do you tell where to place the 'ikke'? I was told it was always straight after the verb, but here it is ''Jeg forstår det ikke''. Also, why is it sometimes forstå, other times forstår?


Mange tak! :smile:

Team DanishClass101.com
Tuesday at 04:10 AM
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Hej Erica


Tak for kommentaren.


Here's a little feedback:


"Jeg taler ofte i telefon mens går på gaden."

--> "Jeg taler ofte i telefon, mens jeg går på gaden." (added a subject)


"Når en lastbil kører forbi, den høje lyd forhindrer mig at høre personen i den ande ende."

--> "Når en lastbil kører forbi, forhindrer den høje lyd mig i at høre personen i den anden ende." (word order)


"Jeg siger ofte, “Undskyld, jeg forstå det ikke.”"

--> "Jeg siger ofte: "Undskyld, jeg forstod det ikke."" (past tense)


Sig til, hvis du har nogle spørgsmål (If you have any questions, please let us know).


Mange tak!


Amalie

Team DanishClass101.com

Erica
Sunday at 02:39 AM
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Jeg taler ofte i telefon mens går på gaden. Når en lastbil kører forbi, den høje lyd forhindrer mig at høre personen i den ande ende. Jeg siger ofte, "Undskyld, jeg forstå det ikke."


Mange tak for lektionen!


(Translation: I often talk on the phone while walking down the street. When a truck drives past, the loud noise prevents me from hearing the person at the other end. I often say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand."


Many thanks for the lesson!)