Demonstrative Pronouns: Introduction

Demonstrative pronouns specify objects as well as distance to the objects.

Denne and den is used with singular masculine and feminine nouns.

Dette and det is used with singular neuter nouns.

Disse and de is used with plural nouns.

Note that the nouns following the demonstratives take the definite form: denne bilen etc.

  Close Remote
Masculine denne koppen = this cup den koppen = that cup
Feminine denne døra = this door den døra = that door
Neuter dette glasset = this glass det glasset = that glass
Plural disse koppene = these cups de koppene = those cups

You choose the correct form of the pronoun based on the distance between yourself and the object you are talking about, whether it’s close to you or remote from you.

Mind, however, that everything is relative.

If you, for example, were speaking about something close to you, then you would use denne/dette or disse, but at the same time the same objects can be remote from your interlocutor, the other person in your conversation. So he or she would probably use den/det or de.

Let’s look at some examples.

Here you have a small dialogue between me and an imaginary interlocutor (the other person in my conversation):

A: Jeg liker disse blomstene.

I like these flowers (the flowers are close to me)

B: De?

Those? (the same flowers, but remote from my interlocutor’s perspective)

A: Ja, disse her.

Yes, these ones here (near me)

B: Jeg foretrekker de der.

I prefer those (remote from my interlocutor’s perspective, but still near mine)

We hope that was easy!

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This article is from the free online course:

Norwegian for Beginners 2

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)