Danish : Auxiliary with begynde

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by J.F. de TROYES, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    Does the verb begynde use the auxiliary have or være or is there a choice depending on the context ? In that case when does one say : Han har begyndet and Han er begyndet ? ( Please give a translation of any example )

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. bicontinental Senior Member

    U.S.A.
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    Hi J.F.
    The correct auxiliary verb with 'begynde' is 'være', i.e. han er begyndt, han var begyndt.
    Bic.
     
  3. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    Are there some verbs that may be used with either auxiliary ?
     
  4. Havfruen Senior Member

    USA
    English - American
    I think I would generally agree with this, but the dictionary lists a single exception.

    NOGEN begynder NOGET HJÆLPEVERBUM have
    Is the dictionary correct or does anyone dispute the use of 'have' here?
     
  5. mosletha Senior Member

    Haugesund, Norway
    Norwegian
    Norwegian riksmål follows the exact same rules as Danish in this regard (I believe), and that is correct. You cannot write 'vi er begynt spillet', only 'vi har begynt spillet'.
     
  6. bicontinental Senior Member

    U.S.A.
    English (US), Danish, bilingual

    Transitive verbal constructions typically require the auxiliary have. Begynde is, however, much more frequently used as an intransitive verb, therefore with the auxiliary være. I personally find transitive constructions with begynde somewhat awkward in the compound tenses (the present and past perfect):

    Hun begynder sit nye arbejde i morgen (she starts her new job tomorrow). The present tense is OK, but I would still prefer an intransitive construction like, hun begynder i/på sit nye arbejde i morgen.
    Hun begyndte sit nye arbejde for to uger siden (she started her new job two weeks ago); the simple past still sounds reasonable.
    Hun har/havde begyndt sit nye job/arbejde...This is where it sounds strange to my ear. I would much prefer to use the verb påbegynde (i.e. hun har/havde påbegyndt sit nye arbejde...) or change the construction altogether and use the verb intransitively with a preposition: Hun er begyndt/var begyndt på/i sit nye arbejde for to uger siden. Alternatively, we could use begynde with an infinitive (i.e. started to work): hun er begyndt/var begyndt at arbejde for to uger siden.



    Verbs that describe motion or change may be used with either være or have depending on the context. Den danske ordbog (ref. http://ordnet.dk/ddo/artiklernes-opbygning/grammatiske-oplysninger#hj-lpeverbum) distinguishes between situations where the focus is on the act of doing something (use have) versus on a transition from one place to another (være).
    Hunden er løbet hjemmefra (The dog has run away (from home)) The focus is on the transition from one place to another: use the auxiliary være.
    Jeg har løbet over 20 mil i dag (I have run more than 20 miles today) The focus is on the act of running, use the auxiliary have.
    Han er flyttet til England (he has moved to England) Intransitive construction.
    Han har flyttet stolen (he has moved the chair) Transitive construction.

    Bic.
     
  7. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    It's the same in French and Italian with verbs accepting transitive or intransitive constructions and using the auxiliary to have or to be . Some verbs describing change or motion also use both auxiliaries according to somewhat different features ( focus on the act versus focus on the present result of the past action ).

    Thank you all for the enlightment. Your explanations are very interesting.
     
  8. Havfruen Senior Member

    USA
    English - American
    Thanks bicontinental for detailed comments and to JF de Troyes for starting the thread. I've studied French also and it's interesting to see when there is a parallel between Germanic and Romance languages.
     

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