Danish: alt el. alting?

  • Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Is there a difference between alt and alting or can they be used interchangeably? What are the rules here?
    It is not quite interchangable. If you can distinguish between "all" and "everything" in English you pretty much know what you need.


    I don't agree. I think they are fairly interchangeable for the most part. I am quite sure that the English "all" translates to "alle" in Danish more often than "alt".

    Jeg har spist [alt / alting]
    Der findes [alt / alting] i den have.
    Fortæl mig [alt / alting]
    [Alt / alting] går galt når man hedder Kurt til fornavn.

    The meaning is pretty much the same whether you use alt or alting. "Alting" carries a stronger meaning of "every. single. damn. thing" sometimes, but that is about it. I would use "everything" in all of the sentences above no matter if the Danish version contains alt or alting. Of course you can say "I have eaten it all", but that translates to "jeg har spist det hele"". To me, this is how it works:

    Everything = Alt / Alting
    All Things = Alle ting
    Anything = Hvad som helst / Noget som helst
    Nothing = Ingenting / Intet
    All = Alle
    All of it = Det hele


    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    OK, I'll settle for somewhere between "not quite" and "fairly, for the most part". Whatever the difference may be.
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