Danish: What's the difference between ingen, intet, ikke noget, etc?

Tripton00

New Member
English - USA
I've been trying to pin down when it's correct to use the words ikke noget, ingen, intet, ingenting, and ikke nogen. So far, this is what I've got, but I don't know if it's necessarily correct or if I've missed some important points. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Ikke nogen/ingen

Interchangeable. Used with common gender ("en") nouns.

Ikke noget/intet
Interchangeable. Used with neuter ("et") nouns, or if you're talking about something in general that doesn't necessarily have a specific noun connected to it.
Intet is seen mostly in formal/written language. Most of the time, ikke noget is used in everyday spoken Danish.

Ingenting
Strictly means "nothing," but can be used interchangeably with ikke noget or intet as long as it is being used to say exactly what it means ("nothing" or "not a thing") rather than "none" or "not any."
For example, if you want to say "There's nothing I can do (about it)," you could say one of the three:
1) "Der er ikke noget jeg kan gør."
2) "Der er intet jeg kan gør."
3) "Der er ingenting jeg kan gør."
However, if you want to say "There aren't any questions," you CANNOT say "Der er ingenting spørgsmål." Instead, you must say one of the two:
1) "Der er ikke noget spørgsmål."
2) "Der er intet spørgsmål."
 
Last edited:
  • raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Welcome to the forum, Tripton00!

    While we are waiting for the Danes, I can start answering your question. I am Norwegian, so I can't give you a complete answer. Most of your overview seems to be correct (there shouldn't be any major difference between Danish and Norwegian on this issue). But I think I have noticed a point that you have missed: Ikke nogen/ingen is also used with plural forms of nouns, regardless of gender.

    In other words:
    There aren't any questions. - Der er ikke nogen spørgsmål.
    There isn't any question. - Der er ikke noget spørgsmål.

    I hope a Dane can confirm this, and give you a more complete answer.
     

    Tripton00

    New Member
    English - USA
    Welcome to the forum, Tripton00!

    While we are waiting for the Danes, I can start answering your question. I am Norwegian, so I can't give you a complete answer. Most of your overview seems to be correct (there shouldn't be any major difference between Danish and Norwegian on this issue). But I think I have noticed a point that you have missed: Ikke nogen/ingen is also used with plural forms of nouns, regardless of gender.

    In other words:
    There aren't any questions. - Der er ikke nogen spørgsmål.
    There isn't any question. - Der er ikke noget spørgsmål.

    I hope a Dane can confirm this, and give you a more complete answer.
    That makes sense. That didn't occur to me! Thank you for the useful information, raumar!
     
    Last edited:

    Janika4

    New Member
    Danish - Denmark
    Actually, The form I would use is:

    There aren´t any questions. - Der er ingen spørgsmål
    If there aren´t any questions... - Hvis der ikke er nogen spørgsmål...
    There isn´t any question. - Der er intet spørgsmål. (I would never actually say this, it just does not sound right)

    I've been trying to pin down when it's correct to use the words ikke noget, ingen, intet, ingenting, and ikke nogen. So far, this is what I've got, but I don't know if it's necessarily correct or if I've missed some important points. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

    Ikke nogen/ingen

    Interchangeable. Used with common gender ("en") nouns.

    Ikke noget/intet
    Interchangeable. Used with neuter ("et") nouns, or if you're talking about something in general that doesn't necessarily have a specific noun connected to it.
    Intet is seen mostly in formal/written language. Most of the time, ikke noget is used in everyday spoken Danish.

    Ingenting
    Strictly means "nothing," but can be used interchangeably with ikke noget or intet as long as it is being used to say exactly what it means ("nothing" or "not a thing") rather than "none" or "not any."
    For example, if you want to say "There's nothing I can do (about it)," you could say one of the three:
    1) "Der er ikke noget jeg kan gør."
    2) "Der er intet jeg kan gør."
    3) "Der er ingenting jeg kan gør."
    However, if you want to say "There aren't any questions," you CANNOT say "Der er ingenting spørgsmål." Instead, you must say one of the two:
    1) "Der er ikke noget spørgsmål."
    2) "Der er intet spørgsmål."
    Of course you can not say "der er ingenting spørgsmål," that would be like saying "There is nothing question." You would usually say: "Der er ingen spørgsmål."

    Ikke nogen/noget is mostly used around a verb:

    - "Jeg kan ikke gøre noget." - "I can't do anything."
    - "Jeg kan ikke lide nogen." - "I don't like anyone."
     

    Tripton00

    New Member
    English - USA
    Actually, The form I would use is:

    There aren´t any questions. - Der er ingen spørgsmål
    If there aren´t any questions... - Hvis der ikke er nogen spørgsmål...
    There isn´t any question. - Der er intet spørgsmål. (I would never actually say this, it just does not sound right)



    Of course you can not say "der er ingenting spørgsmål," that would be like saying "There is nothing question." You would usually say: "Der er ingen spørgsmål."

    Ikke nogen/noget is mostly used around a verb:

    - "Jeg kan ikke gøre noget." - "I can't do anything."
    - "Jeg kan ikke lide nogen." - "I don't like anyone."
    Thank you so much for your input Janika4!!
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    intet - neutrum
    ingen - m/f
    ingen - plur.

    (not the whole explanation, but an important part of it)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top