I first heard Danish as an American soldier stationed in Germany, on leave, and traveling north by train. When the train left Hamburg Altona, I was surprised to hear many people speaking English. It didn't take long to realize that, although it sounded like English, it was not. It was Danish. Since then, and not only because of that experience, I became convinced that Danish is, in a sense, an intermediate language between German and English -- that English developed more from Danish than directly from German. I am not enough of a linguist nor historian to know whether or not this is nonsense. I can certainly cite examples of phrases in Danish that sound amazingly like their equivalents in English, and very little like German. There is also the idea that German has three grammatical Genders that permeate the language, Danish has two, and English (arguably) has one. When I was comfortable in this idea, I bought a book on learning Danish, and was stunned to find how the definite article was handled when there was no descriptive adjective to worry about -- that "the" was essentially hung on the end of the noun. Danish was suddenly an agglutinative language like Hungarian, which is nowhere on the journey from German to English. My question is, can anyone shed light on this idea for me? How did this feature become a fixture in Danish that did not arrive from German and was not communicated to English. Is it just one of those things that has no explanation other than "that's the way it is", or is there something to know about how these three languages developed that explains what I see as a deviation from a path. Perhaps there are all kinds of similarly stunning grammatical differences between Danish and the other two, and I'm just not aware of them.