Norwegian: de unge

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by vthebee, May 21, 2018.

  1. vthebee Senior Member

    English- Ireland
    As far as I understand when you see the word “unge” it can either be the noun “en unge” (a young one) or one of the adjective forms of “ung” (young).

    Recently I also saw a sentence which began “når de unge er 14 år...”

    What is the purpose of the “de” in this sentence?
    I guess it is not an adjective because it is not describing anything. But if it’s the noun why is it “de unge”?
    I was wondering if the sentence is saying when young people are 14 years old. But then should it not be ”når ungene er 14 år...”

    I hope this makes sense.
  2. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    The word "unge" as a noun means "child".
    The same word used as an adjective means "young" in plural. The singular of "young" is "ung".
    "De unge" means "the young [ones]". "De" makes the plural determined adjective into an expression that kan be used as subject (substantialized adjective), just like in "the Reds" in English.
  3. vthebee Senior Member

    English- Ireland
    OK thanks Ben Jamin for correcting my misunderstanding and answering my question!

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