Norwegian: Gutten eller Den gutten

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by enaid_cean023, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. enaid_cean023 Member


    I just would like to ask what actually is the difference between these two sentences since both both of them are translated as "The boy hates football."
    "Den gutten hater fotball."
    "Gutten hater fotball."

    Thanks in advance!
  2. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Den gutten hater fotball = that (specific) boy hates football
    Gutten hater fotball = the boy hates football
  3. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    But both point out one specific boy, so the difference is only stylistic.
  4. Kadabrium Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    When I think about it, I actually hear den/han gutten much more often. I have a certain impression that only abstract nouns and a few specific, uncountable nouns don't need a demonstrative, like forskjellen, størrelsen, solaYou will somehow sound like telling a story in third person, if you only say gutten.
  5. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    One is much more specific. In gutten hater fotball, the boy in question has to be linked logically and semantically to the topic. Den gutten hater fotball indicates that this one specific boy, which may or may not be related to the conversation, is identified as one hating football.
  6. myšlenka Senior Member

    No bare nouns need a demonstrative. It's true that it's common to use "han gutten", but this use of han/hun only works with human referents so it doesn't have much to do with abstractness or countability.
  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    I can hardly imagine that specific-ness (?) can be graded*. In my opinion something is either specific or not specific. The difference lies here not in the grade, but in the way the determination is achieved. The "gutten" variant requires usually a textual reference (written or spoken), while "den gutten" will often be related to the actual boy being present at the conversaton place, and often pointed to whithout a textual reference, but not necessarily so. The two variants overlap each other, however.

    * But the stress given to an utterance may be graded.

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