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For English speakers, one of the mysteries of Danish (and other European languages for that matter) is that nouns come in two different genders. This does seem unnecessary and not at all logical, but there it is. All nouns in Danish are either common gender (n-words) or neuter gender (t-words). About 75% of nouns are of n-words, but many very frequently used nouns are t-words. There is a some fleeting logic to it, in that uncountable things are usually t-words, but on the whole there is no sure way to predict the gender of a word. For a serious student of Danish, there is no real alternative to learning the gender of each word at the same time as learning the word itself.

The notes below represent my attempts to form some rules for my own use, to help me remember which nouns are t-words. Be warned though that none of these rules are completely reliable.

Neuter Nouns

Here are some examples of neuter nouns:

additiv barn bedste belæg ben besøg brug brud brum brus bryllup brød cirkulære cv Danmark dansk dun drøn dryp drys dyk dyr døgn erhverv Europa fed find forum får guf job hotel hus juks klap kursus kær kød køkken køn land lem lyn løb lån miljø mirror mål nik nip ny ord organ plask plasma plast rum ræs sand sjov skab skaft skel skib skidt skifte skilt skravl skridt skrift slag sprog stof svar svin syn system søm sår tab tag tak tog tribunal trick trin tæppe tøj universitet ur vand vindue vink æble æg øl ønske år

The longer words here are mostly imported from other languages, and have taken the gender of the closest Danish word.

Note that these include

Compound words follow the last component noun:

Some words have different genders with different meanings:

Most of the t-words are unchanged in the plural (et -). Exceptions are

More t-words


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