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The Top 20 Most Common Verbs In Danish

What are the most important verbs in Danish, how do you conjugate them and how do you use them? We've prepared a handy intro for you.

Do you want to learn Danish, but not sure where to start? Then you’re in the right place. Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation — trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming and frustrating. That’s why we suggest that you first concentrate on the most common verbs to give your vocabulary a jump-start. If you’re not in the mood for conjugation tables, then Danish is the right language for you. Danish verbs have just one form in each tense! Easy, right?

Here we go! Below you will find the 20 most common Danish verbs, their meanings, how to conjugate them in the present tense, and an example of how to use each one in a sentence.

1. at være – "to be"

  • jeg er: "I am"
  • du er: "you (sg.) are"
  • hun/han er: "he/she is"
  • vi er: "we are"
  • I er: "you (pl.) are"
  • de er: "they are"

Example: Jeg er fra Tyskland. – "I’m from Germany."

2. at have – "to have"

  • jeg har
  • du har
  • hun/han har
  • vi har
  • I har
  • de har

Example: Har du planer i weekenden? – "Do you have plans for the weekend?"

Heads up! at være and at have are also helping verbs that are used to form the past tense (Hvad har du lavet i weekenden? – "What did you do on the weekend?").

3. at ville – "to want"

  • jeg vil
  • du vil
  • hun/han vil
  • vi vil
  • I vil
  • de vil

Example: De vil købe et hus på Lolland. – "They want to buy a house on Lolland."

4. at skulle – "should"

  • jeg skal
  • du skal
  • hun/han skal
  • vi skal
  • I skal
  • de skal

Example: Skal vi spise rødgrød med fløde til dessert i aften? – "Should we have rødgrød with cream for dessert tonight?"

Heads up! at ville and at skulle are helping verbs that are used with a verb in the infinitive to form the simple future. They can also be used to express a wish or demand (Jeg vil gerne have slik til frokost. – "I’d like to have sweets for lunch").

5. at hedde – "to be called"

  • jeg hedder
  • du hedder
  • hun/han hedder
  • vi hedder
  • I hedder
  • de hedder

Example: Jeg hedder Jonas. – "I’m called Jonas."

6. at sige – "to say"

  • jeg siger
  • du siger
  • hun/han siger
  • vi siger
  • I siger
  • de siger

Example: Hvad siger du? – "What are you saying?"

7. at komme – "to come"

  • jeg kommer
  • du kommer
  • hun/han kommer
  • vi kommer
  • I kommer
  • de kommer

Example: De kommer altid for sent. – "They always come too late."

8. at gå – "to go"

  • jeg går
  • du går
  • hun/han går
  • vi går
  • I går
  • de går

Example: Hun går på Københavns Universitet. – "She goes to Copenhagen University."

9. at løbe – "to run"

  • jeg løber
  • du løber
  • hun/han løber
  • vi løber
  • I løber
  • de løber

Example: Hun løber 10 kilometer på 50 minutter. – "She runs 10 kilometers in 50 minutes."

10. at spise – "to eat"

  • jeg spiser
  • du spiser
  • hun/han spiser
  • vi spiser
  • I spiser
  • de spiser

Example: Mange danskere spiser havregryn til morgenmad. – "Many Danes have oatmeal for breakfast."

11. at give – "to give"

  • jeg giver
  • du giver
  • hun/han giver
  • vi giver
  • I giver
  • de giver

Example: Jeg giver! – "This one’s on me!" (lit. "I give!")

12. at lave – "to make, to do"

  • jeg laver
  • du laver
  • hun/han laver
  • vi laver
  • I laver
  • de laver

Example: Hvad laver du på mandag? – "What are you doing on Monday?"

13. at gøre – "to do, to make"

  • jeg gør
  • du gør
  • hun/han gør
  • vi gør
  • I gør
  • de gør

Example: Det gør ikke noget. – "That doesn’t matter." (lit. "That doesn’t do anything.")

Good to know! The verbs at lave and at gøre can both mean "to make" or "to do." The differences are often subtle, but you’ll eventually get a feel for it.

14. at stå – "to stand"

  • jeg står
  • du står
  • hun/han står
  • vi står
  • I står
  • de står

Example: Jeg står altid op kl. 6. – "I always get up (lit. stand up) at 6."

15. at se – "to see"

  • jeg ser
  • du ser
  • hun/han ser
  • vi ser
  • I ser
  • de ser

Example: Vi ser en film sammen. – "We’re seeing a film together."

16. at cykle – "to ride a bike"

  • jeg cykler
  • du cykler
  • hun/han cykler
  • vi cykler
  • I cykler
  • de cykler

Example: De fleste københavnere cykler på arbejde. – "Most Copenhageners ride a bike to work."

17. at hygge sig – "to make oneself cozy"

  • jeg hygger mig
  • du hygger dig
  • hun/han hygger sig
  • vi hygger os
  • I hygger jer
  • de hygger sig

Example: Kan du hygge dig! – "Enjoy yourself!" (a colloquial way to say goodbye)

18. at sejle – "to sail"

  • jeg sejler
  • du sejler
  • hun/han sejler
  • vi sejler
  • I sejler
  • de sejler

Example: Bornholmerfærgen sejler fra Ystad til Rønne. – "The Bornholm ferry sails from Ystad to Rønne."

19. at snakke – "to talk"

  • jeg snakker
  • du snakker
  • hun/han snakker
  • vi snakker
  • I snakker
  • de snakker

Example: Jeg snakker tit med mig selv. – "I often talk to myself."

20. at tale – "to speak"

  • jeg taler
  • du taler
  • hun/han taler
  • vi taler
  • I taler
  • de taler

Example: Jeg taler lidt dansk. – "I speak a little Danish."

Helpful tip: at snakke and at tale mean almost the same thing and in most cases can be used interchangeably. However, at tale is always the more formal variant, and it’s generally used when talking about the sound you make when speaking (Hun taler højt – "She speaks loudly"), while at snakke is more like "to chat" (De står og snakker ved buffeten – "They’re standing by the buffet and chatting").

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